WVSOM students, faculty receive scholarships at Spring Awards ceremony

The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) recognized medical students for their academic and community achievements during the annual Spring Awards ceremony.

WVSOM faculty and staff were also recognized by students for their commitment to helping educate future physicians. This year’s event, which took place April 6, offered recipients a total of $64,850 through 28 scholarships and certificates of appreciation.

Student scholarships and awards were:

The Roland P. Sharp President’s Award and Foundation Award of Excellence for Student Achievement is given to a student based on academic performance, osteopathic professional interest, leadership and citizenship to a first-year student. This year’s winner was Loc Truong Tran.  

WVSOM Alumni Association Scholarships were given to two students who exemplify scholarship, osteopathic professional interest, leadership and citizenship. The winners were John Apgar and Joshua Easterling.

The Greenbrier Military School Alumni Association Scholarship is presented to two students who excel academically and show strong leadership, determination and discipline. This year’s recipients were Emmanuel Dimitri Foko Tito and Miesca McFarland.

The Fredric W. Smith Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a student completing his or her first year of medical school. The student must plan to practice family medicine and have a strong interest in the school and community. The winner was Alison Johnson.  

The Dr. William B. Mullen and Jennifer White Scholarship was created in recognition of Dr. William B. Mullen of Logan, W.Va., who cared for patient, Jennifer White, who passed away in 2011. Thomas Knowles, Eric Saunders and Kelsey Scott were the scholarship recipients.

Six WVSOM students received recognition for BrickStreet Scholarships donated by the BrickStreet Foundation. This year’s scholarship recipients were Alexandria Carter, Michael Johnson, Melissa Oye, Langley Salyers, Lisa Hensley and Jordan Allen.

This was the first year the West Virginia State Medical Association (WVSMA) Alliance Scholarship Fund was presented. The alliance is an organization comprised of physician spouses, who in the fall of 2016, established a $30,000 endowment at each of the three medical schools in West Virginia in order to provide scholarships for medical students from West Virginia who have a desire to practice in the state after they graduate. This year’s inaugural award was presented to Joshua Easterling.

The James R. Stookey, D.O., Manipulative Medicine Scholarship was formed in honor of James Stookey, vice president for academic affairs and dean from 1988 to 2002. The scholarship is given to a student who has demonstrated proficiency in manipulative medicine. This year the scholarship was awarded to Lauren Hammell.

The MOSS Scholarships are in honor of the late Marlene Wager, D.O., and are presented to students who are not West Virginia residents. This year, 15 students received the scholarship. They were Meenal Balakrishnan, Alexis Borden, Deborah Chisler, Emmanuel Dimitri Foko Tito, Michaella Gaite, Alyssa Gates, Aaron Hartkop, Ashley Henning, Hannah King, Jeanette Klamfoth, Vincent Morra, Ryan Naum, Gurmaninder (Pal) Singh, Rebecca Szer and Dahnish Valiani.

The Marlene Wager 10-Fingered OPP Scholarship was created by the Osteopathic Principles and Practice (OPP) department in 2008 to recognize a second-year student with outstanding skills in osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT). Candidates are nominated and voted by classmates. The winner has his or her name engraved on a plaque that is displayed in the osteopathic clinical skills lab. This year’s recipient was John (Jack) Kuipers.

The Paul Kleman, D.O., Family Practice Student Award recognizes a student who plans to use osteopathic manipulation in treatment of their patients and is willing to instill the importance of osteopathic principles and practice in the next generation of WVSOM students. Thu Nguyen received this year’s award.

The WVSOM Family Practice Scholarship is awarded to a second-year West Virginia resident who has intentions of practicing family medicine upon graduation. The scholarship was awarded to Aron Hart.

The Ronald P. Billips Memorial Scholarship was formed by a 2002 WVSOM graduate to honor his friend and classmate killed in a car accident. The award is given to a first-year student who is a graduate of Big Creek, Iaeger, Mount View, Princeton or Bluefield high schools in West Virginia or Graham, Tazewell, Richlands or Pocahontas high schools in Virginia. This year the award went to Zain Mohiuddin.

The Randy Dailey Memorial Award, which is given to a second-year student from West Virginia who demonstrates a commitment to academic excellence and service, was awarded to Ondrea Moore.

The Loretta Moore Memorial Award recipient is chosen by first-year students to a classmate who has overcome obstacles in order to succeed. Raji Akileh was this year’s recipient.

The Samantha Ketchem Muncy Primary Care Memorial Scholarship was formed to honor Muncy, a student killed in a car accident. The scholarship is awarded to a third-year medical student from Barbour, McDowell, Taylor, Preston or Harrison counties in West Virginia who plans to remain in the state to practice in a primary care specialty. This year’s scholarship recipient was Randy Province.  

WVSOM’s Diversity Task Force – Eva Teter Hammer Award is given to a student who demonstrates an interest in osteopathic medicine and eliminating the inequities of individuals. Alaric Gee was recognized this year.

The Student D.O. of the Year award acknowledges a student’s commitment to his or her school, community and the osteopathic profession. This year’s recipient was Alyssa Beda.

The U.S. Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Award is given to a student who has developed and implemented a program advancing the overarching goals and achieving the objects of Health People 2020. The student has also developed and implemented a program that addresses the priorities of the National Prevention Strategy. This year’s recipient was Renee Marchegiani.

The McGraw-Hill Education/Lange Student Award for Academic Excellence is awarded based on academic achievement to students to help offset textbook costs. Nicholas Bowers and Austin Patterson received the award.

The Student Government Association Leadership Scholarship is presented to first-, second- and third-year students who have mentored fellow students, shared their own resources to facilitate the learning of others, have founded clubs or organized events and have brought students together in new and creative ways. The recipients were first place Miesca McFarland, second place Taylor Maley and third place Jason Gilbert (Class of 2020); first place Pauline Phan, second place Shruti Iyer and third place Nicholas Rawson (Class of 2019); first place Alyssa Beda, second place Amanda Ly and third place Alexandra Collado (Class of 2018).

The Student Government Association Student Character Scholarship is presented to first-, second- and third-year students who possess and demonstrate characteristics that may sometimes go generally unnoticed but are noted by peers. This year’s recipients were Abdulrahman Nazif, Devin Welsh and Austin Patterson (Class of 2020); Daljeet Singh, Sahani Jayatilaka and Jacqueline Sun (Class of 2019); and Harsha Kannan, Nicole Decker and Norman Hurst (Class of 2018).

The Translating Osteopathic Understanding into Community Health (T.O.U.C.H.) program encourages medical students to be engaged in community service work throughout the year and volunteer in the area. This year, a total of 314 WVSOM students volunteered 14,445 hours of their time to the community. The Platinum level winner was Ashley Rubin, who volunteered 264 individual hours.

The Community Outreach and Relief Effort (C.O.R.E.) recognized members for their service. This year, seven students received the honor. They were Elisa Arthur, Maria Caperelli, Rachael Huwyler, Sharmaine Lewis, Adrian Renaldi, Lisa Smith and Caitlin Thomas.

The Fredric W. Smith Community Service Award recognizes a campus organization or club that demonstrates a commitment to the Lewisburg community, the WVSOM community and classmates. The Family Medicine Club was given this year’s recognition.

WVSOM President Michael Adelman made a Special Award Presentation to Student Government Association President Ethan Stephens and Vice President John Apgar. The award recognizes service and leadership to WVSOM and the student body.

WVSOM faculty and staff who were recognized by students were:

The Osteopathic Principles and Practice (OPP) Integration Teaching Awards are given to faculty members on and off campus. The winners are recognized for their efforts in teaching, as well as those who have excelled in integrating OPP in their classes. This year’s winners were Emily Thomas, D.O., Nathaniel Kesner, D.O., (off-campus) and Kelly Jackson, Ph.D.

The Atlas Club Golden Key Awards are given to a biomedical science faculty member and clinical science faculty member selected by students. This year’s recipients were Peter Ward, Ph.D., and Robert Pepper, D.O.

The Student Government Association Appreciation Recognition is given to employees by SGA members for their work and support on behalf of medical students. This year’s recipients were Andrea Nazar, D.O., Druann Dalton, Adam Sydenstricker, Belinda Evans, Rebecca Morrow, Ph.D., Shannon Warren, James Nemitz, Ph.D., Jeff Dowdy on behalf of the housekeeping staff, Will Adler on behalf of the maintenance staff, Gail Swarm, D.O., on behalf of the Clinical Evaluation Center staff, Amy Holbrook and Lisa Seldomridge.