GSBS Celebrates Student Achievement

Date Posted: June 04, 2010

Acheivement Awards
Becky Briescaher, PhD, Ashley Keller, Yong Chen, Carole Upshur, EdD

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences hosted the first annual Celebration of Student Achievement on Friday, June 4, 2010. Students and graduates were recognized for outstanding achievement in a variety of academic and co-curricular endeavors. 2010 Graduates were joined by students, faculty and alumni for the award ceremony and reception.

Chancellor Collins presented 2010 graduate Can Keyatekin with the prestigious Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Distinction in Research, Leadership and Service. Can also received the Dean’s Award for the Most Insightful Doctoral Thesis Research for his work on "The Coupling Between Folding, Zinc Binding and Disulfide-Bond Status of Human Cu, Zn Superoxide Dismutase," under the mentorship of Robert Matthews, Ph.D.

First and second year students received awards for Outstanding Achievement in the Core Curriculum. During the 2008-2009 academic year, the top performers were Yong Chen, Bo Han, and Benjamin Manning. The recipients for AY 2009-1010 were Samantha Burke and Ashley Keller.

Students nominated their peers for Outstanding Mentoring in the Classroom or Research setting. Karen Mruk, Miroslav Koulnis, and Steven Pauff were selected from among the many nominations.

Although Pedro Batista and Chengjian Li were each presented with the prestigious 2010 Harold M. Weintraub Award in May at The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, the significance of such an accomplishment was recognized again among their colleagues here at UMMS.

In addition to individual awards, Dean Carruthers took the opportunity to congratulate students on a variety of group achievements. He recognized second year students as he acknowledged the important transition into research that comes with successful completion of the Qualifying Examination.

Dean Carruthers shared the accomplishments of a few GSBS students who supported the science education of local K-12 students. In particular Eric Swanson, Stephen Douthwright, Catherine Ward, Belinda Barbagallo, and Paul Nobrega received applause for their work with Wachusett Regional High School, which culminated in 11 students placing in the state-wide science fair at MIT and two students finishing first and second statewide, and Heidi Hafemann for her ongoing work with Worcester Elementary and Middle Schools.

As he concluded the program, Dean Carruthers noted the transition from student to graduate/alumni. “The ultimate achievement of our graduate students is completion of their doctoral research, publication of their findings and graduation… As the graduates we recognize today prepare for postdoctoral careers, I want to remind you that you will always remain a member of our school. While miles and interests may separate [us], we are ever ready to support you when asked. Stay in touch with us. You are part of our family.”