LEWISBURG, W.Va. (WVDN) – The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) recognized medical students for their academic and community achievements through scholarships and employees for their commitment to educate future physicians during the school’s spring awards ceremony.
This year’s event, which took place March 31, offered recipients a total of $738,436 through 32 scholarships, awards and certificates of appreciation.
Student scholarships and awards were:
The Dr. Roland P. Sharp President and Foundation Award of Excellence for Student Achievement is given to a first-year student based on academic performance, osteopathic professional interest, leadership and citizenship. This year’s winner was Ethaniel Galloway.
The Student D.O. of the Year award acknowledges a student’s commitment to his or her school and community and to the osteopathic profession. This year’s recipient was Harrison Solomon.
WVSOM Alumni Association Scholarships are given to two students who exemplify scholarship, osteopathic professional interest, leadership and citizenship. The winners were Claire Drotman and Apongnwu Tete.
The U.S. Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Award recognizes medical students who have positively impacted public health in their communities. It is given to a student who has developed and implemented a program advancing the overarching goals and achieving the objectives of Healthy People 2030. Consideration is also given to students who have developed and implemented a program that addresses the priorities of the National Prevention Strategy, made a significant benefit to a medically underserved community, completed research that advances the goals of Healthy People 2030 and the National Prevention Strategy or conducted health activities in collaboration with public health agencies. This year’s recipient was Matthew Parsley.
National Health Service Corps Scholar recipients are selected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration from students pursuing a career in primary health. In exchange for the scholarship, students agree to practice in a Health Professional Shortage Area upon graduation and licensure. The students commit to one year of service for every year the scholarship is awarded, with a two-year minimum commitment. This year’s recipients were Hayley Cruz, Natalie Fabrizio, Dylan Grimard, Carlos Iviricu, Apongnwu Tete and Jacob Wilson.
The West Virginia Emulation Endowment Trust/Dr. Olen E. Jones Jr. Scholarship was established in 2016 and named after Olen E. Jones Jr., Ph.D., who served as president of WVSOM from 1987 to 2009. The scholarship is awarded to West Virginia students based on literary and scholastic attainments, morality, leadership and physical vigor. This year’s scholarship recipients were Caleb Duncan, Abundance Hunt and Matthew Parsley.
The Foundation Scholars awards are given to West Virginia residents with satisfactory academic performance who plan to stay in West Virginia after residency to practice. Preference is given to students from Barbour, Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Fayette, Gilmer, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Nicholas, Roane, Summers, Wayne, Webster or Wyoming counties. This year’s award recipients were Kayla Vaughan and Aarron Ward, from the Class of 2024, and Caleb Duncan, Abigail Effingham, Emma Ellis, Abundance Hunt and Kassey Wagner from the Class of 2025.
The Jarrell Family Award recognizes a second-year student who is a West Virginia resident, with preference given to a student from Boone, Fayette, Kanawha or Raleigh counties. This year’s winner was Emma Ellis.
The Libby Kokott, D.O., Memorial Grant was established by Kokott’s four children in 2020 to honor a woman who, against all odds, became a physician at the age of 50 (from WVSOM’s Class of 1993). Kokott helped hundreds of patients in her 20 years as an internist, and her hope was that others could do the same. This year’s winner was Vennela Pulikanti.
This was the inaugural year for the Anna Marie Counts Memorial Scholarship, which was established by her family and WVSOM staff in 2018. Counts was the director of accreditation at WVSOM from July 30, 2013, until her untimely death in August 2017. The scholarship is given to a female second-year student from West Virginia who exemplifies the characteristics that Counts embodied, which included getting things done behind the scenes, leading by example, being compassionate, an untiring advocate of support for others and a community volunteer. This year’s award recipient was Melissa Cummins.
WVSOM students were recognized for receiving the Encova Scholars award, donated by the Encova Foundation of West Virginia. This year’s recipients were Abundance Hunt and Keirston Sutherland from the Class of 2024; Caleb Duncan, Abigail Effingham and Thulasi Kulasinghe from the Class of 2025; and Manasa Dittakavi, Morgan Dunmire, John Gallagher, Margaret Giggey and Daniel Proctor from the Class of 2026.
The West Virginia State Medical Association Alliance Scholarship Fund provides scholarships for medical students from West Virginia who desire to practice in the state after they graduate. The alliance is an organization that comprises physician spouses, who in the fall of 2016 established an endowment at each of the three medical schools in West Virginia. This year’s WVSOM scholarship was presented to Logan Christian.
The Fredric W. Smith Memorial Family Practice Scholarship is awarded to a student completing his or her second year of medical school. The student must be a West Virginia resident who plans to practice family medicine and has a strong interest in the school and community. The winner was Abigail Effingham.
The Samantha Ketchem Muncy Primary Care Memorial Scholarship was established to honor Muncy, a student killed in a car accident. The scholarship is awarded to a third-year medical student from Barbour, Harrison, McDowell, Preston or Taylor counties in West Virginia who plans to remain in the state to practice in a primary care specialty. This year’s scholarship recipient was Katherine Roach.
The Dr. William B. Mullen and Jennifer White Scholarship was created in recognition of Dr. William B. Mullen of Logan, a physician who cared for his patient, Jennifer White, who passed away in 2011. Logan Christian, Kathryn Peelish and Oran Trimble were the scholarship recipients.
The Ron Billips Memorial Scholarship Fund was established by a 2002 WVSOM graduate to honor his friend and classmate who was 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’s award went to Oran Trimble.
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 Delaney Ellis and Ethaniel Galloway.
The Drs. Cheryl and Michael Adelman WVSOM Leadership Scholarship is awarded to a student who has demonstrated character and leadership during their time at WVSOM and who has the potential to be a future leader in the osteopathic profession. Matthew Parsley was this year’s recipient.
The Paul G. Kleman, D.O., Family Practice Student Award (Kleman family and West Virginia Society of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians) recognizes a student who plans to use osteopathic manipulation in treating patients and is willing to instill the importance of osteopathic principles and practice in the next generation of WVSOM students. This year’s award recipient was Caleb Duncan.
MOSS Scholarships honor the late Marlene Wager, D.O., and are presented to students who are out-of-state residents. This year, 15 students received the scholarship. They were Kate Altmanshofer, Madeleine Bash, Aahish Chohan, Samuel Fuller, Esabelle Gervasio, Margaret Giggey, Akansh Hans, Ashley Kapinos, Dalton McCown, Iaian McLeod, Nauman Shahid, Alen Sisic, Robert Strait, Claudia Studebaker and Sabrina Wolf.
The James R. Stookey, D.O., Manipulative Medicine Scholarship was created in honor of James Stookey, WVSOM’s 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’s scholarship was awarded to Olivia George.
The Marlene A. Wager 10-Fingered OPP Scholarship was created by the osteopathic principles and practice department in 2008 to recognize a second-year student with outstanding skills in osteopathic manipulative treatment. Candidates are nominated and voted on 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 Shashank Singh.
The WVSOM Family Practice Scholarship is awarded to a second-year West Virginia student who has intentions of practicing family medicine upon graduation. The scholarship was awarded to Abigail Effingham.
The WVSOM Diversity Task Force – Eva Teter Hammer Award is given to a student who demonstrates an interest in osteopathic medicine and in eliminating the inequities of individuals. Samira Perez Espinoza was recognized this year.
The Choose West Virginia Practice Program is a tuition waiver program that incentivizes nonresident West Virginia medical students to remain in the state to practice. Out-of-state students accepted or enrolled at each of the three medical schools in West Virginia are eligible for the program. Recipients receive a tuition waiver for the cost difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition and agree to practice in a primary care or shortage specialty in West Virginia for a minimum of one year. The winners were John Bower, Richard Cardillo, Myla Deganich, Jona Del Rio, Benjamin Dodge, Anas Huggi and Nicholas Wilson.
The Community Outreach and Relief Effort (C.O.R.E.) recognizes members for their service. This year, 21 students were honored for participation in the program. They were Hannah Ankrom, Hannah Basham, Brenna Bohn, Christopher Butryn, Brynn Cardonick, John Tyler Craig, Jeremy Cutlip, Benjamin Dodge, Andrea Dwiggins, Caroline Ferrell, Charles Lafferty, Teresa Lonce, Maria Mace, Morgan Malof, Michael Meseha, Kymbre Robinson, Vincent Scozzaro, Savanna Sparks, Alice Stella, Joson Thomas and Kayla Underwood.
The Student Government Association Character Scholarship is presented to first-, second- and third-year students who possess and demonstrate characteristics that may sometimes go unnoticed but are noted by peers. This year’s recipients were Rachael Huebler and Anas Huggi (Class of 2026); Claire Schoyer and Apongnwu Tete (Class of 2025); and Marc Pajarillo and Devin Towne (Class of 2024).
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 WVSOM chapter of the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine/Orthopedics Club was given this year’s recognition.
A special award presentation recognized Student Government Association President Dante Mattioli and Vice President Samantha DeMartino. 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 Award is given to faculty members for their efforts in teaching and for excelling in integrating OPP into their classes. The winners were Brian Griffith, Ph.D. (biomedical sciences), Rachel Johnson, D.O. (clinical sciences) and Brittanie West, D.O. (adjunct clinical sciences preceptor).
The Atlas Club Golden Key Award is given to a biomedical sciences faculty member and a clinical sciences faculty member selected by students. The recipients were Peter Ward, Ph.D., and Aaron McGuffin, M.D.
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, SGA members thanked the Department of Information Technology and O’Cafe staff.
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