Student Leaders, Mentors Recognized

Student Abhijit Das wasn’t buying it when Harmony Stanger said she was just meeting with him to take a photo. “What’s with the video camera over there?’’ the observant second-year College of Medicine student asked Stanger, the assistant director of student development and leadership in the Office of Student Affairs.

Das did look surprised, though, when Stanger revealed that she wanted to capture his reaction to being named Outstanding Student Leader of the Year on video, since Das wouldn’t be able to attend the Student Leadership Awards program and dinner at the NEW Center’s Grand Ballroom  Monday, April 23. 

The candid exchange on the video clip, and other moments like it, made for a warm and memorable third annual event to recognize NEOMED’s many student leaders—and those who mentor them. Hearing the presenters read the comments made by nominees’ classmates, it was obvious how respected these students already are.

Learning to be leaders

“If we’re not already, we can be leaders.’’

That’s how Nancy Gantt, M.D., FACS, professor of surgery, began her upbeat, energizing keynote speech to those gathered for the dinner.

Just a few excerpts from Dr. Gantt’s quote-worthy address to the students, faculty and staff:

“Leaders are different from managers. They are visionaries. They function well under pressure; they take risks.”

“EQ (emotional intelligence) trumps IQ when it comes to being a leader. Communication and fairness are most important.’’

“Good leaders give power away.’’

Co-medical director of the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center at Mercy Health-St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital, where she is also associate director of surgical education, Dr. Gantt turned out to be one of the evening’s honorees herself. She was named Outstanding Student Organization Advisor for her work with the Surgery Interest Group and the Association of Women’s Surgeons Medical Student Chapter.

Kudos to all

Congratulations to all who were nominated and honored at the 2018 Student Leadership Awards dinner.


Award winners are as follows: 

Medicine Peer Tutor of the Year

Hemant Reddy, M3

Pharmacy Peer Tutor of the Year

Anthony Wasielewski, P2

Ethical Leader

Amythest Gauthier, M4

Outstanding Student Organization Advisor of the Year

Nancy Gantt, M.D.

Diversity Student Organization of the Year

American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin


Kanithra Sekaran, Co-President

Jay Patel, Co-President

Amulya Dega, Vice President     

Abhijit Das, Treasurer   

Sheela Vaswani, Secretary          

Altaf Darvesh, Ph.D., Advisor

Student Organization of the Year

American Academy of Family Physicians—Family Medicine Interest Group


Laura Yeater, Co-President

Miah Brawley, Co-President

Irina Padua, Vice President

Adrienne Wolfe, Treasurer

Bradley Eckert, Secretary

Renee Brumbaugh, Community Service Chair

Paige Schertzinger, Fundraising Chair

John Boltri, M.D., Advisor

Mary Sherman, Advisor

Michael Appleman, M.A. Ed., Advisor

Stacey Gardner-Buckshaw, Ph.D., Advisor

Outstanding Student Leader of the Year

Abhijit Das, M2


Pictured above with President Gershen and Doctors Young and Kasmer are some of the students who were honored. 

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