Student Leadership Awards

“Crisis doesn’t build character; it reveals it.” So said Sandra Emerick, Ed.D., senior executive director of academic affairs and student services, as she welcomed students to NEOMED’s fifth annual Student Leadership Awards.

While the crisis of a pandemic meant that this year’s event was held via Zoom, the significance of the day’s ceremony was undiminished. In fact, there has probably never been a time in our lives when service and leadership were more necessary, said Dr. Emerick.

President Langell delivered his congratulations to the honorees in a keynote address for the event, which was sponsored by the Student Services and Academic Affairs.

Service to the community and their peers

Brian Butler, assistant director of the Office of Student Services, noted that this year, 95 student organizations hosted 153 events on campus, with a total of nearly 5,000 attendees. Student leaders organized 40 service projects and logged more than 760 hours of volunteer service to the community and beyond. Medicine and pharmacy students provided nearly 2,600 hours of peer tutoring for 10 medicine courses and 10 pharmacy courses.

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

Medicine Peer Tutor of the Year

Saima Wase (M2)

A nominator wrote, “I admire Saima for her hard work, passion, and commitment to her role as a tutor. She finds the time to tutor at least once a month, despite the rigors of M2 year coursework. Saima is accessible to all of the M1's whenever they need any help, and goes above and beyond to facilitate learning during her tutoring sessions.” 

Pharmacy Peer Tutor of the Year

Mariah Mrofchak (P2)

A nominator wrote, “She really took the time to have balance in her sessions between explaining concepts and checking for understanding and testing us. She didn't only quiz or only throw concepts at us, she had a great balance of both. You could tell she put a lot of time and effort into her sessions and it was extremely appreciated. I feel that I was able to better understand concepts because of the effort and dedication she placed into her tutoring sessions.” 

Ethical Leader Award

Sahana Harikrishnan (M2)

A nominator wrote, “She is deserving of this award as she continuously demonstrates ethical values towards her peers by advocating for what is ethically right even if that might mean speaking to a side opposite her peers.” 

Outstanding Advisor Award

Joseph McShannic, M.D.

A nominator wrote, “Dr. McShannic has worked hard to get the Vascular Surgery Interest Group off the ground, and he has worked with student leadership to create a successful question panel, fundraiser, and community service project. Further, Dr. McShannic has taken time to reach out to a medical device company to receive funding in order to sponsor an upcoming endovascular technique surgery training session at NEOMED.” 

Diversity Student Organization of the Year Award

Student National Medical Association (SNMA)

A nominator wrote, “I believe SNMA has a great initiative to provide medical support and networking to underrepresented minorities in medicine – especially African Americans, Latino/as, as well as women. As a part of the board, I see firsthand how M1s, M2s, M3s and M4s work in coordination to create unique events to promote diversity.”

New Student Organization of the Year Award

NEOMED Compounding Club

A nominator wrote, “The Compounding Club is a new organization to NEOMED that is nationally affiliated. Through this first year the club has successfully obtained over 60 student members from a diverse background and has had monthly meetings that include hands-on activities for students. This club has not only united the students, but has also helped them grow professionally, creating a great foundation for networking.” 

Student Organization of the Year Award

American Academy of Pediatrics - Pediatrics Action Club (AAP-PAC). 

A nominator wrote, “AAP-PAC has continued to create a very active and encouraging community for anyone interested in Pediatrics. This group hopes to serve as a model for other specialty interest groups in order to help students achieve connections within the medical community!” 

Outstanding Student Leader Award

Jacob Brock (M2)

The nominator wrote, “As a result of his leadership, many students have been able to learn about family medicine and the role of primary care in our current healthcare landscape. His style of leadership has yielded programming that is second to none in breadth and depth.”


Photo: Dyann Whaley, assistant director of the Learning Center, presented finalists in the category of Medicine Peer Tutor of the Year

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