Tribute to the College of Medicine’s Anita Pokorny

After more than 30 years of service to the NEOMED community, Anita Pokorny, M.Ed., assistant dean of students for the College of Medicine, will retire at the end of May. 

Anita Pokorny’s impact on NEOMED has been immense. Since beginning her career at NEOMED in 1989, she has served as assistant director of financial aid; director of student services and registrar; and director of career development and advising. In each of these roles, she has always been committed to serving and helping students achieve their academic goals. In 2017, the College was fortunate enough to have her accept the position of assistant dean of students – a role in which she oversaw the residency match process, advising, and student professional development, providing exceptional overall guidance and advocacy for medicine students.  

Among the many accolades over the course of her career, Anita Pokorny has for an impressive 17 times  – including this year – been selected by the fourth-year student body to receive the Outstanding Service Award. Her legacy will live on through those who work to serve students and guide them through their medical school journey. 

The College of Medicine wishes Anita all the best as she enters this next chapter. Everyone is welcome to attend the virtual sendoff via Zoom (Password: 080813) Tuesday, May 25, from noon to 1 p.m. 

-Submitted by Jennifer Lint, director of Administration and Communications, College of Medicine. The following tributes have been provided by faculty, staff and students:

Trey Moberly, Class of ‘21

“Anita has been a voice of reason, a guiding hand, and an essential element in the lives of NEOMED students. She is truly irreplaceable.” 

Krish Nair, Class of ‘21

“Some mentors are lights at the end of the tunnel. Anita has been a light THROUGHOUT the tunnel, from the first day of M1 year all the way through Match. Thank you for everything that you do and are for students here.” 

Simran Batra, Class of ‘21

“Anita represents everything that makes NEOMED an amazing place to be a student; she really makes students feel special and at home, and she goes out of her way to give us the best chances of success. The Class of 2021 is so lucky to be the last to experience her kindness and warmth for four full years, but I am so excited for her to enjoy her well-deserved retirement. Thank you so much, Anita!” 

Robert DeVito, Class of ‘21

“In addition to having the best hair in the entire University, Anita has been there for every single student in the College of Medicine, on their best and their worst days. Her calm, welcoming demeanor made her a favorite among the Class of 2021.”

Harmony Stanger, Assistant Director of Student Affairs, College of Medicine:

“Anita has truly been an inspiration to me as my mentor, colleague and most importantly, a dear friend. She leads by example and always prioritizes the needs of our students above all else. I admire her ambition, tenacity and calming personality.  She has been such a positive influence in both my career and in my personal life. With her departure from NEOMED after a very decorated 30-plus-year career, I can only hope our friendship continues to grow and we both remain positive influences in each other’s lives.”

Austin Fredrickson, M.D.( ’14), Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine

“NEOMED students are losing their perennial godmother... Anita has been mentoring me since my first day of medical school and hasn't stopped yet. Today, when I am advising students, I routinely hear her words come out of my mouth. We all can learn from her masterful (and almost parental) feedback that students love her for – equal parts tender and firm. My appreciation, and that of countless alumni, for all she has given us cannot be overstated; we will do our best to keep her work going strong!”

Doug Moses, M.D. (’95), Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs, College of Medicine

“I have had the honor and privilege of working with Anita as a student, faculty member and now Student Affairs teammate. Anita is synonymous with NEOMED in so many students’ minds. Her impact over the years is immeasurable. It is not an exaggeration to say she has positively impacted the lives of thousands of students who are now physicians. The College of Medicine will replace Anita’s position, but Anita is irreplaceable.”

Dave Sperling, M.D. ('85), Professor of Family and Community Medicine

Advocate for students

Nice as pie 

Innovative collaborator

Terrific hair!

Available whenever anyone needs help


Passionate about student success

Outstanding national leader

Kind and thoughtful

Only occasionally ornery

Reliable and honest advisor and mentor

NEOMED will not be the same without you.

You will be missed!

Sandra Emerick, Senior Executive Director, Student Services and Registrar

“Invaluable…. that is what Anita has been to students and their career journey! As a longtime team member of the Office of Student Services in Academic Affairs, Anita was a guiding voice of the national and NEOMED agenda. Here at NEOMED, Anita has served in the areas of financial aid, registrar and student services. And throughout her 31 years here, she has always kept students at the center of her work. Thank you, from the entire staff, for everything you have contributed to NEOMED and our students. Happy retirement!”

Elisabeth Young, M.D. (’85), Dean, College of Medicine

“Ms. Pokorny is the epitome of what it means to be a servant leader in the way she has dedicated her career to helping NEOMED students find success throughout medical school and beyond. The College has been so fortunate to have Ms. Pokorny provide guidance not only to students but to all of us who work closely with the students. She will be truly missed!"

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