University of Medicine and Health Sciences

    Highlights of 8th Annual Commencement Ceremony in NYC

    Posted by Scott Harrah
    Jul 23, 2019 2:04:00 PM

    UMHS honored its graduates at the Eighth Annual Commencement Ceremony at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on Friday, June 7, 2019.  The “next generation of physicians” was celebrated and venerated with 11 candidates for Honors, 26 for High Honors and 21 for Highest Honors.

    Graduates for September 30, 2018; November 30, 2018; December 31, 2018; March 31, 2019 and June 1, 2019 were listed in the official program for commencement.

    The UMHS Endeavour highlights this day of honor for UMHS graduates, their friends and families.

    The West Village Quarter performed the processional “Pomp and Circumstance.”



    UMHS President Warren Ross. Photo: Island Photography

    The commencement Welcome Address was given by Jerry W. Thornton, PhD, followed by President Warren Ross, JD. New UMHS Provost David R. Graham, MD ChB, MD, FRCP, FFSEM also spoke to the graduates and discussed his work at UMHS at as a doctor in his homeland, the United Kingdom.


    Dr. Eric Mizuno. Photo: Island Photography


    Keynote speaker Dr. Mizuno

    UMHS professor Dr. Eric Mizuno was the keynote speaker. Dr. Mizuno, Director of Medical Education at Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago, is a leader in medical student and Internal Medicine residency education. He spoke about his experiences in medicine and his inspiring work disaster-relief volunteer work after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, post-earthquake relief efforts in Haiti and more recently helping the people of Puerto Rico after the catastrophic Hurricane Maria. Dr. Mizuno is an original member of a four-member Internal Medicine practice that has grown into a multiple office, multi-specialty Primary Care-based practice, including nearly 100 doctors and 250,000 active patients.

    President Ross and Abayomi Aflolabi, MBBS awarded the degrees to graduates, and George H. Shade, Jr., MD FACOG, FACPE recognized the candidates for honors.



    Dr. Shane Michael O’Toole. Photo: Island Photography

    Valedictorian Shane Michael O’Toole was the graduate honors speaker. Dr. O’Toole spoke about his medical education at UMHS, the camaraderie he experienced among students, staff and faculty, and how his time at the Caribbean medical school helped him obtain an anesthesiology residency at McLaren Health Care in Michigan. Dr. O’Toole was also awarded the first Dr. William Thurman Scholarship for Academic Excellence. Dr. Thurman was the founding provost for UMHS and passed away in February 2018. To honor his memory, the Board of Trustees established the Dr. William Thurman Scholarship for Academic Excellence.

    Congratulations to all UMHS Class of 2019 graduates. We salute the gifted young men and women who are continuing on to prestigious residencies after successfully completing their medical education at UMHS St. Kitts and matching at great hospitals.



    Dr. George H. Shade, Dean of Clinical Sciences. Photo: Island Photography


    Dr. David Graham, UMHS Provost. Photo: Island Photography


    Dr. Jerry W. Thornton, UMHS Vice President. Photo: Island Photography


    Candidates for Highest Honors

    1. Nicholas Abourizk
    2. Genevieve Aube
    3. Adam Tyler Bryan
    4. David G. Cotto Velez
    5. Jerome Couture
    6. Eliz M. Cruz Salcedo
    7. Clarissa M. Durand-Rougely
    8. Verisha Shakil Khanam
    9. Ellen Jane Lorenzen
    10. Matthew Joseph Maggio
    11. Gowrishankar Manimaran
    12. Michael Meehan
    13. Laura Cristina Mena Albors
    14. Jennifer Mercado Muniz
    15. Shane Michael O’Toole
    16. Eliud I. Pabon Borgos
    17. Ujwal Patel
    18. Anna Katherine Plemmons
    19. Natalia Rodriguez Luquerna
    20. Christina Victoria Varela
    21. Karla Francheska Vazquez De Jesus

    High Honors

    1. Anjali Anne Ajit
    2. Samuel Amankwah
    3. Chloe LeeAnn Balanda
    4. Katharine Elizabeth Christensen
    5. Soraya Suzanne Patrice Darwood
    6. Yarelis Marie Dumeng-Santiago
    7. Sameera Faiz
    8. Jose P. Falero Pomales
    9. Valeria Fomitcheva
    10. Luz E. Goyco Ortiz
    11. Ashely Shirrelle Harris
    12. Kathryne Holmes
    13. Saffa Iftikhar
    14. Rahim A. Jiwani
    15. Felix G. Kurilov
    16. Hector Manuel Lopez Gonzalez
    17. Paloma Maria Lugo Perez
    18. Josue Alejandro Ocasio Tapia
    19. Dilem Potat
    20. Natalia Puig Marquez
    21. James Kenton Riddle
    22. Jonathan Rivera Diaz
    23. Michelle Ashley Rizk
    24. Muqaddam Ahmed Salim
    25. Marissa I-Fang Su
    26. Ari Philip Walter


    The enthusiastic crowd at Lincoln Center on June 7, 2019. Photo: Island Photography

    (Top photo) UMHS CLASS OF 2019 COMMENCEMENT: Graduates with President Warren Ross & Michelle Peres, VP of Enrollment Management (center) at Lincoln Center on June 7, 2019. Photo: Island Photography


    About UMHS:

    Built in the tradition of the best US universities, the University of Medicine and Health Sciences focuses on individual student attention, maintaining small class sizes and recruiting high-quality faculty. We call this unique approach, “personalized medical education,” and it’s what has led to our unprecedented 96% student retention rate, and outstanding residency placements across the US and Canada. UMHS is challenging everything you thought you knew about Caribbean medical schools.

    Posted by Scott Harrah

    Scott is Director of Digital Content at UMHS and editor of the UMHS Endeavour blog. When he's not writing about UMHS students, faculty, events, public health, alumni and UMHS research, he writes and edits Broadway theater reviews for a website he publishes in New York City,

    Topics: UMHS Alumni

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