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

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


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.




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