Allied Health students graduate, receive honors for work

January 1, 2011

Students from BCM's School of Allied Health Sciences participated in commencement Dec. 4 at the University of Houston. Degrees were conferred by Dr. Paul Klotman, BCM president and CEO, to 32 physician assistant and 14 nurse anesthesia students.

Klotman congratulated the students and emphasized to the graduates they would be an important part of health care, especially as the new reform moves forward.

The commencement address was given by Dr. Bruce Schoneboom, Colonel, United States Army, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Graduate School of Nursing, in Bethesda, Md.

Allied health students were recognized with awards at commencment and at the annual awards ceremony held on Dec. 3 in Cullen Auditorium. Award recipients included:

Achievement Award

The J. David Holcomb Achievement Award, which recognizes an individual's sustained contribution to Allied Health education, research, faculty development, and scholarship, was presented to Dr. Thomas A. Krouskop, professor, School of Allied Health Sciences, and director of the National Center for Human Performance.

Student Award Recipients

  • Erin Nicole Menne received the Lewis A. Leavitt Award as the physician assistant student with the highest academic record of achievement.
  • Peggy Diana Walsh received the Henry D. McIntosh Award as the student who achieved the highest degree of academic excellence and service and who best exemplified the concept of the physician assistant.
  • Elizabeth Marie Olivera received the Helen Lamb Award as the nurse anesthesia student who achieved the highest scholastic ranking during the didactic phase of the curriculum.
  • Kristen Danielle VanGheluwe Sheehy received the Alice Magaw Award as the nurse anesthesia student who achieved the highest scholastic ranking during the clinical phase of the curriculum.
  • Elizabeth Marie Olivera received the Agatha Hodgins Memorial Award as the outstanding graduate who, based on academic achievement and clinical performance, demonstrated the dedication and enthusiasm that best symbolize the qualities desired in a nurse anesthetist.
  • Shane R. Stovall received the Nurse Anesthesia Spent Bullet Award for providing life-saving care to the victims of violence in the community.
  • Elizabeth Marie Olivera received the Virginia Apgar Award as the nurse anesthesia graduate that provided outstanding knowledge, skills, motivation, and dependability in obstetrics and gynecologic anesthesia services.

Excellence in Teaching Awards

  • Dennis O'Brien, CRNA, M.S., instructor, Department of Anesthesiology and School of Allied Health Sciences – Chosen by the Nurse Anesthesia Class of 2010.
  • Myron Arnaud, CRNA, M.S., assistant professor, Department of Anesthesiology and School of Allied Health Sciences – Chosen by the Nurse Anesthesia Class of 2011.
  • Tyson Pillow, M.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine – Chosen by the Physician Assistant Class of 2010.
  • Wendi M. Stewart, M.S., PA-C, Assistant Professor, School of Allied Health Sciences – Chosen by the Physician Assistant Class of 2011.

Allied Health Student Leadership Awards

The Baylor College of Medicine Office of Alumni Affairs and Student Connections presented an award to one student from each Allied Health program who demonstrated outstanding leadership in professional and community activities. Elizabeth Marie Olivera of the Nurse Anesthesia Program and Peggy Diana Walsh of the Physician Assistant Program received the 2010 awards.

Physician Assistant Student Award for Excellence in Psychiatry

Frances Huynh received the award as the physician assistant graduate who demonstrated outstanding knowledge and skills in the practice of psychiatry.

Allied Health Student Research Day

On Nov. 30, 2010, the annual student research day poster competition was held. Twenty-nine physician assistant students presented their master's paper research projects via poster presentations. Twenty-four judges, chosen from the BCM faculty, critiqued the posters.

The competition winners were as follows:

  • Erin Menne, first place winner for her study entitled "Staphylococcus aureus Infection in Pediatric Patients with Diabetes Mellitus between 2002 and 2010."
  • Ryan Carr, tied for first place winner for his study entitled "Role of SKCa and IKCa Channels in Mouse Thoracic Aorta Endothelial Cell Ca2+ Influx and eNOS Activation."
  • Deborah Horwitz, second place winner for her study entitled "Investigating the Clinical Significance of Enterococcal Bacteruria at The VAMC Houston, TX."
  • Morgan Green, third place winner for her study entitled "Increase of Streptococcus Pneumonia Serotype 6C Isolates at Eight Children's Hospitals in the U.S."