Allied Health Commencement

Jan. 1, 2012

Dr. Kenneth Mattox was the keynote speaker at the 2011 Allied Health commencement.
Dr. Kenneth Mattox was the keynote speaker at the 2011 Allied Health commencement.
Dr. Major Bradshaw received the J. David Holcomb Achievement Award at the Allied Health Commencement.
Dr. Major Bradshaw received the J. David Holcomb Achievement Award from Carl Fasser, director of Allied Health, at the commencement ceremony.

Commencement ceremonies were held in December for students in the School of Allied Health Sciences. Master of Science degrees were conferred to 40 physician assistant and 14 nurse anesthesia students. The commencement address was given by Dr. Kenneth L. Mattox, professor and vice chair of surgery, general surgery division of the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at BCM and chief of staff at Ben Taub General Hospital.

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. Major W. Bradshaw, professor of medicine and director of The Global Health Program.

Student awards

Graduate Carrie McGehee, class president – physician assistant class of 2011, gave the PA commencement address
Graduate Carrie McGehee, class president – physician assistant class of 2011, gave the PA commencement address.

Numerous awards were given to students at commencement and at the Allied Health Awards Ceremony, which was held Dec. 2 in the Cullen Auditorium. These awards included:

  • Leslie Archibald of the Nurse Anesthesia Program and Jessica Gamwell of the Physician Assistant Program – the 2011 Office of Alumni Affairs and Student Connections award for outstanding leadership in professional and community activities.
  • Elizabeth Garland – the Physician Assistant Student Award for Excellence in Psychiatry as the physician assistant graduate who, in the opinion of the faculty of the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, demonstrated outstanding knowledge and skills in the practice of psychiatry.
  • Emily Clark Ence – The Lewis A. Leavitt Award as the physician assistant student with the highest academic record of achievement and 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.
  • Michael Richard Mathews II – the Helen Lamb Award as the nurse anesthesia student who achieved the highest scholastic ranking during the didactic phase of the curriculum.
  • Aimee Elizabeth Langley – the Alice Magaw Award as the nurse anesthesia student who achieved the highest scholastic ranking during the clinical phase of the curriculum.
  • Jason Daniel Rojas – 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, and the Virginia Apgar Award as the nurse anesthesia graduate who provided outstanding knowledge, skills and dependability in obstetrics and gynecologic anesthesia services.
  • Reinier Win-Sor C. Rabanal – the Nurse Anesthesia Spent Bullet Award for countless and stressful hours providing life-saving care to the victims of violence in the community.
Graduates Amanda Harrelson and Amy Ross were commissioned into the U.S. Navy at the 2011 Allied Health Commencement.
Graduates Amanda Harrelson and Amy Ross were commissioned into the U.S. Navy at the 2011 Allied Health Commencement.

During commencement ceremonies, two physician assistant students, Amanda Harrelson and Amelia Ross, were commissioned for service into the United States Navy.

Teaching awards

In addition, the 2011 Allied Health Excellence in Teaching Award recipients were announced. They included:

  • Brant Grundy, CRNA, M.S., assistant professor, department of anesthesiology and School of Allied Health Sciences – chosen by the nurse anesthesia class of 2011.
  • Rachel Davis, CRNA, M.S., instructor, department of anesthesiology and School of Allied Health Sciences – chosen by the nurse anesthesia class of 2012.
  • Mike Rice, M.D., assistant professor, department of medicine – chosen by the physician assistant class of 2011.
  • Wendi M. Stewart, M.S., PA-C, assistant professor, School of Allied Health Sciences – chosen by the physician assistant class of 2012.

Student research day

Leslie Archibald, class president – nurse anesthesia class of 2011, addressed her fellow graduates at commencement.
Leslie Archibald, class president – nurse anesthesia class of 2011, addressed her fellow graduates at commencement.

Allied Health Student Research Day was held Nov. 30. Thirty-nine physician assistant students presented their master's paper research projects via poster presentations. Judges from the BCM faculty critiqued the posters. Each poster was evaluated by three judges. The winners were:

  • Kristen Agura, first place for her research on "Follow-up HIV Screening in Patients with a False-Positive Chemiluminescence Screening Test or Western Blot Indeterminate Confirmatory Test." She will receive a $500 check. Her mentors were Dr. Thomas Giordano, associate professor of medicine - infectious disease, and Katherine Erdman, assistant professor of allied health sciences.
  • Brenda Lin, second place for her research on "Does the Availability and Accessibility of Fruits and Vegetables Influence Fruit and Vegetable Consumption at School in 3-5 Year Old Children?" She will receive a $250 check. Her mentors were Dr. Shreela V. Sharma, of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and Dr. T. David Johnson, assistant professor of allied health sciences.
  • Karen Hizon, third place for her research on "Outcomes and Quality of Life after Surgical Correction of Congenital Anorectal and Complex Perianal Malformations." She will receive a $100 check. Her mentors were Dr. Monica Lopez, assistant professor of surgery - pediatrics, Mary Brandt, professor of surgery - pediatrics and Dr. Johnson of allied health sciences.