Allied health students celebrate commencement, show off research

Jan. 1, 2013

BCM allied health students were busy at the end of the year with the annual research competition, followed by the school's awards ceremony and then commencement.

Research Day

Allied Health Student Research Day was held Nov. 27. Thirty-seven physician assistant students presented their master's paper research projects via poster presentations. Twenty-eight judges, chosen from the BCM faculty, critiqued the posters. Each poster was evaluated by three judges.

The first place winner of the 2012 poster competition was Amy Robker. Amy will receive a check for $500 for her research on "Pediatric Fluid Management and Cerebral Edema in Diabetic Ketoacidosis." Her primary mentor was Dr. Morey Haymond, professor of pediatrics – nutrition. Elizabeth Elliott, an assistant professor with the PA program, was her secondary mentor.

Kelsey Young earned second place for her research on "Motivational Interviewing Skills Utilized by First-Year Physician Assistant Students." She was mentored by Dr. Robert McLaughlin, assistant dean and associate professor, School of Allied Health Sciences, and Vicky Waters, assistant professor, School of Allied Health Sciences.

The third place winner was Stella Meusch for her research on "Physician Assistant Students' Self-Perceived Knowledge of Breastfeeding Before and After Completion of Web-based Curriculum and Lactation Shadowing Experience." Mentors were Elizabeth Elliott and Carl Fasser, professor, School of Allied Health Sciences.

Awards Ceremony

The annual awards ceremony for the School of Allied Health Sciences was held Nov. 30 in Cullen Auditorium. Winners included:

2012 Allied Health Excellence in Teaching Award

  • Dennis O'Brien, instructor, department of anesthesiology and School of Allied Health Sciences – Chosen by the nurse anesthesia class of 2012.
  • Rachel Davis, instructor, department of anesthesiology and School of Allied Health Sciences – Chosen by the nurse anesthesia class of 2013.
  • Brian Lassinger, instructor, department of surgery – Chosen by the physician assistant class of 2012.
  • Elizabeth Elliott, assistant professor, School of Allied Health Sciences – Chosen by the physician assistant class of 2013.

Alumni Association Lehmann Outstanding Student Award

The 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. Ashley Black of the Nurse Anesthesia Program and Kristine Logan of the Physician Assistant Program received the 2012 awards.

Physician Assistant Student Award for Excellence in Psychiatry

Sarah-Ann Pike received the award as the physician assistant graduate who demonstrated outstanding knowledge and skills in the practice of psychiatry. She was selected by faculty in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and behavioral Sciences.

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 Quentin W. Smith, associate professor in the School of Allied Health Sciences and assistant director of the Center for Collaborative and Interactive Technologies.

Nurse Anesthesia Student Awards

Thomas James Hale received the Nurse Anesthesia Spent Bullet Award for countless and stressful hours providing life-saving care to the victims of violence in the community.

Maryanne Mongtrang Nguyen received the Virginia Apgar Award as the nurse anesthesia graduate that provided outstanding knowledge, skills, motivation and dependability in obstetrics and gynecologic anesthesia services.

Armed Forces Commissioning

Caitlin Hoover was commissioned as an officer with the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade in the United States Navy.

Allied Health Commencement

The annual commencement for the School of Allied Health Sciences was Saturday, Dec. 1, at St. Luke's United Methodist Church. Master of Science degrees were conferred by Dr. David Holcomb, dean of the School of Allied Health Sciences, to 37 physician assistant and 15 nurse anesthesia students. Holcomb also conferred 12 Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees to the first graduating class. The commencement address was given by Dr. Linda Harrington, vice president and regional chief nursing informatics officer at Catholic Health Initiatives.

Commencement Student Award Recipients

  • Sarah-Ann Pike – Lewis A. Leavitt Award as the physician assistant student with the highest academic record of achievement.
  • Jeffery Fox – 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.
  • Xiaobin Wang – Helen Lamb Award as the nurse anesthesia student who achieved the highest scholastic ranking during the didactic phase of the curriculum.
  • Thomas James Hale – Alice Magaw Award as the nurse anesthesia student who achieved the highest scholastic ranking during the clinical phase of the curriculum.
  • Ashley Ann Black – 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.
  • Debbie Barber – John F. Garde Distinguished Graduate Award. The award is presented annually to a post-masters DNP graduate who exemplifies outstanding professional vision, leadership, and accomplishment.
Amy Robker, winner of the Allied Health Student Research Day poster contest, with Dr. David Johnson of the School of Allied Health Sciences
Amy Robker, winner of the Allied Health Student Research Day poster contest, with Dr. David Johnson
Nurse anesthetist graduate Ashley Black, recipient of an Outstanding Student Award
Nurse anesthetist graduate Ashley Black, recipient of an Outstanding Student Award
Quentin Smith, pictured with Carl Fasser, received the J. David Holcomb Award for his contributions to the allied health program
Quentin Smith, pictured with Carl Fasser, received the J. David Holcomb Award for his contributions to the allied health program
Thomas James Hale, left, was awarded for his scholastic ranking in the Nurse Anesthesia Program
Thomas James Hale, right, was awarded for his scholastic ranking in the Nurse Anesthesia Program
Caitlin Hoover was commissioned as a Navy officer at the allied health commencement ceremony
Caitlin Hoover was commissioned as a Navy officer at the allied health commencement ceremony
Physician assistant student Andrew Gray at commencement
Physician assistant student Andrew Gray at allied health commencement ceremony