The University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford held its 48th Annual Convocation Ceremony for the Class of 2022 on Saturday, May 7, 2022, at the Coronado Theater in downtown Rockford, IL. After a two-year hiatus from the downtown event venue, students, faculty, staff and guests alike joined in the celebration of four years of hard work. Alex S. Stagnaro-Green, MD, MHPE, MHA, regional dean at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford, and Raymond H. Curry, MD, FACP, senior associate dean for educational affairs with the University of Illinois College of Medicine, provided opening remarks. City of Rockford Mayor, Thomas McNamara, MA, was the distinguished speaker and Rachel Miller, Class of 2022 graduate, provided the class remarks.
Graduating medical students receive honors and awards
The College of Medicine Rockford recognized the following student honors at the 2022 Convocation Ceremony:
Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
This national medical honor society was founded at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1902. Its purpose is to recognize and perpetuate excellence in the medical profession. Members are elected on the basis of scholarship, personal character and potential leadership. Students elected to AΩA receive the organization’s insignia key and wear the green and gold cords.
Student recipients included Jamal Azhari, Mariaelana Brenner, Joshua Dein, Oren Feldman-Schultz, David Fischer, Tara Gill, Vanessa Jerger Michael Niederbrach Jr., Jordan Saeed and Umber Waheed.
Graduation with Honors
Students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement earn the distinction of Graduation with Honors. Honors graduates are selected College-wide based on academic performance throughout their four years of medical school. The Honors medallion represents the College’s founding goals of education, research, medical care and public service; the green ribbon is the color of the discipline of medicine.
Graduate honors were given to Nadine Abouchaleh, Jamal Azhari, Mariaelana Brenner, Jared Cerny, Joshua Dein, Oren Feldman-Schultz, David Fischer, Tara Gill, Jessica Hua, Jacob Hughes, Madeline Hunt, Vanessa Jerger Kaitlin Morain, Michael Niederbrach Jr., Jordan Saeed and Umber Waheed
Gold Humanism Honor Society
Arnold P. Gold Foundation
Students selected for membership in the Gold Humanism Honor Society exhibit outstanding humanism in medicine and integrity as medical students. The Gold Foundation defines humanism as “encompassing those attitudes and behaviors that emanate from a deep sensitivity and respect for others.” The image on the medallion, a stethoscope in the form of a heart, represents the humanistic goals of the foundation.
Honor Society inductees included Lucendia Adams, Allison Beggin, Joshua Dein, Sonia Gilani, Brooke Heibel, Rachel Miller, Emily Nepomuceno, Noemí Rico and Audrey Shoemaker.
James Scholar Program
The program was established for undergraduate students on the Urbana-Champaign Campus in 1959. The James Scholar Program at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford began in 1972. The James Scholar Program is an academic honors program for highly qualified students that stresses independent study and requires a robust research project culminating in a presentation at the campus Research Day. James Scholar graduates are designated by Edmund J. James medallions on blue ribbons.
James Scholar graduates included Allison Beggin, Mariaelana Brenner, Adrienne DaGue, Joshua Dein, David Fischer, Madeline Hunt, Edward Miliavski, Rachel Miller, Jordan Saeed and Diana Tang.
College of Medicine Rockford Student Awards
- James E. Rebel Award: Emily Nepomoceno
- Assir Daniel DaSilva Scholarship: Noemí Rico
- Gary Button Rural Primary Care Medicine Award: Robert Ayers
- L.P. Johnson Scholarship: Robert Ayres
- Glenn D. Netto Humanitarian Award: Audrey Shoemaker
University of Illinois College of Medicine Student Awards
- Adolph A. Rostenberg, Jr. Award in Dermatology: Nadine Abouchaleh
- Craig E. Booher MD Community Health Scholarships: Whitney Leininger
- David Mortimer Olkon Memorial Award: Rachel Miller
- Charles Spencer Williamson Award in Internal Medicine: Kaan Raif
- Errol and Rosemary Baptist Award for Excellence in Pediatrics Kaitlin Morain
- Robert H. Harner Award for Excellence in Cardiology: Joshua Dein
- Donald H. Wortmann Outstanding Student in Pediatrics Award: Allison Beggin
- Excellence in Clinical Dermatology Award: Madeline Hunt
- Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award: Annalise Laaker
- Excellence in Family Medicine Award: Emily Nepomuceno
- Excellence in Obstetrics and Gynecology Award: Vanessa Jerger
- Granville A. Bennett Award: Noemí Rico
- Lillie and Seymour Green Distinguished Graduate Award: Joshua Dein
- Otto Saphir Scholarship (Excellence in Pathology, Junior Year): David Fisher
- Outstanding Performance Among Students Choosing a Surgical Career: David Fischer
- Outstanding Performance in Medicine Clerkship: Serena Korkmaz
- Outstanding Performance on Surgery: Joshua Dein
- Raymond Zbick Memorial Award in Anesthesia: Steven Szymanski
- Tom C. Reeves Memorial Award (Outstanding Classmate, Junior Year): Joshua Dein
- USPHS Excellence in Public Health Award 2022: Lucendia Adams
- Winnebago County Medical Society Award: Silpa Raju