By Wendy Sarubbi | November 13, 2012 1:27 pm

The UCF College of Medicine “beat every medical school in the world” in a recent online academic medicine poster competition from Cureus, The New e-Journal of Medicine.

UCF submitted 70 posters on topics ranging from transplantation to public health, beating out medical schools from Stanford, University of Washington, Vanderbilt, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Yale and Case Western. Cureus President Tobin Arthur sent an email to one of UCF’s winning students, congratulating the medical school on its strong showing. “What a great job by you and your peers,” Arthur wrote. “We’d love to come throw a party at UCF and give the dean a plaque commemorating the fact that you guys beat every medical school in the world for this competition!”

Dr. Deborah German, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine,  said she was thrilled with UCF’s winning performance, nothing that “I am particularly happy that we were ahead of all of my alma maters.”

Six UCF students received multiple awards.

  • Second-year student Rabia Zafar won first place in the neurology category and second place in allergy/immunology.
  •  Fourth-year student Elona Rrapo won first place in the “other” category and third place in HIV/AIDS.
  • Fourth-year student Rafik Zarifa won second in psychiatry and second in quality improvement.
  • Fourth-year student Shawna Bellew won third place in internal medicine and third place in OB/GYN.
  • Third-year student Christina Hsu won third place for her poster in general surgery and third place in public health.

Here are all the winning UCF students in their categories of research.


Rabia Zafar, second place

Diabetes & Endocrinology

Racha Khalaf, first place

Environmental Health

Glenn Gookin, second place

General Surgery

Christina Hsu, third place


Sarina Amin, second place


Elona Rrapo, third place

Infectious Disease

Brittany Pease, second place

Internal Medicine

Brian Mayrsohn, second place

Shawna Bellew, third place


Rabia Zafar, first place


Eric Gelman, second place

Shawna Bellew, third place


Elona Rrapo, first place

Cassandra Dennys, second place

Pain Management

Malgorzata Krzyszczak, second place


Rafik Zarifa, second place


Alexa Rodriguez, third place

Public Health

Christina Hsu, third place

Quality Improvement

Rafik Zarifa, second place

Radiation Oncology

Margaret Kozak, first place


Zaw Maung, second place

For more information on the competition, go to


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