By Christin Senior | May 17, 2018 4:48 pm

On their last day together before graduation, the medical school’s Class of 2018 gathered May 17 to celebrate their shared journey and honor students for their outstanding academic accomplishments.

“You led by example and brought to life our new medical school,” Dr. Deborah German, vice president for medical affairs and founding dean told the 116 students who will become physicians on May 18. “You helped the UCF College of Medicine establish a national and an international reputation. You set the bar high for those who will follow you in the classroom, the laboratory, the clinic and the community.”

 Thirteen students received the Academic Excellence Award for earning almost all A’s in their four years of medical school. Elizabeth Wellings received the Dean’s Award for the student with the highest academic performance who embodies professionalism, compassion, and integrity.  By an overwhelming majority, students selected Jessica Fernandez for the Osler Award, given to the student who has demonstrated the most perseverance and overcoming obstacles to succeed.

Dr. James Sanders, assistant professor of neurosurgery, received the Hippocratic Oath Award from students. This award recognizes a faculty member who best embodies the ideals of Hippocrates in compassionate patient care, the highest ethical standards, and dedication to teaching excellence. Dr. Sanders will give the Hippocratic Oath to students at commencement.

Here are the additional 2018 Class Day honorees:

 Academic Excellence Award

  • Kristen Combs
  • Trevor Getz
  • Aleksandr Kovalskiy
  • Timothy Legare
  • Marco Mejia Acevedo
  • Priya Patel
  • Michael Povlow
  • Arash Rezaei
  • Stephen Rineer
  • Aaron Smith
  • Katherine Smith
  • Daniel Stehli
  • Elizabeth Wellings


Merck Manual Award (given to seniors who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement)
Aaron Smith

Faculty Choice Award
Nicole Legare

Student Choice Award
Nathan Esplin

Outstanding Senior in Internal Medicine/Family Medicine
Aleks Kovalskiy

Outstanding Senior in Neurology
Mejdi Najjar

Outstanding Senior in OB/GYN
Paul Ericson

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists District XII Award
Mia Choi and Nandini Nittur

Outstanding Senior in Pediatrics
Stephen Rineer

Outstanding Senior in Psychiatry
Lauren Vassiliades

Outstanding Senior in Surgery
Priya Patel

 As she closed the celebration, Dr. Marcy Verduin, associate dean for students, talked about the journey she had made with Class of 2018 physicians-in-training.

“This is the moment that we have all been working towards,” she said. “Your graduation represents your transformation from novice learners into young physicians who we eagerly welcome as our colleagues.”

Post Tags

Related Stories