By Wendy Sarubbi | March 20, 2014 7:24 am

The College of Medicine’s chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha – the national medical honor society – inducted 13 new members March 13, including eleven students and two faculty members. The ceremony was the second for UCF’s new Zeta chapter.

Class of 2014 inductees were Renata Chalfin, Reid Green, Malgorzata Krzyszczak, Jocelyn Ray and Samantha Ulmer. Class of 2013 inductees were Mike Arnold, Amy Iarrobino, Teresa Martin-Carreras, Ron Mercer, Phillip Romanski and Matt Stillwagon. Faculty inductees were Dr. Abdo Asmar, assistant professor of internal medicine, and Dr. Lori Boardman, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and assistant dean of medical education. AOA member physicians from the community also attended the induction ceremony and dinner at Dubsdread Country Club in Orlando.

AOA members are chosen based on factors including academic excellence, service, leadership, and dedication to caring for others. The honor society’s motto is, “Be worthy to serve the suffering.” Service and humanism were the themes of the keynote address, delivered by Dr. Sergio Salazar, assistant professor of internal medicine at the medical school.

“You are entering a profession where you can heal the body and heal the soul,” he told the student inductees. “Embrace the science but practice the art of medicine.”

AOA co-presidents Jenn Bazemore and Casey deDeugd, who will graduate in May, highlighted the honor society’s projects in its first year. Members created a third-year clerkship guide to help medical students transition between classroom training and rotations in area hospitals and clinics. AOA also worked with Clean the World, an organization that gathers unused shampoo, soaps and other hygiene products from area hotels and distributes them to impoverished people around the world. The UCF medical students sorted and boxed 48,000 bottles of shampoo, 25,000 bars of soap and 3,000 washcloths – a record that was three times the average volunteer sort. As deDeugd explained, “It was a little competitive. We raised the bar.”

To see all photos of the event, please visit

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