By Wendy Sarubbi | February 18, 2013 11:36 am

Under the treacherously watchful eye of Tyrannosaurus Rex, College of Medicine students, faculty and staff gathered at the Orlando Science Center February 15 for Hygeia 2013, the annual student-sponsored gala.

The event capped off a busy week at the medical school that included final exams, research projects and the announcement that the UCF College of Medicine was granted full accreditation. Hygeia, described as a combination of a gala and medical school prom, gave participants a chance to relax, dance, dine, participate in a silent auction, and honor achievement in the Science Center’s banquet area that includes lifelike models of dinosaurs.

In opening the festivities, Dr. Marcy Verduin, associate dean of students, thanked members of all four classes “for the role you played in the fact that the UCF College of Medicine is now a fully accredited medical school.

“Every student who enrolled at the College of Medicine in the past four years has played a role in helping us get full accreditation,” she said. “You’ve rolled up your sleeves and served on committees. You’ve helped us make changes to the curriculum that improved our program. You’ve complimented a faculty member for ‘doing the right thing’ and in the process reinforced excellence and innovation. You’ve built extra-curricular activities like a free clinic, global health and a championship intramural flag football team. You, our faculty and staff have put the UCF College of Medicine on the map. You’ve given the college its heart.”

After dinner came the Students’ Choice Awards. The winners are:

  • Staff Member of the Year – Soraya Smith
  • M-1 Professor of the Year – Dr. Vania Zayat
  • M-2 Professor of the Year – Dr. Abdo Asmar
  • Faculty Member Who Most Embodies the UCF Spirit – Dr. Judith Simms-Cendan and Dr. James Sanders
  • Clerkship Director of the Year – Dr. Lori Boardman
  • Clerkship Coordinator of the Year – Katherine Newsum
  • Attending of the Year – Dr. Sergio Salazar, Dr. Nick Avgeropoulos
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