Students, Faculty Recognized with Senior Awards

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Multiple awards were presented to graduating seniors and a few faculty members at the Class of 2021 convocation for the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, held May 12 at the Cole and Jeannie Davis Sports Center. 


Normally, the college’s Honors and Awards Committee would have recognized the winners at the Senior Awards Luncheon prior to convocation. Restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic, however precluded such a luncheon for the Class of 2021. 


Doctor of Medicine (MD) degrees were presented to 119 students, and three graduates were recognized for participating in dual-degree programs through the college. In addition to their new credentials as physicians, Adam Bernstein, MD, PhD, also received a doctorate in biomedical engineering from the College of Engineering and Bryan Kromenacker, MD, PhD, earned a doctorate in psychology from the College of Science through the MD/PhD program. Adam Roussas, MD, MBA, received a master’s in business administration from the Eller College of Management through the MD/MBA program. 

 China Rae Newman, MD

China Rae Newman, MD, was voted on by her peers to give the Student Address this year. She was also spotlighted for several awards, including the: 

  • Bernard Revsin Memorial Scholarship Award – established to recognize a classmate who has shown academic excellence, a humane approach to patients, and a supportive concern for fellow students; 
  • Eleanor Johnson Academic Excellence Award – awarded to an outstanding senior who not only excelled in academics but compassion, collegiality and service – presented by the Arizona Health Sciences Library director; 
  • Peter J. Attarian, PhD, Humanitarian Award – a memorial award presented to a senior graduating medical student who has demonstrated exceptional caring and compassion for fellow students and others – and one who most exemplifies connections rather than competition; 
  • Dr. Sam Goldfein Memorial Award – given to a student who exhibits characteristics of being caring, nonjudgmental and an outstanding diagnostician, and who displayed these through service to the Commitment to Underserved People (CUP) Program and the Shubitz Family Clinic;  
  • Nancy Alexander Koff Award to Recognize Humanism in Medicine – goes to Gold Humanism Honor Society members who reflect caring, compassionate and skilled health care; and 
  • Nelson Dewey Brayton, MD, Memorial Scholarship Award for an Outstanding Senior entering Family Practice. 


Dr. Newman also was recognized for distinction in the Rural Health Professions Program, induction into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society and the Gold Humanism Honor Society, and being a member of the inaugural cohort for the Primary Care Physician (PCP) Scholarship Program. 


Other honorees recognized were: 

 Christian Bergman, MDNicholas Gravbrot, MD; and Darren Kempton, MD: College of Medicine Outstanding Senior Awards for the top three senior medical students based on academic excellence 

 Nicholas Gravbrot, MDJoseph Heiler, MD, and Anthony Maltagliati, MD: The Newsome and Mildred Holesapple Estate to Benefit Outstanding Medical Student Research Award 

 Kacey Gilbert-Gard, MDKevin Mauerman, MD, and Riley McDougall, MD: Merck Manual Award for scholastic achievement 

 Navrose Gill, MDBrooks Johnson, MDWillie Johnson, MDAdrienne Kishi, MDAbby Moskowitz, MD, and Dilara Onur, MD: Outstanding Achievement Awards for excellence in academic achievement 


 Also inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society: 

Riley McDougall, MD

Symone Hyman, MDRiley McDougall, MDWillie Johnson, MDMolly Brady, MDKaren Ibarra, MDAdrienne Kishi, MDCaitlyn Mydral, MDDilar Onur, MDAbby Moskowitz, MDYarah Ghotmi, MDSandra Vazquez Salas, MDNavrose Gill, MDKevin Mauerman, MDDaniel Carlson, MDJosh Gormley, MD; and Daniella Boros, MD. 

Phillip Belone, MDAaron Bia, MDThomasina Blackwater, MD, and Manuel Villegas, MDStoklos Foundation and Native American Health Education Fund Award 

Natalie deQuillfeldt, MD, and Carlos Gonzalez, MD, professor of family medicine, assistant dean for curricular affairs and director of the Rural Health Professions Program and the CUP Program: The Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Awards for a student and faculty member who demonstrate the ideal of compassion in delivery of care 

Karen Ibarra, MD: Dean’s Special Achievement Award for achievement academically in the face of considerable adversity 


Other Gold Humanism Honor Society inductees and recipients of the Nancy Alexander Koff Award to Recognize Humanism in Medicine: Madjulika Banerjee, MDChristian Bergman, MDNatalie deQuillfeldt, MDTaylor Drake, MDJonathan Ferng, MDYarah Ghotmi, MDJoshua Gorley, MDAshwini Kaverti, MDLakshmeeramya Malladi, MDChristopher Mazis, MDRiley McDougall, MDDilara Onur, MDPhillip Vartanyan, MD; and Asim Zehri, MD. 


Lakshmeeramya Malladi, MD: Dr. Sam Goldfein Memorial Award for dedication to the CUP Program and Shubitz Family Clinic 

 Adrienne Kishi, MD: Nehal A. Shah Endowment for Global Health Education Award 

Adrienne Kishi, MD


 Nicole Bejany, MD, MPH: Excellence in Public Health Award from the U.S. Public Health Service 

 Mary Junak, MD: Excellence in Clinical Skills Award for highest cumulative score on this year’s OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) 

 Adrienne Kishi, MD: Douglas Lindsey, MD, PhD, Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award 

 Kevin Mauerman, MD: Outstanding Student in Diagnostic Radiology Award  

 Kenia Lucey, MD: American Academy of Neurology Excellence in Neurology Award 

 Karen Ibarra, MD: Henry William “Bill” Buchsbaum Outstanding Student in Neurology Award 

 Mehnoor Haseeb, MD: Alvin T. Kirmse, MD, Award for Excellence in Obstetrics and Gynecology 

 Tatiana Jerome, MD: Philip E. Dew, MD, Award for Excellence in Pediatrics 

 Yarah Ghotmi, MD: Dr. Alan and Sally Bedrick Scholarship in Pediatrics Award and Hugh C. Thompson, MD, Award for Excellence in Pediatrics 

Caila Lavine, MD: Roy N. Killingsworth, MD, Memorial Award for Excellence in Psychiatry 

Simone Hyman, MD: Outstanding Senior Student in Surgery Award 


Other honors presented: 

  • Faculty members Todd Vanderah, PhD, chair, Department of Pharmacology, for Outstanding Teacher in the Basic Sciences; and Bill Rappaport, MD, professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, for Outstanding Teacher in the Clinical Sciences. 
  • Willie Johnson, MDAnother 10 students for distinction in the Rural Health Professions Program: Adrienne Kishi, MDErika Krall, MDEugenia Lin, MDLakshmeeramya Malladi, MDKevin Mauerman, MDLynn Pham, MDRinku Skaria, MDKyle Sprute, MDSandra Vazquez Sala, MD; and Lorela Berberri Weise, MD. 
  • Ten other students who participated in the PCP Scholarship Programwhich offers free tuition to those who agree to return to Arizona after residency training to practice primary care medicine in rural and urban underserved areas and populationsGuadalupe Davila, MD, Marie Bernadette Villanueva, MDHannah Shy, MDNatalie Davis, MDTatiana Jerome, MDNatalie deQuillfeldt, MDAndrew Alix, MDAlicia Leslie, MD; and Jasper Puracan, MD. 
  • Another 10 students who participated in the college’s Pre-Medical Admissions Pathway Program, a 13-month intensive medical school preparation program designed for those who experienced greater than average challenges in preparing to be competitive medical school applicants: Thomasina Blackwater, MDGuadalupe Davila, MDAaron Bia, MDNatalie Davis, MDApril Olson, MDMarie Bernadette Villanueva, MDKaren Ibarra, MDJohn Constanza, MDKenia Lucey, MD, and Willie Johnson, MD.