Rowan celebrates a new generation of physicians and biomedical researchers

Rowan celebrates a new generation of physicians and biomedical researchers

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Four Rowan SOM graduates participate in the Military Commissioning Ceremony in recognition of their completion of medical school. They were commissioned as officers in the United States Military.

Armed with their Rowan degrees, more than 200 newly minted physicians from the School of Osteopathic Medicine (SOM) and researchers from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) strode confidently across the stage of the Esby Gymnasium and into careers that will have both a personal and profound impact on the health and well-being of countless generations. 

In his remarks to the graduates and their guests, SOM Dean Dr. Thomas Cavalieri commended the GSBS students for their countless personal sacrifices as they worked to “…unravel the mysteries of life, searching for new treatments that will restore and maintain good health.”

He added that the accomplishments of individual SOM graduates have enriched the school in many ways, but added their broader impact is yet to be felt.

(To see photos of the day and all Commencement 2018 activities as they become available, check out Rowan on Facebook.)

“AS SOM-trained doctors, you embody the most humbling and fulfilling parts of our shared professional mission – to heal, to comfort and to affirm the dignity of human life.” 

Speaking for the University, Dr. Kenneth Blank, senior vice president for Health Sciences told the graduates that they should be confident of their ability to handle the responsibilities of their chosen professions.

“We ask you to leave here and make a difference,” he said. “Ask questions, seek solutions and find answers to lead the way in the future of health care.”

Several students and faculty members were singled out for individual honors during the event, including the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Awards, presented to graduating physician Laura Helen Gurenlian and to Dr. Richard Jermyn; the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement to Paul George Delle-Donna and Scott Carmine Ventre; and the University President’s Award to Ashley Elizabeth Sam.

Continuing a tradition at the annual commencement exercises, Dr. Cavalieri presented two individuals with prestigious awards from the school.

Colonel Lisa J. Hou, a 1996 graduate of the school received the SOM Distinguished Alumnus Award. As a member of the New Jersey Army National Guard, Dr. Hou served her country in overseas deployments to Iraq in 2005 and to Afghanistan in 2011. During her tours, Dr. Hou frequently volunteered her time to provide basic medical care to civilians who, otherwise would never have received such help.

Promoted to Colonel in 2013, Dr. Hou recently accepted an appointment to serve as the deputy commissioner of Veterans Affairs in the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Dr. Cavalieri also presented the prestigious SOM Medal of Excellence to Dr. William Ranieri, whom Dr. Cavalieri introduced as a “true pioneer in mental health.”

Dr. Ranieri joined the SOM faculty in 1977 and became the founding chairperson of the medical school’s Department of Psychiatry. A national leader in the field, Dr. Ranieri established mental health services and clinical programs to address the unmet behavioral health needs of South Jersey. During his career, he also led the effort to create the area’s first center dedicated to helping individuals with intellectual disabilities to access medical care.

Another time-honored tradition at Commencement is the Military Commissioning Ceremony that honors and celebrates the military graduates from SOM. This year’s graduating class includes four students who, in recognition of their completion of medical school were commissioned as officers in the United States Military. For the ceremony, Colonel Hou was called back to the stage to administer the oath of office to Maria Cristina Camacho; David Sun Kim, Ashley Elizabeth Sam and Peter Tatum.

As the students completed their oath, the entire assembled audience rose in unison to a standing ovation, a fitting tribute to the four and to all of their SOM and GSBS colleagues in the Class of 2018.