The School of Allied Health Sciences students completed their training at Baylor with several events, including their Commencement Ceremony, held Dec. 6 at the Grand Hall at Frist Presbyterian Church in Houston.
Master of Science degrees were conferred by Dr. Paul Klotman to 41 physician assistant students as well as Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees to 24 nurse anesthesia students.
“All of you entering practice today will be making a difference in healthcare,” Klotman told the graduates. “Allied health professionals will be leaders in healthcare, and I expect many of you to be leaders in your field. You will be well prepared from the training you received at Baylor.”
The Commencement address was given by Dr. John McFadden, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Barry University in Miami. Dr. J. David Holcomb, dean of the School of Allied Health Sciences, presided at the ceremony.
The following awards were presented at the commencement ceremony:
Lauren Kelley received the Lewis A. Leavitt Award as the physician assistant student with the highest academic record of achievement.
Bruce Mortensen and Hannah Rogers received the Henry D. McIntosh Award as the students who achieved the highest degree of academic excellence and service and who best exemplified the concept of the physician assistant.
Tamra Baker received the Agatha Hodgins Memorial Award as the outstanding graduate who, based on academic achievement and clinical performance, demonstrated the dedication and enthusiasm that best symbolize the qualities desired in a nurse anesthetist.
Lori Webb received the John F. Garde Distinguished Graduate Award. The award is presented annually to a post-masters DNP graduate who exemplifies outstanding professional vision, leadership and accomplishment.
Prior to commencement, students also participated in and attended the J. David Holcomb Student Research Day and the Allied Health Awards Ceremony.
David Holcomb Student Research Day
The annual research day poster competition was held Dec. 3. Physician assistant students presented their master’s paper research projects, which were evaluated by judges chosen from the BCM faculty. Winners were:
First Place ($500 prize): Emilie Miesner, “Pre-treatment Folic Acid Supplementation to Minimize Delayed Clearance of High-Dose Methotrexate in the Treatment of Osteosarcoma: A Case Report.” Mentored by Dr. Dennis Hughes, associate professor, department of pediatrics – Research, MD Anderson Cancer Center; and Elizabeth Elliott, assistant professor, School of Allied Health Sciences and department of pediatrics at Baylor.
Second Place ($250 prize): Jeffrey McCue, “Parental Attitudes Toward Childhood Vaccinations.” Mentored by Dr. Julie Boom, associate professor of pediatrics, and Elizabeth Elliott.
Third Place ($100 prize): Megan McKnight, “A Comparison of Cognitive and Academic Functioning in Middle School-aged Children with ADHD and ADHD with Comorbid Learning Disability: Performance On versus Off Stimulant Medication.” Mentored by Dr. Vincent Culotta, Loyola University, Maryland, and Vicki Waters, assistant professor, School of Allied Health Sciences.
Allied Health Awards Ceremony
The annual awards ceremony for the School of Allied Health Sciences was held Dec. 5 in Cullen Auditorium. Awards included:
Alumni Association Lehmann Outstanding Student Award
Presented to Kelsey Chrane and Sean Simons of the Physician Assistant Program and Katherine Cook of the Nurse Anesthesia Program by the Office of Alumni Relations for leadership in professional and community activities.
Physician Assistant Student Award for Excellence in Psychiatry
Emily Wynne Dodson of the PA Program was selected by the faculty of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences for outstanding knowledge and skills in the practice of psychiatry.
Nurse Anesthesia Student Awards
Kyle Dunaway received the Nurse Anesthesia Spent Bullet Award for countless hours providing life-saving care to the victims of violence in the community.
Teena Thomas received the Virginia Apgar Award as the nurse anesthesia graduate who provided outstanding knowledge, skills, motivation and dependability in obstetrics and gynecologic anesthesia services.
Jennifer Harper received the Helen Lamb Award as the nurse anesthesia student who achieved the highest scholastic ranking during the didactic phase of the curriculum.
Tamra Baker received the Alice Magaw Award as the nurse anesthesia student who achieved the highest scholastic ranking during the clinical phase of the curriculum.
Allied Health Excellence in Teaching Awards
Brant Grundy, CRNA, M.S., assistant professor, department of anesthesiology and School of Allied Health Sciences, chosen by the Nurse Anesthesia Class of 2014.
Donovan Earley, CRNA, D.N.P., assistant professor, department of anesthesiology and School of Allied Health Sciences, chosen by the Nurse Anesthesia Class of 2015.
Wendi Stewart, M.S., PA-C, Assistant Professor, School of Allied Health Sciences – Chosen by the Physician Assistant Classes of 2014 and 2015.
The J. David Holcomb Achievement Award, which recognizes an individual’s sustained contribution to allied health education, research, faculty development and scholarship, was presented to Antone Opekun, M.S., PA-C, associate professor, department of medicine and School of Allied Health Sciences.