School of Medicine Class of 2023 Celebrates Commencement
May 22nd, 2023
(May 22, 2023) — Less than two days before officially becoming physicians, members of the School of Medicine Class of 2023 gathered at the annual Warwick Evans Senior Awards Ceremony to celebrate their classmates’ achievements. Parents, spouses, children, significant others and friends assembled in one of Georgetown’s most storied places, Gaston Hall, for the May 19 parade of awards.
The Warwick Evans Senior Awards Ceremony is named for the first medical student to graduate from Georgetown, and many of the awards are named for those who have made significant contributions to the School of Medicine since its founding in 1851.
The evening was capped off by the student address. In keeping with tradition, members of the graduating class chose the speaker, Connor Lester (M’23), to reflect on the previous four years, which were defined by the COVID-19 pandemic and the death of George Floyd at the hands of police.
“We chose to prioritize each other, we prioritized those that were hurting, the underserved, the injustices in this world, and those most in need,” said Lester, who served as class president. “We struggled. We wrestled with real problems. We found new parts of ourselves during the most hard and painful moments. We admitted our own flaws, and our own biases, but demanded better.
“We made a meaningful difference against racism, health inequity and social justice,” Lester added. “The problems aren’t going away, and they will demand our attention into the future.”
“The degree ‘Doctor of Medicine’ is not easily achieved. All of our students work hard, spending many hours digesting immense amounts of knowledge and polishing their clinical skills. I have had the good fortune of working with them and have been privileged to participate in their education.”
— Lee Jones, MD, Dean for Medical Education
With the sublime timing of a standup comedian, Lester shared reflections of his journey through medical school that took him back to the day he interviewed to be a student. “With 40 minutes to my interview, I looked down and realized I had packed two left shoes.” With the help of a kind Uber driver, Lester got a new pair of shoes and made it to his interview on time. He then described experiences during medical school that can leave students feeling like they’re wearing “two left shoes.”
During the ceremony, Lester received three awards: the Bridget Fawcett McNamara Award for Excellence in Anesthesiology, the Stephen Ray and Ellen Mitchell Leadership Award, and the Knowlan Award.
Whitney Peterson (M’23) received the Sarah E. Stewart Award, given annually to a woman from the graduating medical school class in recognition of outstanding leadership qualities. Stewart was the first female graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1949. In 1971, she returned to the school as a professor of pathology.
Mia Jenkins received the Heinz Bauer Award, which is presented to a graduating minority student for integrity, scholarship, humanism and leadership.
Viv Dickens (M’23, G’23) received the most prestigious award, the Kober Award, presented in recognition of academic excellence. Named for George Kober, dean of the School of Medicine from 1901 to 1928, the award is bestowed by the School of Medicine faculty upon the medical student with the highest overall academic record and performance.
Earlier in the evening, Dickens received the Edward B. Healton, MD, Clinical Scholar Award on behalf of the Department of Neurology. Dickens is an MD/PhD scholar receiving a doctoral degree in medicine and research with highest academic distinction and will complete a residency in neurology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Milton Corn Award: Jonathan Dickens
Bridget Fawcett-MacNamara Award: Connor Lester
The Gregory M. Chirikjian Award: Carolyn Hofley and Daniel Marchetti
The Faustino R. Suarez, MD Award: Daniel Marchetti
Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics Award: Helena Olivieri
William Argy Award: Jeffrey Riskin
Family Medicine Community Service Award: Whitney Peterson
Family Medicine Research and Scholarship Award: Ruth Watson
The Robert R. Huntley, MD, Award for Academic Excellence in Family Medicine: Owen Sisbarro
Family Medicine Award for Leadership and Advancing Student Interest: John Wilson
Michael Rolnick, MD Award: Charlotte Farley
Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Award for Medical Student Excellence: Kira Chandran
The Hematology/Oncology Award: Ishani Joshi
Keliher Award: Allison Fitzgerald
The Mario Mollari Award: Michael Swett
The Edward B. Healton, MD Clinical Scholar Award: J. Vivian Dickens
Barbara Bregman Neuroscience Department Award: Emily Krisanda
The Stacy L. Rollins, Jr., MD Award: Elizabeth Duquette
Raymond T. Holden: Shelby Davis-Cooper
Heinz Bauer Award: Mia Jenkins
The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center Award: Allison Fitzgerald
Ophthalmology Achievement Award: Daniel Kim
John N. Delahay Award: Eliana Schaefer
Donald M. Kerwin Award: Cristiana Pineda
Phillip L Calcagno Award: Taylor Pels
The Frank G. Standaert Award: Michael Swett
The Lawrence S. Lilienfield, MD, PhD Award for Excellence in Physiology: Eliana Schaefer
Award for Excellence in Physiology: Zaki Ahmed
The Francis L. Clark, Jr. Award: Sara Wierbowski and Kahlo Baniadam
Radiation Oncology: Excellence in Education and Research Award: Nicole Hodgins Libbey
The James A. Cahill, MD Award: Caroline King
SMP Excellence in Academics Award: Zaki Ahmed
Becker Award: Whitney Peterson
Donald M. Knowlan, MD, Award: Connor Lester
Edward Bunn Award: Ryan Leite
Georgetown Clinical Society Award: Zaki Ahmed, John Bovill, Ruth Watson
Learning Society Award: Erin Rachel Vaughn
Health Justice Alliance Award: Alexandra Payne
Health Justice Scholar Award: Benjamin Swaby
Jesuit Leadership and Service Award: Helena Oliveri, Sara Wierbowski, Tim Goblirsch
Latin Honors & Kober Medal: J. Vivian Dickens
Leonard Tow Award (Gold Humanism): Timothy Goblirsch, Stephanie Shin
Medical Education Development & Culture Award: Eric Nieto
Michael J. Caruso Award: Ambika Paulson
Sarah Stewart Award: Whitney Peterson
Stephen Ray and Ellen Mitchell Dean’s Leadership Award: Jessica Kang, Connor Lester, Eric Li
Student Mentorship Award: Lena Deb, Aisha Inuwa, Malcolm Meredith, Stephanie Shin, Camden Sutton
William C. Maxted Award: Alexandra Payne
USPHS Service Award: Adeel Iqbal