May 24, 2017

Honors Convocation 2017 Celebrates Graduating Seniors, Faculty

When Jerad Gardner, M.D., stepped up to the podium to address the UAMS College of Medicine’s Class of 2017 at the college’s Honors Convocation on May 19, the first thing he did was take a “selfie” with the class.

The move wasn’t too surprising for Gardner, who has drawn national acclaim for championing the use of social media, mobile devices and other technologies in medical education and the field of pathology.

Jerad Gardner, M.D., an associate professor of pathology, draws smiles as he takes a takes a selfie before delivering the faculty address to the class.

The assistant professor in the college’s Department of Pathology, clinical co-director of the musculoskeletal/skin curriculum block for medical students and director of the fellowship for residency graduates training in the subspecialty of dermatopathology has earned raves for his ability to teach and connect through social media.

The class chose Gardner to deliver the address from the faculty at the annual ceremony held the evening before the UAMS Commencement Ceremony. Honors Convocation features numerous awards for students and faculty members. Students don the ceremonial doctoral hoods they will wear at commencement and recite the Hippocratic Oath of the medical profession.

Gardner encouraged the graduating seniors to start their career thinking about the end.

Sophie Hollenberg dons her doctoral hood at the UAMS College of Medicine Honors Convocation Ceremony.

“Start thinking now about what is going to make it meaningful,” he said. “How will you know that it’s worthwhile, that it mattered, that you had the impact that you wanted to have?”

Gardner advised graduates to find innovative ways to help patients and their families. “Don’t make the mistake of thinking that ‘cure’ and ‘healing’ are always the same thing,” he said. “Cure whenever you can, but heal always.”

He urged the class to not lose sight of the loved ones in their lives and how they are impacted by the demands of a career in medicine, and to always show them gratitude.

Gardner also encouraged graduates to become mentors to future aspiring physicians. “You can never pay back your mentors,” he said, borrowing an old adage. “You can only pay them forward.”

James Graham, M.D., associate dean for undergraduate medical education, presents the Faculty Key to James Dornhoffer (right). Michael Wendel (behind podium) tied for the award, which goes to the senior voted by the faculty as the most outstanding student over the four years of medical school.

Four faculty members received Golden Apple Awards, marking their selection as the most outstanding teacher of the year by a vote of each of the four classes in the College of Medicine. Charles Matthew Quick, M.D., an associate professor in the Department of Pathology, received the Golden Apple from the senior class. Golden Apples also went to: Toby Vancil, M.D., an associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine (junior class); Sung Rhee, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology (sophomore class); and Alan Diekman, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (freshman class).

Newly hooded Samantha Scanlon was one of 15 students receiving the Roberts Key for achieving the highest grade point average – a perfect 4.0 – for all four years of medical school. Faculty members Toby Vancil, M.D., an associate professor of medicine, (left) and Charles Matthew Quick, M.D., an associate professor of pathology, served as hooders.