May 22, 2018

UAMS Graduates 969 Health Care Professionals

Degrees and certificates were awarded to 969 graduates of the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences’ (UAMS) five colleges and graduate school May 19 during a commencement ceremony at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.

Degrees were presented to 157 in the College of Medicine; 282 in the College of Nursing; 111 in the College of Pharmacy; 54 in the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health; 57 in the Graduate School; and 308 in the College of Health Professions.

Interim UAMS Chancellor Stephanie Gardner, Pharm.D., Ed.D., presented the Chancellor’s Award to Joseph H. Bates, M.D., professor and associate dean for Public Health Practice in the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health.

The award is presented to a person whose service to UAMS is deserving of special recognition. Previous recipients include Sam M. Dixon, former U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers, Jack Stephens, Lawrence Schmieding and Willard and Pat Walker.

Bates is recognized internationally for his research that greatly improved the understanding and treatment of tuberculosis. He spent 35 years at UAMS, including 21 years as vice chair for the UAMS College of Medicine’s Department of Internal Medicine.

Upon his retirement from UAMS in 1998, Bates became deputy health officer and chief science officer for the Arkansas Department of Health. He was instrumental in establishing the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement and the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health.

Jerad Gardner, M.D., and Lanita White, Pharm.D., were the Chancellor’s Teaching Awards recipients. The awards program was established in 2004 to recognize excellence in teaching among faculty at UAMS.

White was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Society and Health Education Excellence. The award recognizes the design and implementation of courses or activities that advance the topics of society and health. It can be through areas of cultural awareness, health care economics, health equity, health literacy, health systems, interprofessional education, collaborative practice, public and population health, patient- and family-centered care or educational scholarship.

White is an assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy. She directs the UAMS 12th Street Health & Wellness Center, a student-led, interprofessional clinic that offers free health screenings and wellness services to Little Rock’s underserved neighborhoods and populations.

The center provides an opportunity for students from all UAMS colleges to volunteer, work with students from various health care professions and provide care to those most in need, all under the supervision of faculty and licensed volunteers. Last year, more than 1,000 UAMS students volunteered at the center.

White was a finalist for the Arkansas Business Health Care Heroes Award in Innovation in 2016. She also won the Arkansas Medical, Dental and Pharmaceutical Association’s Dr. Jocelyn Elders Living Legend Award that year.

Gardner was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence. It recognizes direct teaching, mentoring or educational scholarship between a faculty member and any learner. It can be in all settings, including the classroom, online, clinic or laboratory.

Gardner, an associate professor in the College of Medicine’s departments of Pathology and Dermatology, is known nationwide for his presence, teaching and patient advocacy on various social media outlets.

Jerad Gardner, M.D., holding award on stage with two other people

Jerad Gardner, M.D., received the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

His efforts have garnered him numerous awards and praises, including the College of American Pathologists Resident Advocate Award in 2015. He is the youngest recipient of the award. In 2017, he was named a Top Five Honoree on the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s “40 Under 40” list.

During commencement, degrees and certificates conferred include the doctor of philosophy, doctor of medicine, doctor of pharmacy, doctor of nursing practice, master of science, master of nursing science, bachelor of science in nursing, master of public health, doctor of public health, certificate in clinical and translational science, master of health administration, postbaccalaureate certificate in public health and a variety of degrees in allied health disciplines including certificates, associate and bachelor of science degrees, postbaccalaureate certificates, master of imaging sciences, master of physician assistant studies and doctor of audiology.

The following are College of Medicine graduates who authorized the release of their name and hometown. Graduates are divided by hometown unless otherwise noted.

UAMS College of Medicine

The following graduates received their Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree.


Samantha Jolly


Kristen Crumley


Cody McLeod

Olivia Ragni


Emily Barrett

Meredith McKinney


Ryan James

Christopher Martindale


Fabiola Obregon

Ankur Pradhan

Michael Severson


Marissa De La Paz

Calico Rock

Chad Cragle


Barrett Burger


Joseph Plugge


Caroline Arnold

Steven James

Jacob Leffert


Jesse Wray


Erin Creighton

Julie Sherrill


Dennis Berry

Mikaila Calcagni

Nikhil Kamath

Rebecca Moore

Fort Smith

Thanh Dai

Breandan Kelly

Madison Lampkin

Cassandra Lautredou

Steven Mehl

Erik Meyers

Sean Parham

Jimmy Vo


Jason Stevenson


Shannon Petrus

Hot Springs

Karen Hall

Jessica Hook

Allison Hudgens

Adam Price

Zachary Tilley


Michael May


Taylor Salyer

Little Rock

Jonathan Aronson

Ryan Banning

Andrew Bradsher

Tess Coker

Matthew Dinehart

Davis Fleming

Savannah Fletcher

Claire Foster

AjaNia Hearne

Charles Lavender

Curtis Lowery

Christopher Moutos

Upton Siddons

Kirby Von Edwins

Brooke Wilson

Melissa Winter


Steven Sadler Morrison Jr.


Emily Holthoff

Mountain Home

Gladys Zimmerman


John Johnson

Kiley Jones


Amy Fletcher

Pine Bluff

Lauren Taylor


Jasmine Haller

Christopher Sonntag


Drake Hardy


Blake Hollowoa

Hans Wang


Tracy Kaufman


Sarah Carlock

Wilson Huett

Chelsea Wolfe

Van Buren

Aaron Owen

Martin Tremwel

White Hall

LeQuan Dang


Morgan Benefield

Out of State

San Diego, California

Rebecca Elinger

Denver, Colorado

Alex Lencioni

Urbana, Illinois

Hannah Radecki

Shawnee, Kansas

Christopher Wallace

Bernie, Missouri

Grant Cagle

Lamar, Missouri

Jackson Boice

Las Vegas, Nevada

Paul Parcon

Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Jonathan Hester

Brentwood, Tennessee

Alexander Croft

Jackson, Tennessee

Kaleb Wolfe

Houston, Texas

Aneel Henry

Texarkana, Texas

Nupur Lala

By  | May 21st, 2018 |