June 5, 2018

Well Done, Class of 2018!

The College of Medicine Class of 2018 said goodbye to medical school with the time-honored traditions of burning their short white coats, receiving accolades at Honors Convocation, and formally receiving the M.D. after their names at the UAMS Commencement Ceremony on May 19.

Faculty member speaking at podium

Toby Vancil, M.D., delivers the Faculty Charge to the Class of 2018.

Toby Vancil, M.D., spoke on behalf of the faculty at Honors Convocation, held the night before Commencement. He emphasized that UAMS has prepared the graduating seniors well for residency, the next phase of their journey to becoming licensed practicing physicians.

Senior medical student burn their student white coats

Seniors gleefully burn their white student coats at a May 16 celebration at Murray Park.

“As we bring this ship into the dock closing this adventure we call medical school, I would like to tell you how excited we are as a collective faculty to have been a part of your voyage thus far,” said Dr. Vancil, an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and award-winning educator who was also chosen by students to deliver the Faculty Charge two years ago.

Faculty member and student with award

Emily Barrett (right) receives the Roberts Key as one of a record-breaking 16 seniors achieving a perfect 4.0 GPA in all four years of medical school. Jeannette M. Shorey II, M.D., UAMS Associate Provost for Faculty, presented the Roberts Key to all 16 recipients.

“My final charge to all of you is to always keep in mind who that person was who filled out that medical school application years ago,” Dr. Vancil said. “Take time every day to remember who you are, where you came from, and why you have dedicated so much time to this very moment.”

Golden Apple Winner

Selected as the most outstanding teacher of the year by a vote of each class.

Graduating seniors chose Jason Mizell, M.D., an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery, as the recipient of their class’s Golden Apple Award. Dr. Mizell, who was unable to attend Honors Convocation this year, has received four previous Golden Apples from junior and senior classes.


Convocation Speaker

Toby Vancil, M.D., Associate Professor, Internal Medicine


Charles Matthew Quick, M.D., Associate Professor, Pathology

Sara Tariq, M.D., Associate Professor, Internal Medicine

Stage Marshal

Neil Masangkay, M.D., Assistant Professor, Neurology

Faculty Marshal

Alan Diekman, Ph.D., Professor, Biochemistry/Molecular Biol.

2018 Gold Sash Recipients
(selected by the Class of 2018)

Jason Chang, Ph.D., Neurobiology/Dev. Sciences

Alan Diekman, Ph.D., Biochemistry/Molecular Biology

Jerad Gardner, M.D., Pathology

Jason Mizell, M.D., Surgery

Hakan Paydak, M.D., Internal Medicine

Kevin Phelan, Ph.D., Neurobiology/Dev. Sciences

Charles Matthew Quick, M.D., Pathology

Sung Rhee, Ph.D., Pharmacology/Toxicology

Laura Stanley, Ph.D., Neurobiology/Dev. Sciences

Lindsey Sward, M.D., Obstetrics/Gynecology

Toby Vancil, M.D., Internal Medicine


2018 Red Sash Recipients
(selected by the Class of 2018)


Johnathan Goree, M.D.

Matthew Spond, M.D.

Biochemistry/Molecular Biology

Fusun Kilic, Ph.D.


Emergency Medicine

Rachael Freeze-Ramsey, M.D.



Priya Mendiratta, M.D.

Internal Medicine

Thaddeus Bartter, M.D.

Susan Beland, M.D.

Robert Bradsher, M.D.

Eric Del Giacco, M.D.

Sarah Beth Harrington, M.D.

Robert Hopkins, M.D.

Nishank Jain, M.D.

Emily Kocurek, M.D.

Michael Saccente, M.D.

Thomas Schulz, M.D. (UAMS-NW)

Karl Straub, M.D, Ph.D.

Sara Tariq, M.D.

Neurobiology/Developmental Sciences

David Davies, Ph.D.


Lee Archer, M.D.


Kristin Zorn, M.D.

Orthopaedic Surgery

Theresa Wyrick-Glover, M.D.


Alissa Kanaan, M.D.

Abby Nolder, M.D.

Gresham Richter, M.D.


Samuel Burns, M.D.

Eudice Fontenot, M.D.

Rebecca Latch, M.D.

Robert Pesek, M.D.

Angela Scott, M.D.


Herschel Conaway, Ph.D.


Stephen Brasseux, M.D.

Molly Gathright, M.D.

Lewis Krain, M.D.

John Spollen, M.D.

Puru Thapa, M.D., M.P.H.


Mollie Meek, M.D.



William Beck, M.D.

Janina Bonwich, M.D.

Michael Golinko, M.D.

Katie Kimbrough, M.D.

Aytekin Ozdemir, M.D.

Rachel Slotcavage, M.D.

John Taylor, M.D.

Resident and student holding award

John Pagteilan, M.D., a second-year resident in the Department of Surgery, receives the senior class’s Resident of the Year Award from Jasmine Haller.


Student handing award to a faculty member

Sung Rhee, Ph.D., an Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, received the Sophomore Golden Apple for the third year in a row.


Student handing faculty member an award

2018 Senior Class Vice-President Jasmine Haller presents the Freshman Golden Apple to Alan Diekman, Ph.D., (above). This is the fifth consecutive year that Dr. Diekman, a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, has received the award.


Faculty member handing award to student

Senior Class President Grant Cagle (left) receives the Faculty Key from James Graham, M.D., Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education. The award goes to the senior voted by the faculty as the most outstanding student over the four years of medical school. Cagle also delivered the traditional Response from the Class.