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Health Center Today, May 17, 2010

Commencement 2010

By Carolyn Pennington

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Photos by John Atashian

The Health Center's commencement ceremony May 16 recognized 75 graduates from the school of medicine, 42 from the school of dental medicine and 68 from the graduate school. The ceremonies were at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.

"Right now, itís impossible to know where all of you will be five, 10 or 20-plus years from now Ė though the possibilities are breathtaking," said Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, vice-president of health affairs and dean of the UConn School of Medicine, during his commencement address. "Some of you will be deeply involved in facets of medicine, dentistry, public health and research that do not yet exist. Others will continue long-honored traditions in health care, enhanced with new advances and new knowledge. What we do know is that your training as physicians, dentists or researchers is now an integral part of your destiny. UConn has made an indelible mark in fabric of your lives. We will be with you in all the noble and worthwhile endeavors you pursue in the years ahead."

Dr. Samuel Shem, whose pen name is Stephen Bergman, gave the commencement address on "How to Stay Human in Medicine." Shem is a doctor, novelist and playwright.

Three students were also chosen by their classmates as commencement speakers. Amy Kiraly represented the School of Medicine. She will be going to the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University in Chicago for her residency in emergency medicine. Zachary Goldman spoke on behalf of the School of Dental Medicine. After a one-year general practice residency at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Goldman will be joining his fatherís private practice in Massachusetts. Charles K. Brown Jr. represented the Graduate School students.  Brown graduated with a masterís degree in public health and will continue working as program director for emergency preparedness at the Connecticut Association of Directors of Health.

Also during the ceremony, the Health Centerís Board of Directors presented its Faculty Recognition Award to Dr. David Rowe, professor of genetics and developmental biology and director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine and Skeletal Development in the School of Dental Medicine. Rowe has been at the Health Center since 1977. The award honors a faculty member for "outstanding academic and clinical accomplishments and sustained excellence of the highest order in professional endeavors."