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Graduate Student Successes Recognized at Convocation

The Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences honored the students in the Class of 2021 for their academic achievements during a virtual convocation ceremony on May 19. Students and their families and friends watched a livestream of the event, as graduate school faculty announced the recipients of special awards and prizes.

“While our convocation celebration looks different than our traditional ceremony, taking time to acknowledge the dedication, perseverance and scientific accomplishments of our students feels more important than ever,” said Dr. Barbara Hempstead, dean of the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences.

The awards recognize the students’ achievements in research, scholarship and service. “The students we honor today came to Weill Cornell from different backgrounds, but with a shared desire to pursue their passions and test their creativity,” Dr. Hempstead said.

In addition to honoring students, the ceremony also recognized the 2021 Weill Cornell Graduate School Alumni Award of Distinction winner Dr. Eric Huang, Ph.D. ’93, as well as graduate school faculty.

The following is a complete list of all of the award winners:

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2021 Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences Alumni Award of Distinction
Eric Huang, M.D. ‘86, Ph.D. ‘93 Professor of Pathology at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine

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2021 Distinguished Student Commencement Speaker
Jordana Thibado, Ph.D. 21

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2021 Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring Award
Carl Nathan, M.D., the R.A. Rees Pritchett Professor of Microbiology Chairman, Department of Microbiology and Immunology Professor of Microbiology and Immunology Professor of Medicine

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2021 Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award - Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis
Alexander Rudensky, Ph.D. Chairman, Immunology Program, SKI Director, Ludwig Center at MSK Co-Chair, IMP Program

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2021 Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award - Neuroscience
Anna Orr, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, Brain and Mind Research Institute

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2021 Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award - Physiology, Biophysics and Systems Biology
Lucy A Skrabanek, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Computational Biomedicine in Physiology and Biophysics

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2021 Julian R. Rachele Prize
Gary Dixon

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2021 Julian R. Rachele Prize
Ke Xu

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2021 Student Diversity Award
Christopher Bourne, Ph.D. Student

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2021 Faculty Diversity Award
Björn F Kafsack, Ph.D., MHS, MS , Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Co-Chair WCGS Social Justice & Anti-Racism Task Force

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2021 Student Outreach Award
Camir Neville Ricketts, Ph.D. 21, Tri-Institutional Computational Medicine Program, PBSB, Founder of “Minds Of Jamaica” a platform that connects underrepresented minority students with professionals in genomics and data science"

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2021 Student Service Award
Krysta DiKun, Ph.D. Student

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2021 Student Service Award
Thomas Rossetti Ph.D. Student

Physician Assistant Student and Faculty Awards


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Outstanding Preclinical Instructor Award
William J. Ameres, M.S., PA-C

Outstanding Clinical Instructor Award
Matthew Wieland, PA-C"

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The Academic Excellence Award for Outstanding Performance during the Preclinical Phase of the Program
Leah Cohen

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The Academic Excellence Award for Outstanding Performance during the Clinical Phase of the Program
Kevin Naranjo

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The Peer Award
Alexander Gruber

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The Research Excellence Award for Outstanding Performance during the Thesis Proposal and Defense
Emily Bhutiani

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The Dr. Verne E. Chaney Humanitarian Healthcare Award
Ida Chen

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Weill Cornell Medicine Graduate School of Medical Sciences 1300 York Ave. Box 65 New York, NY 10065 Phone: (212) 746-6565 Fax: (212) 746-5981