Loma Linda University School of Medicine’s Senior Awards Banquet is a time to reflect and honor graduating medical students. Award recipients were recognized for high achievement in academics, leadership and research.
The 2021 Senior Awards Banquet was held on May 26 at the Barton House in Redlands.
Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society
Fourth-year students are recommended for membership in the national honor medical society, Alpha Omega Alpha. Membership is determined based on scholastic, professional, and personal performance. The School of Medicine was granted a charter for establishing the Epsilon Chapter on April 1, 1957.
Individuals exhibit characteristics of excellent physicianship; examples include trustworthiness, character, caring, knowledge, scholarship, proficiency in the doctor-patient relationship, leadership, compassion, empathy, altruism, and servant leadership.
Class of 2021 Award Winners:
Jeremy Brown, Damien Cannon, Bradley Carlson, Kylo Cautivar, Crystal Chang, Hannah Choi, Corbin Donham, Joshua Edmondson, Benjamin Gow-Lee, Nathan Hinrichs, Trace Huang, Austin Huh, Jason Jia, Donovan Kearns, Brandon King, Katie Knox-Concepcion, Ashley Li, Richard Lindsey, Kory Markel, Reed Nerness, Jaimie Park, Jonathan Pham, Mitchell Prins, Leah Scott, Stephen Shannon, Austin Smith, Luke Spady, Nicholas Synstelien, Clarence Tsai, Yun Wang, Matthew Wilson, and Hyelin You.
Gold Humanism Honor Society Awards
Recognizing medical students for compassionate patient care and who serve as role models, mentors and leaders in medicine.
Class of 2021 Award Winners:
Alexis Carnduff, Crystal Chang, Esther Choi, Hannah Choi, Leah Daniel, Kristoff Foster, Benjamin Gow-Lee, Nathan Hinrichs, Jason Jia, Ashley Li, Ryan Marais, Kory Markel, Joyce McRae, Nathaniel Ng, Andrew Jae-Min Park, Mitchell Prins, Neera Shah, Nehaly Shah, Garrett Shanks, Austin Smith, Nicholas Synstelien, Clarence Tsai, Cristian Villegas, Taylor Virtue, Karl Wallenkampf, Adwoa Wiafe, Matthew Wilson, Hyelin You
Alumni Association's Herber Award
The School of Medicine Alumni Association's Herber Award is given annually to students who demonstrate outstanding leadership in furthering the mission of Loma Linda University School of Medicine.
Class of 2021 Award Winners:
Leah Scott, Ryan Marais, Austin Smith, Hannah Choi, Yun Wang, Whitney Kagabo, Christina Mansour, Trace Huan, Hyelin You, and Nicholas Synstelien
Class of 1990 Heart of Service Award
Established and funded by the class of 1990, the Heart for Service Award is given to a senior medical student who exemplifies the character of Christ and demonstrates a commitment to service, either at home or abroad.
Class of 2021 Award Winner: Kristoff Foster
During his time as student at the School of Medicine, Kristoff Foster has been a model of servant leadership. Examples include his involvement as a mentor with the Childhood Community Program at San Bernardino SDA church. Foster is the co-founder of the student Diversity, Equity and Inclusion School of Medicine Task Force, and has served as Community Service Coordinator for local and regional division of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). He has served as co-director of the Healthy Neighborhood Project, the umbrella organization for six student led outreach programs in the City of San Bernardino and the San Bernardino Unified School District.
Class of 2021 Award Winner: Reed Nerness
Reed Nerness has served the medical school community well. An active tutor, group tutor and STRIVE mentor she helped many individual students learn how they learn. In addition, to many hours of individual tutoring she has been the leader of the group tutoring program for two years and in that capacity worked with faculty, learning specialists and deans to create a more effective program. She has served on many school committees including the curriculum committee, the Academic Support Subcommittee; The Student Vitality Task Force; and has been co-chair of the inaugural student committee evaluating curriculum change. She has been a mentor for the Internal Medicine Mentorship Program and has served as a 4th year LIFE community co-mentor. She has also served the wider community as a team member of the Cornerstone Free Medical Clinic. She is gifted in teaching and reflective in her feedback to students and faculty.
Wil Alexander Whole Person Care Award
The Wil Alexander Whole Person Care Award recognizes a senior medical student who, during the clinical years, has demonstrated to their peers and colleagues a growing excellence in the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational care of their patients as part of the art of medical practice.
Class of 2021 Award Winner: Adwoa Wiafe
The Wil Alexander Whole Person Care Award is presented to Adwoa Wiafe who was selected by her Class of 2021 peers.
Department of Anesthesiology: Bernard D. Briggs Award
For nearly six decades, Bernard D. Briggs '(40) taught and mentored anesthesiology students and residents at Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston) and Loma Linda University School of Medicine. The Department of Anesthesiology, which he helped establish in 1957, is now recognized as a leading resident training center in the United States. The Bernard Briggs Award is presented by the department to an outstanding medical student entering the field of anesthesiology who exhibits the dedication, enthusiasm, and commitment of the visionary physician for whom it is named.
Class of 2021 Award Winner: Alexander Sumarli
The Bernard D. Briggs Award is presented to Alexander Sumarli who is an outstanding medical student entering the field of anesthesiology that exhibits the dedication, enthusiasm and commitment of the visionary physician and distinguished mentor for whom it is named. Alexander embodies why the Anesthesiology Department really enjoys working with students. He is an active learner and was always involved with department activities including research.
Department of Emergency Medicine: Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Award
Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Award is offered to each medical school in the United States and Canada. It is awarded to the senior medical student who best exemplifies the qualities of an emergency medicine physician, as manifested by excellent clinical, interpersonal and manual skills, and a dedication to continued professional development leading to outstanding performance on emergency medicine rotations.
2021 Award Winner: Kory Markel
The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine’s (SAEM) Medical Student Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award is presented to Kory Markel who has demonstrated excellence in the specialty of emergency medicine.
Department of Emergency Medicine: 3AM Award
Class of 2021 Award Winner: Louis Ugalde
The 3AM Award is presented to Louis Ugalde for his work ethic, positive attitude and spirit of collegiality that makes the emergency department grateful to be working with him at all hours.
Department of Family Medicine: Walter P. Ordelheide Award
Walter P. Ordelheide ('54) served as department chair from March 1, 1981 to October 30, 1989. As the founding father of the Department of Family Medicine, he was an exemplary leader and role model for students. He continues to emulate the true spirit of the healing physician through his work as a missionary. In keeping with the style of Dr. Ordelheide's practice in medicine, we have established this award of distinction.
The Walter P. Ordelheide Award is given annually by the Department of Family Medicine to senior students who have demonstrated outstanding scholarship and leadership, and who have fostered the promotion and advancement of family medicine.
Class of 2021 Award Winner: Matthew Sturm
Matthew Sturm is awarded the Walter P. Ordelheide Award as he exhibited leadership qualities throughout his medical school journey as a tutoring leader for high school students in the local area as well as a representative for the Christian and Dental Association. Matthew was involved in community service in multiple avenues including participating in a health clinic with his church. He represents Loma Linda values and was actively looking to grow as a mentee of the LLU pathway of service program. He will make an excellent family physician.
Class of 2021 Award Winner: Michelle Narita
Michelle Narita is awarded the Walter P. Ordelheide Award as she exhibited leadership and service qualities by working at our cornerstone community clinic providing free care to the underserved her involvement with the Helping Hands Pantry. She did research with our Preventive Medicine department and provided free health screenings, counseling and cooking classes to our community. She represents the values of Loma Linda and will make an excellent family physician.
Department of OB/GYN: Harold F. Ziprick Award
Harold F. Ziprick ('37) served as a professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Loma Linda University School of Medicine from 1963 to 1983, and as chair of the department from 1970 to 1979. This award, named in his memory, is in recognition of his dedication to superior medical education. Dr. Ziprick was a pioneer in establishing many of the training programs in gynecology and obstetrics, which continue to this day.
Class of 2021 Award Winner: Gabrielle Marcellino
The Harold F. Ziprick Award is presented to Gabrielle Marcellino for overall academic achievement and clinical performance in gynecology and obstetrics, as demonstrated by the physician and teacher for whom the award is named. Earning honors in the OB/GYN clerkship, Gabrielle had one of the highest scores on the very challenging OB/GYN shelf exam. Not only bright, she is a genuinely warm young woman with a wonderful easy-going personality and is an absolute joy to work with. She has furthered her interest in the field by serving as the vice president of the OB/GYN Student Interest Group, serving as a Project Hope site leader and functioning as an OB/GYN student ultrasound coordinator. She has also been instrumental in designing and implementing the department’s BABE research, a randomized trial involving antenatal breast pumping.
Department of Medicine: Daniel D. Comstock Award
The Daniel D. Comstock Award is prsented annually to the senior student with the most distinguished performance in internal medicine. Selection is based on scholarship, interest in science, skill, devotion to patient care, and personal attributes of dependability and integrity--as demonstrated by the physician, Daniel D. Comstock, for whom the award is named.
Class of 2021 Award Winner: Charlene Wang
The Daniel D. Comstock Award award is presented to Charlene Wang. She has demonstrated exceptional clinical reasoning, dedication to patients and clinical knowledge in internal medicine. Her commitment to excellence in all domains will ensure an impactful career to come.
Department of Medicine: Donald E. Griggs Award
This award is presented to the senior medical student with the highest grade from the clinical rotations in medicine. Soon after Donald E. Griggs ('24) graduated, he and his bride, Loice, became missionaries to China, where he developed a life-threatening infection that resulted in the amputation of his left forearm. Returning to the United States, he spent the rest of his life working for his alma mater. Although he was chair of the Department of Medicine for several years, he is best remembered as chief of the cardiology division.
Class of 2021 Award Winner: Jonathan T. Pham
The Donald E. Griggs Award is presented to Jonathan T. Pham. His kind demeanor allows him to instantly connect with patients. His outstanding knowledge base and ability to apply this broadly allows him to quickly manage complex medical problems. With high performance in both of these domains Jonathan skillfully delivers exceptional whole person care.
Department of Medicine: Harold J. Hoxie Award
This award is presented to senior medical students for exceptional performance in medicine with emphasis on research. Immediately after finishing his internal medicine residency, Harold J Hoxie ('33) became head of the clinical training of CME students at the Los Angeles County General Hospital. He organized the teaching rounds, student case presentations, grand rounds and resident teaching conferences with the assistance of many excellent volunteer faculty. He was also considered an excellent diagnostician, consulting in many difficult patient cases.
Class of 2021 Award Winner: David Deemer
David Deemer received the Harold J. Hoxie Award for his passion for evidence-based medical education and assessment is admirable. His engagement in educational leadership positions locally and nationally have set the groundwork for a career in medical education leadership. His efforts have led to multiple publications demonstrating his outstanding academic potential.
Class of 2021 Award Winner: Kristoff Foster
Kristoff Foster was presented the Harold J. Hoxie Award for his passion in delivering care with a spiritual focus is admirable. His plans to further explore the interaction between spiritual care and healthcare will lead to a better understanding of how physicians and patients can ally on different levels to improve their health and wellbeing. His charisma and passion for teaching will allow him to engage learners to teach these practices in the future.
Department of Medicine: Varner J. Johns, Jr., Award
The Varner J. Johns Award is presented to senior medical students who have demonstrated excellence in internal medicine and true dedication to clinical teaching. Based on these characteristics, the following awardees are considered as potential future teaching faculty in the Department of Medicine.
Class of 2021 Award Winner: Reed Nerness
Reed Nerness is awarded the Varner J. Johns Award because she is an incredibly skilled and insightful educator. From guiding preclinical students on USMLE test preparation to developing School of Medicine’s first transition to residency course, Reed has been giving back through teaching during most of her medical training. Her talents and innovation have led to significant improvements in educational programs at the School of Medicine.
Class of 2021 Award Winner: Karl Wallenkampf
Karl Wallenkampf is awarded the Varner J. Johns Award for involvement with School of Medicine on many levels as class president, vice president, senator, and associate editor of the student journal to name a few. He engaged in curriculum development with Dr. Amy Hayton for resilience and wholeness training in LIFE Communities. He has also tutored many preclinical student groups and individuals and demonstrated extraordinary skill in learner engagement.
Department of Neurology: Guy M. Hunt Award
Guy M. Hunt ('42) taught medical students in neurology and anatomy at Loma Linda University School of Medicine from 1945 to 1992, and was awarded the School of Medicine's Distinguished Service Award in 1997. Dr. Hunt created innovative educational techniques such as showing his own movies of patients to help correlate neuroanatomy with clinical neurology. His passion for education led him to devote significant portions of his clinical income toward the teaching of neuroanatomy.
Class of 2021 Award Winner: Joshua Edmondson
The Guy M. Hunt Award is presented to Joshua Edmondson for superior performance in neuroscience basic science courses, outstanding performance in the neurology clerkship and during neurology electives.
Department of Neurology: AAN Medical Student Prize for Excellence
The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Medical Student Prize for Excellence is for graduating medical students who have promising career potential in neurology as seen by their institution's faculty and residents.
Class of 2021 Award Winner: Johann Kuppers
The AAN Medical Student Prize for Excellence is presented to Johann Kuppers for outstanding clinical performance and for creating a 3D computer model of the brain stem that will be used to teach future medical students.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery: Philip H. Reiswig Award
Since the founding of the Orthopaedic Residency in 1969, Philip Reiswig ('61) has mentored residents and students in the field of orthopaedic surgery. Dr. Reiwig exemplifies the virtues of completeness of patient information collection and clarity of thought in problem-solving. The Philip H. Reiswig Award is presented to a senior student entering the field of orthopedic surgery who exhibits the dedication, enthusiasm, and commitment of the physician-leader for whom it is named.
Class of 2021 Award Winner: Bradley Carlson
The Philip H. Reiswig Award is presented to Bradley Carlson who is entering the field of orthopedic surgery. He exhibits the dedication, enthusiasm and commitment of the physician-leader for whom it is named. He has volunteered in the emergency room, attended the most conferences and was visible to residents and staff.
Department of Pediatrics: Robert F. Chinnock Award
Robert F. Chinnock ('44-A) was the first chair of the Department of Pediatrics, from 1949 to 1975, in the School of Medicine with formal training in pediatrics. Dr. Chinnock was a brilliant hard-working individual who had intolerance for mediocrity and had a love for excellence. He loved to teach and motivate students who held him in awe because of his demand for excellence. He established the first camp for children with diabetes in California, which is still held each summer in our local mountains. When his untimely death in 1975 occurred, the pediatric faculty established a Robert F. Chinnock award in his honor. This award is given to the senior medical student who shows outstanding performance in pediatrics.
Class of 2021 Award Winner: Nehaly Shah
Nehaly Shah was selected for the Robert F. Chinnock Award due to her excellence on the pediatrics rotation and her contribution to the medical student experience with pediatrics. Faculty have noted her to be a self-directed learner who was enthusiastic about learner and an active participant in all discussions. One faculty member mentioned that she was one of the most memorable students that she's had the privilege of teaching. She was never afraid to question something that didn't make sense, but she also was humble and gracious in the way she went about it. She was noted to be compassionate and embodies the heart of medicine ("the heart and art of medicine"). She also served as the president of the Pediatrics Interest Group helping medical students engage with the field of pediatrics. Her excellence on all fronts is what has led the pediatrics department to award her the Robert F. Chinnock Award for Outstanding Student in Pediatrics.
Department of Preventive Medicine: Dysinger Family Preventive Medicine Award
The Award is in memory of Stephen Dysinger, who passed away in 2006 at age 13 years from a rhabdomyosarcoma. The award was set up by his grandfather, P. William Dysinger, MD, MPH, who helped found the Loma Linda University School of Public Health. His son, Wayne S. Dysinger, MD, MPH, was chair of the Preventive Medicine Department at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine for 12 years, taught Preventive Medicine to a generation of medical students, and helped establish the sub-specialty of Lifestyle Medicine and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.
Class of 2021 Award Winners: Kettlen Borda and Adwoa Waife
The Dysinger Family Preventive Medicine Award recognizes Kettle Borda and Adwoa Waife who have demonstrated – through clerkship performance, interest group leadership, and residency choice – that they value disease prevention, population health, and the use of lifestyle medicine in disease treatment.
Department of Psychiatry: Benjamin Kovitz Award
This award is named for Benjamin Kovitz, MD, who has been a professor in the School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry since 1963. Dr. Kovitz' clinical skills, superb teaching, research contributions and role model have made him revered in the department and recognized nationally and internationally for his lifetime of contributions to psychiatry and society.
Class of 2021 Award Winner: Alexis Carnduff
The Benjamin Kovitz Award is presented to Alexis Carnduff who has demonstrated qualities of leadership and scholarship in the field of psychiatry.
Department of Radiology: Distinguished Student in Interventional Radiology Award
The Distinguished Student in Interventional Radiology Award is given to the student who is devoted to the field of radiology as evidenced by their distinguished service, exceptional performance, and commitment to pursuing radiology as a career.
Class of 2021 Award Winner: Andrew Pop
Andrew Pop is the recipient of the Distinguished Student in Interventional Radiology Award. He helped guide the Interventional Radiology Interest group through a challenging year of navigating COVID-19 restrictions, while balancing his rotations, interviews and academic pursuits. He performed admirably on his DR and IR rotations, received glowing reviews from his physician preceptors, conducted research with our IR faculty, and demonstrated a true zeal for his future career. Andrew matched into Loma Linda University’s IR residency program and look forward to watching him develop into an outstanding interventional radiologist over the next 6 years.
Department of Radiology: Distinguished Student in Diagnostic Radiology Award
The Distinguished Student in Diagnostic Radiology Award is given to the student who is devoted to the field of radiology as evidenced by their distinguished service, exceptional performance, and commitment to pursuing radiology as a career.
Class of 2021 Award Winner: John Smith
John Smith is the recipient of the Distinguished Student in Diagnostic Radiology Award due to his enthusiasm and interest in the specialty. He is diligent and always willing to help. Despite the limitations of the pandemic, John led well as the president of the Radiology Interest Group and organized several events to gather his cohort together. He participated in a number of research projects with a wide range of interests, including investigating the use of artificial intelligence in the setting of non-accidental trauma. During his Radiology elective, he was also able to publish a case report related to an osteochondroma.
Department of Surgery: David B. Hinshaw, Sr., Award
The David B. Hinshaw, Sr., Award is presented annually to a senior student who has demonstrated outstanding qualities of leadership and scholarship and who is entering a categorical surgery residency program with the intention of pursuing a career in general surgery.
2021 Award Winner: Joyce McRae
The David B. Hinshaw Award is presented to Joyce McRae. During the course of her surgery clerkship, sub-internship, and elective time with the Department of Surgery, Joyce performed at a high level of excellence on both subjective and objective evaluations. Joyce participated in research endeavors while maintaining a high level of academic performance as reflected in her "honors" grade for the surgery clerkship. She universally was regarded as one of the highest achieving students by those who worked with her, while consistently promoting wholeness and wellness to herself and others.
Department of Urology: Roger W. Barnes Award
This award in honor of Roger W. Barnes ('22) is presented to a senior student who has demonstrated to an unusual degree, qualities of compassion, kindness, and humility - as exhibited by the physician and teacher for whom the award is named.
2021 Award Winner: Joyce McRae
The Roger W. Barnes Award is presented to Joyce McRae. The senior class submit their nominations for this award and selected Joyce McRae as they felt she truly exhibited these qualities.
The President's Award, established in 1960, is presented annually in recognition of superior scholastic attainment and active participation in the student community, within the framework of Christian commitment. One recipient is selected from each school.
2021 Award Winner: Benjamin Joshua Gow-Lee
Benjamin Joshua Gow-Lee is the recipient of the President's Award. He has worked hard to achieve an outstanding academic record during his time in medical school. He received the distinction of Honors in all but two of his freshman pre-clinical courses, and was awarded Honors in all five of the core clinical clerkships offering it during his junior year. He was elected into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society in his junior year, an honor that is typically reserved for senior medical students. Because of his positive influence on patients, families and his fellow students, along with a dedicated whole person approach to patient care, he was recognized by his peers through nomination for induction into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. He has demonstrated a distinguished aptitude for teaching and mentorship as evidenced by his work as a group and individual tutor to students in the pre-clinical years, as well as being selected as a mentor in the Strive program – which partners strong student leaders as mentors with pre-clinical medical students who are struggling or at high risk of failing their courses. He has been actively involved in research during his time in medical school, working with faculty in the Department of Anesthesiology on a project to improve ultrasound education for residents and medical students, as well as a project studying the use of ultrasound in hemodynamic monitoring.