Quillen College of Medicine livestreams Virtual Commencement for Class of 2020

Published 12:58 pm Monday, May 11, 2020

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TDH Commissioner Lisa Piercey is guest speaker
JOHNSON CITY – East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine held a Virtual Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 8, for its 39th graduating class.
The ceremony was live-streamed so that the 68 graduates were able to participate in the virtual event and receive their doctoral hoods together in real-time.
Presiding over the ceremony was Dr. Bill Block, a 1992 Quillen alumnus who now serves as vice president for clinical affairs and dean.
The guest speaker was Quillen alumna Dr. Lisa Piercey, the 14th commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Health. Piercey leads the primary agency of state government responsible for public health. Since the COVID-19 crisis, she has worked at the forefront of Tennessee’s efforts to combat the pandemic.
 “While we were not able to hold our traditional ceremony, the virtual commencement allowed the class of 2020 to gather in a virtual space to celebrate their accomplishments together before they all move on to begin their residencies,” said Block. “I am extremely proud of this class. The spring semester has been particularly challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but these students have risen to the challenge and will make a positive impact on health care as they begin their careers as physicians.”
 During the ceremony, the medical students received their doctoral hoods from family members. As is tradition at Quillen, the class of 2020 also selected faculty hooders. The class selected Dr. Earl Brown, professor and course director, Department of Pathology; and Dr. Jason Moore, professor and clerkship director, Department of Family Medicine. Dr. Joseph Florence, professor and director of Rural Programs, was selected by the medical students participating in the Rural Primary Care Track program.
 ETSU President Brian Noland conferred the doctor of medicine degree to the students. The program concluded with the administration of the Hippocratic Oath to the new physicians led by Dr. Reid Blackwelder, professor and chair, Department of Family Medicine.
 In addition, several students received awards during the ceremony.
 The culminating awards included the Dean’s Distinguished Student Award for outstanding achievement in medical school, presented to Dr. Peter Blosser. Blosser also received a Merck Award.
 Sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award was presented to Dr. Andrew Donahue. In addition, Donahue received the Kevin Swabe Memorial Award.
Other awards included:
  • The James Christopher Corbin Award in Psychiatry was presented to Dr. Amanda Leuthold and Dr. Adam Chan.
  • The Philip John Hinton, M.D. Career in Surgery Award was presented to Dr. Hayden Alford.
  • The Ronald S. McCord Rural Family Medicine Award was presented to Dr. Margaret Miller and Dr. Austin Witt. In addition, Miller received the Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians Award. Witt also received the Dr. Jay and Mina Mehta Family Award in Preventive Medicine.
  • The Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award was presented to Dr. Laura Stamper. Stamper also received the Outstanding Performance Junior Surgical Clerkship Award.
  • The Glasgow-Rubin Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Paige Winter and Dr. Erica Andres. Andres also received the Internal Medicine Award.
  • Dr. Derek Lance received a Merck Award.
  • Dr. Hannah Bowers received the Ann Tranum Hawkins Award for Excellence in Women’s Health and the OB/GYN Award (Dillard M. Sholes Society Award).
  • Dr. Jeffrey Blackwell received the Henry Clay Reister Award.
  • The Cheryl L. McLemore, M.D. Memorial Pediatrics Award was presented to Dr. Kathleen DeMars.
  • The Cowan Moss Family Medicine Award was presented to Dr. Jessie Feathers.
  • Dr. Sarah Tolliver received the Department of Pediatrics Award.
A link to the ceremony is available at www.etsu.edu/com/graduation.php.

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