Student view:

Docs embark on new journeys

May 28, 2014

Charles Sierzant is celebrating several new beginnings. On April 28, he became a father. Less than two weeks later, he became a doctor.

Dressed in his regalia and cradling his 12-day-old daughter in his arms, Sierzant crossed the stage to be hooded, a gesture symbolizing his successful completion of medical school. He is one of 187 MSU College of Human Medicine graduates whose medical doctor degrees were conferred by Dean Marsha Rappley on May 10.

Newly wedded couple Derek and Eileen Larkin Axibal will begin their married life as doctors in a new state. Both secured residencies in highly competitive fields and were fortunate to relocate together in Colorado.

Six graduates will soon begin active duty in the military as part of the Medical Corps. During commencement, Erik Lundberg Anderson, Robert Charles Beckmann and John Patrick Curran were promoted to lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. Juan Noel Rango and John Timothy McClain were promoted to captain in the U.S. Air Force and Noah Choi was promoted to captain in the U.S. Army.

The commencement ceremony included remarks from keynote speaker Ruth-Marie Fincher, professor emeritus, Medical College of Georgia, faculty awards and recognition of other achievements.

The Upper Peninsula Regional campus honored Kyle Alexander Torni for the completion of Compass Certificate Program that offered special training in sports medicine, wilderness medicine and emergency medicine.

The Flint campus honored several for the completion of Leadership in Medicine for the Underserved Program. The program trains physicians to lead efforts which address the needs of medically underserved and vulnerable populations in rural and urban settings.

Recipients included Christopher James Clifford Adams, Lauren Marie Baumann, Androuw Carrasco, Danielle Yin-Lee Change, John S. Chen, Philip Jason Clapham, Monika Leah Dietrich, Nicole Gallagher, Caitlin Marie Higgins, Karthik Kavasseri, Carolina W. Martinez, John T. McClain, Jennifer Morgan, Jacob Frank Smith Newcomb, Jared Smedley and Gregory Maxwell Weston.

James Harkema, professor emeritus in the College of Human Medicine Department of Surgery, received the Lifetime Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. The 2014 Humanism in Medicine Award was presented to Mark Loehrke, associate professor in the College of Human Medicine Department of Medicine.

This year's graduating class raises the total alumni to nearly 4,400 MSU MDs in the college's 50-year history.


Story by Amy Sawade, CHM

Photo by Derrick L. Turner