JUNE 5, 2005

Worcester, MA— The University of Massachusetts Medical School, comprising the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and the Graduate School of Nursing, awarded 161 degrees, including two honorary degrees, at its 32nd commencement exercisesheld June 5 at Mechanics Hall in Worcester. Chancellor and Dean Aaron Lazare, MD, presented104 doctor of medicine degrees, including three MD/PhDs; 32 doctor of philosophy degrees; and 19 master of science degrees and four post-master’s certificates in nursing. Honorary degrees were alsoawarded to Syed Adibul Hasan Rizvi, MD, and, posthumously, to Kenneth B. Schwartz.

The commencement address was given by Robert A. Weinberg, PhD, an internationally recognized authority on the genetic basis of human cancer. Weinberg is a founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge and the Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has also been an American Cancer Society Research Professor at the Whitehead Institute and MIT since 1985.

Dr. Weinberg was the first to discover a cancer-causing gene in humans and is considered one of the pioneers in the understanding of the genetics of cancer. The principal goal of his current research is to determine how cancer-causing oncogenes, their normal counterparts, proto-oncogenes, and tumor suppressor genes fit together in the complex circuitry that controls cell growth. Particularly interested in applying this knowledge to improve the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, Dr. Weinberg and his colleagues have developed techniques to reconstruct normal, functional human breast tissue in a laboratory model and to introduce specific genes and genetic abnormalities into cells in this reconstructed tissue. Through these techniques, they hope to pinpoint precisely how breast cancer begins.

UMMS awarded an honorary degree to Syed Adibul Hasan Rizvi, MD, founder and director of the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT), the largest public-sector health organization in Pakistan. Dr. Rizvi follows the philosophy of a partnership between the government and the public; in his country, where every year 3,000 men, women and children face end-stage renal failure and the cost of dialysis is four times the average annual per capita income, this state-of-the-art institute provides dialysis and organ transplantation services free of charge.

Dr. Rizvi studied medicine at Dow Medical College in Karachi and honed his surgical skills for nine years in Great Britain, specializing in urology. In 1971, he returned to Pakistan to establish his specialty at Civil Hospital in Karachi. Over time, Dr. Rizvi expanded his urological clinic from strictly surgical procedures to dialysis treatments, high-tech diagnostics and kidney transplantation. And, in 1992, he formally established the autonomous SIUT which today treats more than 350,000 patients annually, paid for primarily by private philanthropy.

UMMSalso presented an honorary degree posthumously to Kenneth B. Schwartz, a Boston health care lawyer, first in state government and then in the private sector, who died of lung cancer at the age of 40. Shortly before his death in September 1995, Mr. Schwartz established a center dedicated to strengthening the relationship between patients and caregivers in the changing health care system and as a vehicle to advance the ideas, hopes and concerns he expressed in his article about his diagnosis and treatment, “A Patient’s Story,” published in the July 16, 1995, Boston Globe Magazine.

Created to perpetuate his vision, the non-profit Kenneth B. Schwartz Center is housed at Massachusetts General Hospital and is widely respected in the health care community for its creative and effective promotion of compassionate health care—care during which providers, patients and their families relate to one another in a way that gives hope to the patients, support to the caregivers and sustenance to the healing process. In addition to providing grants to health care providers who support its mission and offering speakers, panel discussions and special events for the general public, the Center’s two primary programs include the Schwartz Center Rounds and the Clinical Pastoral Education Program for Health Care Professionals. Mr. Schwartz’s widow, Ellen Cohen, President of the Board of the Schwartz Center,received her husband’s honorary degree at the ceremony.

The University of Massachusetts Medical School was created in l962 by an act of the Massachusetts legislature to enable state residents to study medicine at an affordable cost, and to increase the number of primary care physicians practicing in underserved areas of the state. The School of Medicine accepted its first class of 16 students in 1970 and now accepts 100 students per class. Today, the 67-acre campus is comprised of the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (opened in 1979), and the Graduate School of Nursing (opened in 1986). The Medical School has consistently ranked among the top medical schools in the country for primary care, and this year was ranked fourth among the 125 schools nationwide. One of the fastest growing academic health centers in the country, UMMS attracts more than $173 million in research funding annually and is on the leading edge of medical research into human disease and treatment.

Class speakers includedJean A. Marcelin Jr. (School of Medicine); Melissa A. Calmann (Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences); and Yvonne Michaud (Graduate School of Nursing). Degree recipients are listed alphabetically by hometown on the following pages. School of Medicine: Doctor of Medicine (104)Acton:Heather Lauren Diskin

Acushnet: Ricardo Avelino DeSousa

Allston: Jeanette Lavasta

Amesbury: Maureen Despres

Amherst: Emily Margaret Jones

Andover: Edward William Heinle, III

Cindy Wen-san Su

Heather Lynne Young

Ashburnham: Julie A. Bettencourt

Auburn: John Paul Verderese

Bedford:Elisa Naomi Banner

Alissa Robyn Dangel

Belmont: Jennifer Ellen Austin

Bolton: Jennifer Lynn Pfau

Boston: Bronwen Cowan Carroll

Marc Andrew Lieberman

Jennifer Liu

Brighton:Brian H. Hyett

Amy Beth Molis

Brookline: Gabrielle Marie Hyde

Jess Levins Kaplan

Ronald Wayne Ste. Marie, Jr.

Burlington: Emily Meichun Ko

Berenika Voskoboynik

Chestnut Hill: Joshua Eric Meyer

Cohasset: Martha Hill McLoughlin

Concord : Kenneth Ian Barron

Rachel McColl Vuolo

Dennis: Lauren Donnell McClure

Dorchester : Karlene Marie Boswell

Dover :Nicola Joy Smith

EastBrookfield : Thomas Edgar Jaquith-Houston

Easton :Poonam Modha

FallRiver : M. Richard Pavao

Falmouth : Elijah James Luyten

Framingham : Egal Hassan Gudal


Hampden: Jessica Praed Simons

Holliston: Andrew James Cocchiarella

Holyoke : Jeffrey John Cook

Ipswich :Peter Albert Soderland

Lexington :Genevieve Petty Bartels




Linwood: Lauri Daniel

Lowell : Adam Y. Abou-Elias

Ludlow : Robert Jaime Nascimento

Lunenberg: David James Hirsch

Mansfield : Geoffrey Michael Crimmins

Melrose : Nicole Troy Spillane

Milton :Peter James Hynes

Monson: Jeffrey Bryan King

Natick :Andrew David Cook

Needham : Peter H. DeNoble


Newton : Sunny Jaiswal



Northampton : Kathryn Fleming-Ives

NorthAttleboro :Danielle Adriana Dupont


Northborough: Joseph C. Tennyson

NorthReading : Steven Michael Solano

Norwood :Anne Christine Powell

Peabody : Elizabeth Castagneto Andrada

Peru : Kristin E. Lamontagne

Princeton : Dustin Lewis Pomerleau

Randolph : Teli Leung

Roxbury: Eleni Sophia Spartos O’Donovan

Rutland : Jean A. Marcelin, Jr.

Seekonk: Erin Elizabeth Barlow

Sheffield : Paul Pasquale Christopher

Shrewsbury : Julie Anne O’Brien

Somerset : Jesse Affonso

Somerville : Joseph Sean O’Garr


Southborough: Nicholas John Fustino

Springfield : Michael Noel Cocchi

Stoneham :Lauren Alberta-Wszolek

Stoughton :David L. McGarry

Sturbridge: Nicole Marie Theodoropoulos

Sudbury :Whitney Breckinridge Drake

Sutton: Andrew Albert Monte

Swansea :Keelin Ann Garvey

ThreeRivers:Nathan Joseph Abare

Tyngsborough: Thomas R. Meredith

Wakefield : Dean Howard Santerre

Wellesley : Nicholas Genes*

WestRoxbury : Theofilos P. Matheos

WestSpringfield : Sarah Jane Laduzenski

Whitinsville: Steven P. Lamontagne

Wilbraham: Shagheyegh Moghaddam

Williamstown: Vanessa Cook Jacobsohn

Woburn : Amanda Faith Goddard

Wollaston: Andrew Hoey Watt

Worcester : John E. Harris*



*Alan Ross Morrison of Newton, Nicholas Genes from Wellesley, and John E. Harris of

Worcester will receive both an MD and PhD

Graduate School

Acton : Jennifer Ann Lamb

Chicopee : Agata Jurczyk

East Brookfield : Anthony L. Forget

Hopkinton: Wendy Cherie Zimmerman

Hudson :Corey Lewis Smith

Leominster : Paula Leslie Feinberg-Zadek

Newton :Alan Ross Morrison*

NorthGrafton : Christopher Joachim Lengner

Quincy : Nuria Sanchez-Velar

Watertown : Madathia Sarkissian

Wellesley : Nicholas Genes*

Westford: Kristen Strand

Woburn: Melissa Ann Farrow

Worcester: Luana Omodele Atherly








Wrentham: Julie Lucas

Downey , CA :Thomas Hyung Lee Monterey Park , CA :Jen-Yeu Wang Mountain View , CA :Jonathan Adam Phillips SanFrancisco , CA :Sara Gozalo Bronx , NY :Deborah Marie Brancho >Buffalo , NY Burlison , TN : Adam Scott Gromley Seattle , WA :Nathan Andrew Elliott


*Alan Ross Morrison of Newton, Nicholas Genes from Wellesley, and John E. Harris of

Worcester will receive both an MD and PhD

GraduateSchool of Nursing , Master of Science (19) Acton : Mary Castonguay Ashland : Yvonne Michaud Auburn : Janine L. Chalupka

E.Hampstead: Lisa Lang

Goffstown: Margaret A. Emmons

Holliston: Patrice M. Knapp

Leominster : Sharon A. Kubik

Ludlow :Bethany Anne Ondrick Malden :Catherine A. Hill Milford : Lisa Marie Vasile Natick :Rui Xu N.Brookfield : Mary Rucho

Pepperell: Christine Mary Dutton

Pittsfield :Teresa Stimpson S. Lancaster : Ilsa Grunder Worcester : Catherine Powers



Graduate School of Nursing Post Master’s Certificate (4)

Foxboro: Jayne Ellen Wheeler

Oakham: Christine Devine

Marlborough Kathryn R. Small Worcester Maureen Patricia Kenefick


Contact:Alison Duffy,508-856-2000,

School of Nursing , Master of Science (19) : Mary Castonguay : Yvonne Michaud : Janine L. Chalupka : Sharon A. Kubik :Teresa Stimpson : Ilsa Grunder : Catherine Powers