Convocation week at UMass Medical School celebrates new academic year

UMass Medical School Communications

September 11, 2017
   Convocation ceremoniously marks the beginning of the new academic year. Chancellor Michael F. Collins will deliver his annual Convocation address and present the 2017 Chancellor's Medals.

Convocation ceremoniously marks the beginning of the new academic year. Chancellor Michael F. Collins will deliver his annual Convocation address and present the 2017 Chancellor's Medals. 

UMass Medical School will ceremoniously mark the beginning of the new academic year with a full slate of events recognizing student and faculty accomplishments throughout the week, including the formal Convocation and Investiture ceremonies on Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 4 p.m. in the Albert Sherman Center auditorium. Chancellor Michael F. Collins will deliver his annual Convocation address and present the 2017 Chancellor’s Medals for excellence in teaching, scholarship, service and clinical excellence.

The Investiture ceremony, immediately following Convocation, will invest nine distinguished faculty members as named professors and honor the donors who endowed them. The following named professors will be invested:

      • The Higgins Family Professorship in Neuroscience
        Recipient: Neil Aronin, MD, professor of medicine, radiology and RNA therapeutics, and co-director of the Neurotherapeutics Institute;
      • The Governor Paul Cellucci Chair in Neuroscience Research
        Recipient: Fen-Biao Gao, PhD, professor of neurology;
      • The Maroun Semaan Chair in Neurosurgery
        Recipient: Mark D. Johnson, MD, PhD, founding chair and professor of neurosurgery;
      • The Maroun Semaan Chair in Biomedical Research
        Recipient: Marian Walhout, PhD, professor of molecular medicine and co-founder of the Program in Systems Biology;
      • The Joseph J. Byrne Chair in Biomedical Research
        Recipient: Job Dekker, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator; professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology, and co-director of the Program in Systems Biology;
      • The Joy McCann Professorship for Women in Medicine
        Recipient: Heather Campbell Forkey, MD, associate professor of pediatrics;
      • The Herman G. Berkman Chair in Diabetes Care Innovation
        Recipient: Michael J. Thompson, MD, clinical professor of medicine and chief of the diabetes clinical research organization and outpatient clinic for the Diabetes Center of Excellence;
      • The Endowed Chair in Neuroscience Research
        Recipient: Brian Silver, MD; vice chair and professor of neurology; and
      • The Gladys Smith Martin Chair in Oncology
        Recipient: Justin A. Maykel, MD, associate professor of surgery.

Precious and essential resources for the institution, endowments increase the institution’s ability to attract and retain individuals distinguished in their fields. Named professorships also provide an opportunity for donors to contribute to the enrichment and vitality of the academic and scientific environment.

A reception in the Albert Sherman Center Cube will follow Convocation and Investiture.

The Graduate School of Nursing’s Pinning Ceremony for Graduate Entry Program (GEP) students will take place Monday, Sept. 11, at 6 p.m. in the Faculty Conference Room. Registered nurses after one year of accelerated coursework, these GEP students will receive their registered nurse pins and recite a pledge to serve their communities and their profession. GEP students, who have bachelor’s degrees in fields other than nursing, will then complete further graduate study to become nurse practitioners, nurse educators and nursing executives. A reception in the ASC Cube will follow the ceremony.

On Tuesday, Sept. 12, Johanna Olson-Kennedy, MD, an adolescent medicine physician specializing in the care of gender nonconforming children and transgender youth, will be the keynote speaker for the annual Convocation Welcome Luncheon for the LGBTA community. RSVPs to are requested for the luncheon, which will take place in the Faculty Conference Room from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences will host its recognition ceremony for students who have successfully completed the qualifying exam on Thursday, Sept. 14, at 3 p.m. in the ASC auditorium. Passing the qualifying exam is a significant milestone for PhD students, marking their transition from classroom-based learning to dissertation research as formal candidates for doctoral degrees. The ceremony will be followed by a reception in the ASC Cube.

Wrapping up Convocation week activities will be the White Coat Ceremony on Friday, Sept. 15, at 2 p.m., under a tent on the campus green. There in the presence of family, guests and faculty members, first-year School of Medicine students will be welcomed into the medical community by campus leaders, and presented with their first white coats. The keynote speech will be given by Terence R. Flotte, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education, executive deputy chancellor, provost and dean of the School of Medicine. A reception will follow on the ASC patio.

All events are open to the UMMS community and will be broadcast live on the medical school’s Facebook page and live streamed on the web. For more information about these events, visit the University Events website. Follow the events on the UMass Medical School Facebook page and on Twitter @UMassMedical.

Related stories on UMassMedNow:
Heather Forkey named Joy McCann Professor for Women in Medicine
UMass Medical School faculty appointed to endowed chairs

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