Class of 2021 Graduates from UK College of Medicine

The UK College of Medicine Class of 2021 Commencement Ceremony was held at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, May 15, 2021. This year’s ceremony marked the 58th graduation processional for the college.

Robert S. DiPaola, MD, Dean of the UK College of Medicine delivered the commencement address and helped us celebrate our student’s success. 

The graduating class consisted of 130 students who, following the completion of intense studies and clinical rotations, assumed the title of “doctor.” 

During the National Residency Match Week, the Class of 2021 matched into 18 different specialties. Forty-nine percent of the class will complete residency training in primary care (internal medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine-pediatrics and family medicine.)

Internal medicine was the top specialty for the Class of 2021, with 31 graduates enrolled. Other popular specialties included pediatrics (15 graduates), family medicine (14), emergency medicine (12), radiology (7), psychiatry (6), general surgery (6), obstetrics and gynecology (5), and neurology (5).

Forty-two percent will remain in Kentucky for residency training, and 37 percent will stay at UK HealthCare, which is up from 29 percent last year.

Senior Awards

The UK College of Medicine Class of 2021 Senior Awards were announced during the commencement ceremony. Multiple awards were given in the following categories:

Teaching Award

Adam Gray, MD, and Cortney Lee, MD, were chosen by the Class of 2021 to receive the Distinguished Teacher Award for Outstanding Clinical Instructor.

Graduation Awards

The Albert B. Chandler Award was presented to Clark Strunk. This award is given to the student with the highest overall academic performance.

The Alpha Omega Alpha Good Physician Award was presented to Benjamin Doty and Clark Strunk.  This award is given to a graduating senior who exemplifies all the qualities inherent in a good physician. This award was chosen by the Class of 2021.

The D. Kay Clawson Award was presented to Carter Baughman. This award is given to a graduating student who has demonstrated perceptivity and statesmanship in contributing to the growth and stability of the College of Medicine and who has exhibited an understanding of the complex issues to health care in modern society.

The de Beer Medical Student Research Award for outstanding student achievement in medical research was presented to Michael Nisiewicz. 

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation presented the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award to the student and faculty member who consistently demonstrated compassion and empathy in the delivery of care to patients and who illustrate professional behavior by example.  The 2021 student recipient is Lan Jiang, and the faculty recipient is Sarah Vick, MD.

The Merck Manual Awards are awarded on the basis of high academic performance as well as service to his or her class and college. The 2021 recipients are Steven App, Benjamin Doty, and Lauren Harris. 

The American Medical Women’s Association Awards are presented annually to women who are in the top 10 percent of the class. This year's award recipients are Hannah Bullock, Allison Frazure, Jacqueline Kulbe, Hannah Latta, E. Abigaile Recktenwald, and Madeline Rukavina.

Departmental Awards

The Peter P. Bosomworth Excellence in Anesthesiology Award was presented to Ross Owen.

The Carey Cup Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award was presented to Stephen Harrett. 

The William D. and Peggy Pratt Memorial Scholarship Award was presented to Cayla Kunstek. This award is from the department of Family and Community Medicine. 

The Steven A. Haist Outstanding Academic Performance Award was presented to Clark Strunk. This award is from the department of Internal Medicine. 

The Outstanding Scholarship and Humanism Award was presented to Hussain Siddiqi. This award is from the department of Internal Medicine. 

The David B. Clark Award for Excellence in Neurology was presented to Hannah Latta. 

The Louise Perkins McHenry Award was presented to Darington Richardson. This award is from the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 

The John Greene, Jr. Clinical Excellence Award was presented to Seth Walsh-Blackmore. This award is from the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 

The Gerald V. Klim Award for Outstanding Medical Student in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Award was presented to Preston Mercer.  

The Myron G. Sandifer, Jr. Award for the Outstanding Student in Psychiatry was presented to Yuxi Zhang.

The John H. Githens Award for Excellence in Pediatrics was presented to Alexandra Howard.  

The Arthur Lieber, MD Excellence in Radiology Award was presented to Fariha Siddiqui.

The Francis M. Massie Award for Excellence in Surgery was presented to E. Abigaile Recktenwald.

The Andrew R. Pulito Award was presented to Walker Ueland. This award is from the department of Surgery. 

Honor Cords | High Distinction

Cumulative numeric average of 93.0‐100%

Students graduating with high distinction wore a gold honor cord at the commencement ceremony.

Honor Cords | Distinction

Cumulative numeric average of 90.0‐92.9%

Students graduating with distinction wore a white honor cord at the commencement ceremony.