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Commencement for PCOM graduate programs

Commencement for PCOM graduate programs was held on July 26 at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. There were 230 candidates for graduate degree programs in clinical psychology, school psychology, counseling and clinical health psychology, organizational development and leadership, forensic medicine, biomedical sciences  and physician assistant studies.

James F. Cawley, MPH, PA-C, professor, department of prevention and community health, and professor, physician assistant studies, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, George Washington University. Cawley delivered the commencement address.

GA-PCOM GA-PCOM awarded 81 doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, 37 master’s degrees in biomedical sciences and 6 master’s degrees in organizational development and leadership (ODL) on Sunday, May 19. This was the sixth graduating class of biomedical sciences students, the fifth graduating class of doctors of osteopathic medicine and the first graduating class of ODL students for the College.
The inaugural class

The inaugural class of the organizational development and leadership program was graduated on May 19. The six students, all professionals in their field, spent two years in the intergenerational program in which they learned how people become instruments of change.

Pictured, from left: Jeff Branch, EdD,  Program Director, Jess Villegas, Gayle Hayes, Triba Gary-Davis, Gregory Davis, Kimberly Hicks, Ryan Taylor and Beth Levine, Assitant Program Director.

Serennah Harding Among those graduating from the doctor of osteopathic medicine program was 22 year-old Serennah Harding who also will be pinning on the rank of lieutenant in the Navy. Dr. Harding is one of the youngest physicians in U.S. history. She will pursue her residency in internal medicine at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
122nd commencement ceremony PCOM students prepare to process during the College’s 122nd commencement ceremony on June 2 at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

Among the 266 graduates, five members of the graduating class earned a dual DO/MBA degree through an affiliation with St. Joseph’s University, three completed a fellowship in osteopathic manipulative medicine at PCOM, one student received a DO/MPH degree in conjunction with Temple University and another student earned a clinical master of science from PCOM.

Norman E. Vinn, DO, president-elect of the American Osteopathic Association presented the keynote address.

John Dahdah Among the PCOM DO graduates was third-generation PCOM physician John Dahdah from Pottstown, PA.  Dr. Dahdah follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, William R. Henwood, DO, class of 1976 and his mother, Carol L. Henwood, DO, class of 1983. In addition, Dr. Dahdah’s Uncle, Jon R. Henwood, class of 1990, and his aunt, Maria J. Henwood, class of 1997, are proud PCOM alumni.

 The Dahdah-Henwood family is not unique; PCOM has a history of graduating multiple generations of the same family and has educated seven members of the same family more than once.

PCOM has chosen Lisa M. McBride, PhD, to be the College’s first chief diversity officer. “I’m very excited to join PCOM, especially in this inaugural position,” says Dr. McBride. “My role is to guide efforts to conceptualize, define, assess, nurture, and cultivate diversity as an institutional and educational resource.”
Dr. McBride comes to PCOM from California University of Pennsylvania where she served as special assistant to the president for equity and diversity as well as the university ombudsperson.  She earned her doctor of philosophy in conflict analysis and resolution from Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and her master of science and bachelor of science degrees in criminology from Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Among her many accomplishments, Dr. McBride points to two research projects as being among her proudest achievements. In one, she was awarded a $10,000 grant from the American Association of University Women for her project “Breaking through Barriers for Women and Girls in STEM Areas,” which addressed how to prepare girls in middle school for  careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. She also refers to “CAL U Men United” a mentoring group designed to aid young men of color to face unique challenges as they pursue academic, career and social success, which was funded by a grant from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. As a result of implementing this initiative and similar programs for women of color, California University of Pennsylvania saw graduation rates for African-American students increase 33 percentage points.

“Although as the chief diversity officer I will be providing and coordinating leadership for diversity issues institution-wide, no one person or department can infuse diversity throughout the college without input from the entire campus community,” notes Dr. McBride. “I will create a diversity council that will include members of the College administration, faculty and staff members; students who represent various student groups; and members of the community with interest in diversity in higher education.  I’m looking forward to making PCOM a national model for diversity in graduate institutions across the country.”

Donut Run PCOM's First Annual DOnut run to support Camp No Worries, a summer day camp for kids with cancer and their siblings, pitted runners against donuts. Participants ran a mile on a quarter-mile track stopping between each of the four laps to eat a donut as quickly as possible. Runners in the "skinny" race paired up with a designated donut eater. There were even gluten-free donuts available. Watch the fun.

The run raised over $2,000 --  enough to send two children to Camp No Worries, which is free to families.

Garrett Kirkpatrick (DO '14),
Duyen Mai (DO '15), president, PCOM student chapter, PHR;
Steve Vanni (DO '15), treasurer, PCOM student chapter, PHR;
Danielle Lucchesi (DO '15), secretary, PCOM student chapter,
PHR, as they supported the Philabundance Paper Plate Advocacy Project.
Dr. Jeck When a study was released by the New England Journal of Medicine on the risks of oral contraceptives, local NBC affiliate, Channel 10, came to campus to hear what Saul Jeck, DO, professor and chair, OB/GYN had to say. To hear the whole story, click here.
Last Updated: 1/20/15