Congratulations, graduates of 2018!

convocation 2018

2018 OHSU Convocation and School of Medicine graduation capture pride, gratitude and accomplishment in one heartfelt day

June 5, 2018

Donn Spight, Michael TurnerThe OHSU School of Medicine Class of 2018 graduated Sunday, June 3, at the Oregon Convention Center amid bagpipes and choral music, cheers and tears, and with mentors – and babies – playing special roles at the M.D. and the Graduate Studies hooding ceremonies that followed the all-university OHSU Convocation.

The school conferred 494 degrees including 136 M.D. degrees; seven M.D./Ph.D. degrees; three M.D./M.P.H. degrees; 36 Ph.D. degrees; 170 master's degrees; 50 bachelor's degrees; 28 associate's degrees and 64 graduate certificates in such fields as health care management and biomedical informatics.

For the M.D. program, commencement marked the graduation of the first cohort to go through the new YOUR M.D. curriculum.

"You have learned to do some very hard things well," from delivering bad news to patients as part of the new curriculum to taking on health equity, said Dean Sharon Anderson, and added one hard thing they must still learn: "You must harness the incredible drive and passion that brought you to this moment of becoming a doctor. To truly succeed in taking care of others, you must also take care of yourself. Consider my words your hall pass."  

Read Dean Anderson's address

Personal stories added depth and emotion

Tracy Bumsted, M.D., M.P.H., associate dean for undergraduate medical education, OHSU School of Medicine, shared her pride in the class. Michael R. Powers, M.D. '85, R '88, R '91, professor of pediatrics, OHSU School of Medicine, and president of the School of Medicine Alumni Association; Peter Sullivan, M.D., associate professor of medicine, OHSU School of Medicine, and Alisha Moreland-Capuia, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, OHSU School of Medicine, who led the Oath of Geneva added depth, inspiration and personal stories. graduate with kids

A singular moment came when student speaker Peter Engdall, M.D. '18, channeled the intensity of relationships formed during medical school and the depth of gratitude felt on graduation day by thanking his classmates for their kindness when he and his wife lost their first baby during his time in medical school.

"You came to the aid of heartbroken couple and that, my friends, is true caregiving," the newly-minted Dr. Engdall said, voice husky with emotion.

Dr. Engdall tempered this moment of grief by sharing that he and his wife have since given birth to a second baby, a boy named Gus, who is doing well. And, in fact, babies and kids were a theme in the M.D. hooding ceremony; more than a half-dozen students shared their hooding moment with their children ranging in age from newborn to adolescent.

Honoring the role of mentorship

McBride - DufourThe Graduate Studies hooding ceremony showcased mentorship. Each Ph.D. student chose a mentor to perform their hooding, honoring this special relationship that is so central to aspiring scientists' success.

Brett Dufour, Ph.D. '18, chose his mentor Jodi McBride, Ph.D., assistant professor of behavioral neuroscience, OHSU School of Medicine, to do his hooding. They worked together more than seven years in Dr. McBride's lab at the Oregon National Primate Research Center investigating therapeutics for Huntington's disease.

"She has played a tremendous role in my professional development," said Dr. Dufour who defended in January and has gone on to a postdoctoral position at University of Washington. "We've had a really wonderful and productive relationship, publishing numerous papers and completing many experiments together. Sunday was a really wonderful day to celebrate all of our achievements together."

Speakers amplified the pride, encouragement and congratulations that defined the day, including Allison Fryer, Ph.D., associate dean for graduate studies, OHSU School of Medicine; Norah G. Verbout, Ph.D. '08, representing the School of Medicine Alumni Association; Faculty Speaker Niki Steckler, Ph.D., associate professor, Division of Management, OHSU School of Medicine, and Graduate Student Organization Officer Courtney B. Betts, Ph.D.

George Mejicano, M.D., senior associate dean for education, OHSU School of Medicine, delivered the Dean's Message.Dr. Mejicano

"I believe that what has transpired during your time with us is the unleashing of an unstoppable force," he said. "You have the fortitude, energy, passion, skill, know-how and dedication to see things through and wildly succeed in whatever you want to do in life."

The Graduate Studies ceremony ended with deans, faculty and newly-minted graduate degree-holders exiting the hall to the "Throne room and final credits" theme music from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

Pictured (top to bottom)

Donning the hood: Graduate Studies student Yuanye Lu (center) earned a Master of Biomedical Informatics, and receives her hood from faculty mentors Michelle Hribar, Ph.D. (left), and Shannon McWeeney, Ph.D (right), assistant professor and professor of medical informatics and clinical epidemiology, OHSU School of Medicine, respectively.

Mentors join in: Donn Spight, M.D., associate professor of surgery, OHSU School of Medicine, came to celebrate Michael Turner, M.D. '18. "It seems like it was just yesterday that I sat down with an eager second-year student over early morning pancakes to start the 'campaign' for surgery," Dr. Spight said. "It was an honor to be among the many dedicated OHSU faculty members that helped Michael get one step closer to fulfilling his dream. Five years from now, I hope to be in the audience to see the journey completed as Dr. Turner becomes my surgical colleague."

All in the family: Loren Black, M.D. '18, decided his four-year-old twins, Aaron and Eva Black, should join in his hooding. They came home from the hospital on the day he learned he got into medical school. “Without question,” he said, “the ceremony was recognition of a victory that involved many in our family.”

Milestone moment: In the School of Medicine Graduate Studies hooding ceremony, mentors hooded their Ph.D. students. "Brett was my first Ph.D. student and so this was a true milestone for the both of us," said Jodi McBride, Ph.D. (right), assistant professor of behavioral neuroscience, OHSU School of Medicine, who hooded Brett Dufour, Ph.D. '18, behavioral neuroscience.

Smiles and handshakes: Dr. Mejicano (right) congratulated Graduate Studies degree recipients, with Jackie Wirz, Ph.D. (left), assistant dean for graduate studies, OHSU School of Medicine.