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Heritage College holds in-person awards event for 2022 grads

First Name
Lisa (she/her)
Last Name
May 6, 2022

For the first time in two years, the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine held its commencement awards ceremony in person. On Friday, May 6, the day before commencement, college leaders, faculty, staff, family and friends joined members of the Class of 2022 in celebration of their accomplishments.  

HCOM award ceremony

Isaac Kirstein, D.O., dean of Heritage College, Cleveland, spoke on the significance of the awards ceremony stating that, “this ceremony allows us the opportunity for recognition of individual achievements, to reconnect with classmates, faculty and administrators and to celebrate your accomplishments with your friends and family.” 

Athens campus Class of 2022 President Ziyue Wang and Cleveland campus Class of 2022 President Wendy Kuzmishin highlighted the challenges unique to their graduating class, including spending half their training in the midst of a pandemic. Kuzmishin said the graduates not only survived medical school but thrived.  

“In addition to completing our rigorous coursework and excelling in clinical spaces, our class has been able to conduct original published research, serve our local communities through meaningful service work and be leaders in osteopathic medicine both in and out of the clinic,” said Kuzmishin. 

The award winners recognized during the ceremony are as follows:  

Departmental Awards 

Biomedical Sciences Award 

Elizabeth Ann Jensen 


Family Practice Award 

Alanna Meadows 


Obstetrics and Gynecology Award 

Meghan Linz 


Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Award 

Nathan Katz 


Pediatrics Award 

Laura (Dannie) Roberts 


Social Medicine Award 

Ryan Vagedes 


Global Health Award 

Saron Checkole 


Specialty Medicine Award 

Jenna Marie Tabbaa 

Clinical Awards 

Adena Health System 

Tiffany D. Downs 


Central Ohio 

Matthew Allen Kochheiser 


Cleveland Clinic Akron General 

Molly Curtiss 


Cleveland Clinical Campus 

Marcus D. Lowe Jr. 



Simon Ferrato Moskowitz 


Fairfield Medical Center 

Brandon M. Snyder 


Firelands Regional Medical Center 

Nina Alexandra Grillis 


Holzer Health System 

Mary Kaitlin VanHooser 


Kettering Health 

Katherine Etter 


Lake Health 

Elizabeth Detwiler 


Memorial Health System 

Ana Aguilar 


Mercy Health St. Rita’s Medical Center 

William John Naber II 


Mercy Health St. Vincent Medical Center 

Bailey Slone White 


Ohio Health O’Bleness Hospital  

Jarret K. Vrabel 


Southern Ohio Medical Center 

Gabriel Howard 


Research Awards 

Outstanding Research Award 

Kyle McGrath 


Outstanding Research Award – Dual Degree 

Elizabeth Ann Jensen 

Dean’s Awards 

Athens Campus 

Sabrina Talbert 


Dublin Campus 

Edward Passen 


Cleveland Campus  

Gwendolyn Burden Kuzmishin 

Executive Dean’s Endowed Scholarships  

Logan O'Keefe

Marcus Lowe 

Edward Passen 

All-College Awards 

Student Doctor of the Year 

Sami Nandyal  


Diversity and Inclusion Advocate Award 

Alicia N. Rodgers 


Osteopathic Leadership and Service Award 

Andrew D. Williams 


Dr. Robbin Kirkland Award for Professionalism  

Nicole Siliko 


Osteopathic Heritage Award 

Tiffany D. Downs 


Donna Jones Moritsugu Memorial Award 

(Recognizes the spouse or partner of a graduating medical student for their support) 

Michelle E. Hayes, partner of Christopher Hayes, D.O. 

Primary Care Associates  

David Strawhun 

Emily Schaeffer 

Nathan Katz 

Chynna Smith 

Ryan Vagedes 

Sami Nandyal 

Alicia Rodgers  

Nicholas Racchi 

Sarah Gaston 

Tiffany Downs