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Annual awards gala celebrates medical education and recognizes outstanding educators and residents

Kirk MillerStudents and faculty from the University of Kansas School of Medicine joined together at A Grande Affair to celebrate the milestones in medical education from the past year and to recognize the Student Volice Award recipients. The annual awards gala, presented by the Medical Student Assembly and the Office of Student Affairs, was Jan. 20 in the Grand Ballroom of the Kansas City Convention Center.

A Grande Affair shines a spotlight on the outstanding mentoring and teaching in the School of Medicine, and the evening is highlighted by the presentation of the three top faculty honors: the Rainbow Award; the Sunflower Part-Time Faculty Award; and the Ad Astra Outstanding Volunteer Physician Award.

The student body of the School of Medicine, under the direction of the Medical Student Assembly Student Voice Committee, determines the award winners based on submitted nominations and voting. Additional Student Voice Awards are presented for excellence in teaching and mentoring.

A Grande Affair program

Rainbow Award
Kirk Miller, D.O., assistant professor in the KU Department of Radiology, received the Rainbow Award, which is the highest honor presented at the event. The award recognizes the faculty member's commitment to excellence, accountability, integrity, altruism and patient-first service, which are characteristics they hope to impart on the students they mentor. Miller earned his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine in 2002 from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and completed his diagnostic radiology residency in 2007 at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

"Receiving the Rainbow Award has been one of the greatest moments of my career, and I feel honored to have been recognized with a group of such distinguished and caring physicians," Miller said. "I am truly blessed to participate in the important task of shaping the minds of future generations of physicians. It is challenging but very rewarding.

"I would like to thank the Department of Radiology and the School of Medicine for providing me the opportunity and support to be a successful educator. I would like to also thank my students for being so much fun to teach."

Other nominees for the honor included: Cassie Scripter, M.D., Department of Family and Community Medicine, School of Medicine-Wichita; Samuel Akidivia, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine-Wichita; David Becker, Department of Internal Medicine, KU Medical Center; and Margaret Smith, M.D., Department of Family Medicine, KU Medical Center.

Sunflower Part-Time Faculty Award
Michael Waxman, M.D., education associate professor in the KU Department of Family Medicine, received the Sunflower Part-Time Faculty Award, which recognizes a part-time faculty member. The award was created to honor outstanding part-time faculty.

Ad Astra Outstanding Volunteer Physician Award
Mark Holcomb, M.D., clinical instructor in the Department of Pediatrics in Pittsburg, Kansas, was honored with the Ad Astra Outstanding Volunteer Physician Award. Through the years, volunteer physicians throughout Kansas have welcomed medical students into their communities serving as preceptors for the students' clinical experiences. Holcomb is a student precepotor and also serves as one of KU's volunteer physicians in the summer at Philmont Boy Scout Ranch in New Mexico.

Excellence in Residency Award
Roxanne Stiles, M.D., Department of Surgery in the KU School of Medicine-Wichita, garnered the Excellence in Residency Award, which honors a resident who is an exceptional student mentor, displaying altruism, accountability, excellence and integrity along with service and respect for others.Also of note: Thomas Yankee, Ph.D., Pharm.D., was honored posthumously with a Student Voice Award. Yankee died in June 2017 following surgery to treat cancer.

Last modified: Jan 25, 2019