WVPA Sharing

Spring Awards Ceremony provides more than $102K to WVSOM students

LEWISBURG, W.Va. – Each year, the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) recognizes medical students for their achievements in academics and the community during the school’s annual Spring Awards Ceremony.

The event took place March 7 and recipients received a total of $102,300 through 29 scholarships, awards and certificates of appreciation.

WVSOM President James W. Nemitz, Ph.D., said generous contributions made by donors are invaluable in lessening the financial debts of medical students.

“We appreciate the continued support of our benefactors. I also want to acknowledge the work of the WVSOM Foundation and WVSOM Alumni Association for raising the funds for many of these awards and the special contribution made by the foundation to supplement some of the awards,” he said.  

This was the inaugural year for the Weisser Scholarship Fund, which was established by Lydia Weisser, D.O., of WVSOM’s Class of 1992. The scholarship is awarded to a student who took a nontraditional path to medical school or who left a previous career to attend medical school.

Jacqueline Shoemaker, a WVSOM second-year student, was the first recipient of the Weisser Scholarship Fund. She said she was honored to be selected and appreciates that there is a scholarship dedicated to nontraditional medical students.

Jacqueline Shoemaker, a WVSOM second-year student, was the first recipient of the Weisser Scholarship Fund. She said she was honored to be selected and appreciates that there is a scholarship dedicated to nontraditional medical students. Christopher Wood, D.O., vice chair WVSOM Clinical Sciences, presented the awards.

“It’s exciting for people to realize that nontraditional students exist and somebody who is a parent, a spouse or somebody who has had a prior career can come to school and pursue a second degree,” she said. “It’s remarkable to have support from the school while dealing with the fear that comes with quitting your job and leaving your past behind to start this new chapter. The ripple effect this will have will certainly be lasting. You can’t put a price tag on something like that.”

Donette Mizia, WVSOM’s executive director of foundation relations, said nearly every year a new scholarship is presented during the Spring Awards Ceremony — a testament to the generosity of alumni, businesses and organizations.

“WVSOM has always had a strong base of alumni who understand the importance of giving back. Many have done so in the form of scholarship endowments,” she said. “This year we have more than 20 scholarships awarded through the foundation. This number will grow in years to come as additional endowments are being created annually. The foundation is grateful for our donors, and we congratulate the students who benefit from their generosity.”

The WVSOM Foundation is a supporting organization of WVSOM whose goal is to serve the school and its students by securing, managing and allocating the financial contributions of businesses and individuals. Along with the WVSOM Alumni Association, the foundation is the main entity responsible for philanthropic efforts at WVSOM. Those who become financial supporters are investing in students and ultimately in improved health outcomes for rural communities.

Derek Baran won the Dr. Roland P. Sharp President and Foundation Award of Excellence for Student Achievement. The award was presented by WVSOM President James W. Nemitz.

While the Spring Awards Ceremony focuses on first-, second- and third-year students, additional awards and funds are provided to fourth-year students at WVSOM’s annual Graduation Awards Ceremony in May.

2024 Spring Awards Ceremony recipients were:

  • Dr. Roland P. Sharp President and Foundation Award of Excellence for Student Achievement — Derek Baran
  • U.S. Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Award — Cameron Mitchell
  • WVSOM Alumni Association Scholarship — Ethaniel Galloway, Brantley Hyre and Daniel Proctor
  • West Virginia Emulation Endowment Trust/Dr. Olen E. Jones Jr. Scholarship — Caleb Duncan
  • WVSOM Foundation Scholars — Seth Jude and Barbara Pridemore from the Class of 2027 and Carrie Proctor and Daniel Proctor from the Class of 2026
  • Legacy Scholarship Endowment — Charles Hawley
  • Jarrell Family Scholarship — Kathryn Peelish
  • Weisser Scholarship Fund — Jacqueline Shoemaker
  • Loretta Moore Memorial Scholarship Fund — Makenzie Casto
  • Anna Marie Counts Memorial Scholarship — Carrie Proctor
  • Fredric W. Smith Memorial Family Practice Scholarship — Carrie Proctor
  • Samantha Ketchem Muncy Primary Care Memorial Scholarship — Caroline Ferrell
  • Dr. William B. Mullen and Jennifer White Scholarship — Seth Jude, Barbara Pridemore and Gatlin Spangler
  • Ron Billips Memorial Scholarship Fund — Caitlyn Huntley
  • Greenbrier Military School Alumni Association Scholarship — Averee Pack and Adarsh Vallurupalli
  • West Virginia State Medical Association Alliance Scholarship Fund — Ronald Everhart
  • Drs. Cheryl and Michael Adelman WVSOM Leadership Scholarship — Apongnwu Tete
  • Paul G. Kleman, D.O., Family Practice Student Award — Barbara Pridemore
  • MOSS Scholarships — Derek Baran, Maggie Bartony, Colin Bashline, Codi Elliott, Autumn Horner, David Horvath, Anika Iyer, Suren Jeevaratnam, Peyton Kiser, Barry Ndeh, Charles Ononaku, Lindsey Shughart, Allison Voce and Caitlin Zovack
  • James R. Stookey, D.O., Manipulative Medicine Scholarship — Samuel Fuller
  • Marlene A. Wager 10-Fingered OPP Scholarship — Dalton McCown
  • WVSOM Family Practice Scholarship — Carrie Proctor 
  • WVSOM Diversity Task Force – Eva Teter Hammer Award — Gray Caldwell
  • Student Government Association Student Leadership Scholarship — Derek Baran from the Class of 2027, Emily Huffman from the Class of 2026 and Danielle Reynolds from the Class of 2025
  • Student Government Association Student Collegiality Scholarship — Kristina Ekkel and Anika Iyer from the Class of 2027; Mike Farry and Anas Huggi from the Class of 2026; and Caleb Duncan and Sarah Socrates from the Class of 2025
  • Fredric W. Smith Community Service Award — WVSOM chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association
  • Special Award Presentation — Student Government Association President Ethaniel Galloway and Vice President Deekshitha Tella
  • Osteopathic Principles and Practice (OPP) Integration Teaching Award — Irene Smail, Ph.D. (biomedical sciences), Christopher Kennedy, D.O. (clinical sciences) and Elizabeth Clark, D.O. (adjunct clinical sciences preceptor)
  • Student Government Association Appreciation Recognition — WVSOM Alumni Association and WVSOM Foundation