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SIU Med School Welcomes Class of 2020

Published Date:

Seventy-seven medical students began their medical training last week at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Carbondale. The students participated in a "White Coat Ceremony" on Friday, August 12, in Shryock Auditorium.

During the ceremony, Debra Klamen, MD, MHPE, associate dean for education and curriculum and chair of the Department of Medical Education, welcomed the students and read the Hippocratic Oath.

Wesley McNeese, MD, associate dean for diversity and inclusion, presented the medical students. Elizabeth Cavanaugh, MD, an anesthesiologist in St. Louis and a member of the Class of 1998, gave the students their first white coat, which is provided by the School's Alumni Society. The students also received a pin containing the words "Compassion, Respect and Integrity" from the SIU Foundation.

Martha Hlafka, MD, assistant professor of internal medicine, gave the keynote speech. She received the School's 2015 Humanism in Medicine Award.

Most of the students are from the southern two-thirds of the state, says Erik J. Constance, MD, associate professor of internal medicine, associate dean for student affairs and admissions and a 1988 graduate. The class has 46 men and 31 women.

The White Coat Ceremony is designed to establish a "psychological contract for professionalism and empathy" in medicine and is held at most U.S. medical schools each fall.

Established in 1970, SIU School of Medicine is based in Springfield and Carbondale and focused on the health care needs of downstate Illinois. It educates physicians to practice in Illinois communities and has graduated more than 2,754 physicians since the first class in 1975. 

View more picture from the 2016 White Coat Ceremony on zenfolio

Note to media: High-resolution portraits of the students are available upon request. Please email Lauren Murphy,


Class of 2020 students, parents and hometowns:

Farris Abou-Hanna, son of Jeries and Khaula Abou-Hanna of Peoria
Jennifer Becker, daughter of Scott and Colleen Becker of Saint Jacob
Joshua Brandon, son of Michael and Mary Ann Brandon of Carrier Mills
Kyle Carver, son of Edward and Stephanie Carver of Champaign
Emily Chesser, daughter of Tom and Bette Chesser of Sherman
Alexander Christensen, son of Dana and Elizabeth Christensen of Dunlap
Peyton Crowe, daughter of Joseph Crowe and Cindy McFarland of Athens
Corey Culbreath, son of Brian and Dana Culbreath of Carterville
Aditya Dahal, son of Rajendra and Susmita Dahal of Moline
Omar Dawood, son of Dr. Mohammed and Tanwear Dawood of Forsyth
Jonathan Day, son of Richard Day and Jane Bechtold-Day of St. Elmo
Nicholas Decker, son of Richard and Christine Decker of Peru
Brendan Finnell, son of Roger and Julie Finnell of Springfield
Jordan Fischer, daughter of Jeffery and Tracy Fischer of Brimfield
Aaron Fleming, son of Steve and Jayme Fleming of Lovington
David Forgas, spouse of Stephanie Forgas and son of Tim Forgas and Mary Cutler of Springfield
Allison Frey, daughter of David and Nancee Frey of Bloomington
Zachary Gao, son of Zhenqiang and Zhiping Gao of Springfield
Logan Garthe of Highland, son of David Garthe of Ballwin, Mo., and Arthur and Rebecca Nowell of Lehi, Utah
Robert Gause-Wills, son of Therman and Brenda Wills of Lansing, Mich.
Kaitlin Gibson, daughter of David and Loretta Gibson of Bloomington
Srishti Goel, daughter of Rajeev and Priya Goel of Bloomington
Sheela Gogula, daughter of Ravi and Sarala Gogula of Champaign
Kyle Gollon, son of Jeff and Cheryl Gollon of East Moline
Lauren Grant, daughter of Tom and Wendy Grant of Edwardsville
Aaron Hancock, son of Barry and Jennifer Hancock of Marion
Hussain Hassan, son of Ali and Anisa Hassan of Joplin Mo.
Ben Hauter, son of Drs. Dru and Marcia Hauter of Kenney
Gary Hendricks, son of Kelly and Mary Hendricks of Mason
Tom Herrmann, son of Michael and Linda Herrmann of Belleville
Mackenzie Heywood, daughter of Brian and Shannon Heywood of Peoria
Jennifer Hill, daughter of John and Laura Hill of Urbana
Dorene Hinton, daughter of Ray and Doris Hinton of Country Club Hills
Collin Innis, son of Pam Innis of Springfield and the late Gary Innis
Evan Jenkins, son of Dwight and Julia Jenkins of East Peoria
Tatiana Kelley, daughter of Sinoda Kelley of San Leandro, Calif., and Tanya Hollins of Hayward, Calif.
Marissa Kircher, daughter of Myron and Kathryn Kircher of Oconee
Riley Kraus, daughter of Dennis Kraus of Chana and Tammy Stowe of Kennesaw, Ga.
Nick Lanzotti, son of Dr. Daniel and Lisa Lanzotti of Springfield
Katherine Lincoln, daughter of Craig and Diane Lincoln of Morris
Patrick Long, son of Jeffery and Diane Long of Herscher
Griffin Ludwig, son of Leo and Jennifer Ludwig of Springfield
Erica Maduakolam of Bloomfield, N.J., daughter of Leonard Maduakolam of Irvington, N.J.
Shelby Markel, daughter of Paul and Shelle Markel of Bunker Hill
Nathan Mesick, spouse of Breanna Smith and son of Rich Mesick and Sherri Wittig of Princeton
McKenna Murphy, daughter of Jim and Lori Murphy of Quincy
Ticara Onyewuenyi, spouse of Alvin Onyewuenyi of Sugarland, Texas, and daughter of Claudia Sykes of Fremont, Calif.
Susan Oo, daughter of Sonny and Saw Oo of Bourbonnais
Dolapo Oseni of Chicago
Neil Parker, son of David and Kim Parker of Springfield
Trevor Parr, son of Chuck and Susan Parr of Alton
Andrew Partain, son of Thomas and Donna Partain of Iuka
Joseph Pflederer, son of Ben and Jackie Pflederer of Morton
Varun Pilla, son of Venkata and Phaneendra Pilla of Crystal Lake
Thomas Pumo, son of Theodore and Deborah Pumo of Ottawa
James "Aaron" Rea, son of Jim and Valrey of Carterville
Paul Register, son of Mike and Lucinda Register of Salem
Catherine Richards, daughter of Robert Richards of Hannibal, Mo., and Rosanne Bonebrake of Quincy
Samuel Richey, son of Mark and Karen Richey of Granite City
Lacey Rokita, daughter of Mike and Rita Rokita of Quincy
Nick Schlarman, son of Tom and Michelle Schlarman of Smithton
Kelly Schmidt, daughter of Scott and Shelley Schmidt of Litchfield
Ryan Scribner, son of Tom and Carla Scribner of Decatur
Stephanie Short, daughter of Keith Short of Edwardsville and Cyndi Talley of Murphysboro
Warren Skoza, son of Tom and Jean Skoza of Champaign
Miranda Smith, daughter of Mark and Betsy Tittsworth of New Berlin
Jacob Standard, son of John and Grace Standard of Springfield
Christiana Stark, daughter of Timothy and Joan Stark of Urbana
Brody Stewart, spouse of Sarah Stewart of Galesburg and son of Gary and Suzanne Stewart of Dahinda
Brea Sturm, daughter of Ron Sturm and Tricia Malott-Sturm of Marquette Heights
Khandase Tate-Nero, spouse of Harold Nero of Grand Coteau, La., and daughter of Kimberly Reed of St. Louis
Mason Tippy, son of Dave and Kay Tippy of Pomona
Blake Vest, son of Drs. Bruce and Kathy Vest of Godfrey
Bradley Vost, son of James and Karen Vost of Springfield
Peter Wade, son of Tom Wade and Nancy Wade of Winchester
Daniel Wooldridge, son of Mark and Hope Wooldridge of Plainfield

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