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Planning for the HS Graduation Celebration is in full swing! The 2020 Graduation Celebration will take place on Saturday, May 16th at Lisner Auditorium. Faculty and staff should plan to arrive by 2:30 p.m. for the 4 p.m. event. Following the ceremony, we’ll host a reception in the Marvin Center’s Continental Ballroom. Additional details related to HS graduation events will be forthcoming. In addition to the HS celebration, there are department and program events occurring the week of May 11:

  • Physical Therapy Program Awards Ceremony – Friday, May 15. Reception from 12 to 1 p.m. in the Marvin Center Great Hall; Awards Ceremony from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Dorothy Betts Theater. Point of contact: Marsha White (
  • Physician Assistant Program White Coat Ceremony – Friday, May 15. Ceremony from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Dorothy Betts Theater; Reception at 6:30 p.m. in the Marvin Center Great Hall. Point of contact: Allison Hardy (
  • Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science (BLS) Awards and Reception – Friday, May 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Marvin Center, Room 309. Point of contact: Emma Levine (
  • Department of Clinical Research and Leadership Awards and Reception – Saturday, May 16 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Location TBD. Point of contact: Ernestine Yarborough (
  • GW Commencement Ceremony – Sunday, May 17 at 10 a.m. on the National Mall.

Any comments or questions about the HS Graduation Celebration should be directed to Nick Atlas or Patrick Corr at

The Office of Integrative Medicine and Health is excited to welcome biogerontologist Valter Longo, PhD, author of The Longevity Diet, as a guest speaker at the 3rd Annual Patrick and Marguerite Sung Symposium: Wellness and Longevity. The event takes place Friday, April 24 from 1 to 5 p.m. in Ross Hall Room 117. Other speakers include: Joel Dudley, executive vice president of Precision Health, Mount Sinai Health System; Kaylan Baban, chief wellness officer, GW Medical Enterprise; and Nick Patel, founder and president, Wellable. Use the promo code SUNG2020 for free registration.

That’s the topic on tap for the next event in the GW Biomedical Cross-disciplinary Seminar Series: Connecting Academic Research & Inquiry Across Disciplines. Sana Syed, MD, MS, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, will discuss bioinformatics and inflammation on Thursday, Feb. 27 from 12 to 1 p.m. in Ross Hall 117. The annual seminar series explores a new cross-disciplinary topic each year. The goal is to promote networking and collaboration on translational health among researchers, health care providers, and policy makers from different disciplines to shift the paradigm—from seeking a cure to developing a strategy of prevention. Registration required for lunch purposes.

HS has won two bronze awards in the 2020 District II Accolades Awards competition sponsored by CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education). The honors in the Marketing and Communications category recognize materials created for the Governor’s Health Sciences Academy – an award for “Individual Special Public Relations Projects” was for the ribbon-cutting event at T.C. Williams High School in 2018, while the “Institutional Marketing Identity/Branding Programs” award recognizes the Academy logo design and its use in materials. The awards acknowledge the collaborative work of Teri Capshaw, Linda Zanin (both of HS), Dominic Abbate and Josh Schimmerling (GW Marketing & Creative Services), and Sherri Chapman and Helen Lloyd of the Alexandria City Public Schools.

A university High-Quality Undergraduate Education Strategic Planning Committee is generating recommendations for a five-year strategic plan with measurable outcomes to attract and retain high quality-students and to guide what educational opportunities should be available to students. In remarks at a recent SMHS Faculty AssemblyPresident Thomas LeBlanc added his call that GW increase the percentage of GW undergraduates pursuing STEM majors. LeBlanc also challenged SMHS faculty to lead efforts in shaping new undergraduate pathways in pre-medicine and health professions at GW, which are prevalent among top research universities. To that end, an interdisciplinary faculty committee within HS met extensively and designed a proposal for a residential BSHS with an emphasis on preparing students for numerous graduate programs and careers in health care. This proposal has been reviewed with the university provost, SMHS leaders, and the architects of the MD program curriculum. We have also offered our colleagues in the School of Nursing the opportunity to explore collaborative undergraduate pathways. Next steps include integrating curricular enrichments and new elective options to ensure that the proposal meets the needs of a pre-medicine population. Then, the goal is to present the revised proposal to the university’s new provost, M. Brian Blake, who joined GW this month. HS is already leading outstanding undergraduate programs across several disciplines, and this proposal would grow our capacity through a proposed residential option, support regional pipeline efforts, foster excellent candidates for SMHS graduate programs in the health professions, and prepare graduates with a strong foundation in teamwork and health equity principles. Further, a distinctive residential BSHS program that blends science and health sciences education could help GW achieve its goal to increase STEM majors and produce graduates that are highly competitive for numerous careers in the ever-expanding health care market. Dean Barbara Bass was briefed on the proposal in September and looks forward to supporting our efforts to shape a cutting-edge curriculum and new options for distinctive, high-quality undergraduate education within SMHS.

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute at Children’s National is sponsoring a one-day workshop, “Using Controlled Terminologies in Health Data Analysis,” on Tuesday, Dec. 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Gelman Library Room 101. Seyed Miran, Stuart Nelson, and Yijun Shao of the Biomedical Informatics Center (BIC) are leading the workshop. They will review the major terminologies used in health sciences and provide an opportunity to work through common problems that arise in data analysis. ICSs, CPT, SNOMED-CT, LOINC, RxNorm, and MeSH will be reviewed. Clinicians, researchers, and graduate students are welcome. Lunch will be provided. Register here. For more information, contact

GW was named Distinguished Academic Partner for 2019 by NOVA Foundation for our Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP). Reamer Bushardt, professor and senior associate dean, accepted the award from Russ Ramsey, former chair of the GW Board of Trustees, at a dinner and awards ceremony Nov. 13 in Falls Church, Virginia. The honor recognized GW Health Sciences for its leadership in health professions education, commitment to living its social mission, and partnerships across the Commonwealth to advance statewide health workforce priorities. Attendees included leaders from across Virginia business, higher education, and government sectors, such as Virginia Gov. Ralph S. Northam and Senate Minority Leader Richard L. Saslaw in the Virginia House of Delegates. During the event, Anne M. Kress was also honored as the incoming president of Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC). The strong collaboration between GW and NVCC was lauded as an exemplar of public-private partnerships that make a positive difference for students in Virginia. HCOP, supported through a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), provides an array of stipends, scholarships, mentoring, and career counseling to students from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds who are interested in health careers. Besides Bushardt, who is the principal investigator on the HRSA grant, the HCOP team includes others from HS: Marcia Firmani, Catherine Golden, Blake Harrison, Joyce Maring, Carmen Session, Maranda Ward, and Maggie Zhu. Co-investigators also include Alison Hall (SMHS Research Workforce Development)GSEHD faculty Russ Korte, and Ellen Scully. Firmani is with the Department of Biomedical Laboratory Sciences (BLS); Golden, Harrison, Session, and Zhu are all with HS Administration; Maring is with the Department of HealthHuman Function and Rehabilitation Sciences (HHFR); and Ward is with the Department of Clinical Research and Leadership (CRL).

This year marked the fifth year that the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program participated in PT Day of Service and the third year for helping with the Days for Girls project. Ninety people, including PT students and alumni from GW and Howard University and faculty and friends of the programs, took part in the event. The volunteers' work helped create 50 sustainable feminine hygiene kits, which will aid girls in South Sudan so they can remain in school during their monthly menstrual cycle. Special thanks to Holly Jonely, assistant professor in the Department of Health, Human Function and Rehabilitation Sciences (HHFR) and associate director of the DPT program, who helped organize the event. 

The next event in the professional development series on health equity takes place Thursday, Nov. 14 from 10 to 11 am in Ross Hall 116. “How to Address Root Causes of Health Disparities in Teaching & Research” will be presented by Karey M. Sutton, PhD, director of Health Equity Research Workforce with the Association of American Medical Colleges. The session will address how to move beyond the traditional disease-focused approach to health disparities teaching and research to include an analysis of populations and interactions among cross-cutting inequities. Maranda Ward, assistant professor in CRL, has organized the five-part series that runs through January 2020. CRL is sponsoring the series. To attend, register here.

The VSTC Health Professions Film Series is featuring two screenings of Prison Terminal, a documentary about the aging prison population and a hospice run by inmates at Iowa State Penitentiary. The film's director, Edgar Barens, will lead a discussion following the showings that take place Wednesday, Nov. 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm in Ross Hall 101 and Thursday, Nov. 14 from 4 pm to 6 pm on the GW Virginia Science and Technology Campus, Innovation Hall 105. WebEx will be available for both screenings. Please RSVPLisa Schwartz, associate professor with BLS, and Newton Kendig, clinical professor of medicine and director of the Correctional Health Administration Program in CRL, organized the event, which is open to all faculty, staff, students, and alumni of SMHS.

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