School of Medicine awards degrees, graduate certificates to 14 students

Ronnie Blackburn (left) and Matthew McLaughlin, M.D. ’09 (right), pictured with Lakshmi Venkitachalam, Ph.D., assistant professor, biomedical and health informatics, received their master of science in bioinformatics degrees from the School of Medicine during UMKC’s mid-year commencement ceremony on Dec. 19 at Swinney Recreation Center.

Five students recently received their medical degrees and nine received advanced degrees or graduate certificates from the School of Medicine.

December graduates who received their Doctorate of Medicine are Adam Ali, Morgan Eidson, John McElveen Jr., Shahar Safavi and Brian Weber.

Receiving a Master of Science in Bioinformatics were Ronnie Blackburn, Matthew McLaughlin, M.D., who also received his medical degree from UMKC in 2009; and Ajay Singh Sekhon. Students who received the Master of Health Professions Education were Ross Newman, Lynsi Rhorst, Nasser Hamed Nasser Al Yahee and Salim Al Bartamani. Sekhon, Newman and Rahorst each graduated in August.

Two students received graduate certificates. Sreedeepthi Bommireddipalli received a graduate certificate in clinical research. Karina Carlson received a graduate certificate in health professions education.

McLaughlin also received special recognition as a Vice Chancellor’s Honor Recipient. He earned his master’s degree while a full-time pediatrics fellow in rehabilitation medicine  at Children’s Mercy. After completing his master’s work in data retrieval, McLaughlin continued to explore the material to prepare an analyses for a community health assessment for Jackson County. He presented his finding at the Midwest Bioinformatics Conference at UMKC. He has also served as a volunteer in physical medicine and rehabilitation in Ecuador, and is a ski instructor for people with disabilities.

Blackburn and McLaughlin took part in the university’s mid-year commencement ceremony on Dec. 19 at Swinney Recreation Center. The School of Medicine’s spring commencement ceremony is set for May 23 at the Municipal Auditorium Music Hall.