The Daily herald reports that Saba University School of Medicine (SUSOM) held a ceremony on campus Thursday evening, recognising the 2013 summer class of students who completed their Basic Sciences studies. The welcoming and opening remarks were done by Assistant Dean Dheeraj Bansal who acknowledged not just the 60 students, but also their families and friends who travelled from across North America to attend the special ceremony. Bansal’s speech touched on the diverse cultural backgrounds of both faculty and students, the strong mentorship and friendship bonds built between them on the small island and the uniqueness of the place.
Students Melissa Moey and Brittany Wade gave a touching music recital. Fifth semester class representatives Hariprasath Mahaswaran and Kylene MacKillop recognised president of the Student Body Association Victoria Lebel for her hard work in organising and representing the association, as well as their parents and friends who supported them from afar in reaching this point. With fun class anecdotes the students recognised their faculty who challenged them to overcome their fears and give their best. The light humour continued with fun recollections about life on Saba.
Hyperbaric Programme Director Ritwik Baidya announced the Hyperbaric Masters Awards. Bansal announced the Dean’s Basic Sciences Award for the highest academic achievement in Basic Sciences for which the top competitors vied with separating academic scores at fractions of a point. Diana Trofimovitch ultimately received the student honour. Dean of Students Pranaya Mishra announced the Student Excellence Award for achievement and contribution to the community of Saba. Mishra mentioned with pride that one of the nominees, while esteemed for community work done humbly declined the nomination, an aspect that only highlighted the moral character of students formed on Saba. Kylene MacKillop won this student distinction. The essay topic gauged the ethics of having physicians trained through developed countries taxpayers’ money volunteer in developing countries. The topic reflected the dedication of this particular student group in organising health fairs on Saba, presenting their volunteer work around the world with Global Health Seminars and volunteering their time helping several communitybased organisations.
Faculty Dr. Ramona Dumitrescu invited the president of Honour and Service Society members to speak about the accomplishment of its 18 inductees, the largest student group accepted. This class has distinguished themselves as the most involved student group within the community through repeated fundraising events. Their efforts will be translated in donations to Saba Lions Club, Old Age Home and Saba Foundation for the Prevention of Cruelty for Animals. They have also volunteered their time in the educational programmes of Body, Mind and Spirit Foundation, family sport events, youth mentorship activities, as well as the Lions’ Club Food Bank programme.
The ceremony was followed by a student dinner with faculty, family and friends at Queen’s Garden Resort.