End-of-Year Awards honor commitment to educational excellence

Date: Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The End-of-Year Awards are presented at the close of each academic year in an effort to recognize the talents and commitments of students, residents, faculty, and staff towards furthering the education of those at the Carver College of Medicine. This year's awards were presented by third-year medical student Alex Marti.

Darren Hoffman

M1/PA1 Teacher of the Year: Darren Hoffman, PhD 

"Dr. Hoffmann's multifaceted approach to teaching fosters a supportive learning environment that enhances our educational journey. Through his guidance and encouragement, he made a profound impact on many students."

Kyle Kato

M1/PA1 Tutor of the Year: Kyle Kato 

"Kyle went above and beyond with the quality of weekly lecture reviews by delving deeper into concepts, ensuring a comprehensive understanding among students. He truly shines in his ability to explain complex concepts with clarity and insight." 

Theresa Ho

M2/PA2 Teacher of the Year: Theresa Ho, PhD 

"Dr. Ho always brought energy to MOHD IV and enticed us to participate in lecture (with crocheted microbes) and stay on top of our studies by asking us active recall questions. I really appreciated the time and energy she took to do this for us."

Antonio Sanchez

M3 Milleman Faculty of the Year: Antonio Sanchez, MD 

“Dr. Sanchez was so kind and encouraging and made me feel like a valuable member of the team. His passion for his work left me feeling like hepatology was the coolest specialty I had ever encountered.”

Caroline Brown
Madeline Fitzhugh

M2/PA2 Tutors of the Year: Caroline Brown and Madeline Fitzhugh 

"Maddie and Caroline carried me and many of my classmates through all of fall semester last year. They challenged us while also bringing a comfortable environment in which I felt empowered to ask questions no matter how basic they were." 

Jacklyn Engelbart

M3 Milleman Resident of the Year: Jacklyn Engelbart, MD

"She educates her patients in a way that they are able to understand and answers all questions. She is encouraging, empathetic, and always providing tips to students on how to improve performance."

Dana van der Heide

M4 Resident of the Year: Dana van der Heide, MD, PhD 

“Dr. van der Heide held me to high expectations but was always gracious in providing me with the feedback needed to improve my clinical skills. She demonstrated impressive leadership as a chief and made sure to make me feel like a valued part of the team.”

Dionne Skeete

M4 Faculty of the Year (Iowa City): Dionne Skeete, MD 

“When rounding, Dr. Skeete asked thought-provoking questions and provided feedback to our patient presentations and plans while still being receptive to our suggestions and thoughts. She is greatly admired by patients and all staff members."

Mikayla Welch

Milleman Resident of the Year (Des Moines): Mikayla Welch, DO 

“Dr. Welch was very kind, approachable, and positive. She allowed me to do many things on my own, providing assistance as needed. She is an incredible resident and person, and I hope to be as good of a resident as her someday.”

Peter Tonui

Faculty of the Year (Des Moines): Peter Tonui, MD 

"Dr. Tonui has a real joy and energy that he applies to patient care and gave us great advice on how to deal with the emotional burden of how to deal with patients who are very sick. Truly an exemplary physician and a fantastic teacher.”

James Ray

Ben Pardini Interdisciplinary Teaching Award: James Ray, PharmD, CPE 

"During my four-weeks of palliative care, I found myself gravitating towards Dr. Ray's teaching sessions with the pharmacy students. His knowledge base is impressive and his ability to answer any question about the therapies we were using was outstanding.” 

Billie Ruden

Outstanding Staff Contribution to the Student Body Award: Billie Ruden, MAed, MME 

“Billie voluntarily took time to review our personal statements, our program list, and rank lists. She gave her personal advice while also encouraging our thoughts about our personal goals. I feel so grateful to have had her wisdom and support.”

Kara Rueschenberg

Student Organization of the Year: Family Medicine Interest Group 
Kara Rueschenberg, president 

“The group helped solidify my decision to pursue family medicine and has encouraged many of my peers to do the same. Students pursuing other specialties have also reported benefiting from FMIG’s events and procedure clinics.”

Benjamin Linden

Student Organization Leader of the Year: Benjamin Linden 

“Ben led student government with passion and drive. He resolves problems with proper leadership and leads by example. He is always looking for ways in which he can serve his role as student body president better."

Sarah Costello

Outstanding Individual Service Award: Sarah Costello 

“Sarah has been a student member of the Iowa Medical Society and American Medical Association and has spoken with legislators multiple times about bills impacting health care. She shows clear dedication to improving access in the state of Iowa.”