University of Queensland Ochsner Clinical School Honors 2020 Graduates

Uq Ochsner Culmination 2020
L to R: Leonardo Seoane, chief academic officer at Ochsner Health; Ronald Amedee, dean of medical education and head of UQ Ochsner Clinical School; and U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, M.D. (keynote speaker)

NEW ORLEANS – The University of Queensland (UQ) Ochsner Clinical School honored its 2020 graduating class with a socially distant culmination ceremony on Friday, Nov. 20, on campus at Ochsner Medical Center New Orleans. The festivities were streamed live to family and friends of graduates.

The 103 graduating students successfully completed medical education through a unique four-year training, academic and clinical experience across two continents. Students completed two years of medical school curriculum in Brisbane, Australia at UQ, which is ranked 36th worldwide on the 2020 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Global Universities list. The final two years of clinical study were completed at the UQ Ochsner Clinical School in New Orleans.

“In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our communities need high-quality doctors now more than ever. We are confident our students are prepared to take the next step in their medical careers and look forward to seeing how they will shape the future health and wellbeing of our community,” said Leonardo Seoane, M.D., chief academic officer, Ochsner Health.

During the 2020 culmination ceremony several UQ Ochsner Clinical School faculty and residents were recognized with awards of excellence in clinical teaching. The following teachers were nominated for the Teacher of the Year Award – the highest individual award of excellence:

  • Bruce Cleland, M.D. – General Surgery
  • Dean Hickman, M.D. – Psychiatry
  • Suma Jain, M.D. – Pulmonology
  • Charles Leithead, M.D. – Vascular Surgery
  • Rocky Mollere, M.D. – Med/Peds
  • Ashley Newell, M.D. – Pediatric Intensive Care
  • Vu Vuong, M.D. – OB/GYN
  • Rajasekharan Warrier, M.D. – Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

The 2020 Teacher of the Year award – was bestowed upon Bruce Cleland, M.D. – General Surgery. A member of the Ochsner team since 1992, Dr. Cleland is board certified in surgery and holds a medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He completed both his surgical internship and surgery residency at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas. 

Resident teaching awards were awarded to the following physicians:

  • Diana Maslov, M.D. – Internal Medicine
  • Catherine Lule Rault, M.D. – OBGYN
  • William Shamus Rohn, M.D. – Psychiatry
  • Mary Van Wert, M.D. – Surgery
  • Mary Vetter, M.D. – Pediatrics

Recipients of Post Graduate Research Fellowship Awards included:

  • Diab Ali – A System-Wide Retrospective Cohort Analysis toward an Epidemiology of Persistent Post-Concussive Symptoms
  • Kennedy Carpenter – An Anatomical Model for Studying Cerebellar Tonsillar Herniation Related to Raised Intracranial Pressure
  • Colin Carroll – Single-Shot versus Continuous Regional Anesthesia for Treating Acute Postoperative Pain in Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery: A Prospective Randomized Control Trial
  • Donald Chang – Investigating Clinical Outcomes and Cost-Effectiveness of Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Generator Change in Patients with Recovered Left Ventricular Ejection
  • Nrusheel Kattar – Post-Operative Outcomes in OSA Patients after Sinonasal Surgery Compared to Oropharyngeal, Laryngeal, and Otologic Surgery
  • Akanksh Ramanand – Urinary Sediment Biomarkers for Diagnosis of Acute Tubular Necrosis
  • Katherine Robbins – Contribution of the Notch4-Wnt5a Axis to Melanoma Plasticity and Drug Resistance

The following students were recognized with individual awards:

  •       Diab Ali – Student Excellence Award for Psychiatry
  •       Colin Carroll – John Lockwood Ochsner Sr. Surgical Award
  •       Elise Le Cam – Internal Medicine-American College of Physicians Excellence Award
  •       Iman Malik – Dr. E. Edward Martin, Jr. Family Medicine Award
  •       Kali Stewart – Student Excellence Award for OB/GYN
  •       Caroline Vasco – Student Excellence Award for Pediatrics

For more information on the UQ Ochsner Clinical School, visit


Categories: Awards/Honors, Education, Healthcare, People On The Move