In a year of firsts, RVU-SU expanded its program offerings with the matriculation of its inaugural Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences (MSBS) Class of 2021. “[It] has been a dream to provide a [MSBS] degree to not only Coloradoans but Utahans, as well,” said Francina Towne, PhD, MSBS Program Director, during the University’s Induction Ceremony. At the ceremony, both campuses heard from keynote speaker, Dwight Hertz, MD, Professor of Pathology, who offered the students three pearls of wisdom: “Don’t jump to conclusions;” “Make sure your communication is clear;” and “There is room for humor in medicine.”
Students were also addressed by several guest speakers including Clinton E. Adams, DO, FACHE, President of RVU; David J. Park, DO, FAAFP, Campus Dean of RVU-SU; and alums Morgen Weatherly, OMS I, MSBS ‘20, and Talon Harris, OMS II, MSBS ’19. For SD Harris, the MSBS Program not only “[helped] me establish a strong foundation for [medical] school, but it also provided me ample opportunities to learn that I was capable of reaching my dream. It is my hope that you hit the ground running and are excited for your journey ahead!”
At the end of the ceremony, the new students received their white coats, a symbol of the healthcare profession. “Your white coats today will be part of your journey and growth into becoming an informed, professional, and compassionate agent of healthcare-related change,” said Benjamin Brooks, PhD, Assistant MSBS Program Director for RVU-SU. “When you learn, when you help, when you serve, this white coat that you put on today affirms your commitment to being a future professional, with all it brings, and all it requires.”
Prior to the Induction Ceremony, students participated in a virtual Orientation Week. Though lacking some of the more hands-on activities of years’ past, faculty and staff from both campuses created an experience that ultimately achieved its goal: introducing the new students to RVU and to each other in a more fun and relaxed setting. A Scavenger Hunt also featured searches of the anatomy website, faculty directory, and policies, as well as trick questions like Christian Clodfelder’s, OMS II, favorite microorganism (you’ll have to ask him to find out). When asked to look for something that was alive in their room, the MSBS students shared the following findings: “Me,” “I have a dog” (which of course prompted comments of adoration), “My tea is alive…,” and “I have a plant that’s dead” (which might not count).