Students honored for devoting time to “what will make us, as a whole, better”

The Student Service and Leadership Awards ceremony is held in the Olsen Center Thursday, May 12, 2022. (DMU Photo by Nicole Branstad)

On May 12, DMU recognized 152 students with its Service Award for a record-breaking year of service to our community. Before this year, the most students to receive the award in a year was 111 in 2019.

“Throughout my service experiences, I have had the opportunity to work with diverse populations and to gain a better appreciation for the health care team. These invaluable experiences have helped shape me into the care provider I had hoped to become,” said Amanda Stewart, who is finishing the first year of the physician assistant (PA) program.

The Des Moines University Student Service Award, in its fifth year, recognizes students from all programs who demonstrate efforts to improve lives in our global community through volunteerism. By enrolling in this recognition program, students commit to representing DMU with integrity and upholding its institutional values (accountability, collaboration, honesty, inclusiveness and wellness) while volunteering, reporting and reflecting on their experiences.

Once the students complete 50 hours of service, they complete a final reflection on their most meaningful volunteer experiences, activities and observations, resulting changes in their understanding of the community or themselves, possible ways they can continue their involvement with the group or social issue, any frustrations or challenges, and ways to enhance their experiences.

Students also were asked to draw from their volunteer experiences to write a letter to their future patients to explain how their service outside the classroom shaped them into the care provider and professional they hope to be. During the ceremony a student from each college read his or her letter aloud. Amanda represented the College of Health Sciences; Gwenyth Amborski, a podiatric medical student, represented the College of Podiatric Medicine and Science; and Tyler M. Johnson, a master of science in anatomy (M.S.A.) student, represented the College of Osteopathic Medicine. A theme of empathy emerged among the speeches, as the time these students spent in the community strengthened their ability to understand and share the feelings of another. 

“Being a physician is not only understanding the medical information to make the correct decisions, but it also requires compassion and understanding of the patients you are serving,” Tyler said. “I am going to continue to serve my community and build others up around me over the many years to come, as that is what will make us, as a whole, better.”

Gwenyth noted her volunteer experiences will help prepare her to care for diverse patients.

“As a podiatrist, I will be seeing patients from all walks of life, many with experiences completely different than my own,” she said. “Volunteering in the Des Moines community has given me insight into some of the experiences that my future patients are going through. This exposure will help me to develop the empathy that my future patients deserve in their care.”

Thanking students for being true leaders in the health care profession were Wallace Boeve, Ed.D., PA-C, dean of the College of Health Sciences; Steven J. Halm, D.O., FAAP, FACP, dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine; and Kevin Smith, D.P.M.’95, Ph.D., M.S., FACFAS, dean of the College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery. 

Listed below, along with their DMU program and graduation year, are the students who received the award:  
Mohamed AbdelGilil, D.P.M.’24  
Naeema Abdulrazak, M.S.A.’25
Shaelyn Adams, D.O.’24 
Mustafa Al Shawaf, M.S.A.’23
John Albert, D.P.M.’25    
Gwenyth Amborski, D.P.M.’24    
Ethan Anderson, D.O.’24  
Leah Anderton, D.O.’25 
Abigail Arky, D.O.’24  
Grace Austin, D.P.T.’22
Cole Bacig, D.O.’24  
Jodi Backalar, D.O.’24 
Emily Baer, M.S.A., D.O.’25
Salankara Bandyopadhyay, D.O.’24 
Kelly Bang, D.O.’25  
Katherine Baumann, D.O.’25  
Prithvi Bhagat, D.O.’25  
Dallan Blotter, D.O.’24  
Jill Broghammer, D.O.’24  
Matthew Brooke, M.S.A.’22   
Tory Bruch, D.O.’24  
Laura Campbell, D.O.’24  
Ashley Campbell, D.O.’25  
William Chadwick, D.O.’25  
Jesse Chan, D.O.’25  
Scott Chanthongthip, D.P.M.’24  
Lucille  Chechik, D.O.’24  
Roselyn Chiyezhan, D.O.’25 
Connor Christiansen, D.O.’23 
Royal Cole, D.O.’24  
Tori Coombe, D.O.’24  
Clarissa Dahm, D.O.’24  
Elaine Dandan, D.O.’24 
Brian Dankle, D.O.’25 
Kathryn Defoe, D.O.’25  
Kathryn Doerner, D.O.’24   
Jessica Draus, D.O.’24 
Gabrielle Duncan, D.O.’24 
Jared Eddy, D.P.M.’25
Alexandra Elder, D.O.’25 
Cortney Elkin, D.O.’24 
Fiona Fitzgerald, D.O.’24 
Morgan Forgette, D.O.’25  
Sarah Fowle, D.P.T.’23
Talem Franco, D.P.M.’25 
Connor Frawley, D.O.’25 
Vanessa Freedman, D.O.’25 
Priyanka Gadkari, D.O.’25  
Chelsea Garcia, D.O.’25  
Jacob Garner, D.O.’22
Amelia Gilliland, D.O.’23
Tom Givens, D.O.’24   
Kelsey Godier, D.O.’25 
Jessica Greisen, PA’23  
Gueorgui Gueorguiev, D.O.’24 
Katherine Hadsall, D.P.M.’25 
Syed Haidry, D.O.’25 
Jacob  Hamilton, D.O.’23 
Katherine Harbeck, D.O.’24   
Emiko Hasegawa, D.O.’25 
Aaron Hemsworth, D.O.’24  
Natalie Hirl, D.O.’25 
Talon Hoefer, M.S.A.’23  
Kyra Hoffman, D.P.T.’22
Lily Horst, D.O.’24 
Regan Hunt, D.O.’25  
Nathan Jackson, D.P.M.’25 
Maria Ji, D.O.’25  
Tyler Johnson, M.S.A.’22   
Chance Johnson, D.O.’25 
Tarana Joshi, D.O.’24  
Yochana Kancherla, D.O.’25  
Anisha Karim, D.O.’24 
Jonathan Kertich, D.O.’25   
Anushka Khanna, D.O.’25 
Sameen Khurshid, D.O.’24 
Maddie Kilby, D.O.’24 
Ryan Knapp, D.P.M.’24
Susan La, D.O.’24 
Halie Larsen, D.O.’25  
Jacob Larsen, D.P.M.’25  
Alexandra Laughlin, D.O.’24 
Julia Le, D.O.’25 
Crystal Lee, D.O.’24 
Heonseok Lee, D.O.’25 
Rebecca Lii, D.O.’24 
Dylan Livingston, D.O.’25  
Charles Love, D.O.’24 
Ryan Luong, D.O.’25  
Jimmy Luu, D.O.’24
Paige Maertz, D.O.’25  
Dante Mautino, D.O.’24
Kylie McAllister, D.O.’24 
Anna McKinley, D.O.’24 
Jonathan Mennecke, D.O.’25 
Kirk Metzger, D.P.M.’23  
Laurel Mouer, D.O.’24  
Ibrahim Mustaly, D.O.’24
Hollis Emily Neal, D.O.’25 
Phuoc Nguyen, D.O.’24 
Dustin Nguyen, D.O.’24  
Armani Oganyan, D.O.’25 
Jia Ern Ong, D.O.’25 
Ramya Palaniappan, D.O.’24 
Hannah Pathmaperuma, D.O.’23
Maria Pattschull, D.P.M.’25 
Jayne Phippen-Hunt, D.O.’25 
Michael Poplawski, D.O.’24   
Elsa Portillo, D.P.T.’23
Yogitha Posani, D.O.’24 
Coray Preece , D.O.’23 
Brandon Prunty, D.O.’24 
Elizabeth Pryor, D.O.’25  
Christy Ralston, PA’23   
Doris Rapp, D.O.’24   
Nicole Rizk, D.O.’24   
Andrew Root, D.O.’22  
Maria Camila Payan Rodriguez, D.O.’24 
Brenna Ryan, M.H.A., D.O.’24
Jordan Samuel, M.S.A.’23  
Mia Saunders, D.P.M.’25 
Morgan Schlee, D.O.’25 
Logan Schroeder, M.P.H., D.O.’24 
Matthew Seikel, D.O.’25 
Levi Smith, D.P.M.’23
Jiyoon Song, D.O.’24
Karley Spahn, D.O.’25
Amanda Stewart, PA’23  
Andrea Stone, M.S.A., D.O.’24 
Krystin Svobodny, PA’23
Rebecca Taylor, D.O.’25
Micah Thatcher, D.O.’24 
Samuel Thomas, D.O.’23  
Joanne Tu, D.O.’24 
Brooke Turek, D.O.’25
Joshua Turek, D.O.’25  
L. Faith Vandehaar, D.P.T.’22
Kalli Vandenheuvel, M.H.A.’22  
Nikhita Vemulapalli, D.O.’25
Nisha Venkateswaran, D.O.’25 
Taylor Vining, D.P.T.’23
Nitya Virippil, D.O.’24  
Elizabeth Waldorf, D.P.T.’24
Kyle Weiss, D.P.M.’25 
Rory Wieczorek-Flynn, D.O.’24 
Jacqueline Williams, D.P.M.’25   
Conner Willson, D.O.’24  
Natalie Wolfe, D.O.’24 
Matthew Wright, D.O.’25 
Ninelle Zargarian, D.O.’25 
William Zocher, D.O.’25            

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