Medical College of Wisconsin
Press Release

Two Medical College of Wisconsin Students Receive Honors for Leadership and Excellence from the Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation

Kieran McAvoy was named the 2018 Presidential Scholar of 2018, and Zachary Shaheen received the Houghton Award.

By - May 9th, 2018 01:13 pm
Kieran McAvoy (left). Photo courtesy of the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Kieran McAvoy (left). Photo courtesy of the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Milwaukee, May 9, 2018 – Each year, the Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation grants the prestigious Presidential Scholar and Houghton awards to a few medical students from around the state who show outstanding potential, skills, knowledge and desire to become future leaders of the profession. Two Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) students received these high honors at the Foundation’s annual fundraising dinner and silent auction in Madison last month: Kieran McAvoy was named the 2018 Presidential Scholar of 2018, and Zachary Shaheen received the Houghton Award.

For exemplifying the attributes, skills and desire to become a leader in the medical profession in Wisconsin, McAvoy received the Presidential Scholar award, which includes a $3,000 scholarship. She serves on the Government Relations Committee for the Wisconsin Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, helping advocate for the clinics that serve the state’s most vulnerable patients. She is also an active member of the Wisconsin Medical Society, having served as a student representative on the Board of Directors, and she was elected to represent 55,000 medical students as a member of the Governing Council of the American Medical Association’s Medical Student Section. Through these positions, she helps shape health policy at both the state and national levels. Her volunteer activities are numerous, including leading healthy living sessions for children attending the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee summer camp through the Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation’s Prescription for a Healthy You program.

Zachary Shaheen (left). Photo courtesy of the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Zachary Shaheen (left). Photo courtesy of the Medical College of Wisconsin.

“She [Kieran] is a shining example of an outstanding medical professional who goes above and beyond to serve her community, profession and the patients,” said Wisconsin Medical Society President Noel Deep, MD, in his letter of support for McAvoy’s application. “She exemplifies the picture of an ideal physician. I have high hopes for her that in the future she will turn out to be a wonderful, accomplished, compassionate and caring physician.”

The Houghton Award also recognizes medical students who show promise of becoming leaders in the field, but is specifically targeted toward those who excel in their knowledge of both the scientific and socioeconomic issues related to medicine. Shaheen was one of two medical students to receive this year’s Houghton Award, which includes a $1,000 scholarship.

Shaheen was recognized for forming a health policy advocacy group, volunteering with MCW’s Saturday Clinic for the Uninsured and the Greater Milwaukee Free Clinic, and for his involvement with the Pediatrics Student Group and the Family Medicine Student Association and as a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society. As he graduates from MCW this month, Shaheen will continue his training at University of Minnesota in the Pediatrics-Physician Scientist Training Program. His aspires to lead immune-related disease research and remain active in public policy and global health.

Wisconsin Medical Society President Noel Deep, MD, (left) presents the Presidential Citation award to Kesavan Kutty, MD. Photo courtesy of the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Medical Society President Noel Deep, MD, (left) presents the Presidential Citation award to Kesavan Kutty, MD. Photo courtesy of the Medical College of Wisconsin.

“He will continue to make constructive changes to improve societal health for diverse populations,” said MCW Assistant Dean for Basic Science Curriculum Sally Twining, PhD, in her nomination letter for Shaheen. “He is a multitalented individual with a dedication to research, patient care and society.”

In addition to these student awards, Wisconsin Medical Society President Dr. Deep presented the Presidential Citation to Kesavan Kutty, MD, MCW professor of medicine, for his contributions to the Society and the profession of medicine overall.

About the Medical College of Wisconsin

With a history dating back to 1893, The Medical College of Wisconsin is dedicated to leadership and excellence in education, patient care, research and community engagement.  More than 1,200 students are enrolled in MCW’s medical school and graduate school programs in Milwaukee, MCW-Green Bay, and MCW-Central Wisconsin. MCW’s School of Pharmacy opened in 2017. A major national research center, MCW is the largest research institution in the Milwaukee metro area and second largest in Wisconsin. In FY2016, faculty received more than $184 million in external support for research, teaching, training and related purposes. This total includes highly competitive research and training awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Annually, MCW faculty direct or collaborate on more than 3,100 research studies, including clinical trials. Additionally, more than 1,500 physicians provide care in virtually every specialty of medicine for more than 525,000 patients annually.

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