Sept. 14, 2021 — Excelling in medical school is about more than getting passing grades, Shelley Collins, M.D., F.A.A.P., the University of Florida College of Medicine associate dean for student affairs, told students gathered inside the George T. Harrell, M.D., Medical Education Building Monday evening.
At an intimate ceremony attended by students both in person and virtually, second-, third- and fourth-year medical students lauded by their peers and faculty were recognized at the 2021 Honors Convocation.
“These awards celebrate the students who exemplify the best among us,” said Collins, who oversaw the event. “While they’re excellent students as well, they go above and beyond. This is also about the kind of people you are — the kind who provide great community service and who are humanistic in the care of your patients.”
The awards and scholarships recognize students with a variety of experiences and strengths, including those who have overcome adversity, have a background in military service or education and who are committed to supporting the mental well-being of their patients.
Olgert Bardhi of the class of 2022 received the Caroline Annette Cody, M.D., Memorial Scholarship during the ceremony. The scholarship was established by the class of 2000 to honor the memory of Caroline Cody, who was tragically killed in 2000 during her first year of medical school and posthumously received a medical degree from the UF College of Medicine in 2003.
The Cody Memorial Scholarship is presented to a fourth-year medical student who exemplifies Cody’s characteristics and altruistic service to the community.
Collins read statements from Bardhi’s peers, who nominated him for the award, that acknowledged his selflessness in caring for others, particularly patients in vulnerable populations. He helped establish a needle exchange program and recently spearheaded a program to allow medical students to volunteer in the emergency department during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cody’s parents, Dr. William and Betty Cody, presented the award to Bardhi at the convocation.
“As we’ve been invited to this occasion over the years, we have been able to replace the painful memories of losing Caroline in Gainesville with wonderful memories of seeing the next generation of bright doctors who are being trained here,” Betty Cody said. “As I get older, I know my health is in good hands with the physicians being trained at UF, and I am honored that you’re receiving this award.”
Below is a complete list of students who were recognized at the 2021 Honors Convocation: