Celebration 2020: May 16-17

GW School of Medicine & Health Sciences

2020 graduates, with their families and friends, can celebrate their graduation celebration via livestream per the virtual celebrations or pre-recorded events below.

You are also invited to attend the May 2021 University-wide Bicentennial Commencement on the National Mall.


Virtual Celebration Events

Health Sciences Celebration

Saturday, May 16

HS Celebration Information

MD Celebration

Sunday, May 17 at 2:30 pm

Watch the MD Celebration

GW Commencement

Sunday, May 17 at 11 am

Watch the GW Commencement


Health Sciences Departments: Celebration Information

Each department will hold their own recognition or award celebration, please use the link below to go to your department.

Celebration Programs

Please download the program PDF to view digitally and follow along with the celebration, or print at home.

If you would like a program PDF formatted for professional printing, please email us at smhsweb@gwu.edu for the file and further instructions.

Congratulations Class of 2020! | 170 MD candidates; 323 HS Undergraduate candidates; 212 HS graduate candidates; 42 PT candidates; 68 PA candidates; 4 OTD candidates
Dean Barbara Bass

Message from Dean Barbara Bass

To the SMHS Graduates,

As we celebrate your graduation this year, I want you to know how very proud we all are of you for your achievements and for the commitments you have made to the future of medicine and health sciences. I am saddened that we won’t be together in one place to celebrate this momentous occasion, however, you are still reaching a major milestone in your careers and for that, you deserve much recognition.

At graduation, you have made it to the finish line despite the challenges that have been put in front of you. I am humbled by your willingness to work with us as we’ve tried to resolve these challenges during this unprecedented time. While the COVID-19 pandemic has created a multitude of disruptions in all of our lives, including the disruption of our traditions of Commencement on the National Mall and our programmatic graduation celebrations in Lisner Auditorium, it also has created new opportunities for creativity and has invited us to find new ways to accomplish our goals. In the case of celebrating graduation this year, I think that we have done just that. Our planned virtual celebrations won’t necessarily look like those of the past, but we know that they will be special, and undoubtedly memorable, in their own way. Regardless of how we gather together, please know that we are extremely proud of you for your hard work and resilience.

On behalf of the entire GW faculty and staff, I congratulate you on your graduation and I encourage you to continue to learn and grow in the days ahead. I personally wish you the very best and welcome you to the GW SMHS Alumni Community.

Raise High!

Barbara Lee Bass, MD

Vice President for Health Affairs

Dean, GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences

CEO, The GW Medical Faculty Associates

Our Speakers

MD Program Celebration

Keynote Speaker: Jo Shapiro, MD, FACS

Jo Shapiro, MD '80, FACS, is an associate professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Harvard Medical School. She is a Principal Faculty member for the Center for Medical Simulation in Boston and a Consultant for the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Anesthesia, Pain and Critical Care.

In 2008, she founded the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Center for Professionalism and Peer Support where she served as the director for over 10 years. During that time the Center became a model for national and international institutions seeking methods to enhance a culture of trust and respect and improve clinician wellbeing. She continues to educate and assist organizations in developing specific programmatic and educational approaches such as peer support, professionalism initiatives, and wellbeing programs.

She served as chair of the Ethics and Professionalism Committee of the American Board of Medical Specialties and has held multiple educational leadership roles including: senior associate director of Graduate Medical Education for Partners HealthCare, founding scholar of the Academy at Harvard Medical School, and president of the Society of University Otolaryngologists. She was one of BWH’s first woman division chiefs. She serves on the faculty of the Harvard Leadership Development for Physicians and Scientists. She was a faculty member of the Department of Surgery at BWH for over 35 years; her surgical expertise was in treating adults with oropharyngeal dysphagia. She was named as a finalist for the Schwartz Center Compassionate Caregiver Award. In 2019, Harvard Medical School gave her the Shirley Driscoll Dean’s Award for the Enhancement of Women’s Careers.

Oath of Hippocrates

"I do solemnly swear by that which I hold most sacred:

That I will be loyal to the profession of medicine and just and generous to its members;

That I will lead my life and practice my art in uprightness and honor;

That into whatsoever house I shall enter, it shall be for the good of the sick to the utmost of my power, I, holding myself aloof from wrong, from corruption, from the tempting of others to vice;

That I will exercise my art solely for the care of my patients, and will give no drug, perform no operation for a criminal purpose, even if solicited, far less suggest it;

That whatsoever I shall see or hear of the lives of people, which is not fitting to be spoken, I will keep inviolably secret.

These things I do promise and in proportion as I am faithful to this my oath may happiness and good repute be ever mine — the opposite if I shall be forsworn."


Health Sciences Celebration

Singing the National Anthem: Jane Ogagan

Jane Ogagan is graduating with her MS in Microbiology and Emerging Infectious Disease from GW's Milken Institute School of Public Health. Watch the Video.

Welcome and Remarks: Barbara Bass, MD

Barbara Bass, MD, is Vice President for Health Affairs, Dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Chief Executive Officer, the GW Medical Faculty Associates. Watch the Video.

Recognizing the Class of 2020: Reamer Bushardt, PharmD, PA-C, DFAAPA

Reamer Bushardt, PharmD, PA-C, DFAAPA, is Senior Associate Dean for Health Sciences, Professor. Watch the Video.

2020 Ozgur Ekmekci Interprofessional Leadership Award Presentation: Karen Schlumpf, MPH

Karen Schlumpf, MPH, is Director of the Health Sciences Research Core Curriculum. Watch the Video.

Lauren Wolf, MSHS, Health Care Quality is a pediatrician and a lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force, serving as the Pediatric Flight Commander and Medical Director at the 88th Medical Group in Ohio. She is also a faculty member at Wright State University and the Uniformed Services University. Dr Wolf also serves as a mentor in an innovative program at Wright State University, called Finding Meaning in Medicine. The program offers medical school residents (across all three years) the opportunity to explore topics such as healing and forgiveness. As a mentor, Lauren facilitates discussion about what those words mean in the context of medicine not only from a patient-physician perspective but also from a personal one. In addition, she is a peer supporter for the patient liaison at her hospital, helping to facilitate communication between patients, physicians, and other hospital staff and administration.

Stephanie Jane Johnson, Doctor of Physical Therapy is described as a true servant leader. Throughout her time here at GW, she has held several leadership positions including service as a GW graduate senator and Student Life committee member. As the student representative for the Pro-Bono health clinic, Stephanie organized volunteers to provide services on a weekly basis. She worked tirelessly to advocate, fundraise, and procure additional resources, equipment, and supplies so that the clinic could provide a high level of care. Stephanie has also supported a number of interprofessional activities such as the Roll on Capitol Hill event for the United Spinal Association and the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes interprofessional health event. She has also provided feedback and a clinical perspective for a wheelchair designed by GW Biomedical Engineering students.

2020 Health Sciences Outstanding Undergraduate Award Winner, Chloe Andrews, Presented by Andrew Garrett, MD, MPH, FAEMS, FAAP

Andrew Garrett, MD, MPH, FAEMS, FAAP, is an Associate Professor and Program Director for Emergency Health Operations. Watch the Video.

Chloe Andrews, Emergency Health Services Minor, originally from Northamptonshire, England, Chloe Andrews is a 2020 George Washington University graduate with a bachelors of art in psychology and a minor in emergency health services. During her time at GWU, Chloe worked as a supervising EMT for the GW Emergency Medical Response Group (EMeRG) volunteering over 300 hours a month. Chloe also spent her senior year working for the National Human Trafficking Hotline where she took crisis calls from human trafficking victims and survivors across the nation. Chloe was involved in the greater DC community through her role as an advanced rock climbing coach at Earth Treks Crystal City. This June, she will be moving to Houston, Texas to begin working at Casa de Esperanza as a full time foster parent and advocate for at-risk children aged zero to six. Watch the Video.

2020 Health Sciences Outstanding Graduate Award Winner, Lisa Frisch, Presented by Marcia Firmani, PhD, MSPH, MT(ASCP)MBCM

Marcia Firmani, PhD, MSPH, MT(ASCP)MBCM, is Chair of the Biomedical Laboratory Sciences Department and Program Director of the Clinical Microbiology and Molecular Diagnostic Sciences Graduate Programs. Watch the Video.

Lisa Frisch, MSHS, Molecular Diagnostic Sciences, was born December 24, 1975 in Washington, D.C. and raised in Friendly, MD. In 1997 she enlisted in the United States Army as 68K Medical Laboratory Technician. In 2004, she completed the Interservice Cytotechnology Program and earned her Bachelor of Science, Health Science, Cytotechnology from The George Washington University. In 2012, Lisa commissioned as 71E Clinical Laboratory Scientist. She currently serves as the laboratory manager for Department of Clinical Investigation, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston. Lisa is married to Donald Frisch and enjoys digital scrapbooking and digital art in her free time. Watch the Video.

Health Sciences Pledge: Dhinakar (Dhinu) Jayaseelan, DPT

The Pledge

Watch the Video

I will lead my life and practice my profession with integrity and compassion, treating each individual I see with dignity and respect.

I promise to comfort, care, and work toward curing the sick and disabled and will strive to promote the health and well-being of all the people for whom I care.

I will work for the benefit of, and avoid harm to, the individuals I serve and those who are my colleagues; and even if directed, I will do nothing that I believe could harm my patient.

I will use my knowledge and skill to serve all individuals, regardless of race, gender, religion, disease, or social status.

I will respect the privacy of every person and will hold confidential all information about patients for whom I care.

I pledge to continue to learn and grow in my profession and continually seek to gain new knowledge.

I will constantly strive to contribute to my profession through teaching others who can benefit from my knowledge.

I promise to pursue each of the tenets of this pledge with strength and courage, to the utmost of my power.


Concluding Remarks and Charge: Karen Wright, PhD, PA-C, DFAAPA

Karen Wright, PhD, PA-C, DFAAPA, is Assistant Dean, Student Life and Academic Affairs, Program Director for Physician Assistant Studies. Watch the Video.



Hail Alma Mater

To thy spirit guiding,

Knowledge thy closest friend

In its strength abiding,

Pledge we fidelity

Ne'er its place resigning,

Hail thee George Washington!


2021 Commencement

The class of 2020 is invited to join GW at the bicentennial Commencement on the National Mall in May 2021. Specific details will be shared when they are available.