Student voices added to internal Steering Committee

Inviting a vital student perspective, the Medical College of Wisconsin recently appointed three medical students to its Steering Committee, an internal MCW committee overseeing the development of the regional medical education campuses. Kevin Ciriacks, Elizabeth Saphner and Tony Zacharias join a dedicated group of MCW faculty and staff working to conceptualize and create a comprehensive model for community medical education in Central Wisconsin and Green Bay.

Tony Zacharias

Born and raised in Green Bay, Tony Zacharias is a graduate of Notre Dame Academy. He majored in biology with chemistry and business administration minors at St. Norbert College while also playing four years of baseball.

“I am excited to have this unique opportunity and a role in uniting my current academic affiliation with an institution and community that have given me so much,” he said. “The campus expansion project has the potential to be a great opportunity for the medical students training in Green Bay, as there is a plethora of resources and areas for community involvement.”

Zacharias, a second-year student, is considering a career in a surgical specialty.

A Green Bay native as well, Elizabeth Saphner also attended Notre Dame Academy. She pursued her B.S. degree in pharmacology and toxicology from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Saphner, now a second-year student, was drawn to MCW for the degree of early clinical experience the school offers and its proximity to her family.

Elizabeth Saphner

“I know and love Green Bay, and I want MCW’s relationship with the city to be mutually beneficial and successful,” she said. “I hope to help integrate the school and the students into the community, such as creating prospects for students to speak to high school pre-med clubs and establishing involvement with the free clinics in town.”

Saphner is also a member of MCW’s Student Assembly subcommittee on campus expansion, which is exploring student organizations and student assembly for the regional campuses. She looks forward to providing a connection between that group and the Steering Committee.

Kevin Ciriacks attended Wauwatosa West High School in his lifelong hometown. His passions for science and sports led him to Marquette University, where he majored in athletic training. Originally interested in translating this to a career in sports medicine, Ciriacks discovered new interests in cardiology, neurology and dermatology at MCW.

Kevin Ciriacks

A third-year medical student, Ciriacks said that hearing from previous students about MCW’s excellent environment for learning, its outstanding teaching faculty and its opportunities for extracurricular involvement led him to the Medical College.

“Now, while reflecting upon my experiences during my first two-and-a-half years as an MCW medical student, I appreciate the opportunities I’ve had to learn; the outstanding teachers and mentors from whom I’ve learned, the special relationships I’ve been able to build; and the volunteer, research and leadership experiences in which I’ve participated,” he said. “My desire and goal in joining the Steering Committee is to provide insight to help make sure future students who attend the two new regional campuses have these same opportunities available during medical school.”

The Steering Committee also includes:

  • Syed Ahmed, MD, MPH, DrPH Senior Associate Dean for Community Engagement, Professor of Family and Community Medicine and Professor in the Institute for Health and Society, Director of the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program and Director of the Center for Healthy Communities and Research
  • William J. Hueston, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Professor of Family and Community Medicine
  • John Corbett, PhD, Professor and Chairman of Biochemistry
  • Alan David, MD, Professor and Chairman of Family and Community Medicine
  • Jose Franco, MD Professor of Medicine, and Director of Discovery Curriculum
  • Cecilia Hillard, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Director of the Neuroscience Research Center
  • Richard Holloway, PhD, Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Associate Chair of Family and Community Medicine
  • Pamela Stanick, Controller
  • Joseph Layde, MD, JD, Vice Chair for Education and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine
  • Hershel Raff, PhD, Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology, Metabolism and Clinical Nutrition)
  • Kenneth B. Simons, MD, Executive Director for Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals, Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and Accreditation, Interim Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Professor of Ophthalmology and of Pathology
  • Paula M. Termuhlen, MD, Professor of Surgery and General Surgery Residency Program Director, Director of Community Medical Education Program
  • Susan Koethe, PhD, Professor of Pathology
  • Joan Bedinghaus, MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Director, Clinical Continuum (M1-M2) and Integration Director
  • Craig Porter, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Vice Chair for Faculty Development
  • Roy Long, PhD, Associate Professor, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and Assistant Dean for Graduate Recruitment

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Page Updated 12/18/2013
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