SGU’s Class of 2024: School of Medicine Honors the Perseverance of New MD Grads at Commencement

In a wave of excitement and anticipation for their burgeoning careers in medicine, newly minted doctors eagerly accepted their diplomas during St. George’s University School of Medicine’s 43rd commencement ceremony.

Proud families and friends looked on as their loved ones walked across the stage during two ceremonies held on June 1 at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, NY for the Class of 2024.

SGU Chancellor Charles R. Modica commended the students during his remarks.

“You had every reason not to succeed,” he said, referring to the challenges that they experienced during their medical education due to the global pandemic. “But you chose to persevere. You showed great resilience. You believed in yourselves, and your family and friends supported you. One of the greatest thrills and honors of my life will be to hand you a diploma and address you as ‘doctor’.”

Experience the joy, celebration, and overwhelming pride of new graduates at the 2024 SOM Commencement. View the reel!

School of Medicine Dean Marios Loukas also acknowledged the many obstacles that the students overcame to receive their MDs.

“Today we recognize your hard work, your dedication, and your unwavering spirit,” said Dr. Loukas. “Each and every one of you is an inspiration. Medicine is not merely a profession. It is a noble pursuit and calling to serve humanity and alleviate suffering. Congratulations graduates the world awaits—go forth and make us proud.”

The Class of 2024 joins a network of more than 22,000 alumni in the United States and around the world. This summer, 930+ graduates will begin residency programs in more than 40 states and the District of Columbia, securing positions in over 20 specialties.

This also marks the 10th consecutive year in which SGU has been the largest provider of new doctors to first-year US postgraduate residencies.*

Did you miss the ceremonies? View SOM Commencement on YouTube


* As the medical school graduating the largest number of students per year, SGU places the largest number of graduates into residency programs each year, based on internal SGU graduate/expected graduate and residency placement data as of March 2024.

– Ray-Donna Peters


Related Reading

SGU’s Class of 2024: School of Veterinary Medicine Celebrates New Grads at Commencement

SVM Commencement

The St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine celebrated its newest grads the in a ceremony filled with jubilation and enthusiasm. The Class of 2024 made the memorable walk across the stage at commencement, which was held on June 2 at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, NY.

Experience the joy, celebration, and overwhelming pride of new graduates at the 2024 SVM Commencement. View the reel!

SGU Provost Dr. Glen Jacobs began the ceremony with a warm welcome for the graduates and guests in his opening remarks.

He imparted on the graduates the significance of the occasion by saying, “You are not just graduating. You are becoming part of a global family of successful alumni making a difference around the world, and, most important, you are a bridge to our best and the hope for our future.”

SGU Chancellor Dr. Charles Modica then took to the stage to address the graduates. He commended them not only for their dedication to their education and the field of veterinary medicine, but also for being able to endure veterinary school during a global pandemic.

“I recognize what it takes to become a doctor of veterinary medicine,” Dr. Modica said. “I recognize your resilience and your resolve to get where you are today.”

The nearly 200 recent graduates join more than 2,500 School of Veterinary Medicine alumni in the US and around the world.*

Dr. Tara Paterson, president of the SVM Alumni Association and associate dean of fourth year clinical training, said, “Today, I am proud to call each and every one of you my colleague.”

SVM Commencement

Dr. Paterson continued, more solemnly, to deliver a posthumous Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree to former student Madison Kucinick. Dr. Kucinick was beloved by her peers and dedicated to her work through her award-winning research of sea turtles.

Wrapping up the ceremony was SVM Class of 2024 speaker Briana Kinsey-Trimble, MD ’24. Dr. Kinsey-Trimble of Amarillo, TX was struck with awe and gratitude upon learning that her classmates had voted her to be class speaker.

“I’ve been passionate about my classmates’ well-being through this journey, and it’s exciting to get to address my friends and family one more time,” Dr. Kinsey-Trimble shared with SGU. “We made a promise to each other from the beginning that we would see each other on the other side. It’s finally coming true!”

She is thankful for SGU for helping shape her into the person she has always wanted to be—someone kind, caring, motivated, and ready to change the world.

At the ceremony, Dr. Kinsey-Trimble told her peers, “As we step into the world as veterinarians, let us embrace the challenges that lie ahead with courage and conviction. Let us never lose sight of what an incredible privilege it is to care for animals and the profound impact we can have on their lives.”

Following graduation, Dr. Kinsey-Trimble will start her new role as associate veterinarian at Animal Medical Center of Amarillo.

Dr. Neil Olson, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, had this message for the recent SVM grads: “The SGU SVM community and I are incredibly proud of the newest veterinarians to join the SVM alumni network. Their resilience and dedication have prepared them well for careers delivering quality care and compassion to animals. Congratulations, Class of 2024!”

Did you miss the ceremony? View the SVM Commencement on YouTube.


*Based on number of students who have completed the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program from 2003-2023.


—Juliette Kimmins


Related Reading

SGU’s Class of 2024: Graduates Shine at SAS, SGS Commencement Ceremony

The St. George’s University Schools of Arts and Sciences, and Graduate Studies Class of 2024 was both proud and thankful as they received their degrees on Saturday, May 18 at the Grenada Commencement Ceremony. Proud families and friends filled Patrick F. Adams Hall in celebration as graduates crossed the stage at the milestone event.

This year’s graduating class included more than 180 students from the School of Arts and Sciences, and 71 from the School of Graduate Studies. Medical degrees were also conferred on 28 new physicians from the School of Medicine in attendance.



Addressing the nearly 300 graduates from 40 countries was Dr. Joy St. John, executive director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and this year’s keynote speaker.

“To the Class of 2024, congratulations,” said Dr. St. John. “As we celebrate your achievements, we also celebrate the future you will shape. Walk with confidence knowing that you are well equipped to navigate the complexities of the world and shine your light.”

Dr. Satesh Bidaisee (left), Dr. Joy St. John (center), and Dr. Calum Macpherson (right)

For her impressive track record of achievements in public health systems management and development and health diplomacy, Dr. St. John was inducted into the Delta Omega Honor Society, the oldest public health society in the world, which celebrates its centenary anniversary this year.

In addition, SGU hosts the Gamma Kappa chapter of the Delta Omega Honors Society and inducted the top 10 percent of this year’s MPH graduates into the chapter for demonstrating excellence in education and scholarship in research and service.



Proudly representing the School of Graduate Studies as class speaker, Dr. N’Kosha Fletcher knew exactly how her classmates felt. In addition to graduating today with a Master of Public Health in preventive medicine, she also earned her MD in 2014 and BSc in 2011 from SGU.

Dr. Calum Macpherson (left), Dr. N’Kosha Fletcher (center), and Dr. Glen Jacobs (right)

“Today you receive your degree,” Dr. Fletcher said. “But may you also receive the courage and determination to get out there and strive for excellence. Embark on this new chapter…embrace every opportunity. Chase your dreams and create a life you love.”

Joining Dr. Fletcher as a commencement speaker was SAS valedictorian Shakira Lee. Ms. Lee completed her Bachelor of Science in information technology with a perfect 4.0 GPA and is currently the personal assistant to the Honorable Kerryne James, Minister for Climate Resilience, the Environment, and Renewable Energy in Grenada.

Dr. Lucy Eugene (left), Shakira Lee (center), and Dr. Glen Jacobs

“Throughout this academic journey, I learned that perseverance is not simply about enduring,” shared Ms. Lee. “It is about forging ahead with purpose and passion. To you, my fellow graduands let your stories be guided by the resilience and determination that has brought you this far. Let our lessons inspire us to act, innovate, and elevate the world around us.”

Ceremonies for the Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine will take place at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York on June 1-2.

– Ray-Donna Peters

Related Reading  

SGU White Coat Ceremony 2024: April Start Med Students Take Oath of Professionalism

St. George’s University recently welcomed its April class of medical students at the School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony, held on May 4 at Patrick F. Adams Hall. The future physicians were cheered on by family and friends as they donned their white coats, marking their entry into the medical profession.



After being coated—often by family members or mentors who have become doctors before them—the students then recited the Oath of Professionalism, where they pledged to honor the sacred trust and privilege society places on medical professionals while treating their patients.

Wondering what it’s like to be coated? Hear from four aspiring physicians on what it felt like to experience the momentous event.


“Getting this white coat marks a huge accomplishment for me. There’s been years of steps to get here, and I feel like this is a solidifying moment for me to actually have this coat. I didn’t quite know what I wanted to do right out of high school. But I spent some time getting some experience as a nursing assistant. Since then, I fell in love with medicine and knew I wanted to be a physician.”

– Jonathan Koger
North Carolina


“I’m a first generation medical student and I feel like I really made my parents proud to be here today. Putting on my white coat, I feel like it’s a rite of passage to me becoming an amazing physician one day.”

– Duaa Anwar


“Being coated is definitely symbolic and means a lot to me. It signals that I’m ready to take on this journey. Previously, I had worked as a scribe and there I met several alumni that became my mentors and recommended I apply to SGU. These mentors helped me along my path and showed me what it really meant to put on the white coat. Just seeing those patient-physician encounters and seeing how helpful and how empathetic they were—I hope to be that type of doctor in the future.” 

– Derek Stubbs


“This is just the first step in a long road, but I know I can make it. Putting on this white coat means that I’m starting a profession that I believe in. I come from a large family of physicians and veterinarians. So, following this dream is what I’ve always aspired to do. It’s what I’ve seen my father do and what I’ve seen my grandfather do.”

– Rhiannon Gillett



   – Ray-Donna Peters

Related Reading     

SGU Recognizes Academic Excellence at 2nd Annual SAS Awards Ceremony

St. George’s University School of Arts and Sciences continued to recognize excellence amongst its students, faculty, and staff at its second annual awards ceremony. From academics and campus involvement to teaching and student advising, more than 20 sets of awards were presented on April 17 during the event at Bourne Lecture Hall.

This year’s theme, “Celebrating Success, Forging on to New Frontiers,” was chosen to reward high-achieving SAS students for their academic success, professionalism, and exceptional work ethic, and to honor SAS faculty and staff who have shown remarkable service and commitment to the undergraduate school.

“We at the School of Arts and Sciences are proud to celebrate the outstanding achievements of our students, faculty, and staff,” said Dr. Lucy Eugene, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. “The purpose of the awards is to continue to recognize, support, and encourage those within SAS who demonstrate an overall commitment to going above and beyond, while exemplifying the core values of our institution.”

The School hosted its first ever awards ceremony in 2023 in order to recognize students for their superior academic achievement, and staff and faculty for their strong commitment to student success. The process of award selection is based on a rigorous system using quantitative and qualitative data, as well as guided by the SAS Awards Committee’s policies. This year’s ceremony incorporates many more categories of awards than were featured last year, including the Rising Star Award and the Student Service and Leadership Award.



This term’s awards are as follows:

Student Awards

Most Outstanding Student Award – Management (BSc) 

Department of Business and Management Studies

Sponsored by ACB Grenada Bank

Nancy Jones

Most Outstanding Student Award – Accounting (BSc) 

Department of Business and Management Studies

Sponsored by Quin-Corp Management Solutions Ltd.

Makayla Seales

Most Outstanding Student Award – International Business (BSc) 

Department of Business and Management Studies

Sponsored by Grenada Investment Development Corporation

Nikiah Noel

Most Outstanding Student Award – Sociology (BSc) 

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Sponsored by Sandals Grenada

Aaliyah Bain

Most Outstanding Student Award – Psychology (BSc) 

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Sponsored by Nexa Credit Union

Kerena Crowe

Most Outstanding Student Award – Information Technology (BSc) 

Department of Computers and Technology

Sponsored by Sonover Inc.

Shakira Lee

Most Outstanding Student Award – Biology (BSc) 

Department of Biology, Ecology, and Conservation

Sponsored by Olando Harvey or The Nature Conservancy

Renee Sandy

Most Outstanding Student Award – Marine, Wildlife and Conservation Biology (BSc) 

Department of Biology, Ecology, and Conservation

Sponsored by Century 21 Grenada

Quianna Watson

Most Outstanding Student Award – Nursing (BSN) 

Department of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences

Sponsored by Punj-Abi Restaurant

Latisha Jones

Most Outstanding Student Award – Clinical and Community Psychology (MA) 

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Sponsored by Jonas Browne and Hubbard G’da Ltd. 

Aine Brathwaite

Most Outstanding Student Award – International Business (MBA) 

Department of Business and Management Studies

Sponsored by Grenada Cooperative Bank Ltd.

Athea Dowden

Most Outstanding Student Award – Multi-Sector Health Management (MBA) 

Department of Business and Management Studies

Sponsored by Grenada Development Bank

Neisha Ross

Student Service and Leadership Award

Department of Biology, Ecology, and Conservation

Sponsored by Terra Caribbean Grenada

Roz-Anna Baker

Faculty Awards

SAS Distinguished Teacher’s Award

Sponsored by St. George’s University

Michael Roberts

Dr. Damian E. Greaves

SAS Distinguished Faculty Service Award 

Sponsored by St. George’s University

Leon Radix

Top Publication Award 

Sponsored by St. George’s University

Dr. Patricia Rosa

Early Career Research Award 

Sponsored by St. George’s University

Dr. Sharlene Beharry

Dean of Students Faculty Advisor Awards

Department of Computers and Technology

Sponsored by Coyaba Beach Resort

Dr. Aleksandr Myllari

Department of Biology, Ecology, & Conservation

Sponsored by Radisson Grenada Beach Resort

Dr. Stephen Nimrod

Department of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences

Sponsored by Spice Island Beach Resort

Salisha M. Frederick

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Sponsored by Secret Harbour Boutique Hotel and Marina

Dr. Antonia MacDonald

Department of Business and Management Studies

Sponsored by Silversands Grenada

Dr. Helen Bhola-Paul

Staff Awards

Continuous Excellence Award

Sponsored by St. George’s University

Nikisha S. Thomas

Kandis Roberts

Rising Star Award 

Sponsored by St. George’s University

Krystal DaBreo

– Ray-Donna Peters

Related Reading

Called to Serve: 76 Students Inducted at SAS Nursing Induction Ceremony

The newest class of nursing students eagerly listened to the remarks of keynote speaker, Darian Joseph, BSN ’23, while trying to contain their excitement, at the recent St. George’s University School of Arts and Sciences Nursing Induction Ceremony.

As a recent graduate of SGU’s nursing program, Nurse Joseph was someone who had once been in their shoes. Now a passionate and dedicated registered nurse, she reminded students what she learned while at SGU.

“Nursing is not just the profession, it’s a calling, a passion to serve and profoundly impact the lives of others,” Nurse Joseph said during her remarks.


Nurse Joseph proudly looked on as 76 aspiring nurses gathered on March 15 at Louis and Marion Modica Hall on SGU’s True Blue campus to mark their entry into the field of nursing. Each student received The Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s golden Mobius loop pin, which serves as a visual reminder that in order to deliver the best care to their patients, compassion and empathy must be the hallmark of their clinical practice.

Along with being presented with the pins, the future nurses recited the International Council of Nurses pledge during the ceremony.

Three SAS nursing students shared what it was like to join this honorable profession.


“I chose to become a nurse because I’ve always wanted to serve in the medical field and be able to work directly with patients on a one-on-one basis. I want to be able to offer them compassionate care and get to know them and to nurse them back to health. To me that’s so rewarding, and I look forward to being able to do that.”

– Deborah Charles 
Third-year nursing student


“Becoming a nurse is such a remarkable thing—being able to serve my country on a professional level and most of all giving back to my community. Also being a male nurse is exciting stuff. I get asked about it all the time. I guess it’s because it’s not as common.”

Kenneth St. Bernard
       First-year nursing student


“I have always wanted to be a nurse and my dream is finally coming true. I feel a huge sense of pride at being able to join such a noble profession. The Latin term for nurse is nutrire, which means to nourish and to care for. I have a very caring personality, so I feel that this profession is very befitting of who I am.”

– Narah James
Second-year nursing student


        – Ray-Donna Peters

Related Reading

Match Day 2024: SGU students describe what it’s like to Match

Richard Hawran

This article has been updated from its original publish date with SGU’s match results as of March 20, 2024.

St. George’s University students rejoiced and breathed a sigh of relief on Friday as hundreds were matched into residency programs on Match Day 2024. The group faced tremendous uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic, but now their hard work is being rewarded with their dreams of being doctors realized.

More than 910 SGU School of Medicine students and graduates secured first-year US residency positions.*  These numbers are expected to climb in the coming weeks.

Students matched into at least 22 specialties, including highly competitive positions in fields such as:

  • Anesthesiology,
  • Child neurology,
  • Diagnostic radiology,
  • Emergency medicine,
  • Family medicine,
  • Internal medicine,
  • Neurological surgery,
  • Neurology,
  • Obstetrics and gynecology,
  • Orthopedic surgery,
  • Pathology,
  • Pediatrics,
  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation,
  • Psychiatry,
  • Surgery,
  • Urology,
  • Vascular surgery, and more.

They will join residency programs, many at prestigious institutions, in 40 US states and the District of Columbia this summer.

Match Day is a milestone moment in students’ medical education as they learn where their hard work and determination will take them in their career. Students and graduates will now enjoy the fruits of their labor as the next chapter of their medical training begins—this time with ‘MD’ beside their name.

SGU News spoke with several recently matched students about what it felt like to discover that all their hard work led to a dream come true and what they are most looking forward to in residency. Here are just a few of their answers.

View Our Match Day Reel!



Iris Alao

Iris Alao

Matched: MedStar/Georgetown University

Specialty: Pediatrics

Hometown: Gross Pointe, MI

What was your Match Day reaction? Thank God! All the sacrifices and hard work finally paid off and my dream of becoming doctor has come to fruition.

What are you most looking forward to in residency? Doing more procedures, building patient relationships while tracking significant milestones, and having a little more independence when it comes to making medical decisions.


Ryan Caprio

Ryan Caprio 

Matched: Morristown Medical Center

Specialty: Orthopedic Surgery

Hometown: Medfield, MA

What was your Match Day reaction? I was absolutely speechless. I saw the email pop up on my phone with “Congratulations” being the first word I saw and couldn’t believe it was actually happening! I feverishly refreshed the NRMP site to confirm it was true and was so ecstatic to find out I matched into my dream specialty!

What are you most looking forward to in residency? I’m looking forward to being able to work with such a fantastic team and hope to be able to support patients in their time of need. As I will be at a newer residency program, I am looking forward to getting involved and helping the program grow as well. I’m also excited to be able to learn more about an incredible field and am hoping that the Boston Celtics finally win another NBA Championship by the time I start residency so I can rock a Celtics scrub cap in the OR!


Adriana Eslamian

Adriana Eslamian

Matched: St. Joseph’s Medical Center

Specialty: Internal Medicine

Hometown: Sacramento, CA

What was your Match Day reaction? Honestly, I immediately burst into tears. We have been working towards this moment from our first day of medical school, and to finally experience that moment was more incredible than I ever could have imagined. My husband and I were also so relieved that I matched close enough to home that we wouldn’t have to be apart for the next three years. It all worked out perfectly!

What are you most looking forward to in residency? I am mostly looking forward to finally starting my training as an internal medicine physician, having my own patients that I get to start building the patient/physician relationship with and seeing myself evolve into the best physician that I can be. I also can’t wait to meet my co-residents and embark on this journey with them.


Melanie Espino-Canche and Andrew Cross

Melanie Espino-Cache and Andrew Cross

Matched: Jersey Shore University Medical Center and Inspira Health Network (Vineland, NJ)

Specialty: Child Neurology and Emergency Medicine

Hometowns: El Sereno, CA and Queensbury, NY

What was your Match Day reaction? 
Absolutely thrilled and relieved! You spend a lifetime anticipating this moment, striving, wishing, and hoping for it. Yet, there’s no guarantee, so we were filled with nervous anticipation before opening our emails. We met at SGU in Grenada, sharing a dream of matching together, and we took a chance on ourselves. We feel incredibly fortunate to have been given this opportunity!

Andrew: It was an overwhelming feeling of bliss to know that I would be able to continue my journey with my partner by my side. This meant more to me than the match itself. My relationship was my top priority, so when we matched, it added an extra layer of significance and joy.

What are you most looking forward to in residency?

Melanie: I eagerly anticipate delving deeply into all aspects of my specialty. While our (clinical) rotations provide a glimpse into pathologies and treatment regimens, I am eager to immerse myself further, gaining more exposure and autonomy as I progress in my learning journey and build confidence. Meeting my future colleagues is another source of excitement for me. Having formed a close-knit family at SGU, I look forward to fostering the same strong bonds within my residency program.

Andrew: I am eagerly anticipating the chance to utilize my hands in a deeply meaningful way, making a tangible difference in someone’s life. This opportunity to help others is unlike any I have experienced before, and I am excited to embrace the challenge with open arms. The prospect of being able to see the impact of my actions and the positive change they can bring fills me with a sense of purpose and fulfillment that drives me forward.


Richard Hawran

Richard Hawran

Matched: Weill Cornell Medicine at NewYork Presbyterian

Specialty: General Surgery (Preliminary)

Hometown: Clifton, NJ

What was your Match Day reaction? I felt like all of my hard work paid off and there was a tremendous sense of relief.

What are you most looking forward to in residency? Challenging myself to grow in every way possible.


Jasmine Aukakh

Jasmine Aulakh

Matched: Wayne State University School of Medicine

Specialty: Family Medicine

Hometown: Ontario, Canada

What was your Match Day reaction? I was extremely grateful for matching into my top choice and being close to my family and fiancé during this very important part in my career.

What are you most looking forward to in residency? I am looking forward to adapting to a new environment and taking on the challenges that this role will present. I am excited to join WSU residency family and work alongside and learn from my colleagues.


*Data as of March 2024


— Laurie Chartorynsky and Juliette Kimmins


Related Reading     

SVM Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Christianne Shaw, recent White Coat Ceremony Master of Ceremonies

Christianne Shaw, DVM '12, assistant professor, Small Animal Medicine

What’s it like to be a Master of Ceremonies? Just ask Christianne Shaw, DVM ’12, who accepted the role with pride for the January 2024 School of Veterinary Medicine White Coat Ceremony at St. George’s University.

“January 2008—16 years ago, I was wearing this white coat, sitting right where all of you are, thinking, what did I get myself into,” Dr. Shaw said during her opening comments. “I was nervous and scared, but also so proud. I had finally done it. I got into vet school and here we go. Throughout my three years in Grenada, it was really tough and challenging but also so rewarding. … It was an amazing experience while being at SGU.”

Students in the SVM’s Class of 2028 took to the stage at Patrick F. Adams Hall on January 27 to receive their white coats—signaling the start of their professional journey.


Read more about the School of Veterinary Medicine’s recent White Coat Ceremony


After attending SGU, Dr. Shaw returned to her home state of Ohio, completing her clinical year at The Ohio State University. She worked as an associate veterinarian, practicing in various small animal clinics. Since graduating from SGU, Dr. Shaw has been a regular visitor to Grenada and recently came back full time, accepting a position as assistant professor in the Small Animal Clinic.

“Being on this beautiful island and St. George’s University meant so much to me as a student that I wanted to be able to come back as an experienced veterinarian and give back to all of the future veterinarians,” she said.

SGU News caught up with Dr. Shaw to learn more about her SGU experience, what she is most excited for as a full-time resident in Grenada, and her advice for veterinary students.

SGU: How did you react when you were asked to be Master of Ceremonies for the White Coat Ceremony?

Dr. Shaw: School of Veterinary Medicine Dean, Dr. Neil Olson and I met over Zoom so that he could personally ask me to be the Master of Ceremonies. It was a huge honor to have such an important role in welcoming the new first-term students into the veterinary profession. It was also exactly 16 years since my own White Coat Ceremony at SGU (January 2008), so the experience was very surreal for me.


Christianne Shaw, DVM '12, master of ceremonies, SVM WCC

Christianne Shaw, DVM ’12, accepted the role of Master of Ceremonies with pride for the January 2024 School of Veterinary Medicine White Coat Ceremony at St. George’s University.

SGU: What does it mean to you to be back on island teaching the next generation of veterinary students?

Dr. Shaw: My husband (Mike) and I have traveled back to Grenada yearly since I graduated in 2012 and have dreamed of moving here one day. I am grateful for being given this opportunity with SGU to make that dream a reality.

SGU: What learnings do you hope to pass on to students in the Small Animal Clinic?

Dr. Shaw: I am using all of my experience and knowledge (12 years in small animal general practice) to help prepare future veterinarians to smoothly transition into the working world. I am also excited to learn and grow from the current students since I have been out of school for 12 years.

SGU: What most excites you about being back on island?

Dr. Shaw: The beautiful island and warm weather! I was tired of the cold, long winters in Ohio.

SGU: Favorite class as a student?

Dr. Shaw: My favorite classes as a student were the ambulatory/large animal. I especially enjoyed traveling to different farms and helping the animals and farmers throughout the island. I also really enjoyed the large animal rotations in my clinical year at The Ohio State University. Even though I was planning on going into small animal practice, I appreciated just how different large animal medicine can be!

SGU: How did SGU help you achieve your career goals?

Dr. Shaw: At SGU there was—and still is—an endless supply of help and support from faculty and staff members to fellow students. Everyone worked together to be able to accomplish the amazing goal of being veterinarians. The three years I spent in Grenada thoroughly prepared me to go on to my clinical year at OSU.

SGU: What is your favorite animal to work with?

Dr. Shaw: My favorite animals to work with were at the Cleveland Zoo while I was in undergraduate school. This included fruit bats, rhinos, and even a zebra!

SGU: Any pets? Are they with you on island?

Dr. Shaw: I had brought my 19-year-old kitty to the island, but she unfortunately went missing after being here a few weeks. Mike and I do a lot of traveling so it is easier to not have any pets of my own…I get plenty of snuggles at the clinic!

SGU: What should aspiring veterinarians know about SGU?

Dr. Shaw: Although the island is far away from home for most students, it is an absolutely amazing place to be while accomplishing the dream of becoming a veterinarian.


– Laurie Chartorynsky


Related Reading

SGU Celebrates Grenada’s 50th Anniversary of Independence

St. George’s University proudly joined with the rest of Grenada in kicking off a yearlong celebration of the country’s Golden Jubilee of Independence.

With a theme of “One People, One Journey, One Future,” the event marks 50 years of Grenada’s independent statehood—one that the SGU community actively participated in and shared in its joyous celebration.

The close symbiotic partnership that SGU shares with its host nation has allowed the University to train thousands of leaders in the fields of medicine, veterinary medicine, nursing, business, and more.

“Many years ago, we had the vision to bring people from many countries to this small, beautiful island nation,” said Dr. Charles Modica, SGU’s chancellor and co-founder. “I am most proud of the fact that the University has grown with everyone in this country, and we have grown together. The world is a smaller place now, and Grenada is right in the center.”



Celebration Activities at SGU

As a united community, SGU students, staff, and faculty came together to participate in the Independence celebrations. The festivities began with the transformation of the True Blue campus, symbolizing patriotism and solidarity with SGU’s home nation.

On National Colors Day, the campus community was encouraged to participate in a Spice Wear Competition, where participants were invited to show off their creativity by incorporating Grenada’s national colors of red, green, and gold into their outfits.

SGU faculty and staff also decorated their office space, showcasing a vibrant display of Grenadian pride for the Spice Up Your Office Décor Competition. And lastly, all were asked to join in a mini parade from Louis and Marion Modica Hall to Keith B. Taylor Hall, culminating in a street food fair to close out the celebrations with joy and camaraderie.

See National Colors Day winners listed below.

Best Spice Wear Individual Winners: 

1st Place (tie) – Leedia Lalgie, School of Arts and Sciences

1st Place (tie) – Dominic Gaspard, Centre for Academic Excellence

3rd Place – Kerri-Ann Baptiste, Human Resources Department

1st 1st 3rd


Best Spice Wear Team Winners:

Office of Institutional Advancement


Spice Up Your Office Décor Winners:

1st Place – Department of Clinical Skills


2nd Place – Department of Public Safety


3rd Place – Office of the Provost


According to Dr. Brendon La Grenade, vice provost for Institutional Advancement: “Whether it was volunteering to decorate and showcase our campus, individual teams decorating their offices and dressing up, or showcasing their culinary skills, SGU’s campus community went above and beyond to make our 50th celebration truly special.”

SGU will continue to honor Grenada’s history and celebrate throughout the year with more festivities planned.

– Ray-Donna Peters

Related Reading

SOM White Coat Ceremony: Students Describe What it Means to Put on Their White Coat

First-term student Paige Persaud received the gift of a lifetime at the recent St. George’s University School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony: Not only did Ms. Persaud receive her white coat on her birthday, but she was coated by her aunt and mentor, SGU clinical instructor Dr. Deborah-Ann Stephens-John.

“This is a very special day for me because it’s also my birthday and I got my Aunt Deborah to coat me. She is the reason I wanted to get into medicine, so this is a very special moment,” said Ms. Persaud, who hails from St. George’s, Grenada.


It was an emotional moment for both Ms. Persaud and Dr. Stephens-John.

“I’m super proud of Paige,” Dr. Stephens-John said. “Today brings up all sorts of feelings because 21 years ago on this day, I helped deliver Paige into this world and now I’m putting on her white coat. Growing up as a child Paige always said she wanted to be a doctor just like her Aunty Deborah. I’m here to give her all the encouragement and to see her dream come true.”



On October 20, Ms. Persaud, along with her fellow students in the Class of 2027, walked across the stage at Patrick F. Adams Hall during the milestone event that marks their entry into the field of medicine. At the end of the ceremony, students then recite the Oath of Professionalism—pledging to uphold the highest of ethical standards while treating their patients.

Hear from three other aspiring physicians on what it means to be able to wear a white coat.



“It’s a very surreal feeling being coated. I’m very proud of everything that I’ve done, which I obviously didn’t do alone. It’s with the help of my family and my community and God—that’s the reason I’m here today.”

– Yousef Karabala

     Stockton, CA



“It was an honor to be coated by my stepmom, who’s a general surgeon from the Dominican Republic. It feels like all of my dreams are falling into place. I honestly can’t believe that I’m here right now. I still feel like the little girl that would dream of this very moment.”

– Keegan Savage

Plymouth, MA




“It feels like I’ve come full circle. I didn’t always want to be a doctor. Initially I went into business and that was lucrative, but it didn’t give me the fulfillment that I was looking for and the challenge that I needed. However, when I got the opportunity to attend SGU it felt like a sign pushing me in the right direction. And I know it was the right decision because I’ve accomplished so much to get here and now, I’m at the starting point of my journey and I’m excited to keep going.”

– Brook Yohannes




   – Ray-Donna Peters

Related Reading