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

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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


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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


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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

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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

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Gold Humanism Honor Society inducts 59 students at 2023 ceremony

On June 2, St. George’s University’s Gold Humanism Honor Society inducted 59 students. The annual Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) award recognizes students, residents, and faculty who exemplify compassionate patient care and serve as role models, mentors, and leaders in medicine. Recipients of the award are holistically compassionate individuals who exemplify the tenets of an excellent physician. Members of GHHS are collaborative in their approach to medical care, respectful, and inclusive towards patients’ needs and backgrounds.

The Arnold P Gold Foundation established the Gold Humanism Honor Society in 2002. The goal of the organization is to foster and acknowledge humanism during medical education. Over 160 medical schools have a GHHS chapter, awarding thousands of students with honors. The SGU GHHS chapter was established in 2004.

Celebrating a commitment to compassionate care

At this year’s GHHS induction ceremony, Dr. Robert Grant, senior associate dean of clinical studies, congratulated inductees on their achievements.

“As physicians, our profession has always embraced the concept of awareness of suffering and our ability to alleviate pain in many of its manifestations. As the esteemed Canadian physician Sir William Osler said: ‘A good physician treats the disease; a great physician treats the patient,’” said Dr. Grant. “Induction into the Gold Humanism Honor Society is not merely an honor but validates your commitment to remain as an exemplar of compassionate care and humanism always.”

Recent developments in SGU’s chapter include Associate Dean of Clinical Studies Dr. Toni Johnson-Liggins’s appointment as Chapter Advisor. She is replacing Dr. Cheryl Cox-McPherson, the prior Chapter Advisor who dedicated many years of service.

Students inducted into the GHHS are in the top 10 percent of their class and often involved in community service. GHHS is a steadfast advocate for humanism on medical school campuses and across healthcare institutions. Holding a GHHS chapter indicates that an institution highly values interpersonal skills and attitudes essential for excellent patient care.


—Madeleine Otto

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The Future Directions of Research Explored at SGU Research Day

Research was once again at the forefront of St. George’s University this spring, as it hosted the 20th SGU Research Day and Phi Zeta Research Emphasis Day at Open and Upper Modica Hall on March 18. This year’s event had something for everyone—providing ample opportunity to learn about research being conducted in all four Schools.

Faculty, staff, students, and other participants attended one of four concurrent sessions before the plenary presentation was delivered virtually by Dr. Peter Hotez, world renown scientist, pediatrician, global advocate, and leader in the field of vaccine development.

Of the faculty and student presentations showcased, 72 were posters and 70 were oral presentations, along with two symposia. A panel of judges from SGU and outside of the University reviewed the presentations and chose winners for each category based on originality, scientific merit, and level of involvement.

The complete list of winners can be seen below. The campus-based Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) presented each with a plaque on March 24.


  • Best faculty oral presentation: Dr. David Marancik – SVM (center)

  • Best student oral presentation: Hailey Bauer – SOM (second from the left)

  • Best student oral presentation: Emily Meade – SVM (center)

  • Best faculty poster presentation: Makeda Matthew-Bernard – SOM (second from the left)

  • Best faculty poster presentation: Dr. Firdous Khan – SVM (center)

  • Best student poster presentation: Tavsimran Luthra – SOM (left)

  • Best student poster presentation: Dinielle White – SVM (center)

  • Best Department of Educational Services presentation: Todd McKay (second from the right)

  • Best WINDREF presentation: Nikita Cudjoe (center)


Best Faculty Oral Presentations 

  1. Satesh Bidaisee – SOM
  2. David Marancik – SVM

Best Student Oral Presentations

  1. Hailey Bauer – SOM
  2. Emily Meade – SVM
  3. Shenel Sampson – SAS

Best Faculty Poster Presentations

  1. Makeda Matthew-Bernard – SOM
  2. Firdous Khan – SVM

Best Student Poster Presentations

  1. Tavsimran Luthra – SOM
  2. Dinielle White – SVM

Best Department of Educational Services Presentation:
Todd McKay

Best WINDREF Presentation:
Nikita Cudjoe

– Ray-Donna Peters


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Photos from InVeST 2023: Conference Goers Travel to Grenada to Learn Latest Trends in Veterinary Simulation


More than 120 veterinary experts traveled to St. George’s University’s True Blue campus earlier this month for the 7th International Veterinary Simulation in Teaching (InVeST) Conference, where they spent three days attending interactive sessions on the latest trends in veterinary simulation and teaching best practices.

InVest conference goers, which included veterinarians, InVeST members, representatives from educational institutions, researchers, students, and more than 50 faculty, staff, and alumni from SGU’s School of Veterinary Medicine, among others, learned new trends and practices in the specialized field, and had the opportunity to network with peers while earning continuing education credits.

The use of simulation is a rapidly growing and exciting area of teaching practices within veterinary medicine. The educational practice uses technology—including virtual and augmented reality, 3D models, and more—to train veterinary technicians, nurses, and veterinarians on the healthcare needs of small companion animals and farm animals, reducing the need to use live animals.

The conference featured three keynote speakers:

  • Daniel Fletcher, DVM, PhD, faculty member of Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, who presented on the topic of immersive simulation in veterinary education;
  • Dave Killpack, BA-BPMI, founder of Illumination Studios, who presented on the topic of building connections across disciplines; and
  • Jenny Moffett, BVetMed, MSc, educationalist and faculty developer at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Health Professions’ Education Centre, who presented on the topic of applications of simulations-based learning.

Additionally, on the final day of the conference, the winners of the best research poster and best oral presentation were announced:

  • Best poster presentation: Dr. Carolyn Kerr, a professor at the University of Guelph, Ontario Veterinary College, for her poster about the “Development of a Bovine Paravertebral Block Model.”
  • Best oral presentation: Dr. Francesca Ivaldi, associate professor in SVM’s Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, for her presentation about the “Development of a Comprehensive Simulated Patient Model for the Physical Examination of the Dog.”

Didn’t attend? Check out our top photos from the InVeST 2023 conference.

  • The view from the third floor of the Andrew J. Belford Centre provided a picturesque backdrop for those attending the InVeST 2023 Conference.

  • More than 120 participants from nine countries attended the conference, which explored the latest techniques and technology within the rapidly growing field of veterinary simulation.

  • Keynote speaker Dr. Daniel Fletcher, a faculty member at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, has been building simulators for veterinary education since 2009 and is the primary developer of Open VetSim, an open-source veterinary simulation platform.

  • Several sponsors were on hand, including Vetiqo, to showcase various simulation devices to conference goers. The models displayed are used in training veterinarians, farmers, and veterinary technicians as well as in experimental animal science.

  • Fabiola Casanova Crespo, SVM Term 5 student, attended InVeST 2023, as part of a group of students representing companies such as Banfield Pet Hospital that sponsored the event.

  • Dr. Francesca Ivaldi accepts her award for Best Oral Presentation.

  • Dr. Carolyn Kerr, a professor at the University of Guelph, Ontario Veterinary College, accepts her award for Best Poster Presentation.

  • Dr. Arend Werners, assistant dean of academics and chair of the SVM planning committee for InVeST 2023, thanked participants for attending the conference, along with fellow committee members, Drs. Annie Corrigan, Firdous Khan, and Heidi Janicke (left to right).


– Ray-Donna Peters

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Photo Diary: Future Veterinarians Take First Steps into Profession at SVM White Coat Ceremony

St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine buzzed with excitement as the newest class of veterinary medical students took to the stage to receive their white coats—signaling the start of their professional journey. The students were cheered by friends and family as they looked on during the SVM White Coat Ceremony, which took place on January 28 in Patrick F. Adams Hall on SGU’s True Blue campus.


During the event, students are cloaked in white lab coats by various members of SGU administration, faculty, family members, or mentors who have become veterinarians before them. Students then affirm an oath of commitment to the veterinary field by agreeing to uphold the principles of veterinary medical ethics and the highest professional standards.

Wondering what it’s like to be coated? Check out the photos from the most recent SVM White Coat Ceremony.

  • Nervousness and excitement abound as students made their way into the hall to await their turn to walk across the stage to receive their white coat.

  • SGU Chancellor Dr. Charles R. Modica, offered a warm welcome to Mr. Alva Browne, Grenada’s permanent secretary with responsibility for agriculture and lands, fisheries, and cooperatives.

  • Master of ceremonies, Dr. Shekinah Morris, DVM/MSc ’20, knew all too well how the incoming class of vet students felt—having sat in those same seats during her own ceremony seven years ago.

  • Dr. Lori Teller, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association and this year’s keynote speaker, congratulated the Class of 2027, predicting more accolades to come—today it was their white coat, tomorrow would be their diploma, followed by a license, and then the world.

  • Sharing the stage with Jessica Meyer, SVM Term 1 student, was her epilepsy alert dog, Magnolia. The pair shared a touching moment as SVM Dean Dr. Neil Olson, stopped to shake Magnolia’s paw before leaving the stage.

  • For Fiona Minear, SVM Term 1 student, one of the hardest parts of pursuing her dream of becoming a vet was moving away from her partner, Dr. Nicholas Krause, an emergency medicine veterinarian in Pennsylvania. Luckily, he was able to make the trip to Grenada and coat Miss Minear on her special day.

  • Unable to hold back tears, Dr. Ron Ridge, hospital director at St. Francis Emergency Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, FL, was proud of his daughter, Amy Ridge, SVM Term 1 student. Having practically raised Amy in a veterinary hospital during his 40-year tenure as a veterinarian, Dr. Ridge felt honored to coat his daughter at this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

  • Although previously a cytotechnologist, Phillip Farber knew he always wanted to be a veterinarian and decided now was the time to make a career change. No stranger to studying internationally, after completing a study abroad program in Japan, the Philadelphia native was eager to move to Grenada to follow his dream.

  • Also, making her dream become a reality was SVM Term 1 student, Noor Mazeh. With the support of her mom who was in the audience today, Miss Mazeh is on her way to becoming the first veterinarian in her family—a fact she is both nervous and excited about.

  • After donning their white coats, the ceremony came to a close with the students and other veterinarians in the hall reciting an oath of commitment to uphold the highest ethical standards and professionalism.


– Ray-Donna Peters

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SOM Spring White Coat Ceremony: The Legacy Continues for SGU President and Son

With a distinguished career spanning more than 30 years in medicine, Dr. G. Richard Olds, president emeritus at St. George’s University was thrilled to have his son, Trevor Olds follow in his footsteps. In addition to being this year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Olds also had the honor of coating Trevor at the Spring 2023 School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony.

“I’m extremely proud of Trevor and happy to share in this milestone moment as he takes his first official steps into the medical profession,” said Dr. Olds. “I have three wonderful sons, but none of whom seemed to want a career in medicine. In fact, Trevor started his career as a professional actor, but I’m delighted he decided to transition into the MD program here at SGU and that I had the special privilege of coating him.”

The future Dr. Olds joined his fellow students in the Class of 2027 as they walked across the stage on January 28 at Patrick F. Adams Hall to receive their white coats. At the end of the ceremony, which marks their entry into the field of medicine, they recited the Oath of Professionalism, where they pledge to uphold the highest of ethical standards while treating their patients.

In his keynote address, Dr. Olds shared three moving stories providing lessons on what it means to be a good physician. His second story centered on Trevor giving his family a medical scare but ended with them being comforted by a physician wearing a white coat.

“All of the men in the Olds family are quite sentimental,” shared Trevor Olds. “So, I was glad that I had a bit of time between my father’s keynote address and when I had to go up to be coated—because I needed to compose myself a little bit. It was such a sweet and special moment, and his speech was very touching and meaningful.”

– Ray-Donna Peters

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