For the last couple years, these three fellowship programs have combined their graduation celebrations for a number of reasons. The most obvious is that two of them—Allergy / Immunology and Rheumatology—are both housed within the Division of Immunology, a strength lent to both fellowship programs. Faculty within the division can easily “cross the hall” to provide fellows of both programs a more well-rounded experience. That physical and intellectual proximity is so close that the division even created a pathway for fellows who wanted training in both areas, allowing them to achieve dual certification in a reduced, but more intense, period of time.
The other salient factor these programs combined their graduation events, and this is how Endocrinology has fit in, is that each one graduates just two fellows each year. Why not, the thinking has run, combine resources and, instead of three small parties, have one big party? And so they have, affording faculty from two divisions the opportunity to mingle and even spark new possible collaborations over appetizers and retrospectives.
This year’s combined event, like all other graduation events in the era of COVID-19, may have forced some changes, but it also expanded the imagination about how to bring all of its honorees and their supporters together. Leadership and organizers identified the essential components and made sure that those still shone through.
Although it forced a bit more pre-production work than in years past, with congratulatory speeches prepared and filmed ahead of time, ensuring that loved ones watching from around the world would not miss anything, it also meant that an additional voice could join departmental and divisional leadership in the opening video.
The second video featured the graduates themselves reminiscing about their first days at Iowa, what they valued, and what they will hang onto no matter where they go next.
Finally, the fellowship program directors—Mary Beth Fasano, MD; Rebecca Teutken, MD, PhD; Amal Shibli-Rahhal, MD—got to extol the virtues of the fellows, sharing stories about their backgrounds and meaningful events during their training at Iowa.
Congratulations to these three sets of graduates! You have already made the programs, the divisions, and the department proud!
Allergy / Immunology
Erin Rasmussen, MD
Robert Szalewski, MD
Sameet Sangha, MD
Hanna Zembrzuska, MD, MME
Julie Schommer, DO
Adeyinka Taiwo, MBBS