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This Week@WesternU, April 23-27, 2012

by Rodney Tanaka

April 23, 2012

Read 7 mins

2012 Commencement

The 31st Annual Commencement Exercises for Western University of Health Sciences will be held on May 17-18, 2012 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena, Calif. Here are some important reminders to graduates regarding commencement. Please forward to friends and family as appropriate.

Graduate Reminders

Commencement website: The commencement website at has all kinds of useful information including parking maps, directions, and instructions. Please pull all necessary information from the site before heading to the Pasadena Civic Auditorium!

Live webcast: We are pleased to announce that the commencement ceremonies will be webcast live at Please let those who are not attending know, so they can watch you online!

Guest Reminders

Doors Close Early: The front doors will close at 9:20 for AM ceremonies and 2:50 for PM ceremonies and will re-open after the processional, invocation and national anthem. It’s essential that all of your guests are seated in the auditorium prior to the doors closing. If your friends/relatives tend to be late… you might tell them it starts 30 minutes earlier.

Tickets Required (for CGN/CAHP and GCBS/COMP ceremonies): Remember your tickets, as all attendees must have a ticket to enter the auditorium!

College of Allied Health Professions

College of Graduate Nursing

Thursday, May 17, 9:30 a.m.

Keynote Speaker: Devorah A. Lieberman, PhD

President, University of La Verne

College of Pharmacy

Thursday, May 17, 3 p.m.

Keynote Speaker: Michael Maddux

Executive Director of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy

College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences

Friday, May 18, 9:30 a.m.

Keynote Speaker: H. Roger Hadley, MD

Professor of Surgery, Loma Linda University Medical Center

College of Veterinary Medicine

Friday, May 18, 3 p.m.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Temple Grandin


Help Wipe out AIDS, support Health’s Angels of WesternU

A group of WesternU students, staff and faculty will ride their bicycles 545 miles during the AIDS/LifeCycle, June 3-9, 2012, from San Francisco to Los Angeles in an effort to help wipe out AIDS. The team, Health’s Angels of WesternU, was organized by College of Optometry third-year student Jen Buell and her husband, Trevor Buckley, a master’s student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Also on the team are first-year optometry students Brian Walton and Aaron Peterson; Bennett McAllister, OD, Chief of Primary Care Optometry; Steven Friedrichsen, DDS, Dean, College of Dental Medicine; Elizabeth Schilling, DVM, Assistant Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine; and Cassie Wright Jr., Director of Information Systems, Dental Center. Check out this link to learn about supporting Health’s Angels team. Click on their names to read about their individual stories. Their team goal is to raise $40,000. Each rider is required to raise $3,000.

Pomona Health Career Ladder

More than 100 Pomona Health Career Ladder students received participation certificates and about 40 of those students received perfect attendance certificates during the year-end biomedical career workshop for 2011-12 at WesternU on Saturday, April 21, 2012. WesternU students from the College of Optometry, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, College of Podiatric Medicine, College of Pharmacy and College of Dental Medicine volunteered their time throughout the six workshops to help teach middle and high school students from Pomona Unified School District about one day becoming doctors, nurses, physician assistants, physical therapists, veterinarians, pharmacists, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists, researchers, and other health professionals. Students from partners Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State University, Fullerton, also volunteered.

Towne & Gown Golf Classic

WesternU invites the public to an exciting day of golf to benefit student scholarships.

The Towne & Gown Golf Classic, benefiting the University Scholarship Fund, will be held on June 18, 2012 at the Glendora Country Club, 310 Amelia Ave., Glendora, Calif.

Registration and lunch starts at 11 a.m. followed by a noon shotgun start. Golf Ball Drop from the driving range will happen at 11:45. The owner of the golf ball that lands in the hole or closest to the pin will be the winner of the 50/50 prize. The Hole-in-One prize is a 2012 Cadillac, sponsored by Symes Cadillac of Pasadena. Reception dinner and awards ceremony will follow the event.

Cost is $175 per golfer or $700 per foursome. Proceeds will benefit the University Scholarship Fund thanks to the generosity of T.F. Chen, DDS. Deadline to enter is June 11, 2012.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Susan Terrazas at 909-706-3476, email, or Austin Braunwalder at 909-469-8495, email

Click here to view the website.

Toastmasters meetings

In Toast of the Towne Toastmasters Club you’ll learn to relax, plan, and present a terrific speech, whether you have 10 days or 10 seconds to prepare. You’ll learn to think on your feet and speak confidently in a wide range of situations. Best of all you’ll practice in a friendly, supportive environment with people who are there for the same reasons as you, to become better communicators and leaders.

The club now meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Compatriots Hall, HSC. If you are interested please email or call Ext. 5588.

Holocaust Remembrance Day

WesternU students, staff and faculty heard Holocaust survivor Dr. Joseph Rebhun speak about his experiences during a Holocaust Memorial at WesternU, Thursday, April 19, 2012. Click here to read the full story.

From the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific:

Kudos on accomplishments

Dr. Michael Seffinger would like to congratulate the following students who have been selected as the next cohort of NMM/OMM Pre-Doctoral Teaching Fellows beginning with the 2012-13 academic year: Simon Akl, Shannon Bell, Lynn Chang, Afsoon Foorohar, Rachel Gelfond Davidge, David Joyce Zuniga, Albert Lee, Edward Lin, Molly McCormick, Gretchen Metzenberg, Ashley Mohadjer, Alana Mouery, Abigail Schenkel and Matthew Siri.

COMP-Northwest News

In honor of Earth Day (April 22), Global Health Club and the Class of 2015 will be planting a tree on campus. We have received an apple tree as a generous donation from Dana Kosmala, DO ’94, and her family.

COMP-Northwest held a Lebanon Health Career Ladder Saturday Academy April 21. The theme was Community Health. Unique to this academy is our new partnership with Lebanon Community School District’s Nutrition Services Department, which will be offering free healthy meals to children 6-18 years old who attend our event.


Lony C. Castro, MD, FACOG, COMP Professor and Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, will present on the webinar panel “Labor Induction Trends in the County of San Bernardino: The Obstetric Provider’s Role” on Friday, May 4, 2012. Click here for more information.

From the College of Allied Health Professions:

Department of Physical Therapy Education News

Assistant Professor Victoria Graham, PT, DPT, OCS, NCS, was an invited speaker for the 21st Annual Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association Conference, held last week in Memphis. Dr. Graham addressed a variety of healthcare professionals who attended the two-day multidisciplinary pre-conference “Clinical Skills Level One Course” in which she presented research on vestibular and gait considerations in the patient population with visual impairment.

From the College of Pharmacy:

Ray Symposium

Joshua Benner, PharmD, ScD, challenged Western University of Health Sciences students to make a difference in health care reform in his keynote message at the annual Ray Symposium.

The Ray Symposium, held April 12, 2012 on WesternU’s Pomona, Calif. campus, is organized by the College of Pharmacy and the Interprofessional Education Program in honor of Max Ray, MS, PharmD, Dean Emeritus of the College of Pharmacy. Click here to read the full story and to view a slideshow.

Executive in Residence

A longtime supporter of Western University of Health Sciences is sharing his expertise with College of Pharmacy students and faculty.

The College of Pharmacy named Glenn Etow, PharmD, as its 2012 Executive in Residence. He met with College of Pharmacy faculty and students and WesternU President Philip Pumerantz, PhD, on April 5, 2012. Click here to read the full story.

Kudos on accomplishments

Dr. Fadi Khasawneh and members of his laboratory, MSPS student John Murad and postdoctoral fellow Enma (Veronica) Espinosa, collaborated with Dr. Diane McClure from the College of Veterinary Medicine on the publication:

Murad JP, Espinosa EV, Ting HJ, McClure D, Khasawneh FT. A novel antibody targeting the ligand binding domain of the thromboxane A(2) receptor exhibits antithrombotic properties in vivo. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012 Apr 7. [Epub ahead of print]. Click here to view the manuscript:

From the College of Veterinary Medicine:

Open House

More than 1,000 Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, as well as hundreds more children and their parents from all over Southern California, converged on the WesternU campus for the College of Veterinary Medicine’s seventh annual Open House on April 21, 2012.

CVM students and clubs hosted booths on pets while Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts earned scouting merit badges as they learned about various aspects of animal care.

This year’s open house theme was “The Animal Kingdom.” Pomona Unified School District’s elementary school children participated in a coloring contest with that theme.

Click here to view a slideshow from the event.

Kudos on accomplishments

Veterinary professor and pathologist Dr. Tracey McNamara was interviewed by KPLU (FM 88.5), a National Public Radio station, from the campus of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash. regarding zoonotic disease. “HIV, West Nile virus, swine flu, ebola – all are human diseases that are traced to livestock, wild creatures and insects from locations scattered around the globe.” The interview resulted in an article published on the web at:

Dr. McNamara, who is credited for her role in the discovery of West Nile Virus, is a champion of animal-based disease surveillance strategies that would better alert the nation to an emerging outbreak. Similar to the proverbial “canary in the mine shaft,” Dr. McNamara sees closely observed animal populations (such as zoo animals) serving as disease sentinels around the world.

Veterinary students represented WesternU at the first Student Food Animal Symposium at the Ohio State University School of Veterinary Medicine. Our students contributed to the discussions in the general sessions and helped facilitate the farm welfare assessments along with their veterinary professor and farm animal welfare specialist Dr. James Reynolds who gave the keynote address. Participating students were: Jeannie Clark (DVM 2014), Claire Johnston (DVM 2015), Sarah Sheer (DVM 2015), Adrienne Snider (DVM 2015) and Rita Hemmings (DVM 2015).

The symposium was held because of interest in careers in livestock production and included topics on the welfare of farm animals, farm medicine and practice advice from food animal practitioners.

From the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences:

Alzheimer’s Research

Michel Baudry, PhD, dean of the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences, will publish his research on the critical role of oxidative stress in Alzheimer’s disease and a potential treatment.

The article, co-authored by College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Associate Professor Xiaoning Bi, MD, PhD, will be published in the May 2012 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Click here to read the full story.

From University Advancement:

New Alumni Connection

The April 2012 edition of WesternU’s alumni e-newsletter, The Alumni Connection, is now available. This edition features the latest news on an alumna being named dean, the East West Scholarship Dinner, the Austin Lectureship, upcoming events, and college-specific information. News for future editions can be e-mailed to Russel Heskin, director of Alumni Relations, at

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