Skip to Content Skip to Footer

This Week@WesternU, May 18-22, 2015

by Rodney Tanaka

May 18, 2015

Read 8 mins

Commencement 2015

The 34th Annual Commencement Exercises for Western University of Health Sciences will be held May 20-22, 2015 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena, Calif., and the inaugural Commencement for COMP-Northwest will be held June 5, 2015 on the COMP-Northwest campus, 200 Mullins Drive, Lebanon, Oregon, celebrating the accomplishments of 1,122 graduates.

Click here to visit the Commencement website:

Live webcast: We are pleased to announce that the commencement ceremonies will be webcast live at

Click here to read more about the Commencement keynote speakers for May 20-22.

Click here to read more about the COMP-Northwest Commencement keynote speakers.

Let’s make May’s Commencement in Pasadena memorable with this hashtag – #WesternU2015. You and your family can play an instrumental role on social media by helping us make a virtual scrapbook.

Don’t forget to follow, tag and mention us @WesternUNews on Instagram and Twitter, and find us at

WesternUniversityofHealthSciences on Facebook. Links are also available at the bottom of this email. We’ll be posting throughout each Commencement ceremony from May 20-22.


Click here for more information.

From the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific:

WesternU in top 10 nationwide in medical school applicants

Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) ranks in the top 10 nationwide in total applications to medical schools, according to a new report.

COMP had 8,653 applicants in fall 2014, bringing it into the top 10 nationwide for the first time, according to

U.S. News and World Report. Drexel University topped the list at 14,648 applicants.

“”COMP has a long tradition of excellence that is reflected by our dedicated faculty and staff and the success of our alumni,”” said COMP Dean Paula Crone, DO ’92. “”The ranking in the Top 10 on the U.S. News and World Report regarding schools with the most applicants is yet another demonstration that the word is out about WesternU.””

Click here to read the full story.

Osteopathic Graduate Medical Education 2015 Match Data Continue at High Level, Will Result in More Primary Care Physicians

Over the past decade, total enrollment at the nation’s colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) has continued to grow, and the corresponding number of osteopathic medical student graduates who “”match”” (apply and are accepted) to graduate medical education (GME) residency positions continues to remain very high. Through the 2015 GME match process, AACOM collected data from the COMs as part of the annual “”Report on Osteopathic Medicine Placements,”” and found that during 2015 the placement of DO graduates into GME residency programs nationwide was 99.41 percent overall.

Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) in Pomona, California, and at its sister campus, COMP-Northwest in Lebanon, Oregon, had a 100 percent placement rate as defined by all students eligible for GME in the 2014-15 academic year.

Click here to read the full story.

Kudos on accomplishments

Professor Clint Adams, DO, was the Distinguished Speaker for the Military Promotion Ceremony for the Uniformed Services Members of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2015 at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University’s War Memorial Chapel in Blacksburg, Va. on May 8, 2015. He spoke to the historic and current requisite for professionalism in the military as defined by Capability, Conduct and Contribution. He was awarded the symbolic Military Coin and recognized at the Commencement Exercise on May 9, 2015.

Professor Brion Benninger, executive director of the MAC, has been invited to present on his research using innovative technologies and techniques integrating Glass into teaching clinical anatomy associated with diagnostic and invasive procedures. He has been integrating these technologies and techniques creating the “”Millennial Anatomy Lab”” that he published and continues to develop in the McDaniel Radiology, Surgery and Anatomy Lab in Lebanon. The Editor-in-Chief of the journal Clinical Anatomy has also invited Dr. Benninger to present at the American Association of Clinical Anatomists annual meeting in June 2015.

From the College of Allied Health Professions:

WesternU conducts interprofessional gait study

Western University of Health Sciences is conducting an interprofessional study to explore walking, balance and visual skills in children ages 7-11. The purpose of the study is to identify specific walking and balance characteristics and visual skills in children with autism and/or sensory issues, as well as children who are developing typically.

Faculty from the Department of Physical Therapy Education in the College of Allied Health Professions (CAHP), the College of Podiatric Medicine, and the College of Optometry are conducting the study.

Each child and parent will come for a one-time visit of about 90 minutes on an upcoming Saturday at The Village@Indian Hill, Building 3, Suite 18, 1450 E. Holt Ave., Pomona, Calif. Participants will receive a $90 stipend.

If you and your child would like to participate in this study, please contact CAHP Associate Dean for Research Donna Redman-Bentley, PT, PhD, at 909-706-8423 or email

From the College of Pharmacy:

College of Pharmacy focuses on assessment

Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Pharmacy created a new position, Associate Dean for Assessment, that speaks to the growing importance of assessment and program evaluation.

Linda S. Garavalia, PhD, was hired to fill the new role in the College. She previously worked at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she served as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Assistant Dean of Assessment for the School of Pharmacy.

Click here to read the full story.

Kudos on accomplishments

Congratulations to the following Pharmaceutical Science Department members on their most recent accomplishments:

Fadi Khasawneh, PhD, and MSPS Student Hari Priya Vemana on their most recent publication: Vemana HP, Karim ZA, Conlon C, Khasawneh FT. A critical role for the transient receptor potential channel type 6 in human platelet activation. PLoS ONE. 2015;10(4):e0125764. Epub 2015/05/01. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0125764. PubMed PMID: 25928636; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4416038. Link to Article

MSPS Student Hari Priya Vemana received the 4th place Graduate Student Best Abstract Award, from the Division of Cardiovascular Pharmacology of the American Society for Pharmacology an Experimental Therapeutics at the 2015 Experimental Biology Meeting. This is a significant achievement for Dr. Fadi Khasawneh’s laboratory and the MSPS program, as Vemana competed with more than 30 applicants, all PhD students from the U.S. and internationally. Her abstract information is as follows: Vemana H.P., Karim Z.A., Conlon C., and Khasawneh F.T.,””A New Player In Platelet Function,”” Experimental Biology 2015 Meeting, Boston, Mass., March 29, 2015.

Jeffrey Wang, PhD, chaired a session “”Peptide Therapeutics for Gastrointestinal Diseases”” and made an oral presentation titled “”Peptide Lipid Conjugates for Peptide Drug Delivery”” in the Peptide Therapeutics Delivery Session. These activities were a part of PEGS: The Essential Protein Engineering Summit in Boston, MA. (May 6-7, 2015).

Dr. Wang received an intramural grant award of $5,000 for his project “”Exploration of Using Silkworm Larva as an Animal Model for Drug Absorption and Drug Discovery.”” Dr. Wang will explore the innovative use of silkworms as animal models for drug absorption and discovery.

Dr. Cynthia Jackevicius published the following: Atzema CL, Austin PC, Chong AS, Dorian P, Jackevicius CA. The long-term use of warfarin among atrial fibrillation patients discharged from an emergency department with a warfarin prescription. Ann Emerg Med 2015; (published online ahead of print May 8, 2015), doi:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2015.03.024.

Click here to read the article.

From the College of Veterinary Medicine:

Kudos on accomplishments

Dr. Beth Boynton presented “”Student Attitudes Toward Underserved in Two Graduate Health Profession Programs”” at the National Academies of Practice Forum Poster Presentation held last month. This is part of a WesternU longitudinal and cross-sectional research project started in 2010 with several faculty members, including Dr. Suzie Kovacs. The poster generated interest from faculty at several health profession schools around the country. One Academy chair noted, “”I think that one of the best Interprofessional Posters at the Poster Session was that of Dr. Beth Boynton of WesternU who compared medical and veterinary students’ desire to help underprivileged patients at the first part of their first year of professional school to their feeling when nearly completing their professional training.””

Dr. Malika Kachani was elected to Distinguished Fellowship in the National Academies of Practice (NAP) and the Veterinary Medicine Academy as a Distinguished Practitioner & Fellow.

From the College of Dental Medicine:

Kudos on accomplishments

Drs. Clara Kim, Joel Laudenbach, and Vicki Wedel presented invited continuing education seminars at the California Indian Health Services annual conference in Sacramento, Calif. Dr. Clara Kim described the “”Top 5 Systemic Conditions Linked To Periodontal Disease And Their Clinical Management.”” Dr. Joel Laudenbach spoke about “”Geriatric Dentistry: Improving Your Clinical Confidence”” and Dr. Vicki Wedel presented “”Forensic Perspectives on Blunt Force Trauma to the Dentition and When Dentists Are Required to Report Out.””

From the Pumerantz Library:


Welcome summer in style with the latest issue of the Pumerantz Library newsletter. This issue is Stacked! with alumni services, exhibits and upcoming events, a “”Throwback Thursday”” picture of President Pumerantz and more.

Click here to view the newsletter.

From University Advancement:

Towne & Gown Golf Classic

WesternU invites everyone to an exciting day of golf to benefit the Towne & Gown Endowed Scholarship Fund.

The 5th Annual Towne & Gown Golf Classic will take place Monday, June 22, 2015 at Red Hill Country Club, 8358 Red Hill Country Club Drive, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. 91730.

Registration and lunch starts at 11 a.m., followed by a noon shotgun start with reception and awards to follow. Proceeds will benefit the Towne & Gown Endowed Scholarship thanks to the generosity of T.F. Chen, DDS, and our sponsors.

Contact Austin Braunwalder at 909-469-8495,, or Susan Terrazas at 909-706-3476,

Visit the website at

Click here for Save the Date information.

Click here for the Towne & Gown brochure.

Helicopter Drop

Everyone is invited to join the Towne & Gown Golf Classic Helicopter Drop. Whether you’re at the golf course or not, you will be able to tune in and catch the live streaming action. The helicopter team will dump numbered golf balls over a designated hole, and the owner of the ball that lands in the hole (or closest to the pin) will win the 50-50 cash prize. This is another exciting way to benefit the Towne & Gown Endowed Scholarship Fund. Contact Austin Braunwalder at 909-469-8495 or for more information.

Click here to view the flier.

Alumni news

The Alumni Office is accepting RSVPs for four upcoming events. Click on the links below for details or to register to attend:

Sunday, May 24, 6-8 p.m.:

  – WesternU Reception at the American Academy of Physician Assistants’ Annual Conference in San Francisco

Saturday, June 20, 5:30-7 p.m.:

  – WesternU Reception at the California Veterinary Medical Association’s Pacific Veterinary Conference in Long Beach

Friday, June 26, 6-7:30 p.m.:

  – WesternU Reception at the American Optometric Association’s Optometry’s Meeting in Seattle

Friday, June 26, 6-8 p.m.:

  – WesternU Dinner at the California Podiatric Medical Association’s Western Foot & Ankle Conference in Anaheim

Follow us on Instagram at @westernunews

Follow us on Twitter at @WesternUNews

Find us on Facebook at:

Western University of Health Sciences, 309 E. Second St., Pomona, Calif. 91766


Recommended Stories