The Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine will hold its annual graduation ceremony on Tuesday, May 28, at 6:30 p.m. at the Schuster Center in downtown Dayton. The graduating class includes 110 medical students.
Kennon Miller, M.D., ’07, assistant professor of pathology and internal medicine, will deliver the commencement address. Miller is highly involved with teaching in the first two years of the medical school curriculum, particularly immunology, microbiology and pathology. The class of 2019 was the first class he had the privilege of teaching at Wright State.
Miller completed his undergraduate studies in electrical engineering at the University of Cincinnati. During his time as an engineer, he worked for the Tactical Electronic Warfare Division of the Naval Research Laboratory and in the Circuit Implementation Group of Compaq Computer Corporation.
After learning more about biomedical engineering, Miller decided to pursue a career in medicine and entered Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in 2003. After graduation, Miller completed a combined anatomic and clinical pathology residency at the Cleveland Clinic, where he served as a chief resident. He remained at the Cleveland Clinic for fellowship training in medical microbiology and infectious disease pathology. After graduation, he worked as a surgical pathologist in Columbus before returning to Wright State.
The Boonshoft School of Medicine graduation ceremony can be streamed lived at medicine.wright.edu/marketing-and-communications/streaming.
Each student’s journey through medical school is unique. Here are a few of their stories.
Ashley Duckworth: Drawn to pathology and studying tissues under the microscope
As a high school student, Lauren Duckworth participated in physician shadowing for two weeks. Ever since, she knew she wanted to become a doctor. But it wasn’t until she took a histology course at the University of Louisville that she knew her choice of specialization.
“I found myself absolutely fascinated by the differences in tissue appearance under the microscope,” Duckworth said. “My continued exposure to pathology both in the classroom and at the hospital confirmed that this was what I wanted to pursue after graduating medical school.”
As a medical student, Duckworth was president of the Pathology Interest Group. She also was a foster parent for the Greater Dayton Humane Society.
“Having a puppy to come home to was a necessary and fun distraction,” Duckworth said. “There is even a picture somewhere of me laying on the kitchen floor, a dog asleep on my back, while I’m reading from a textbook.”
Duckworth advises incoming medical students to always be humble and kind. Treating others how you want to be treated will get you far — from fellow medical students to attendings to front desk workers.
She is glad that she chose the Boonshoft School of Medicine because of the unique clinical experiences she has had in many different hospitals throughout the Dayton area. Duckworth will miss the many wonderful people who have helped her along the way. She is ready to pursue her pathology residency at the Cleveland Clinic.
“I’ll never forget my interview day. Teresa Rickey helped me fit my white coat — shortening the sleeves, making sure everything fit just right. She was the same person who gave me a huge hug four years later after I opened my match letter and found out I got my top choice,” Duckworth said. “Dee Wilcox in the front office is like a mom to many of us. Melanie Miller in the Skills Assessment Training Center is an organized angel throughout all the Introduction to Clinical Medicine experiences, and everyone who works in Medical Operations are the workhorses behind the scenes. I appreciate them all.”
Chloe Meyer: Excited for pediatrics and patient interaction
Chloe Meyer considered many career paths before deciding to go into medicine. These included engineering, nursing, pharmacy or athletic training.
“I decided once and for all medical school was for me after spending a semester shadowing a family friend,” Meyer said. “I loved the patient interaction and team approach.”
At the Boonshoft School of Medicine, Meyer has been involved in class government. She has served as an academic representative for two years and then as president for two years. She gave input on the medical school’s curriculum and helped guide younger medical students through Step 1 exams.
Meyer took part in the global health track and made trips to Jamaica and Greece. She was a member of the Catholic Medical Student Association, Healer’s Art and Big Brothers Big Sisters. She also taught religion classes at her local parish.
Meyer chose the Boonshoft School of Medicine because she liked the school’s approach to medical education. “The school seemed to put emphasis on developing the whole person,” Meyer said. “My classmates have been incredible.”
She will soon begin a residency in pediatrics at the University of Alabama Medical Center.
“Pediatrics for me embodies the team approach to medicine,” Meyer said. “I love how resilient kids are and how a lot of situations truly affect entire families. You have to learn how to care for your patients but also for their loved ones.”
Anton Webb: Student leader in community service
Anton Webb chose to attend the Boonshoft School of Medicine because he felt at home on interview day.
“I’m happy that I trusted that feeling. On that day, I met so many people who made me feel at ease,” Webb said. “Furthermore, I felt that the curriculum had the potential to prepare me well for standardized exams and clinical encounters.”
As a medical student, Webb was involved in the Student National Medical Association, the Admissions Committee, tutoring and community service. He interviewed and advocated for applicants. Webb helped underclassmen at Wright State University improve their understanding of basic science concepts. He participated in health-related community service projects.
From those experiences, he learned the importance of building strong relationships within the community. Medical school also taught him many new life lessons, while reinforcing others he had already learned.
“One lesson is the following: ‘When we compare, we despair!’ It’s very easy for students in new environments to compare themselves to their classmates, but they must quickly learn to set their own expectations and to rejoice when meeting them,” Webb said. “Another lesson is to remember your core values that brought you to this place as you progress through the medical school experience. These will help guide you in decision-making as well as in the art of medicine.”
Webb will soon begin a residency in anesthesiology at the University at Buffalo. He chose between many different options for residency, but ultimately made his choice after reflecting on his interests in patient care, working in the operating room and alleviating pain.
“This field is an excellent fit for me,” Webb said. “I look forward to positively impacting the lives of my patients.”
The Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine is a community-based medical school affiliated with eight major teaching hospitals. The medical school educates the next generation of physicians by providing medical education for more than 480 medical students and 465 residents and fellows in 13 specialty areas and 10 subspecialties. Its research enterprise encompasses centers in the basic sciences, epidemiology, public health and community outreach programs. More than 1,600 of the medical school’s 3,422 alumni remain in medical practice in Ohio.