Inaugural group inducted in the Robert A. Good Honor Society

The Robert A. Good Honor Society (RGHS) in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine welcomed its inaugural group of members at an induction ceremony held in April.

Sixteen medical students, six faculty members and one alumnus became the charter class to the RGHS, an honor society created in honor of one of the medical school’s greatest scientists, teachers and mentors.

The Charter Class 2017 for the Robert A. Good Honor Society.

“This honor society was established in Dr. Good’s name because, as a physician scientist and practicing clinician, Dr. Good embodied the very values that we here at the Morsani College of Medicine strive to emulate,” said Bryan A. Bognar, MD, MPH, FACP, vice dean for MCOM Educational Affairs. “We hope Dr. Good’s legacy inspires others to further improve medical attitudes and health outcomes and help advance medicine.”

The Robert Good Honor Society was formed to recognize and honor medical students, faculty and alumni who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to improve health outcomes through research, innovation and scholarly endeavors. The MCOM Office of Research, Innovation and Scholarly Endeavors (RISE) introduced RGHS last academic year.

RGHS competitive membership is open to third-year medical students at who have demonstrated excellence in scholarly projects in all fields of medicine, such as biomedical research, innovation, education, the arts, creative and service oriented projects. Projects should contribute towards improving medical attitudes, health outcomes and the advancement of medicine.

For faculty and alumni, candidates are selected by an Advisory Committee that includes current RGHS members and RISE leadership. Criteria is based on academic excellence, leadership, professionalism, service, teaching, research, and mentorship.

At the group’s induction ceremony in April, each honoree received a medallion with Dr. Good’s image, as well as a specially created emblem – a “Discovery Torch” that has three components representing Dr. Good’s legacy: a double helix to symbolize his role as a father of modern immunology, a torch to symbolize the flame of discovery, and a snake (part of the caduceus image for medicine) to symbolize his work in medicine and science.

The Robert A. Good Honor Society Charter Class 2017 included:

Medical students: Robert Ackerman, Matthew Applebaum, Danielle Carr, Michael Carr, Kelsey Duncan, Shawna Foley, Jessica Glover, Anastasia Groshev, Edward Keshishian, Michael Kongnyuy, Alicia Nassar, Alejandro Rabionet, Samuel Reynolds, Charles DeMello Schutt, Thejal Srikumar, and Bo Zhang.

MCOM Faculty: Eric M. Toloza, MD, PhD, Steven Specter, PhD, Phillip J. Marty, PhD, Sarah Yuan, MD, PhD, Stephen B. Liggett, MD, and Jolan E. Walter, MD, PhD.

Alumnus: Peter J. Embi, MD (’97).

In addition, medical student Michael Kongnyuy was presented with the Steven Specter Award for Outstanding Contributions in Scholarly Achievement and the Advancement of Medicine, which included $1,000. Kongnyuy earned the award as an RGHS member whose work demonstrated exemplary research in a field of medicine that mirrored the mission of USF Health, “to change the way we understand health and how it transforms our quality of life.”

Robert A. Good, MD, PhD, DSc, FACP (1922-2003) is internationally known as a “father of modern immunology for his work documenting the importance of lymphocyte in the immune response, the role of the thymus in immune development, and the action of the tonsils in mucosal immune defense. He also contributed significantly to the scientific understanding of immunodeficiency diseases, cellular engineering, and undernutrition. This foundational work, along with a lifetime of other published and presented work, he earned 12 honorary doctoral degrees from medical institutions around the world and multiple awards from medical and scientific institutions around the world.

Dr. Good joined USF in 1985 as chair of the Department of Pediatrics, Physician-in-Chief for All Children’s Hospital, and director of the Children’s Research Institute at All Children’s Hospital.