Letter from Dean Liang
Dear Medical Alums,
The School of Medicine has reached another milestone with several noteworthy accomplishments this year. On March 16, 2018, we had another successful MATCH of the graduating class. Nearly 50% of the students got their top choice and 85% were matched to their top 3 choices. Nearly 49% of them are entering training in the much needed primary care specialties. Our GME programs (training residents and fellows) successfully matched medical students seeking their postgraduate training. Overall, the GME programs have no citations, a commendable and impressive accomplishment. The MATCH was followed by a successful Commencement on May 7, 2018 when medical students, dental students, master degree and PhD degree students received their diplomas. It was a joyous and an emotional day for the students and their loves ones.
U.S. News & World Report released its new 2019 Best Graduate Schools Rankings. Good news, UConn School of Medicine is remaining competitive nationally. Of the nation’s 177 medical schools, UConn remains in the top 50 nationally for primary care excellence. We now rank #46 in primary care and for medical research, we are staying steady at #57, co-ranked with Tufts and Temple. While we remain positively viewed among all medical schools, we are committed to advancing the SOM further in this ranking and in other important priorities. We are thankful of the effort by our faculty and staff for the School of Medicine’s persistent competitive edge. Thank you for keeping us striving for greater excellence each day. We look forward to welcoming the largest entering class in August of 2018 when we expect to matriculate 110 medical students.
I wish all of you a wonderful, peaceful and fun summer. It is time to experience quality moments with your families and friends. Talk to you again in the fall!
Bruce T. Liang, MD | Dean, School of Medicine
Director of Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiovascular Center
Ray Neag Distinguished Professor of Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine
Letter from Dean MacNeil
June 30 will mark my last day as dean of the School, and I have to say it’s been a wonderful experience. The last twelve years really seem more like twelve months, which I’ll interpret as a good thing! We have accomplished a lot together since 2006, including particularly notable success in developing a new curriculum shared with our medical school to a new inter-campus department, a major national award and a $90 million renovation and construction project. While these are great achievements, I am most proud of another – the re-establishment of an active alumni association that has revitalized alumni interest in and support for the School. Thank you, each and every one of you, for your part in this and the loyalty you have shown to me and the School over these years. The School is definitely poised for continued advancement in the future in large part because of you.
Many of you know that my favorite sport is hockey. I can now confess that is why so many of our alumni sports outings involved an ice rink! I’ve become a fan of our UConn Huskies who are still novice participants in the best college hockey conference in the country, Hockey East. Over the past several years, I’ve noticed some interesting things about this team. First, they seem totally at ease playing against schools with a much longer history in the game, some with four, or five or even more generations of alumni. It’s a team comprised of people of different backgrounds and interests, bonded tightly by one common experience. My goodness, they even let Canadians on the team! Each year, our Huskies are getting stronger, more cohesive, and proving that they’re ready for even greater success. This team reminds me a lot of our Alumni Association. We started out modestly surrounded by schools with much longer track records, but have grown each year under the steady leadership of our captains, first Bill Gagnon, then Mike D’Occhio, followed by Barry Rosenberg, Tris Carta and Joe Gargano. You have all played great supporting roles around them and we have raised some eyebrows with our spirit and drive.
I’m looking forward to playing a different role on our team – hopefully not relegated as a duster on the bench – and I will continue to enjoy promoting our wonderful academic home.
All the best,
Dean, School of Dental Medicine
Letter from Dean MacNeil
Several weeks ago I informed our faculty, staff and students that I would be ending my term as dean of the SDM in July of next year and rejoining the faculty.
As July rolls along, I will have been in this position just shy of twelve years, a unique distinction, since the average duration for a dental dean is now about half of that time span. I must tell you that it has been a tremendous experience for me – one that, looking back several decades, or generations! – I could not have dreamed possible. I thank UConn, and you, for this incredible opportunity, and I believe that we’ve made the most of it.
We have accomplished a great deal together here: an entirely renovated and significantly expanded dental school infrastructure; new research labs modelled on a collaborative premise; new state-of–the-art preclinical laboratories and classrooms, including perhaps the most advanced virtual reality teaching capacity in the country; by early 2019, a new and contemporary Dental Care Center for our faculty, residents and students; an entirely redesigned medical-dental curriculum using a team-learning approach that better links the basic and clinical sciences; next year, the introduction of a new clinical model for patient care and education which we call CONNcept; a new department, our Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) which we share in a very unique fashion with our sister schools of Medicine and Engineering; and faculty, residents and students who continue to receive national and international recognition through exceptional academic performance.
I must confess however, that I am particularly proud of the rejuvenation of the Alumni Association and the great spirit and involvement that we now see from alumni. Our association is now recognized as one of the strongest and most active of the UConn colleges, and that is going to put to put us in a great position as we move ahead. As you have heard me say many times, “Great schools are going to be built around great alumni”, so our future is indeed promising.
Other deans have told me over the past years that “you will know when the time comes to let someone else ‘take the wheel’. No one will need to tell you – you will sense it”, and that is exactly what happened. I was reappointed to my third five-year term in January and my “drive” for even considering this extension was the potential to move the School in additional new directions – a correlate with the major physical renewal we have accomplished here over the last several years. It became clear that the timing was not right for this; it was apparent to me that the time was ideal for the School to identify a new leader who would set their vision for the SDM. Whoever that may be, they will lead a rebuilt school, not just physically, but one with a strong and youthful faculty that is well respected on the national and international front. There could not be a better time to ‘pass the keys’.
Thanks for all your support and dedication to this great school that has done so much for all of us. I’m proud to call myself a UConn SDM grad, even if limited to my residency program, and I am even more proud to call you my alumni colleagues.
All the best,
Dean, School of Dental Medicine
As move-in weekend approaches at UConn, you can already feel the excitement as we prepare for the Huskies to return! Through this newsletter, we’ll help you stay connected to UConn as your student continues their education.
There’s lots coming up this fall. We’ve compiled a list of important dates in the 2017-2018 academic year you won’t want to miss. I especially hope to see you October 6-8 for Family Weekend, which includes the Legacy Breakfast for alumni families.
Want to meet other UConn parents and support enhanced leadership programming and student activities outside of the classroom? Learn more about the Parents Fund and the Parents Fund Council and join us.
Thanks for being the proud parent of a UConn Husky!
All the best,
Director of Development, Parent and Family Giving
I hope you are having a wonderful summer!
I’ve been thinking about the words of the Greek storyteller, Aesop: “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” Truly, they are words that remind me of you. Each time you donate your time, treasure, and talent, you transform yet another UConn student’s life.
I see this transformation in countless thank-you notes that cross my desk from grateful students. What’s most inspiring is how many say they can’t wait to pay it forward. As one student recently said to their donor, “I hope one day I will be able to help UConn students… achieve their goals just as you have helped me.” Your generosity is building a culture of giving that is essential to our continued success as a University. Thank you!
We hope you, as an Oak Grove Society member, enjoy this first look at our new edition of Inside UConn Nation. You’ll learn about what’s going on at UConn and the noteworthy achievements of our alumni. You may even help solve a mystery in our new Mystery Photo feature.
Joshua R. Newton
President & CEO UConn Foundation