Bluefield University in the News


by | May 28, 2019

One hundred fifteen Bluefield College seniors accepted diplomas, Saturday, May 18, 2019, during Bluefield College’s Inaugural Master of Arts in Biomedical Science Commencement.

ne hundred fifteen Bluefield College seniors accepted diplomas, Saturday, May 18, 2019, during Bluefield College’s Inaugural Master of Arts in Biomedical Science Commencement. The event was held outside on the campus quad with the majestic East River Mountain as a backdrop. Bluefield College President, Dr. David W. Olive, welcomed family and friends to the celebratory event which featured two speeches from distinguished graduates, greetings on behalf of the Bluefield College Board of Trustees from Michael P. Harris, Pharm. D., and a keynote address from Dr. Phillip A. Peterson, M.D.

Ms. Patricia Pittman and Mr. Emmanuel Ayompe brought the student addresses for the event. Patricia Pittman reflected on her coursework, saying, “This master’s program has given me the knowledge and discipline to thrive in medical school, and I cannot wait.” Then she joked with her classmates, saying, “Now go enjoy your last vacation for the next four years.”

Emmanuel Ayompe concluded that there were four key points or lessons that the graduates had learned from the Master of Arts in Biomedical Science (MABS) program, and he shared those points with the acronym MABS in his address to the graduates. The “M” stood for morale and specifically medical morale. The “A” stood for appreciate, and Ayompe said that through the program, students learned to appreciate “what everyone brings to the team.” The “B” stood for the lifelong bonds that were created between the students in the program. Lastly, the “S” stood for success. Ayompe defined what success means to him saying, “success is influencing the world around you, with the investment of your personality.” Ayompe later added, “If you influence that patient, and help them see how important their health is to you, you are a successful doctor. Knowing that we have all learned from this program, there is no doubt that every one of you will be great physicians.”

Keynote speaker, Dr. Phillip Peterson. M.D. spoke to the graduates offering career advice.  Peterson said, “The people and places that have been a part of your life, send a little of themselves with you as you continue your journey. It is your duty to represent them with integrity and purpose.” Next, he told the graduates that many times over the years as he would be leaving the bedside of patients, they would ask him to remember to pray for him. He would pray with them immediately and would tell patients, “Working for the great physician I do some of my best work on my knees.” The last point that Peterson wanted to make with the graduates was that “education as we know it comes from man and should be cherished. The wisdom and knowing how to apply it comes from God and should be embraced.”

Peterson is a family medicine and geriatric specialist in Bluefield, Virginia. He graduated from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in 1985. Having more than 34 years of diverse physician care experiences, Dr. Peterson affiliates with regional hospitals and cooperates with other doctors and specialists in the area.

Presently, Dr. Peterson is the medical director at Westwood Health Care Center, medical director at Mountaineer Home Health, MSA, in Princeton, W.V., regional medical director at Total Hospice Care, MSA, in Grundy, V.A., and the associate medical director with Hospice Compassus in McDowell County, W.V.

Dr. Peterson has served as a clinical assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and as an adjunct faculty member at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine on the Blacksburg campus.  Additionally, he oversaw residents in the Geriatrics in Internal Medicine and Family Practice Programs at Bluefield Regional Medical Center, where he also served as chief of medicine and co-medical director of the Skilled Nursing Unit. He has held national leadership positions with the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and AMDA, the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care.

The 97th Spring Commencement also included a scripture reading by Dr. Emily Lambert, associate professor of biology; special music sung by Dr. John-Scott Moir, assistant professor of music; as well as a hymn and the singing of the BC alma mater, also led by Dr. John-Scott Moir. Mr. Zachary Smith, vice president of the alumni association board, led the graduates in reciting the alumni creed and welcomed them to the Bluefield College Alumni Association. Smith said, “As you maneuver your way through the many ups and downs of life, there will be choices, challenges, joys, and sorrows. But no matter where the road ahead leads, one constant will remain; you will always be a part of the Bluefield College family.”

Candidates for graduation were presented by Dr. Marshall Flowers, vice president for academic affairs and Dr. Brian Hill, director of the Master of Arts in biomedical sciences program. Dr. David W. Olive completed the conferring of degrees. Candidates for graduation included:

Hazna F. Afzahul-Alam of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

Kristin Aldridge of Mansfield, Texas

Yaidel Luis Alvare of Miami, Florida

Masarath Aman of Louisville, Kentucky

Biruk Beli Amare of Springfield, Virginia

Chad Thomas Amos of Roanoke, Virginia

Abenaa Amoakowaa Asare of Dumfries, Virginia

Emmanuel E. Ayompe, Jr. of Bowie, Maryland

Roxana Bahani of Huntsville, Alabama

Jaimie Marina Barrera of Fairfax, Virginia

Joshua D. Beck of Huntsville, Alabama

Dylan Begun of West Bloomfield, Michigan

Faith Abigail Bowen of Goldsboro, North Carolina

Jessica L. Burns of Philipsburg, Pennsylvania

Brittney Kate Burton of Spotsylvania, Virginia

Ashton Alexander Campbell of Auburn, Alabama

Mary Rose Canlas of Yigo, Guam

James Bowie Carr of Columbia, Maryland

Liza Grace Chafin of Lugoff, South Carolina

Anjali Sathees Chandra of Dallas, Texas

Vandana Chaudhary of Fort Wayne, Indiana

Parika Chauhan of Delran, New Jersey

Melissa Royce Cheong of Allentown, Pennsylvania

Brianna Rachelle Childress of Coeburn, Virginia

Robert M. Chory of Floral Park, New York

Nicholas Pascua de Guzman of Paintsville, Kentucky

Mubat Mantoan Nahbilah Dohvoma of Burtonsville, Maryland

Patrick Dugan of Erie, Pennsylvania

Madison Maxine Ellis of Flushing, Michigan

Thomas Evans of Woodbine, Georgia

Haley Felts of Wytheville, Virginia

Justin Tyler Fox of Spartanburg, South Carolina

Samuel Freytes Rivera of Fredericksburg, Virginia

Benjamin A. Gallagher of Bismark, North Dakota

Parth Gandhi of Burlington, North Carolina

Beatrice Garrido of Weston, Florida

Muhammad Tayyeb Ghaffar of Spartanburg, South Carolina

Jacob Benjamin Glazer of Leawood, Kansas

Gulshan Kaur Grewal of Rock Springs, Wyoming

Benjamin Joseph Harris of Denver, Colorado

Timothy B. Harris of Decatur, Alabama

Christian Arnulfo Hernandez of Alexandria, Virginia

Mackenzie D. Huff of Powell, Tennessee

Oyinemi Filius Iyebote of Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Manpreet Kaur of Baltimore, Maryland

Frances Kimball of Bridgton, Maine

Kaelin Karin Kiss of Pembroke Pines, Florida

Anastasia Fayth-Marie Kalousek of Franklin, North Carolina

Piyush Kumar of Greenwood, South Carolina

Rebekah Elizabeth Kurtaneck of Warsaw, Indiana

Umair Latif of Yorktown, Virginia

Akerria Lashay Lee of New Iberia, Louisiana

Sibongile Lubasi Kutoma of Burnsville, Minnesota

Kashan Mahmood of Marietta, Georgia

Eva Lorraine Mathews of Greensboro, North Carolina

Adair Madeline McCabe of Roanoke, Virginia

Curtis Lee McInnis, Jr. of Forestville, Maryland

Samantha M. McKee of Tarentum, Pennsylvania

Evan Kyle McKenzie of Chattanooga, Tennessee

Julie Mehta of Chantilly, Virginia

Caci K. Meyers of Virginia Beach, Virginia

Charity T. Miles of Saint Louis Park, Minnesota

Michael Christopher Mitkos of Roanoke, Virginia

Colton Avery Morrow of Cleveland, Tennessee

Anani Muradyan of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Riya Parul Nag of McLean, Virginia

Adam Nguyen of Davenport, Iowa

Alina Minh-Hieu Nguyen of Glen Allen, Virginia

Steven Nguyen of Boyds, Maryland

Kiersten Elizabeth Nielsen of Cape Coral, Florida

Dina Nour of Annandale, Virginia

Amee Magan Pansuriya of Westminster, Maryland

Patricia Pittman of Greensboro, North Carolina

Juan Quesada Olarte of Saint Peter, Minnesota

Stephanie M. Quist of Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina

Richu A. Raju of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Jacqueline Marie Rocco of North Carolina

Matthew Russell of Williamsburg, Virginia

Yasasvi Sabbineni of West Palm Beach, Florida

Inderjit Sandha of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Seth Schroeder of Des Moines, Iowa

Ami Piyush Shah of Leesburg, Virginia

Ayesha Shah of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Yongdeok Shin of Richmond, Virginia

James Montgomery Shumate of Cape Carteret, North Carolina

Saif Siddiqui of Orlando, Florida

Ashley Sipe of Charleston, South Carolina

Meera Soman of Atlanta, Georgia

Samantha Sorrow of Greenwood, South Carolina

Bethany Spracher of Bluefield, West Virginia

Shavanni Sydnor of Ruther Glen, Virginia

Paul Francis Tecklenburg, Jr. of Charleston, South Carolina

Seruz Tehrani of Woodstock, Virginia

David Minh Tran of Evansville, Indiana

Robert Tuosto of Radford, Virginia

Troy David Unland, II of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee

Paola Uscanga of Damascus, Maryland

Yaser Mohammad Valiuddin of Ellicott City, Maryland

Melissa Valletti of Clearwater, Florida

Trieu Thi Hai of Falls Church, Virginia

Tharangini Vummadi of Piscataway, New Jersey

Kevin Joseph Waggoner of Midlothian, Virginia

Melissa M. Walker of North Chesterfield, Virginia

Anastasia Nicole Walloga of Waterford, Virginia

Joshua Wasdin of Ludowici, Georgia

LaToya Katisha Watkins of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Jacob T. Weiderman of Clearwater, Florida

Gabrielle Wentling of Fredericksburg, Virginia

Maya Jade Williams of Giles County, Virginia

Haylee Elizabeth Wilson of Westernport, Maryland

Leah A. Wilson of Charleston, South Carolina

Austin Aaron Wood of Botetourt, Virginia

Shianne April Wood of Troutville, Virginia

Shihan Zhang of Orlando, Florida

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