Synergy in Service: Two Decades of Dedication at Schmidt College of Medicine

By: Olesea Svet | April 22, 2024

Florida Atlantic University's Schmidt College of Medicine proudly marks a momentous occasion, celebrating two decades of exceptional service from four of its most distinguished members. This year's celebration, infused with the synergy philosophy championed by Dr. Curtis L. Whitehair, Interim Dean, College of Medicine, shines a spotlight on Drs. Marc Kantorow, Massimo Caputi, Wen Shen, and Annie Thomas. Each has made indelible marks on our institution, blending professional achievements with profound personal commitment to advance the fields of medical education, research, and student affairs.

These celebrations transcend the simple acknowledgment of achievements, embodying a profound sense of gratitude for the distinct impact each honoree has contributed to our community. Dean Whitehair captures this sentiment, stating, "The remarkable journeys of Drs. Kantorow, Caputi, Shen, and Annie exemplify the essence of synergy that defines our college. Their dedication over the past two decades has catalyzed a culture of excellence and collaboration, setting a benchmark for future generations." It is not just their pioneering research, innovative educational approaches, or dedicated mentorship that have molded our institution; rather, it is their profound commitment, creativity, and leadership that have truly engrained their legacy within the fabric of our college.

Dr. Marc Kantorow, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, Director Medical Post-Baccalaureate Certificate, and Professor of Biomedical Science has been instrumental in developing our graduate programs and leading ocular genetics research. His dual role as an educator and a researcher exemplifies his multifaceted contributions to science and mentorship. Dr. Patrick Grant, Chair and Professor of Biomedical Science and Interim Senior Associate Dean for Research notes, "His work has significantly enhanced our college's visibility and shaped the future of our graduate programs." Beyond his academic achievements, Kantorow's passion for literature, theater, and martial arts speaks to his multifaceted contribution to our community.

Dr. Massimo Caputi, Professor, Biomedical Science and his pioneering work in molecular biology and virology have attracted substantial grants and fostered an environment of collaborative innovation. Dr. Grant praises his efforts, "His vision for bioinformatics infrastructure is setting the stage for breakthroughs in medical genomics research." His explorations beyond the laboratory, particularly his interest in global cultures and cuisines, mirror his scientific curiosity and his belief in the interconnectedness of our world.

Dr. Wen Shen, Professor, Biomedical Science has distinguished herself in the study of visual adaptation, mentoring numerous students towards successful careers while contributing significantly to her field's body of knowledge. "Her commitment to student development and her research in visual adaptation have been pivotal," says Dr. Grant. Her artistic talents, particularly in photography, allow her to capture the unseen beauty of the natural world, reflecting her ability to see beyond the surface in her scientific research as well.

Annie Thomas, Senior Student Affairs Administrative Specialist and Assistant to the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions has been the cornerstone of the Office of Medical Student Affairs, where her dedication and compassion have created a supportive and inclusive environment for all students. Recognized repeatedly by the college community, her contributions extend beyond her administrative role, reflecting her deep commitment to student success and well-being. Dr. Jennifer W. Caceres, Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions, Associate Professor of Medicine, and oversight of Community Engagement, highlights her role, "Annie's hard work and compassion have not only earned her the Staff of the Year Award multiple times but have also significantly enhanced the services we offer our learners."

In recognizing these milestones, we are reminded of how synergy and genuine appreciation cultivate a culture rich in engagement, trust, and unparalleled excellence. This celebration, echoing the universal quest for validation, affirms that our honorees are seen, heard, and deeply valued not just for their contributions but for their essence. Their exceptional contributions, combined with their unique personal qualities, propel us forward, embodying the synergy that fuels our collective progress.

Looking ahead, we are excited about the continued influence of their work and the new chapters they will write. This celebration marks a moment of reflection and anticipation, setting the stage for ongoing collaboration, discovery, and excellence at the Schmidt College of Medicine.

Additional Information
The Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine offers students a variety of educational programs and degrees.
Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road, BC-71
Boca Raton, FL 33431