April 30, 2020

Teaching a passion for Class of 2020 student speaker, multiple award recipient

Josh Kurtz will share his experiences when he delivers remarks during the Medical School’s virtual commencement ceremony on May 15

Graduating senior Josh Kurtz and wife, Christina

Josh Kurtz was born to teach.

After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in biochemistry, Kurtz split time teaching in the U-M School of Nursing and tutoring undergraduate science courses. 

After coming to the Medical School in 2016, the Traverse City, Mich., native continued to explore his passion for education by studying students’ perceptions of various forms of assessment and by his involvement as a curriculum representative and co-chair of the Learning Environment Task Force. He also was active with the Student Run Free Clinic.

Kurtz will share some of his experiences with his fellow Class of 2020 graduates when he delivers remarks during the Medical School’s virtual commencement ceremony on May 15. He was selected by his peers to speak on behalf of the senior class.

“I want to thank my classmates for sharing their time, energy, and stories over the past four years,” Kurtz says. “I will never forget laughing to the point of tears with so many of them — I could not be more grateful.”

During the ceremony, which will be held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kurtz will receive the Paul DeWolf Award and Andrew J. Zweifler Award for Excellence in Clinical Skills. He is one of four graduating students to earn multiple honors; the others are: Michael Klueh, Hanna Saltzman, June Tome, and Paige VonAchen.

Before departing Ann Arbor for the first time in 10 years for a pediatric residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Kurtz will take time to thank those who have inspired him during his journey to become a doctor.

“I am grateful for my exceptional mentors, who have fostered my personal and professional growth more than I could have possibly imagined,” he says, “and for my supportive family (especially my wonderful wife, Christina!) who continue to show their unconditional love and support every day.”

In addition to his multiple graduation awards, Kurtz also has been inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha and Gold Humanism medical honor societies.

In addition to Kurtz, these students will be honored:

Senior Awards

Dean’s Award for Research Excellence
Charles Hwang
Heather Schofield 

Puneet “Ashu” Ailawadi Memorial Award
Stephen John 

Paul DeWolf Award
Josh Kurtz 

Ralph M. Gibson Award
Kristian Black
Caitlin Helm 

Patrick John Niland Award
Jack Buchanan

Sujal Parikh Award
Anita Vasudevan 

Dr. Jane Skillen Award
Brittany Ervin-Sikhondze

Andrew J. Zweifler Award for Excellence in Clinical Skills
Josh Kurtz

United States Public Health Service 2020 Excellence in Public Health Award
Marina Haque

Scholastic Awards

Glasgow-Rubin Citations for Academic Achievement
Christina Ceci
Stephanie Chen
Lauren Chibucos
Nadine Ibrahim
Alissa Kleinhenz
Laura Kruger
Kyle McLain
Hanna Saltzman
June Tome
Paige VonAchen 

Academic Recognition Awards
Michael Klueh
Joshua Rainey
Hanna Saltzman
June Tome
Paige VonAchen 

Michigan Medicine Alumni Society Awards

Scholarship Service Awards
Arrice Bryant, M3
Sydney Lopez, M2

Academic Achievement Award
Michael Klueh

Faculty Awards

The American Medical Women’s Association Gender Equity Award
Christina Chapman, M.D., Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology

Elizabeth Crosby Award
Andrew W. Tai, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology

Kaiser-Permanente Awards for Excellence in Teaching
Pre-Clinical: Laura Heyns Mariani, M.D., MSCE, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine-Nephrology
Clinical: Daniel T. Cronin, M.D., Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine

Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award (presented by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation)
Faculty: Russell M. Pajewski, M.D., Clinical Instructor in Internal Medicine  
Student: Kathryn Holt

Thomas G. Varbedian Award for Excellence in Service to Students
Jennifer Imsande, Ph.D., M-Home program director, Office of Medical Student Education