Dr. Brent Thoma, Simon Huang and Lily Xiao stand with Huang's novelty cheque. (Rob Nguyen, Class of 2019)

CoM students pay it forward

Simon Huang was recently honoured for his exceptional work as a student mentor

Jacob Towriss (L) and Odell Tan. (Rob Nguyen, Class of 2019)

Despite the work involved with medical school, one constant seen among our students is their willingness to give back to the community – be it at large outside of the College of Medicine, or by working with their fellow students.

An awards ceremony last Friday served to highlight a small part of that work by acknowledging both the CoM’s best mentor and mentee of 2017. And this year, the fifth iteration of the award, those honours went to Simon Huang and Lily Xiao (respectively).

“The CoM’s Mentoring Programs are dedicated to enhancing, supporting and growing the academic environment by establishing a culture of mentoring in order to create a center where everyone wants to come to work, to learn, to teach, to conduct research,” explained Stephanie Marshall, the coordinator of the Office of Career Advising and Mentorship (OCA&M). “They are intended to serve undergraduate students, graduate and postgraduate trainees, community-based faculty, and members of the faculty in the CoM who hold paid appointments in a clinical or basic science department, working as physicians, researchers, and clinical or basic science educators, and staff.”

Huang (2019) was recognized for ability to provide outstanding guidance and support to a junior student colleague at the college who, in this case, was Xiao (2020).

We received a lot of outstanding nomination letters for the Mentor of the Year award - so many that it was hard to pick a single winner,” Dr. Brent Thoma said before presenting Huang with his award. “However, this year’s recipient stood out due to the very thoughtful letter that was penned by his mentee. In it, she clearly outlined the struggles that she had faced during her first year of medical school and the ways that her mentor helped her through them.

“(And Huang) was endlessly available for her to talk to, shared his own struggles, and provided connections and advice that helped her to connect to student groups and other mentors in Saskatoon.”

The evening awards were presented by the masters of ceremonies, PEERSiM mentor/mentee pair of Ali Jamal (2019) and Scott Johns (2020).

In addition to Huang’s award, Jamal and Haseeb Rizvi (2019), Big Brothers and Big Sisters Liaison, we both recognized for their work as program liaisons.

(L-R) Scott Johns, Dr. Greg Malin, and Emmanuel Oduntan. (Rob Nguyen, Class of 2019)
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