Since 2014 the Geisel Alumni Council’s Alumni Recognition Committee has been honoring the achievements of graduates who have distinguished themselves in the fields of medicine, science, and other endeavors. This year they selected eight esteemed alumni to recognize for the 2023 Alumni Awards Ceremony. Each honoree typifies the Geisel/DMS tradition of excellence in their field of medicine or service to the Dartmouth community.
The 2023 Alumni Awards Ceremony and Reception will take place on Friday, May 19 at the Hanover Inn in Hanover, N.H. It’s sure to be a wonderful celebration of our amazing alumni. Register today to join us in person or virtually.
To learn more about the award categories and nominate a deserving alumnus visit us online at dartgo.org/aawards or contact Annette Achilles at Geisel.Alumni.Relations@dartmouth.edu with any questions.
Young Alumni Awardee
Matthew M. Ippolito, PhD, D’02, MED’11 is a physician-scientist who primarily focuses on malaria research in Zambia in his medical career. Additionally, he cares for patients at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and educates students as an assistant professor of infectious diseases and clinical pharmacology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and at the Malaria Research Institute at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Ippolito is the director of clinical epidemiology for the Southern and Central Africa International Center of Excellence for Malaria Research (ICEMR) and has authored many papers related to malaria and the efficacy of antimalarial drugs to control the disease in sub-Saharan Africa. Matthew has conducted scholarly and humanitarian work in many countries, including Zambia, Peru, Tanzania, and Guatemala. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana and is on the editorial board of Frontiers in Malaria.
Distinguished Alumni Awardees
Joyce A. Sackey D’85, MED’89 is instrumental in championing the cause of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the United States as well as internationally. Her current positions—as associate dean and chief equity, diversity, and inclusion officer for Stanford Medicine—utilize her passion for equity and creating inclusive environments, particularly in medical professions. Prior to Stanford, she served as associate provost and chief diversity officer for Tufts University Health Sciences Schools, as the dean for Multicultural Affairs and Global Health in the Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM), and as the Jane Murphy Gaughan Endowed Professor at TUSM. As dean, she oversaw the medical school’s programs that aim to increase the number of underrepresented-in-medicine (URM) students pursuing careers in the biomedical sciences and health professions. Her international commitments to equity include establishing the Foundation for African Relief (FAR), which provides resources, training, faculty exchanges, and other medical connections between Africa and the U.S., particularly Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), where Dr. Sackey serves as an attending physician in medicine.
Megan T. Sandel MED’96 is a staunch advocate for the health of children and underserved families, a passion that began as a student at Dartmouth Medical School and continues into her professional career as a researcher and innovator. She serves as professor at the Boston University (BU) Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine and a professor at the BU School of Public Health. She’s also the co-director of the Grow Clinic for Children at Boston Medical Center (BMC), which is a multispecialty clinic for children with failure to thrive. She is the principal investigator for the Boston Opportunity System Collaborative, which connects underserved Boston neighborhoods with employment and affordable housing opportunities. Megan advocates for place-based investing—focusing on specific, disinvested neighborhoods and ZIP codes to address health inequities. She’s also the co-lead principal investigator for Children’s HealthWatch at BMC, and leads the medical center’s $6.5-million housing and place-based community health initiative. She serves as a board member for a number of regional and national organizations.
Outstanding Service Awardee
Kenton (Kent) E. Powell MED’07, RES’11 has dedicated himself to serving patients as well as learners throughout his medical career, evidenced by his many leadership roles at Dartmouth Health. He joined the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) faculty in 2011 in the Lyme clinic. In 2013, Dr. Powell became director of the primary care track internal medicine residency program and the associate director of the internal medicine residency program, where he continues to oversee the full spectrum of graduate medical education. He became the medical director of the Lyme clinical site in 2017 and co-director of the advanced ambulatory medicine clerkship in 2019. He is also a preceptor for the On Doctoring program and a faculty member at the Geisel School of Medicine. Kent has led workshops at national meetings of the Association of Academic Internal Medicine. He also developed a new approach to getting DHMC residents engaged with the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This successful model has been presented nationally and duplicated at other residency programs, and it is now standard at all graduate medical education programs at DHMC.
Career Achievement Awardees
Stuart Hanson D’59, MED’60, a pulmonary medicine and critical care physician from 1971 to 2012, dedicated his career to patient care, smoking reduction, and improving working conditions in healthcare. Now retired from clinical care, Stu has served since 2010 as president of the nonprofit Behavior at Work Collaborative, which focuses on creating abuse-free work environments. Dr. Hanson served in many leadership positions over his four decades as a practicing pulmonologist, including as past president of the Minnesota Medical Association (MMA), past president and board chair of the Twin Cities Medical Society, and Minnesota delegation chair to the American Medical Association House of Delegates. From 1986 to 2002, he was president and CEO of Park Nicollet Institute for Research and Education in Minnesota, leading much of the organization’s growth during that time. As a leader in smoking-cessation campaigns, Stu was past president and board chair of Smoke-Free Generation Minnesota, and he was the founding president and board chair of the Minnesota Coalition for a Smoke-Free Society. He also served as vice chair of the Minnesota Partnership for Action Against Tobacco.
John A. Zaia MED’66 has made significant contributions throughout his 55-year career to the fields of virology and infectious diseases, especially concerning gene therapy for AIDS, vaccines, and immune globulin therapies for viral diseases. He has worked for 42 years at City of Hope National Medical Center as a pediatrician and virologist. Among his current leadership roles at City of Hope, he serves as the director of the Center for Gene Therapy within the Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute, as the founding director of the Infectious Diseases Section in the Department of Pediatrics, and as the director of the City of Hope Alpha Stem Cell Clinic. He also currently serves on a number of committees and boards, including the FDA Cellular, Tissue, and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee. John has been a role model in conducting ethical, innovative, and safe human-subject research. Dr. Zaia has contributed greatly to SARS-CoV2 treatments, including monoclonal antibody therapy. He also participated in the initiation of the first-in-human clinical trial of a synthetic MVA-based SARS-CoV2 vaccine.
Eric Donnenfeld D’77, MED’80, P’05 exemplifies a broad range of contributions to the field of ophthalmology including scholarship, technological advancements, and, of course, experienced and empathetic patient care. Eric is a clinical professor of ophthalmology at New York University Medical Center since 2006. He also founded the Lions Eye Bank for Long Island, where he acts as surgical director. As an internationally recognized expert and pioneer in the field of refractive, cornea, and cataract surgery, Dr. Donnenfeld was among the first five people in the world to perform both laser vision correction and laser cataract surgery. He has authored more than 225 peer-reviewed papers and has published more than 45 book chapters and three books on cornea, external disease, cataract, and refractive surgery. As a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Dr. Donnenfeld has been recognized with the organization’s Secretariat Award, Honor Award, Senior Honor Award, and Life Achievement Honor Award. The Ophthalmologist named him to their Power List in 2018, 2020, 2021, and 2022, and he was named among Ophthalmology Management’s 25 Leaders in Innovation.
Daniel R. Lucey D’77, MED’81/’82 has spent 40 years fighting epidemics through patient care, research, education, and public health policy. This work began in 1982 with AIDS in San Francisco, before HIV was discovered, and overseas every year from 2003 to 2020 with SARS, MERS, avian and pandemic flu, Ebola (with Doctors without Borders), Zika, yellow fever, chikungunya, plague (with the World Health Organization), and COVID-19. With this experience, Dr. Lucey proposed an exhibit on viral epidemics in 2014 to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. With over 40 U.S., international, and Smithsonian colleagues, he helped create the content for the exhibit. Titled “Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World,” this exhibit had 3.3 million visitors from 2018 to 2022. A traveling version has been translated into 10 languages and shown in 55 countries. He has delivered 525 presentations in the U.S. and internationally in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, as well as 110 interviews in respected news outlets. He has given five global webinars on COVID-19 for the United Nations.