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Issue: # 15 
Winter 2014 
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A Message from the Dean
Dr. Paz June 2011
Welcome to the Winter 2014 issue of the Penn State College of Medicine Alumni Update. This issue features stories about alumni who have broken new ground in their professions, as well as a glimpse into the daily life of one of our current medical students. From a pioneering chemist and nurse educator, to a distinguished sports medicine specialist who trains Olympians, to an aspiring young physician - you will meet them here.

READ MORE to learn about these remarkable individuals, the progress that the College of Medicine has made, and some exciting changes that are yet to come. >>>
A Day in the Life of a Medical Student
Have you ever wondered how things may have changed since your medical school days? Follow student blogger, Kevin Moser, MSII, for a peek into the daily life of a Penn State College of Medicine student.

MORE >>>
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 Featured News
How Did She Do It? The Story of Lois Forney, First COM Graduate
Lois W. Forney, M.S. '69, Penn State College of Medicine's first graduate, works in the laboratory.

Several years ago, when the Graduate Program at Penn State College of Medicine was looking to name its new alumni honor society for a distinguished graduate, the choice was a no-brainer: Lois Forney, first graduate of the program and the College. Today, on the occasion of their 30th reunion, all PSCOM graduate alumni are inducted into the Lois W. Forney Society.


Throughout her life and career, Lois Forney wore many hats - chemist, teacher, author, grants and contracts officer, mother, and even real estate agent. Discover how this non-traditional student epitomized determination and hard work, as she handled every task with grace. 

MORE >>>
Some Heavy Lifting Helps Alumnus Find His Calling
Mark E. Lavallee, M.D. '94, C.S.C.S., F.A.C.S.M., served as part of the medical staff for the Notre Dame men's soccer team during the 2013 NCAA Division I Championship. Pictured here with the national trophy at PPL Park in Philadelphia, Pa.

During his sophomore year of college, Mark E. Lavallee, B.S. '90, M.D. '94, sat in his organic chemistry class next to Bret T. Sobota, B.S. '90, M.D. '94. Throughout the course of this notoriously difficult class, Sobota, a chiseled weightlifter, and Lavallee, an out-of-shape pre-med major, struck up a deal.


Find out how this "deal" ultimately led to Lavallee becoming the medical director of the International Weightlifting Federation's Masters World Championships, as well as the team physician, and now, chairman of USA Weightlifting's sports medicine society. 

MORE >>> 


 Graduate Alumni Reunion:
 March 7-8, 2014

The College of Medicine is hosting the second annual Graduate Alumni Reunion, March 7-8, 2014.

The two-day celebration includes the Graduate Student Research Forum, an alumni and student mentoring brunch, and tours of Penn State Hershey's Imaging Core and Zebrafish Lab. As part of the celebration, members of the class of 1984 will be inducted into the Lois W. Forney Society, in honor of their 30th reunion.

To register for the Graduate Alumni Reunion, click here. We hope to see you in March!
 Alumni Weekend 2014 Preview 
 Save the Date!
Mark your calendar to attend Alumni Weekend 2014 - September 19-20!

Whether you earned your medical degree this past May or more than 40 years ago, Alumni Weekend provides the opportunity for all College of Medicine alumni to come together for a two-day celebration to reconnect with friends, colleagues, mentors, and faculty. 

We will once again hold the All-Alumni "Welcome Back" Dinner on Friday evening, as well as events for families and faculty-led educational sessions during the day on Saturday. Individual class reunion dinners will be held on Saturday evening, and we will welcome the Class of 1984 into the Crescent Society, in honor of their 30th Reunion. 

If your medical school class year ends in a "4" or a "9," we encourage you to consider serving on your reunion committee. Committee members work closely with development and alumni relations staff to encourage reunion attendance and giving, and are integral to making each class reunion a success. Please email the Alumni Relations Office or call 717-531-7063 for more information. 

We hope to see you at Alumni Weekend, September 19-20, 2014!
 Upcoming Events
February 28-March 1
The 2014 Winter Academy
The Ritz-Carlton, Naples
Naples, FL
Register here by February 17!

Join alumni and friends for a special event highlighting new initiatives and medical innovations being made by physicians, scientists, and scholars at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Topics include future healthcare needs, ALS, bone health, the importance of strength training, and 3-D organ printing.


President Rodney A. Erickson and Dr. Harold L. Paz will deliver remarks about the University, the Medical Center, and the College of Medicine.

Thursday, March 6
Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP)
COM Alumni Reception
Hershey Lodge
Hershey, PA
5:00-6:30 pm

Friday-Saturday, March 7-8
2014 Graduate Alumni Reunion and 26th Annual Graduate Student Research Forum
Penn State College of Medicine
Register by Friday, February 28 to
Friday, March 14
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)
Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Alumni Reception
Loews New Orleans Hotel
New Orleans, LA
6:30-8:30 pm
Tuesday, April 1
Career Night
Penn State College of Medicine
6:30-8:30 pm
For more information about these events, please email the
Alumni Relations Office or call 717-531-6247.
 College of Medicine Alumni & Faculty  IN PRINT >>>
We are proud to promote the published work of the College of Medicine's distinguished alumni and faculty. Works submitted to for inclusion in the Alumni Update are listed at the discretion of the Development and Alumni Relations Office.
John H. Benedict, M.D. '82, R '86

After completing his medical degree, residency, an internship in anesthesiology, and a cardiac anesthesia fellowship at Penn State College of Medicine, Dr. John Benedict returned to one of his first loves, writing. He now writes medical thrillers even as he works as an anesthesiologist in a busy private practice in Harrisburg, PA.


Dr. Benedict has published two novels - Adrenaline and its sequel, The Edge of Death. Both are available from Amazon.


Visit his website for more information!

Other Resources

From C. Max Lang, D.V.M., Emeritus Professor and Chair of the Department of Comparative Medicine - The Impossible Dream: The Founding of The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center of The Pennsylvania State University.