A Convocation in honor of the entering classes has been held at the beginning of each academic year since 1985. The dual theme of convocation is the importance of viewing medicine and dentistry as vocations of service to others, and the need for physicians and dentists to maintain their interest and activity beyond the health care sciences to assure a sense of balance and perspective in their personal and professional lives.

The convocation is named in honor of Joseph M. Healey Jr., J.D., Professor of Health Law and Ethics. Professor Healey was a major contributor to many of the University’s most cherished traditions, chief among them was his role in creating and chairing the annual Convocation ceremony. His untimely death in 1993 represented the loss of a significant spiritual leader at UConn. Professor Healey's positive influence on the ethical and professional conduct of countless students and colleagues has been immeasurable.

Convocation Planning

The Convocation planning is coordinated through the Student Affairs and Activities Office and involves input from the Associate Deans for Students Affairs from both the medical and dental schools and the second year students who are acting as orientation coordinators. The immediate past and current presidents of Medical Dental Student Government (MDSG) are given the responsibility of serving as master of ceremonies and providing the student address. All second year medical and dental students are offered the opportunity to choose and perform the artistic/musical interludes.

Convocation Program

  1. Welcome from the Master of Ceremonies. The immediate past president of the Medical Dental Student Government (MDSG) serves as the master of ceremonies.
  2. Artistic Interludes. In keeping with a classical approach to the ceremony, an integral component of convocation is performances by students. The artists are always students, predominantly from the second-year classes. The interludes have consisted of readings of original poetry, instrumental and vocal music, and dance. The artistry demonstrated by the students reinforces the theme of balance between personal and professional roles.
  3. Welcome from the Administration. The Dean of the School of Medicine and the Dean of the School of Dental Medicine welcome the students on behalf of the administration and share views of the convocation themes. The deans’ presence during the proceedings adds to the solemnity and importance of the ceremony.
  4. Welcome from the Faculty. Alternating by year between the medical and dental schools the address is given by the most recent Kaiser Permanente Teaching Award winner, an award given each May for excellence in teaching in the clinical sciences. Selecting a faculty award winner reinforces the message that "teaching-as-service" is a critical professional obligation which should be acknowledged.
  5. Student Address. The current president of Medical Dental Student Government (MDSG) gives an address focusing on balancing professional school with other essential roles – as a son/daughter, spouse/partner, etc.
  6. Keynote Speaker. Alternating by year between the schools, the tradition is to ask a graduate of the medical or dental school to be the featured speaker. The themes are once again balance and service.

2023 Convocation Ceremony

August 10, 2023
8 a.m.
Keller Lobby
2022 Program

Watch the 2022 Convocation

Guest Speaker

Christina Santos-Tomas, D.M.D.

Cristina Santos-Tomas, D.M.D.
Class of 2004
UConn School of Dental Medicine

Recent Guest Speakers


Alise Frallicciardi, M.D.

Alise Frallicciardi, M.D.
Class of 2008
UConn School of Medicine


Christine L. Tierney, D.M.D.

Christine L. Tierney, D.M.D.
Class of 1986
UConn School of Dental Medicine


David Lam, M.D.

David Lam, M.D.
Class of 2018
UConn School of Medicine


Andrea Fallon, D.M.D.

Andrea Fallon, D.M.D.
Class of 2008
UConn School of Dental Medicine


Janice Hartnett, M.D.

Janice Hartnett, M.D.
Class of 2002
UConn School of Medicine


Christian Grant Brockenberry, D.M.D.

Christian Grant Brockenberry, D.M.D.
Class of 2010
UConn School of Dental Medicine


Ken Yanagisawa, M.D., FACS

Ken Yanagisawa, M.D., FACS
Class of 1988
UConn School of Medicine

Past Student Speakers

Benjamin Abt
Selorm Adzaku
Ami Amini
Ashley Amini
Mark Anestis
Stefanie Aquilina
Greg Armstrong
Linda Arnold
Aaron Baggish
Adam Bartholomeo
Cheyenne Beach
Miriam Bergman
Carl Berliner
Christopher Bessette
Jeffrey Blasius
Sarah Jane Borch
Lisa Brailey
Vernon Burke
Brendan Campbell

David Carter
Mary Cearley
Leila Chahine
Kevin Clark
Joy Cocchiola
Adam Cohen
David Cordes
Carmelina D’Arro
Susan Diaz
Sarah Dry
Cathy Dukasz
Kirsten Ek
David Fantarella
Jonathan Feldman
Sarah Fleet
Colleen Fogarty
Cavelle Gallant
Christopher Gibson
Kathaleen Gravel

Christopher Hanrahan
Alaina Kessler
Peter Khang
Todd Kiskaddon
Sharon Langshur
Rohit Makol
Meg McNamara
Mirna Mohanraj
Uju Momah
Christopher Morosky
Kathleen N. Mueller
John Nano
Timothy O’Brien
Joshua Osborne
Adrian Pacheco
Kelly Palchik
Shivam Patel
Patrick Pollak
Andrew Putnam

Donna Randall
Kristen Russomanno
Gregory Rutkowski
Eric Sassu
Kierstin Savastano
Rachel Schultz
Miriam Sedrak
Christine Shapter
Perry Smith
Dave Sobanski
Tarryn Strating
Alexis Wasserman
Kathleen White
Kathryn Wilhelms
Emily Wilkins
David Woods
Michael Woods