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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

Virtual ceremony held December 18

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (Geisinger Commonwealth) conferred 55 Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) degrees upon students who composed Geisinger Commonwealth’s second cohort of the MBS Class of 2021. Commencement ceremonies were held virtually on Saturday, December 18 beginning at 1 p.m. EST.

Alana Rachelle Smith, one of the graduating MBS students, sang the National Anthem.

Greetings were offered by Steven J. Scheinman, MD, Geisinger Commonwealth’s president and dean, while Akindele Olagunju, MD ’19, MBS ’14, delivered the keynote speech. Dr. Olagunju is a second-year diagnostic radiology resident at Brown University. During a special ceremony honoring first-generation-to-college graduates, Michelle Schmude, EdD, MBA, associate dean for admissions, enrollment management and financial aid, offered a reflection on the particular challenges this group of students face.

Eshiemomoh Osilama, MBS ‘19, MD Class of 2024, welcomed the new graduates to Geisinger Commonwealth’s growing MBS Alumni Society.

Erin Sutzko, EdD, associate dean for graduate education and director of graduate admissions, presented students with class awards. The recipients were:

  • Marissa McHale, Service to Community Award, presented to a student who organizes special events, volunteers and participates in valuable community outreach and service.
  • Chloé Mballa, Excellence in Leadership Award, presented to a student who motivates others, serves as a good role model and demonstrates resiliency.
  • Daniela Velasquez, Professional Performance Award, presented to a student who seeks solutions, takes initiative and consistently acts with integrity.
  • Nica Ramy, Service to Class Award, presented to a student who plans events for the class, serves as a mentor to peers, and creates new initiatives that support the school’s mission of service.

Watch the ceremony here.

About Geisinger
Geisinger is among the nation’s leading providers of value-based care, serving 1.2 million people in urban and rural communities across Pennsylvania. Founded in 1915 by philanthropist Abigail Geisinger, the non-profit system generates $10 billion in annual revenues across 134 care sites - including 10 hospital campuses, and Geisinger Health Plan, with 600,000 members in commercial and government plans. The Geisinger College of Health Sciences educates more than 5,000 medical professionals annually and conducts more than 1,400 clinical research studies. With 26,000 employees, including 1,600 employed physicians, Geisinger is among Pennsylvania’s largest employers with an estimated economic impact of $14 billion to the state’s economy. On March 31, 2024, Geisinger became the first member of Risant Health, a new nonprofit charitable organization created to expand and accelerate value-based care across the country.  Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.

Grace Tieko, MBS '21
Grace Tieko, MBS '21, of Westerville, Ohio
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Elizabeth Zygmunt
Director, Media and Public Relations 
Office: 570-504-9687
On Call: 570-687-9703
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