Award in memory of medical student

St. Matthew’s University chose two winners to receive a humanitarian award in honour of one of its medical students who was killed last year by a drunken driver.

The Dr. Richard D. Martin Humanitarian Award was awarded to students who exemplified the same passion and quality that Dr. Martin held, organisers said.

Medical students Lawrence Gutman and Hanit Shah became the first recipients of the award.

Other nominees included Meredith Whitney, Ilham Umar, Andrew Vitale, Bismah Najeebb and Ladan Mehdinasab.

A committee made up of faculty members, administrators and students reviewed the nominees to select the winners. The recipients were announced at a ceremony on Saturday evening, 23 June.

“We are very excited to recognise [students] who hold the qualities that St. Matthew’s looks for in our students as they become highly qualified and caring physicians,” said John Marvin, St. Matthew’s chancellor.

Dr. Martin, 52, was killed in a car crash when a drunken driver smashed into the vehicle he was driving along the Esterley Tibbetts Highway on 30 November, 2011. He had been driving a classmate home from a study group session.

Dr. Martin had been studying at St. Matthew’s to become a family practice physician and was due to graduate with the class of 2014.

“I’m sure my husband never anticipated an award in his honour, but I am appreciative of the ongoing influence he continues to have in the St. Matthew’s community,” said Susan Yee, wife of Dr. Martin. “It is a great tribute in perpetuity to my husband.”

Dr. Martin, from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, had been chief technology officer and executive vice president of Active Data Exchange, a calendar sharing software company. He had wanted to become a medical doctor and enrolled in St. Matthew’s at the age of 50.