DOVS News Education Fellows in the news Residents in the news

2023 Graduation and Awards Ceremony

Congratulations to all of our 2023 graduates and award recipients!

Clinical Fellowship Graduates

Cornea, External Disease, & Refractive Surgery

Karina Somohano, MD
Cornea, Cataract, and Refractive Surgeon, Florida Vision Institute, West Palm Beach, FL

Jessica Yang Walia, MD
Assistant Professor, Washington University and John Cochran Veterans Affairs Hospital, St. Louis, MO

Anterior Segment & Glaucoma Surgery

Brent Bruck, MD, MA
Glaucoma Specialist, Midwest Eye Care, Omaha, NE

Ariana Levin, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor, Glaucoma Division New York University, New York, NY


Douglas Snyder, MD
Assistant Professor, Medical Director of Quality Improvement and Peer Review, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

Vitreoretinal Disease & Surgery

Ross Kennamer-Chapman, MD
Vitreoretinal Specialist, Georgia Retina Group, Atlanta, GA

Chief of Ophthalmic Trauma

Matthew Santos, MD
Cornea and External Disease Fellowship Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, PA

Residency Graduates


Ashley Ahlbrand, OD
Staff Optometrist Washington University, St. Louis, MO


Nathaniel Blecher, MD
Chief of Ophthalmic Trauma, Washington University, St. Louis, MO

Kelly Kiser, MD
Refractive Surgery Fellowship, Kugler Vision, Omaha, NE

Rachael Lyerla, MD
Private Practice, Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic, Eau, WI

Aaditya Shah, MD
Vitreoretinal Disease & Surgery Fellowship Washington University, St. Louis, MO

Nicole Varnado, MD, PhD
Private Practice, St. Louis, MO

Achievement Awards


Academic Teacher of the Year – Rithwick Rajagopal, MD, PhD

Clinical Teacher of the Year – Sean Breit, MD

Research Teacher of the Year – Gregory Van Stavern, MD


“Golden Apple” Award – Ross Kennamer-Chapman, MD


Ron Burde “Good Egg” Award –
Aaditya Shah, MD

Dr. James Song and Linda Duan- Song Award for Clinical and Surgical Excellence –
Rachael Lyerla, MD

Mat Guirgis Award – Natalia Morales, MD

The Morton E. Smith Excellence in Medical Student Education Award –
Natalia Morales, MD

PGY3 Clinical Service Award –
Thiago Moulin, MD

Rosenbaum Research Award –
Yi-Hsien Yeh, MD

Medical Students

The Max & Evelyn Grand Prize – Alexandra Zdonczyk, MD

The Doctor William Ellis Research Prize in Ophthalmology – Jennifer Chung, MD

Volunteer Faculty Recognition

10 years – Priya Shetty, MD

5 years – Michael Stock, MD