April 25, 2003

VUSM students to attend national achievement summit

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Kevin R. Kozak, Ph.D.

VUSM students
to attend national achievement summit

Michael G. Shashaty

Michael G. Shashaty

Michael G. Shashaty and Kevin R. Kozak, fourth-year medical students, were recently invited to attend the 2003 International Achievement Summit. The Academy of Achievement selected Kozak and Shashaty, based upon their exceptional accomplishments, to participate in this four-day event as student delegates.

The two will gather in Washington, D.C. on May 1-4 with a select group of fellow graduate students from around the globe. Students were drawn from such diverse disciplines as law, medicine, genetics, economics, finance, diplomacy, international relations, engineering, and journalism.

“It is a real honor to have this opportunity,” said Kozak. “I look forward to picking the brains of those who have shaped recent history and sharing perspectives with my graduate student peers. This is a great example of the opportunities Vanderbilt Medical School and Dean Miller, in particular, provide medical students and reflects Vanderbilt’s commitment to their students.”

“I see this as an honor to the medical school as a whole,” said Shashaty. “Anyone in our class is just as deserving as I am, and I will do my best to represent them well.”

The Summit includes a series of symposia and discussions allowing delegates to interact with distinguished scientists, artists, statesmen and leaders of industry. Past leaders who have addressed student delegates have included: Nobel Peace Prize recipients, Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the Soviet Union, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, Bertie Ahern, Prime Minister of Ireland, and Lech Walesa, former President of Poland.

Shashaty, a former Eagle Scout, graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown with a B.S. in Biology. Before entering medical school, he spent a year volunteering at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, taught a high school world religion course, and led a Catholic youth group. Following his graduation next month, Shashaty will pursue an internal medicine residency position at the University of Pennsylvania.

Kozak graduated magna cum laude from Harvard with an A.B. in Chemistry. After college, he served for four years as an aviation intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy. While serving in San Diego, Kozak earned the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal, and the San Diego Community Service Award. In 2001, he received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry through Vanderbilt’s joint M.D./Ph.D. program. Kozak, who will also graduate next month, will return to Harvard to pursue a residency position in radiation oncology.