School of Medicine conducts virtual graduation ceremony

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.— As a result of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and social distancing requirements, the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine celebrated its 40th annual graduation and investiture with a virtual ceremony Friday, May 1.

The event is available for public viewing on Facebook (, YouTube ( or Livestream (

“Despite a nontraditional format, it was incredibly rewarding to participate in this year’s commencement ceremony,” said Joseph I. Shapiro, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine. “This is a terrific class that’s going on to do great things in their careers.”

Marshall University President Jerome A. Gilbert, Ph.D., conferred 77 Doctor of Medicine and two Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Research degrees during the virtual ceremony. Additionally, retired faculty member Bruce A. Ratcliff, M.D., was recognized by the School of Medicine Alumni Association as this year’s honorary alumnus. The keynote address was provided by Maurice A. Mufson, M.D., professor of medicine emeritus and chairman emeritus for the Department of Medicine. Class President Preeya T. Shah, M.D., M.S., addressed the graduates as the class speaker, and Dakota T. May, M.D., led the class in reciting the Oath of Hippocrates.

“The future is bright when such committed and gifted individuals choose to serve humanity, especially when facing down the fears of this pandemic,” Shah said. “Together we have successfully finished one impressive chapter of our journey to become physicians. I could not imagine more caring, hardworking or deserving individuals.”

The Class of 2020 matched to residencies located from Boston, Massachusetts, to Seattle, Washington. Twenty-one graduates will remain in West Virginia with more than a dozen completing residencies at Marshall. Half of the graduates matched to primary care residencies, and the other residencies span 15 specialties. Shah, a native of Hurricane, West Virginia, heads to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville for a dermatology residency. May, of Delbarton, West Virginia, matched to a psychiatry residency at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.



 Joseph I. Shapiro, M.D., Dean of the School of Medicine

Jonathan Winalski, M.D.
Hometown: Falling Waters, West Virginia
Post-Graduation Plans: Surgery residency at Northwell Health / Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City

Rebecca Barnes, M.D.
Hometown: Wheeling, West Virginia
Post-Graduation Plans: Neurology residency at Marshall University



Date Posted: Friday, May 1, 2020