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Alumni Awards

Every year during Homecoming, the Nevada Alumni Association and the School of Medicine recognize outstanding alumni. Specific to the medical school is the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine Outstanding Alumni Award. Please review the award criteria below and submit a nomination. For any questions about this award please feel free to email Shari Netzel, Director of Development for the School of Medicine at

  • Read More about Dr. Rhodes

    Before joining Southwest Medical, Dr. Rhodes was co-founder and a managing partner of Canyon Trails Family Practice and Sports Medicine, offering comprehensive family medicine in Las Vegas.  Over the years, he has had multiple leadership roles in medical community.  Sitting on the hospital Ethics committee, Chief of the Family Practice department at his hospital, and on the Hospital System Board of Governors.  He has been recognized by the Lili Care Foundation with the Compassionate Care Award, the Faith Lutheran High School with the Heikotter Award, and recognized by the Down Syndrome Organization of Southern Nevada. His parents exemplified making our city better.  As a lifelong Las Vegan he has tried to do the same, very active in the community and severing on several community boards.

    Most recently, along with his wife Shelley has helped envision and facility two educational programs (The Mark 10:14 Program and Project Focus) that allow students with intellectual disabilities to be fully integrated into academic and extracurricular activities through Middle School, High School and College while completing their academic program.

    Since the age of 5, he has envisioned himself as a family doctor, “The greatest privilege we receive as Physicians is having a patient trust their health to our care, and we can never let them down or take that privilege for granted.” When not working, he enjoys the outdoors, sporting events, and spending time with his wife, 4 children and 3 granddaughters. He enjoys getting refreshed by spending time at Lake Tahoe; skiing, hiking and on the lake.

    Reflections on time in Reno bring back fond memories of friends and classmates; getting his undergraduate degree, medical degree, and meeting his wife (Shelley Cooper-Rhodes ’85). Rhodes says, “I selected UNR looking for best opportunity for a great education and the ability to fulfill my dream to become a physician. I have tremendous gratitude for those that influenced my education. I attribute my time at the University of Nevada for much of the foundation on which my career has been built.”

  • Award Criteria and Previous Recipients


    1. Nominee must be a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine
    2. Nominee must exemplify extraordinary contribution to the field of medicine which may include, but is not limited to academia, research, community support or volunteerism
    3. Nominee must, by his/her accomplishments, bring distinction to the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine
    4. Formal letter of recommendation must be submitted for each nominee
    5. Not more than one recipient will be selected in any one year
    6. Nominations must be received prior to the annual deadline

    Previous Recipients

    • 2020: Joseph Hollen, M.D. (two year UNR Med alumnus '76)
    • 2019: Stephanie Ball, M.D.  '85
    • 2018: Matthew L. Boulton, M.D. '87
    • 2017: Kelle Brogan, M.D. '86
    • 2016: Ann Jobe, M.D. '86
    • 2015: Philippe Bishop, M.D. '93
    • 2014: Rubin Saavedra, M.D. '95
    • 2013: Paul Roth, M.D. ‘74
    • 2012: Frieda Hulka, M.D. ‘92
    • 2011: David G. Young, III, M.D. ‘75
    • 2010: Robin Titus, M.D. '81 and Louis Bonaldi, M.D. ‘77
    • 2009: Susan Desmond-Hellman, M.D. '82 and Mark Doubrava, M.D. ‘89
    • 2008: Cheryl Hug-English, M.D. ‘82
    • 2007: Mary Anderson, M.D. ‘77
    • 2006: Paul Roth, M.D. ‘74
    • 2005: Susan Desmond-Hellman, M.D. ‘82

    Contact us for more information.

  • The Latest News

    David Zucker, M.D. '74, UNR Med clinical professor and pediatrician for Pediatric Associates, was selected for the 2018 Healthcare Hero Lifetime Achievement award by Nevada Business magazine. For more than four decades, Dr. Zucker has served the Reno community as a pediatrician. As community faculty for the School of Medicine, Dr. Zucker has mentored and countless medical students and received numerous awards from the health care community.

    Susan Desmond-Hellmann, M.D. '82, '78 (premedical), CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, delivered the commencement address to The Ohio State University's largest ever class graduating class in May 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Desmond-Hellmann left graduates with two big lessons: question yourself and question what other people tell you. Ohio State awarded Dr. Desmond-Hellmann an honorary doctorate degree in science.

    Matthew L. Boulton, M.D. '87, '80 (plant biology/zoology), was celebrated as the School of Medicine Distinguished Alumnus during the 2018 Homecoming Gala and homecoming football game. Dr. Boulton is senior associate dean for global public health and professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on childhood immunization and vaccine preventable diseases in developing countries, and
    public health capacity building in epidemiology, health IT and lab sciences in low-resource settings. Dr. Boulton and his wife, Chitra, have four children and live in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

    Craig Clark, M.D '92, has joined WVU Medicine Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Charles Town, West Virginia. A board certified orthopaedic surgeon and member of the Jefferson Medical Center medical staff, Dr. Clark brings over 20 years of practice experience to WVU Medicine, specializing in total joint replacement, sports medicine and general orthopaedics.

    Mark Stovak, M.D. '95, '90 (biology), UNR Med professor of family medicine and sports medicine fellowship assistant director, has been selected as a member of the NCAA Committee on Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport. The 22 member committee hears drug test appeals, decides on medical exceptions for banned drug usage, recommends rules to protect athlete health and produces or reviews consensus statements for medical best practices. Dr. Stovak serves as a head team physician for the Nevada Wolf Pack.

    Jennifer Hagen, M.D. '93, '98R, '16F, UNR Med senior associate dean for faculty and professor of internal medicine, has been selected as one of three 2018 Alpha Omega Alpha (AΩA) Fellows in Leadership. The AΩA Fellow in Leadership recognizes and supports mid-career physicians to develop them as outstanding leaders who exemplify professional values. As a Fellow, Dr. Hagen will spend a year honing leadership skills and expanding her knowledge base with a focus on servant leadership and leading from within.

    Jeremy Matuszak, M.D., '07R, '08F, '00 (biology), medical director at Reno Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, was named 2018 Healthcare Hero Educator by Nevada Business magazine. As director of residency training for the School of Medicine, Dr. Matuszak received the Outstanding Department Faculty Award for Excellence in Resident Teaching in 2010 and 2013.

    Courtney Caron '09 (speech pathology and audiology), has established a self-sustaining audiology clinic at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi in southeastern Africa. As a long-term volunteer with Sound Seekers, a charity that helps deaf and hearing impaired people, Caron built the clinic from the ground up - from selecting the equipment and creating patient forms to obtaining government permits and training local clinicians. Caron is a clinical audiologist for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Las Vegas, and encourages fellow audiologists to consider volunteering abroad.

    Derek Beenfeldt, M.D. '11, '93 (civil engineering), division chief of primary care for Renown Health and UNR Med clinical assistant professor, was named 2018 Healthcare Hero Physician by Nevada Business magazine. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Beenfeldt oversees the clinical and operational decision making for the 18 location, 90 provider primary care group of Renown Health and serves as community faculty for the School of Medicine.

    Jeffrey Dorrity, M.D. '13, has joined Prairie Lakes Healthcare System as an ear, nose and throat physician at the Ear, Nose, Throat, & Facial Plastic Surgery Clinic in Watertown, South Dakota. Dr. Dorrity treats patients of all ages with a wide range of ear, nose and throat conditions including ear and hearing conditions, nose and sinus diseases, throat and voice disorders, cancer of the head and neck, thyroid and parathyroid disease and obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Dorrity lives in Watertown with his wife Camie and their children.

    Dustin Holland, M.D. '14, MPH '14, has been named medical director of a new community paramedicine program at Hendricks Regional Hospital in Danville, Indiana. Created in collaboration with local emergency medical services (EMS) agencies, the program brings vital social service professionals and resources to patients' doorsteps, helping reduce non-emergency EMS calls, while connecting residents with the assistance they need. Dr. Holland, an emergency medicine and EMS physician, and his wife, Kathleen (Cornfield) Holland, M.D. '14, MPH '14, '09 (biology), a pediatrician, attended UNR Med prior to completing their residencies at Indiana University in Indianapolis, Indiana