Student Spotlight

Jacob Egget, OMS II

Class of 2021

  • Hometown: Highlands Ranch, Colorado
  • Undergraduate Studies: Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience and Integrative Physiology from University of Colorado - Boulder.
  • Clubs and Activities: Honor Code President for the Student Government Association, National Liaison Officer for SOSA, and future OPP Fellow.

What are your medical interests? I think surgery is amazing, especially orthopedics. The fact that we can “cut to cure” blows my mind. I...
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Faculty Spotlight

Joel Roberts, MD

Instructor of Physiology

  • Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Undergraduate Studies: Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry
  • Graduate Studies: Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Internal Medicine Internship at Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver.

What do you do in your spare time? I play racquetball, make pizzas, and watch football. What advice do...
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The long-awaited day of acknowledgment has arrived.  Your perseverance, professionalism, and commitment to lifelong learning will be celebrated with family, friends, mentors, and faculty. This Commencement exercise is like none other you’ve celebrated.

Your preparation by trials of academic rigor, being forced out of your comfort zone, and the outstanding role-modeling of the faculty (both in the field and at RVU) have prepared you to succeed in the next step toward the independent practice of medicine. Residency training will continue to test your preparation, commitment, and passion. The residency experience will provide the opportunity for you to use your team-building skills, communication expertise, and collection of knowledge to ensure the challenges of your generation of healthcare providers will meet the uncharted course of the changes you will face in the next millennium.

Your future is secure but your responsibility is unending. Please reflect on the passion you brought to your commitment to study medicine, your desire to make a difference and to care for those in physical and/or emotional distress. The belief in the osteopathic philosophy, the DO Touch, makes you very special and unique in the healthcare provider spectrum.

RVU remains your home of record.  Please carry our mission, values, and belief in your success to the all those you touch. Be a proud alum and keep us informed of your success, struggles, and needs. We will always be here for you.

Godspeed and blessings,


You’ve worked for this…now enjoy yourself!

Join your classmates, friends, and loved ones at a private event at


Punch Bowl Social Denver


To celebrate your graduation from medical school!

The Class of 2019 Graduation Celebration will take place on

Thursday, May 16th 

from 7:00pm to 11:00pm.

Ticket prices are $20 each for you and your first guest.

Tickets for additional guests are $60 each.


Included in the ticket prices are:

– Unlimited appetizers, dinner, and dessert

– Unlimited open bar until 10:00pm

(after that time, it will become a cash bar only)

– Unlimited games and activities:

Bowling, billiards, darts, karaoke, ping pong, corn hole,

Giant Scrabble, Bocce Ball, Bonzini, and more

– Photo booth

– Dancing

Parking is limited and overflow parking will be on the street.

Please consider using carpool, Uber, Lyft, or a taxi for the sake of both convenience and safety if you partake in alcohol.


Scott Ellner, DO

Scott Ellner, DO, serves as Group President for Physician Alignment at Centura Health, providing leadership to Centura Health Physician Group, Colorado Health Neighborhoods, and FullWell. Prior to serving in this role, Dr. Ellner served as the CEO of Centura Health Physician Group, supporting our multi-specialty group in providing whole-person care and building flourishing communities.

Dr. Ellner’s previous roles demonstrate his commitment to physicians, patients and hospitals, working together to meet the needs of the communities served. Prior to Centura Health, he helped Saint Francis Medical Group, a 400-provider multi-specialty practice in Connecticut, to grow and evolve amid the changing reimbursement and regulatory environment as its President and Vice Chairman, Surgical Service Line. As an educator, surgeon and public health leader, he has been responsible for many widely admired patient safety initiatives.

Dr. Ellner loves interacting with the public as well as with his fellow physicians and is an esteemed published author in 20-plus publications and 200-plus speaking engagements.

Major General Ronald J. Place, MD

Major General Place hails from South Dakota, graduating from the University of South Dakota with a Chemistry Degree, a member of the Phi Betta Kappa Honor Society and ROTC commission. A member of Alpha Omega Alpha honor medical society, he then graduated from Creighton University School of Medicine. MG Place completed his General Surgery internship and residency training at Madigan Army Medical Center (MAMC) and fellowship training in Colon and Rectal Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas.

MG Place’s staff surgical assignments include Martin Army Community Hospital, Ft. Benning, GA and MAMC. His combat surgical experiences began in October 2001 when he deployed as a General Surgeon with the 250th Forward Surgical Team (FST-Airborne) to Afghanistan.  He subsequently deployed with the 67th FST during OIF I, Task Force Med Falcon IX to Kosovo, and “A Detach” 249th General Hospital (OPCON to the 173rd Support BN) for OEF VI.

MG Place’s medical leadership positions began with his assignment to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center as the Chief of Surgery in 2002 and then Deputy Commander for Outlying Clinics. He returned to MAMC as the Deputy Commander-Clinical Services, then gaining responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the Medical Center as the Principal Deputy Commander.  He next served as Commander of USA MEDDAC Fort Knox/Ireland Army Community Hospital then USA MEDDAC Fort Stewart/Winn Army Community Hospital. His flag officer positions include Assistant Surgeon General (Force Projection) at the Office of The Surgeon General, transitioning to the MEDCOM Deputy Chief of Staff (Quality and Safety). After serving as the Commanding General of Regional Health Command-Atlantic, MG Place led the Military Health System NDAA 2017 Program Management Office. He now serves as the Director of both the National Capital Region Medical Directorate and Transitional Intermediate Management Organization within the Defense Health Agency.

MG Place is a graduate of the AMEDD Officer Basic and Advance Courses, the Command and General Staff Officer Course, and the National War College. He is board certified in both General Surgery and Colorectal Surgery, the author of over 40 peer reviewed articles and book chapters, and a Clinical Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, Navy Presidential Unit Citation, Combat Action Badge, Combat Medic Badge, Flight Surgeon’s Badge, The Surgeon General’s “A” Designator for clinical excellence, the Order of Military Medical Merit, the Army Staff Identification Badge, and others. MG Place and his wife, Carol, live in Bethesda, MD.  They are the proud parents of Geoffrey Place of Harrisburg SD, Veronica Wyatt of Fort Bliss TX, and Harrison Place of Fort Hood, TX.

Patricia G. Webb, FACHE

Pat Webb joined CHI in January 2011, after serving as senior vice president and chief human resources officer for UMass Memorial Health Care, Worcester, MA. Webb has also served as a human resources executive at Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA; Wake Medical Center, Raleigh, NC; and University Medical Center, Jacksonville, FL. With CHI, she is responsible for creating and maintaining an exemplary workplace, and building a workforce of exceptional people that can deliver on CHI’s commitment to building healthy communities.

Webb has more than 25 years of experience in operations and human resources. She is a leader in the health care industry and a champion of collaboration, inclusion and diversity. Her background as a health care executive and board member with several organizations has provided her the opportunity to affect change at all levels — aligning talent strategies with business plans, developing leaders and building organizational cultures marked by accountability.

Webb has a master’s degree in business and human- resources management from the University of North Florida, Jacksonville, and a bachelor’s degree in management and marketing from Florida A&M University, Tallahassee. A former president of the National Association of Health Services Executives, she is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and a frequent participant in national forums and panels.

During the commencement ceremony, graduates receiving a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree will be hooded on stage. A guest hooder of your choosing may hood you with your doctoral colors. You may select ONE immediate family member (parent, grandparent, spouse, sibling, or child) or an important mentor.

Please keep in mind that your guest hooder will sit with the other hooders in a different section of the theater. 

To ensure the hooding process goes smoothly, here is an instructional video on how to properly hood a graduate.

Be sure to send the link to your guest hooder no later than May 16, 2019.

Video: How to Properly Hood an RVU Graduate

Ellie Caulkins Opera House

Denver Center for the Performing Arts
950 13th Street
Denver, CO 80204
 (800) 641-1222

Local Hotels

Below is a Google map which displays various hotels located near the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. RVUCOM does not guarantee room rates or availability at any of these hotels.

You’ve just spent four years with your classmates. Wouldn’t you like to stay in touch with them?

The RVU Alumni Association was established to provide the alumni of RVU with an active and united group, dedicated to the advancement of osteopathic medical education and related health sciences. Also, the RVU Alumni Association facilitates networking and mentoring among alumni, as well as throughout the community and industry contacts.

The RVU Alumni Association is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization which is separate from the university. The Association is governed by a Board of Trustees consisting of RVU Graduates. The Association raises funds to provide scholarships, Fellowship networking, and conference perks.

For your 3 years of residency, you will receive a special discounted rate of only $25 per year. Everyone is encouraged to pay for all 3 years prior to graduation. After the 3 years, dues will increase to $50 per year. You can also become a Lifetime Member for $1000 and receive special recognition, a certificate, a pin, and recognition in the Vista View and the RVU and RVU Alumni Facebook pages.

So, what are the next steps?


1.   Pay your alumni dues by clicking the link below:

Alumni Association Dues

2. Like the RVU Alumni Association page on Facebook:
RVU Alumni Association

To order merchandise for yourself or for your graduate, contact


Q: What is the guest hooder policy?
A: DO students may select ONE immediate family member (parent, grandparent, spouse, sibling, or child) or an important mentor. The person you choose does not need to have a terminal degree. MSBS students will be hooded by their program director and will not need to select a guest hooder.

Q: What if I do not have a guest hooder?
A: If you do not have a guest hooder, you will be hooded by the faculty member chosen by the class.

Q: When is the last date that I can register my guest hooder?
A: You will have until March 1st to select your hooder. If you selected a guest hooder and need to change at the last minute, you can, but you will not be allowed to add a hooder after this date – NO EXCEPTIONS!

Q: Does my hooder need to wear regalia?
A: If your guest hooder owns regalia, they may wear it. If they do not, graduation appropriate attire is fine. Please no jeans, shorts, or flip flops.

Q: Will my guest hooder be able to sit with the rest of my family?
A: No. The person you choose will sit with the other hooders in a different section of the theater.

Q: Will military students be hooded in military uniforms?
A: No. Military uniforms will be worn underneath regalia. After you are hooded, you will the remove your regalia backstage before the military commissioning ceremony.

Q: How can my family get up-to-date Commencement information?
A: Please refer them to the RVU website.

Q: How long is the ceremony expected to last?
A: The ceremony will last approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Q: Can we invite our families to the awards ceremony on campus on Friday, May 17th?
A: Yes! You can invite friends and family to the awards ceremony.

Q: Is the Commencement ceremony mandatory?
A: Yes. The Commencement ceremony is mandatory and is required in order to receive your diploma.

Q: Is graduation week mandatory?
A: Yes. Graduation week is mandatory.

Q: What is the difference between Commencement and graduation?
A: Commencement is the ceremony we celebrate your accomplishments as you end your student life and begin your life as a member of the Rocky Vista University’s Alumni Association. Graduation is the act of completing all graduation requirements (e.g., ordering your cap and gown, ordering your graduation announcements).

Q: Is there a rehearsal for the Commencement Ceremony?
A: Yes, the military rehearsal will take place on Friday, May 17th from 9:00-9:30am. Directly following, a rehearsal for all students (MSBS, DO, Military) will be held from 9:30-10:00am.

Q: Will my family be able to take pictures of me as I cross the stage?
A:  No. Family members will not be allowed close enough to the stage to take photos of you. However, a professional photographer will take a picture of each candidate as he or she receives the degree. You will receive information by email about how to obtain copies of these photos.

Q: I’m graduating with honors. How do I get my honors cords?
A:  Students who qualify for recognition at the ceremony will be given their honors cords when they pick up their regalia.

Q: When and where is the Regalia Pick-Up?
A: Regalia pick-up is from 8:00-9:00am on Thursday, May 16th in the hallway on the first floor.

Q: How do I order announcements?
A: On the graduation portal, you will find information about ordering announcements through CB Graduation. You are also welcome to order from any company you choose.

Q: Does my family need tickets to attend graduation? Does it cost?
A: No. Seating is on a first-come-first-served basis and it is free. There is no limit as to how many guests students may invite.

Q: What if someone in my family requires disability accommodations?
A: Please contact Erica Whatley at if one of your guests requires accommodation for the 2019 Commencement Ceremony. Please also state the nature of the accommodation (e.g. accessible seating).

Q: When should I arrive at the venue with my family? I want them to have a good seat.
A: The ceremony will begin right on time. Students should arrive 90 minutes before the ceremony. The theater doors will open promptly at 4:00pm and we recommend guests arrive no later than an hour before the start of the ceremony. All seating is first come, first served.

Q: Where do I park? Does it cost anything?
A: The Denver Performing Arts Center parking garage is located on Arapahoe and 13th Street and will cost $15.00.

Q: When will I receive my diploma?
A: Your diploma will be mailed to you following the ceremony.

Q: I want to order a diploma frame. What are the dimensions of the diploma?
A: For students in the DO Program, the correct size of diploma frames is 14” x 11” and for students in the MSBS Program, the correct size is 11” x 8.5”.

For Questions Regarding:


  • Graduation Information
    Erica Whatley, Assistant Director of Special Events and External Relations
    (720) 874-2407
  • Alumni Services or Information
    Julie Rosenthal, Vice President of Enrollment Management and External Relations
    (720) 875-2804
  • Graduation Announcements
    CB Grad
    (800) 433-0296
  • Merchandise and Orders
    Gina Marzulla, Marketing Coordinator
    (720) 874-2467