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Rocky Vista University Announces Commencement Speakers for Colorado Campus

April 22, 2022
Rocky Vista University News Room

Rocky Vista University Announces Commencement Speakers for Colorado Campus

[April 22, 2022 – Parker, CO] Rocky Vista University (RVU) is pleased to announce Karen J. Nichols, DO, MA, MACOI, CS, and Hannah Puentes, DO ’21, MSBS ’17, as the commencement speakers for the College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) and Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences (MSBS) program ceremonies, respectively. Both ceremonies will be held at the Buell Theater (Denver Performing Arts Center) on Saturday, May 21 at 2:30 pm and 5:30 pm.

Karen Nichols, DO, MA, MACOI, CS

Dr. Nichols served as the Dean of the Midwestern University/Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (MWU/CCOM) from 2002 to 2018. Prior to her tenure as Dean, Dr. Nichols served as the Assistant Dean of Post-Doctoral Education and Chair of the Internal Medicine Department at MWU/Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine. She practiced Internal medicine and Geriatrics in Mesa, Arizona from 1985 through 2002.

In 2015, Dr. Nichols was selected for the highest honor given by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), the Distinguished Service Award, as well as receiving a Presidential Citation in 2018. She has served as President of the AOA, President of the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association, and President of the American College of Osteopathic Internists and was the first woman to hold all three positions.

Along with her many prestigious awards and eight honorary degrees, Dr. Nichols created the endowed Costin Institute for Osteopathic Medical Educators in 2004 at MWU/CCOM, a one-year hybrid fellowship which has graduated over 300 medical educators. She teaches nationally and internationally on the topics of end-of-life care, physician leadership, and women leaders in medicine.

Hannah Puentes, DO, MS

Dr. Douglas is a graduate of RVUCOM’s Class of 2021, as well as a graduate of the RVU MSBS inaugural Class of 2017. During her time at RVU, Dr. Puentes was a member of the Military Medicine Program. She received such honors as Best Performance at Cut Suit Week and the MSBS Dean’s Award. She is currently a first-year resident at St. Agnes Medical Center in Fresno, California.

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