In December, fourth-year student Kristi Ray was named NSU College of Osteopathic Medicine’s 2016–2017 Student D.O. of the Year. Ray was nominated by her peers and chosen by the NSU-COM Local Selection Committee, whose members were determined by the National Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents.
In 2016, Ray was elected by the American Osteopathic Association Bureau of Public Health and Scientific Affairs to advocate for a mental health initiative not only for the NSU-COM student body, but for all U.S. osteopathic medical students. Locally, she works with the Broward County Climate Change Task Force, serving as the public health representative responsible for promoting healthy lifestyles. She has also volunteered her time to community service projects, such as beach cleanup events, nursing home visits, and animal shelter care.
In the research realm, Ray, who has participated in cutting-edge cancer research, was awarded a $15,000 grant to help survey hospice and palliative care in minority communities in South Florida. She also received a $10,000 grant to analyze the effects of therapeutic gardens on nursing home residents and Special Olympics participants.
Ray has received three TOUCH community service awards, as well as the Rose Humanitarian Award. She also was selected as a Paul Ambrose Scholar, which is an honor designated for health professions students who exhibit a desire to learn and integrate public health into their future clinical practice. Ray showcased her commitment to international public health when she participated in medical outreach trips to Jamaica, Guatemala, and Nicaragua—all within the same year.