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On Saturday, June 17th, UNC Department of Ophthalmology hosted an annual two-event tradition, showcasing scholarly excellence at the 2023 UNC Eye Research Day and celebrating its residency and fellowship graduates at the Department’s end-of-year banquet. At UNC Eye Research Day, the Department’s twelve 2022-2023 ophthalmology residents presented their year-long, faculty-mentored projects on campus over a full morning. Residents developed research projects around areas of interest in Oculoplastics, Anterior Segment and Safety and Retina. Projects covered a range of topics, including patient outcomes, protocol-driven improvement of patient safety, procedural approaches, A.I.-assisted diagnosis and others. 

Held at UNC’s Rizzo Center, the Department’s annual graduation banquet celebrated the achievements of three departing third-year residents moving onto subspecialty training and independent practice – Xavier Mortensen, MD; Hannah Miller, MD; and Jamie Prince, MD. The Department additionally honored graduating 2022-2023 Glaucoma Fellow Samantha Sauerzopf, MD. UNC Ophthalmology Residency Program Director Alice Zhang, MD, presented several awards recognizing excellence in scholarship, leadership, and medical and surgical skills:

Hannah Miller, MD: Surgical Excellence Award
Jamie Prince, MD: Chandler Teaching Award
Xavier Mortensen, MD: Clinical Excellence Award
Hannah Miller, MD: Resident of the Year
Xavier Mortensen, MD: Frederick Stocker Research Award (Resident Research Award)
Khalid Aldaas, MD: Academic Achievement Award

Each year, senior UNC Ophthalmology residents choose a teaching faculty member who has provided exceptional guidance and clinical mentoring over the course of their training. At the 2023 graduation banquet, Drs. Hannah Miller, Xavier Mortensen and Jamie Prince presented Assistant Professor Dr. Keirnan Willett with the faculty teaching award.

Dr. Zhang noted: “We wish the Class of 2023 well as each of them moves onto fellowship and independent practice. These graduates have become a strong group of clinicians and surgeons.”