Alpha Omega Alpha

The Nu Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) was established in 2015. Since that time, we have elected 197 students, faculty, and residents/fellows. AOA also supports 12 fellowships, grants, and awards for medical students, residents/fellows, and faculty members. Additionally, AOA publishes a quarterly peer-reviewed, medical humanities journal The Pharos which contains articles on nontechnical medical subjects, including history, ethics, national issues, personal essays, and poetry. Descriptions of these programs can be found below.
AOA is dedicated to the belief that in the profession of medicine we will improve care for all by:

  • recognizing high educational achievement
  • honoring gifted teaching
  • encouraging the development of leaders in academia and the community
  • supporting the ideals of humanism
  • promoting service to others


A selection committee composed of Zucker School of Medicine deans and faculty meets yearly to consider fourth year students based on their clerkship grades and their USMLE Step 1 score. Students will be considered if their Step 1 score is above the national average. Students who are in the top 25% of their class academically are assessed further on leadership abilities, professionalism, service, teaching and research. The AOA allows each chapter to nominate up to one-sixth of the class for membership.

Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship

To promote basic and clinical research in medical fields, social science, or health services, AΩA awards up to fifty $5,000 fellowships each year to medical students at schools with active AΩA chapters.
In 2018, our student Cassandra Gross was awarded the Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship for her work on a project entitled "Clinical-pathological correlations between poor mobility and neuropathological burden in the brainstem."
Applications are due to the Chapter Councilor, Dr. Andrea Vambutas, by 12/1 and can be submitted to
To find out more information about this scholarship, please visit:

Helen H. Glaser Student Essay Award

To encourage scholarly writing, this award offers prizes for essays on nontechnical medical topics. Winning essays are published in The Pharos.
Entries are typically due by January 31 for publication in the autumn edition of The Pharos.
For more information about this award, please visit:
The Pharos Poetry Award
To encourage students to write effective poetry. Winning poems are published in The Pharos.
Entries are typically due by early January.
For more information about this award, please visit:

Medical Student Service Leadership Project Grant

Alpha Omega Alpha is committed to preparing future leaders in medicine and health care. Leadership is about making a positive difference and can be learned through education, observation, and experience, and working with leader mentors. Service learning may provide an excellent opportunity for students to develop as servant leaders. Each chapter may submit one proposal for a project funded for three years at $5000 for the first year, $3000 for the second, and $1000 for the third.
Project proposals are due to the Chapter Councilor, Dr. Andrea Vambutas, by 12/1 and can be submitted to
For more information, please visit:

Fellow in Leadership

This award recognizes and supports the further development of outstanding leaders. Mid-career physicians who provide outstanding leadership within organizations in medicine and health care, including schools of medicine, academic health centers, community hospitals, clinics, agencies, or organizations, with a high promise for future success and contribution are eligible to apply. The applicants must be members of AΩA. Up to three awards of $25,000 to be used for further development as leaders.
Applications are due to the Chapter Councilor, Dr. Andrea Vambutas, by 2/1 and can be submitted to
For more information, please visit:

Edward D. Harris Professionalism Award

This award recognizes and honors outstanding faculty and programs with the best practices in medical professionalism education. Up to three one-time awards of $10,000 will be given based on a national competition. This program solicits nominees with ongoing programs in medical schools and/or affiliated institutions that represent best practices in the teaching and learning of medical professionalism. Programs should:
Include medical students, residents, faculty, and/or practicing physicians
Show evidence of effectiveness
Show evidence of sustainability
Be exportable to other medical institutions
For more information, please visit:

Robert H. Moser Essay Award

A $4,500 writing prize to honor one of the great leaders in American medicine, the late Robert H. Moser, MD (AΩA, Georgetown University, 1969). This prize will be awarded to an original, outstanding essay that celebrates the life of a physician like Dr. Moser who has enriched the world through his/her careers within, related to, and/or outside of medicine.
Submissions are typically due at the beginning of October.
For more information, please visit:

Postgraduate Fellowship

Support to allow residents or fellows to pursue a project in the spirit of the AΩA mission statement. Must be a research project or a scholarly project fulfilling the requirements for scholarly activity by the ACGME. Priority for scholarly projects will be given to those in the areas of leadership, professionalism, and teaching. Others may be considered based on the merits of the proposal. AΩA awards up to ten awards of $2000.
Applications are due to the Chapter Councilor, Dr. Andrea Vambutas, by 2/1 and can be submitted to Please note that the application must include a letter of recommendation from the residency or fellowship director.
For more information, please visit: