Iron Arrow Honor Society Taps Six from Medical Campus

Stunned reactions have become the norm each time the University of Miami Iron Arrow Honor Society inducts unsuspecting students, faculty, staff, and alumni into its ranks. Last Thursday was no exception when 40 distinguished individuals — including six from the medical campus — were tapped into the prestigious organization that honors individuals who demonstrate a love of alma mater and embody the qualities of good character, leadership, scholarship and humility.

Miller School of Medicine faculty tapped were Jeffrey P. Brosco, M.D., Ph.D., professor of clinical pediatrics and Associate Director of Clinical Services at the Mailman Center for Child Development, and Gillian A. Hotz, Ph.D., research professor of neurological surgery, Director of the Kidz Neuroscience Center and Director of the WalkSafe and BikeSafe Concussion Programs.

Brosco said he was surprised at being tapped because there are so many at UM who give so much.

“I’ve been with UM for 20 years, and I hope to be here at least 20 more,” said Brosco. “But I see so many people around me with such obvious dedication to our institution, and I don’t see myself as doing something differently from them. I have meaningful work, kind and committed colleagues, and a sense that we’re all working toward a larger goal of improving the well-being of our local — and global — community. Of course I’m loyal to the ‘U’!”

Being tapped gave Hotz an opportunity to talk about why working at UM is special.

“I was so surprised and honored to be selected for Iron Arrow,” said Hotz. “It has been a privilege to be able to help children with brain injury and to be on the faculty in the Department of Neurological Surgery here at UM. Dr. Barth Green, my chairman for many years, has been a wonderful mentor and friend, and has shown me how to be a community leader.”

Also tapped were fourth-year students Andrea Madiedo and Richa Taneja, third-year student Emma Crichton, and first-year student Anneliese Vitha.

In keeping with the secrecy of the selections prior to tapping, Crichton was lured from her clerkship duties on the regional medical campus under the premise of being invited to attend a meeting explaining the M.D./M.P.H. Program to UM President Julio Frenk.

“It’s an amazing honor, but my first thought when they grabbed me was, ‘Aw, man, so we don’t get to meet with President Frenk?’” she said. “Although I did not attend the ‘U’ as an undergrad, I have developed an amazing love for this place and all the people in the two and a half years I have been a medical student here.”

Richa was also lured by a non-existent meeting.

“I thought I was in a meeting with the deans regarding clinical skills,” she said. “Then I heard the drums getting closer, and suddenly the arrow was thrust across my chest. Having gone to undergrad at UM, I had always seen the jackets and heard the drums at homecoming, but I still couldn’t believe that they were coming for me. I was shaking the entire length of the walk down to the mound. It has been really humbling to meet the many leaders on this campus who have been tapped before me and have contributed so much to UM. I’m very grateful to those who have helped and encouraged me along the way.”

Vitha was honored to have a former sorority sister be part of her tapping ceremony:

“Having graduated from Miami last year and as a current student at Miller School of Medicine, I have always looked up to those in Iron Arrow for their leadership and dedication to the ‘U,’” she said. “As an undergraduate, I saw several of my role models tapped into Iron Arrow, including my Tri Delta sister, Shannon Nurse, who was tapped into Iron Arrow when I was a sophomore. It was a real honor for me to have her be a part of my tapping and welcoming into Iron Arrow this past Wednesday. I felt humbled to be welcomed into a group whose members I had always admired. I look forward to serving and representing the best school in the nation, now as a member of Iron Arrow.”
Madiedo also felt a special thrill at being in the center of a ceremony she had watched many times from the outside.
“The tribe’s tapping of some of the most outstanding and genuinely great ’Canes is something I remember watching in excitement and awe in undergrad,” she said. “My friends and I would sit out on the Green enjoying the beautiful weather, the beat of the drum, and the smell of the burning firewood during Homecoming Week, which is arguably one of the best weeks on campus.

“It feels full circle now that I was tapped on the medical campus surrounded by some of the closest and most influential people in my life. Over a week prior, my surgery mentor, Dr. John Lew, had arranged to discuss how my residency interviews were coming along. The morning of my ‘meeting,’ I was incredibly nervous. I thought I had done something wrong at my interview for Miami’s program, and there was something he needed to discuss with me prior to future interviews. I had prepared a printed list of my interviews ready to discuss what to expect at different programs.

“Then, about halfway through our meeting, I heard the drum beating right outside his office door. I turned around in my chair, and there everyone was in their jackets, coming to grab me to be tapped. It was an incredibly happy and exciting moment. Being tapped into Iron Arrow has everything to do with my love for UM. This was definitely the most memorable homecoming I have experienced — very appropriate for what could be my seventh and last year at the ‘U.’”

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