WEST POINT, N.Y. (May 23, 2012) -- The Richard M. Mason Award was presented May 22, at Keller Army Community Hospital here to United States Military Academy Class of 2012, Cadet Anna Elizabeth Stein.
The Richard M. Mason Award honors the cadet with the highest grade point average who is entering medical school.
"It is an honor to receive this award because of the legacy of Richard M. Mason, a United States Military Academy graduate, decorated war veteran, and Army physician. His achievements represent the selfless service inherent in this profession. I am extremely humbled to receive this award in his memory," said Stein.
"Cadet Stein has shown during her four years at the academy that she is an exceptional leader," Land said. "She has also demonstrated the sensitivity and compassion needed to be a great healthcare provider. The Army Medical Department has a bright future with Cadet Stein joining our ranks."
After graduation Saturday, the future Medical Corps officer will soon return to the classroom, as she pursues her medical degree at the School of Medicine at Yale University. Transitioning from the military academy to medical school won't be difficult for Stein.
"West Point is a very demanding experience for all cadets and requires each of us to balance our academic, physical, and military responsibilities on a daily basis. I recognized during my plebe (freshman) year that in order to achieve my goals, I would have to learn to budget my time and sometimes make hard sacrifices," said Stein.
Stein, spent the summer following her cow (junior) year, in Nairobi, Kericho and Kisumu, Kenya working with the United States Army Medical Research Unit - Kenya. While there she gained an appreciation for the military's research in HIV, malaria, and gastro-enteric disease. She then spent her firstie (senior) year, cultivating a malaria strain to test a class of chemical compounds for anti-malaria activity.
As a result of her research, she plans on specializing in Infectious Disease at Yale so that she can provide care to Soldiers and potentially continue to conduct research in this area.
"My goal is to become a military physician capable of providing excellent care to Soldiers. I believe that this is the best way for me to serve the Army and our nation," she stated.
The Mason Award is named for U.S. Military Academy Class of 1968 graduate Richard Mason. Following his graduation, Mason served several highly decorated tours in Vietnam. Upon redeployment, he entered medical school, serving his medical residency and internship in Internal Medicine at Letterman Army Medical Center. Mason died of cancer in 1977 at the age of 30. His parents established the award in his honor.
Upon presenting Stein with her award KACH leadership also presented 20 cadets with their Army Medical Regimental Crest.