Skip to Main Content

Chicago Medical School Humanitarian Award 2015

The CMS Humanitarian Award recognizes the full measure of a person’s worth, as someone whose efforts on behalf of others — especially the underserved define a quality of character that embodies selfless service to improve health. The CMS Humanitarian Committee considered a number of very impressive applications. We are very proud of the humanitarian accomplishments of our students. The CMS Humanitarian Committee is delighted to announce the winners of the Chicago Medical School Humanitarian Award 2015. 

The following M3 and M2 students have been awarded the Chicago Medical School Humanitarian Award!

Julie Witkowski

Graduation: June 2016, Chicago Medical School (CMS)

Julie Witkowski

“During my high school years, I spent a great deal of time doing service projects across the Midwest through a nationwide organization called Students Today Leaders Forever. In fact, I had the opportunity to organize and lead a five-day service tour through Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky for myself and 40 other students. During my undergraduate education I spent four years working at a non-profit after- school program for underprivileged children in Chicago, IL. I also became a refugee assimilation volunteer, helping two families from overseas refugee camps assimilate to life in America.” - Julie Witkowski

“Julie played a strong leadership role in the Serving To Educate Potential Upcoming Professionals (STEP UP), a tutorial and mentoring program that provides academic support and ACT test preparation to the students at the North Chicago Community High School. From that work, she assisted in the development of the Future Healthcare Professionals Club, which became a part of her Franklin Fellows project. Her commitment to ensuring the quality of the content for the students was evident through the increase in student involvement throughout the course of the school year.” – Christine M. Lopez, MEd 

“Julie also led the charge to bring a group of NCCHS students to Rosalind Franklin University to participate in hands-on learning experiences and career exploration in April 2014. This day was such a great experience for students in our Healthcare Career Pathways and continues to be a motivating factor for their desire to continue their pursuit of their goals to be a medical professional. This trip is being replicated again this year to provide more motivation and support for our NCCHS students in the Healthcare Careers Pathway.” – Jeffrey M. Hollenstein, Middle School Teacher

Mari Freedberg

Graduation: June 2017, Chicago Medical School (CMS)

Mari Freedberg

“Since my time in South Africa, I have had several more international experiences in medicine and public health, each of which has taught me different aspects about what it means to be not only a good physician, but a good person. My time in South Africa taught me about what it means to relate to people, even those you believe to be so wildly different from yourself, and to be open to new experiences. My public health research in Zambia demonstrated the true human spirit in the face of adversity, and the beauty that exist all around us. As a first year medical student working in an underserved clinic in Peru, I now had many more skill that I could use to better the health of people around me.” – Mari Freedberg

“Ms. Freedberg’s international service has involved underserved communities in Peru, Bolivia, Zambia and South Africa. Her research activities in South Africa and Zambia included a heavy component of education for the populations engaging in the research activities. In Bolivia, Ms. Freedberg was part of a team educating Bolivian surgeons with the goal of improving access and outcomes for the population served by the hospital. Her activities in Cusco, Peru enhanced services provided by the clinics to the local population.” – Inis Jane Bardella, MD, FAAFP

“While Mari’s original plan was somewhat vague; she took it upon herself to bring together various individuals and organizations across campus to create something great. Her goal was to provide education and awareness to the RFUMS community. To do this properly, she coordinated with various stakeholders whole could help her achieve a greater outcome. The week included several organizations, relevant and renowned speakers, and daily events to keep the university engaged. With Mari at the helm, the entire week was a success. Her leadership within the student organizations and daily direction to keep operations running smoothly, made all the difference.” – Sara Nobble, MA


We wish to congratulate both our award recipients as well as all of our applicants and wish them all the best. Congratulations!