Meet Marian University's College of Osteopathic Medicine's Student Researcher of the Year—Ashley Orr

by Glendal Jones | Jan 10, 2022

It is a tremendous honor as we celebrate and congratulate Marian University Medical Student Ashley Daniel Orr. Orr was named Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine's Student of the Year in early December 2021. Orr, who’s a second-year med student, learned of her honor through a Marian University selection committee.

“This award felt like the perfect way to honor the immense investment my mentors have made in my professional development,” Orr explained. “Aside from my husband, I immediately had to share the news with Dr. Lowery and Dr. Hum, both of whom have been instrumental in my journey evolving from writing a thesis, publications, and national recognition at last year’s Osteopathic Medical Education Conference and the American Association of Osteopathic Medicine this year.”

Marian University Assistant Provost for Research and Scholarship Jonathan Lowery, Ph.D., couldn’t keep his enthusiasm down. “I have known Ashley for more than four years, and I have been fortunate to observe her dedication to research through varied roles,” he added. “She is an unbelievably talented individual, and an excellent candidate for this recognition.”

Julia Hum, Ph. D, assistant professor, College of Osteopathic Medicine agrees as she nominated Orr. “She represents the best qualities of a student doctor conducting research.” Hum explained. “During her training, she’s conducted a wide range of projects from translational biomedical research to qualitative research addressing healthcare disparities. Her research efforts have been recognized in the form of multiple peer-reviewed publications, awards, and invitations to present her work at local, national, and international conferences.”

Orr is now entered in the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine: Council of Student Government’s national competition. The organization is recognizing 38 other medical research students around the country. One student will be named National Osteopathic Student of the Year this month. While everyone hopes Ashley gets the nod, even if she doesn’t, her accomplishments, and drive are indisputable either way.

“There is always an element of discovery that keeps research exciting,” Orr added. “The chance to ascertain something new and contribute to the scientific community has always been the inspiration for my current work.” 

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Brad R. Wucher
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