Ashish Francis named 2009 Herz Gold Medalist

5/19/2009 | By: Staff Report  |

Ashish Francis received the University of Nevada, Reno's Herz Gold Medal today, May 16, during Spring 2009 Commencement ceremonies on the historic University Quadrangle. Francis, a member of the University’s Honor Program, completed his undergraduate academic career with a degree in biochemistry and a cumulative grade-point average of 4.0.

The Herz Gold Medal, the University’s oldest and most prestigious award, is presented each commencement ceremony to the graduating senior with the highest grade-point average. This gift was established in 1910 by brothers Richard, Carl and Otto Herz when the institution was only 36 years old.

Francis, the 2009 Senior Scholar award recipient for the ¬College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, was born in Bangalore, India. He graduated from Coronado High School in Henderson, Nevada and enrolled at the University of Nevada, Reno in the fall of 2005. He has been admitted to the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine where he will begin his studies this fall.

Gary Blomquist is the chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and also served as Francis’ mentor. Blomquist said Francis is truly a remarkable student – in the classroom, in the laboratory and around campus.

“He is truly an outstanding student who has a very bright future ahead of him in medicine,” he said. “He is very serious about his work and has a clear picture of what he wants to do.”

Blomquist wrote a letter recommending Francis for acceptance to medical school, in which he gave him the highest recommendation of the hundreds of students for whom he has written letters of recommendation over the past 33 years.


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