Biological Sciences Division, Pritzker School of Medicine honor exceptional faculty and staff

As spring commencement ceremonies honor the intellectual growth and accomplishments of UChicago students, the annual faculty and teaching awards recognize the important role the University’s educators play in that success.

The Biological Sciences Division and Pritzker School of Medicine recently announced a number of awards honoring faculty and staff. The BSD announced its annual faculty awards at a reception in June.

In the Distinguished Educator/Mentor category, the Faculty Advisory Committee recognized five honorees:

  • Junior: Lianne Kurina, assistant professor of Health Studies, was honored for excellence in graduate teaching. She frequently taught Principles of Epidemiology, an introductory course in Health Studies required of PhD students, and one of two alternate core courses for MS students. It’s also a popular course with undergraduates, social science graduate students, students in the Harris School and SSA, and clinical fellows. Despite such diverse groups of students, Kurina consistently receives course evaluations in the 4.7–4.9 range and is lauded by students as “fantastic,” “excellent,” and “one of the best teachers” her students have ever had.  
  • Senior: Peggy Mason, professor of neurobiology, was honored for teaching excellence in basic science (undergraduate, graduate and medical). Mason teaches undergraduate courses, including the first course in a new “Neurobiology in Paris” sequence. She also mentors graduate students, postdocs and junior faculty, and she also teaches every lecture and lab of the Medical Neurobiology course for second-year medical students. Students praise her as a “remarkable human being” whose classes are the “most well-structured” students have taken.  
  • Senior: Vineet Arora, associate professor of medicine, was honored for excellence in medical school education. As a co-founder of MERITS (Medical Education Research, Innovation, Teaching, and Scholarship) Fellowship, Arora helped establish this forum to support medical education scholarship and teaching across departments and levels of training. In her position as Associate Dean for Scholarship and Discovery, she plays an active role in the scholarly development of each Pritzker student.
  • Senior: Marshall Chin, professor of medicine, was honored for excellence in mentorship in general medicine and public health. He is a talented researcher in general medicine, who has shown great dedication to junior faculty and has guided more than 40 mentees and advisees over the past 19 years, many of whom are now pioneering leaders in their fields. 
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Javad Hekmat-panah, professor of surgery and neurology, was recognized for his many years of excellence as an educator and mentor. He has devoted almost a half a century to clinical teaching at the University. Students praise Hekmat-panah as “a constant source of inspiration, encouragement and motivation” and as “an intellectual, through and through, with a heart of gold.” He has developed an interactive web-based teaching program that is extensively utilized by UChicago medical students and residents.

Pritzker School of medicine

The Pritzker School had several ceremonies over the past few weeks to honor its faculty and residents.

“We at Pritzker are always very proud of the faculty and residents who help educate and inspire the next generation of doctors and scientists,” said Holly Humphrey, dean for medical education at Pritzker. “There is no higher honor than this recognition, which comes directly from our students, and reminds all of us of the daily contributions that our faculty and residents make in teaching and mentoring future physicians.”

The 2013 recipient of the Faculty Physician Peer Role Model Award was Anne Hong, assistant professor of medicine. As a measure of the prestige associated with this award, nearly 150 faculty members from 12 clinical departments were nominated.

The Hilger Perry Jenkins Award, honoring excellence in the performance of academic and patient-oriented service by a resident, went to Adam Mikolajczyk.

The Doroghazi Clinical Teaching Award was presented to Michael Marcangelo, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience.

The Outstanding Basic Science Teaching Award was won by Husain Sattar, associate professor of pathology.

A total of seven Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism and Excellence in Teaching awards were given out to residents who demonstrated compassion and empathy in caring for patients, but who also served as a role model for students and colleagues, exhibited enthusiasm and skill in professional and personal interactions with students, and welcomed one-on-one mentorship.

They were:

  • Benjamin Brown, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Monica Fudala, Department of Family Medicine, NorthShore University HealthSystem
  • Michael Garland, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Andrew Levy, Department of Medicine
  • Tania Rebeiz, Department of Neurology
  • Baddr Shakhsheer, Department of Surgery
  • Sima Thakkar, Department of Pediatrics

The L.D.H. Wood Pre-Clinical Teaching Awards were presented to faculty teachers from each of the pre-clinical years who was “selfless, tireless and an excellent teacher of medical students.”

  • First Year: James O’Reilly, senior lecturer, Organismal Biology and Anatomy
  • Second Year: Scott Stern, professor of medicine

Other BSD awards

Distinguished Investigator:       

  • Junior: David Freedman, assistant professor of neurobiology
  • Senior: Nancy Cox, professor of human genetics and medicine 
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Bernard Roizman, professor of microbiology 

Distinguished Clinician:

  • Senior: Fuad Baroody, professor of surgery and pediatrics
  • Senior: Kerstin Stenson, professor of surgery 

Distinguished Community Service and Advocacy:

  • Junior: Arshiya Baig, assistant professor of medicine
  • Senior: Daniel Johnson, associate professor of pediatrics

Distinguished Program Innovator:

  • Junior: Betty Theriault, assistant professor in surgery
  • Senior: Joseph Kanabrocki, associate professor in microbiology