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.