The University of Texas System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award was recently given to nine faculty members of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), who have been distinguished for their excellence in instruction in the classroom, the laboratory, the field, or online. A total of 39 new members from UTHealth institutions were elected this year, based on criteria of classroom expertise, curricula quality, innovative course development, and student learning outcomes.
The nine award winners will each be granted $25,000, as well as honored at a ceremony taking place at the University of Texas at Austin’s Shirley Bird Perry Ballroom in the Texas Union. As the health-related institution that educates the most healthcare professionals in Texas, the UT System graduates two-thirds of the state’s health care practitioners annually and receives about 70 percent of all research funds granted to public universities in the state.
“The UTHealth faculty members who have been honored with this prestigious teaching award exemplify the dedication of UTHealth in providing the highest level of education for our students,” said UTHealth President Giuseppe Colasurdo, M.D.
The winners of the University of Texas System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award come from all of the six schools of UTHealth. Michelle S. Barratt, M.D., M.P.H., a professor of pediatrics at the UTHealth Medical School and specialist in pediatrics and adolescent health, is one of them. She specializes in pediatrics and adolescent health. Patricia M. Butler, M.D., a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and vice dean in the Office of Educational Programs at the UTHealth Medical School, is also responsible for the undergraduate and graduate medical education programs, and for the continuing medical education program, is another one.
Margaret O’Brien Caughy, Sc.D., professor and director of the Maternal and Child Health Training Program in the Division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at the UTHealth School of Public Health at the Dallas Regional Campus, has dedicated her studies to the risk and resilience effects on young children, as well as the factors that impact school readiness in low-income African-American and Latino children, while Catherine M. Flaitz, D.D.S., M.S., the Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences at the UTHealth School of Dentistry, and former dean of the school, has been focusing on the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and novel management of oral diseases in children and immunocompromised individuals.
“Being a teacher, I am privileged to have the opportunity to influence the growth and development of students as critical thinkers and leaders who apply their knowledge to achieve optimal outcomes for countless individuals and populations,” said Joanne V. Hickey, Ph.D., R.N., another award recipient, who holds the Patricia L. Starck/PARTNERS Professorship in Nursing at the UTHealth School of Nursing and is coordinator of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program. The professor has been studying the adult neuroscience patient population.
The associate professor in the UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics, who studies clinical informatics, symbolic systems biology and public health informatics, M. Sriram Iyengar, Ph.D., was also awarded, as well as Lillian S. Kao, M.D., a professor in the Department of Surgery at the UTHealth Medical School that has been dedicated to improve disparities of care, who was recently president of the Association for Academic Surgery.
The two other teaching awards were granted to Kevin A. Morano, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the UTHealth Medical School and a faculty member of The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston, and to Beatrice J. Selwyn, Sc.D., an associate professor in the Division of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences and in the Division of Management, Policy and Community Health at the UTHealth School of Public Health.
“It is the UT System’s responsibility to provide a world-class education for students at our institutions,” stated Regent Robert L. Stillwell, who chairs the Health Affairs Committee for the Board of Regents. “Recognizing teaching excellence is an important part of the overall commitment to improving the quality of higher education across the state.”