This morning at Convocation 2010, I was incredibly pleased and privileged to announce the recipients of the first-ever Chancellor’s Awards in the areas of teaching, research and service. When I asked the University community to provide counsel to the provost in establishing these Awards, little did I realize how many worthy nominees would be put forward, how seriously and substantively the faculty took the process–nor how exciting and moving it is to be announcing the inaugural recipients. Each of these three individuals represents what all faculty aspire to when they enter into the academy: to make a powerful difference that has an impact beyond themselves. I say with certainty these three leaders have set the bar very high for all future awardees.
Education is the hallmark of a university campus: thus, it is a distinct privilege to recognize a visionary teacher who has consistently received recognition from both students and peers for achievements in education, Professor of Cell Biology and Neurology Susan Gagliardi, PhD.
Complete text of Chancellor Collins' Convocation speech
Dr. Gagliardi is recognized as a teacher who utilizes a learner-centered approach, who listens to her students and acts on what she hears to create a series of interactive experiences in and outside of the classroom. She is known for her efforts to provide a set of learning resources that can accommodate a range of learning styles and preferences. She places a high value on her students becoming partners with her in learning and teaching, both during her courses and long after they have been completed.
She has been repeatedly recognized as a superior teacher and is the recipient of more than 20 Outstanding Basic Science Educator and Clinical Educator Awards. As the recipient of this Award, Dr. Gagliardi will present a campuswide “Last Lecture,” a celebration of education that we have established to recognize the importance of teaching in all that we do.
On a research-intensive campus such as ours, it is most difficult to single out one scientist among all the accomplished investigators who conduct their research within our institution. Yet, in this instance, it is a great privilege to recognize an individual who has made important contributions to the body of scientific knowledge and who has brought outstanding acclaim to our institution. Please join me in recognizing the first recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Research, Professor and Chair of the Program in Molecular Medicine, Michael P. Czech, PhD.
Dr. Czech, who was invested yesterday afternoon as the first Isadore and Fannie Foxman Chair in Medical Research, has made seminal contributions to our knowledge of insulin signaling and metabolism that have formed the basis for the recent explosion in metabolism research. Dr. Czech’s work on the mechanisms of insulin action on glucose transport is fundamental to the field of Type II diabetes. His more than 300 original articles in the most influential scientific journals have been a career long beacon in basic science research for a generation of scholars.
He has an unparalleled track record of mentorship and training and has brought worldwide acclaim to our university, through his own research as well as through the work of those he has recruited to our campus. As the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award, Dr. Czech will give the keynote lecture at this year’s annual Research Retreat, a fitting recognition for the recipient of this honor.
In the area of service–to community, to campus, to profession, to university, to medicine – it is fitting that we recognize an individual who has created an outstanding legacy and example of service-centered action. It is my deep honor to recognize an active member of the faculty who has given a lifetime of service. Vice Provost for Research and Professor of Pediatrics, Molecular Medicine, Pathology and Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, John L. Sullivan, MD.
For over 31 years, Dr. Sullivan has served our community and our medical school in multiple capacities: as a clinician, a scientist, a teacher and a leader. His deep and abiding affection for this institution and its place in the world has led it in many new and important directions. As a leader of our research community, he has been instrumental in recruiting and supporting outstanding scientists on our campus. At the national level, he has played an important role in helping our university receive national distinction as an exceptional institution of nursing, medicine and science.
An internationally recognized viral immunologist, Dr. Sullivan has made a significant impact on efforts to diminish the AIDS virus by his efforts to discover and develop nevirapine, a drug that has been used for over a decade to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. It is not hyperbole to state that the lives of millions of people throughout the world have been affected through his efforts.
Over the past several years, Dr. Sullivan has mobilized our campus community to come together in an effort to apply for and receive recognition from the National Institutes of Health as a recipient of a Clinical and Translational Sciences Award. Dr. Sullivan would be the first to proclaim that this was a campuswide effort. Yet, his vision for how we should present our university efforts in clinical and translational science, his constant support and encouragement of all those who came together from across our university to collaborate in the compiling of our application, and his passion and coaching as we approached many critical deadlines, were all examples of distinguished service.
As the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Service, Dr. Sullivan will be privileged to carry the mace at formal university functions, including this year’s Commencement ceremony. As the standard bearer for our faculty, this position of prominence is well deserved for one who has given such outstanding service to our university throughout a career.
Please join me in congratulating these extraordinary leaders for this well-deserved recognition of their dedication and achievement.