Twelve exceptional faculty members were honored at UMass Medical School’s 16th Educational Recognition Awards on Thursday, May 8. The annual awards recognize faculty singled out by the deans and students of the Graduate School of Nursing, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and School of Medicine for excellence in teaching, research and service (see the full slate of awardees below).
“If students are the heart of our mission, faculty are the heartbeat,” said Chancellor Michael F. Collins, kicking off the annual tradition that includes a Last Lecture by an esteemed teacher sharing words of wisdom, along with recognition of members of the community who serve as mentors, teachers and advisors.
In addition to faculty honors, the annual Patient as Teacher award was given to Melinda Carneiro. For more than 20 years, Ms. Carneiro has shared with medical students her experiences as a scleroderma sufferer, most recently along with her service dog Seamus, who accepted the award with her.
Following the award presentations, Richard H. Glew, MD, the 2013 recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Teaching, delivered The Last Lecture called “Microbes and Mentors.” He opened by admitting that, despite having lectured for decades, this particular talk was a difficult first for him because he would be talking about himself.
Dr. Glew, professor of medicine and microbiology & physiological systems, recalled why he chose medicine, with a special interest in infectious diseases.
“Infectious disease is logical, you can confirm the diagnosis—and most infectious diseases are treatable, and many are curable,” he noted. “And infectious diseases have a great historical and literary background, playing a major role in world history.”
He recounted how his mentors at Harvard College, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health and Massachusetts General Hospital inspired him, and lessons learned, from paying attention to detail to smelling the flowers. In addition to these learned men, he cited as heroes his father Robert, for his intellect, competence and kindness; his wife Dorothea for her dedication; his son Sean, who died of cancer at age 39, for his persistence; and baseball player Ernie Banks for his unflagging enthusiasm for his work.
A video of the entire event will soon be available from the Office of University Events for online viewing.