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Richard Byyny, MD, FACP and Valerie Williams, PhD, MPA presenting the award to (top left, clockwise):
Roy Ziegelstein, MD, MACP; Stuart Slavin, MD, MEd; Miekl Snow, PhD; Cynthia Lance-Jones, MA, PhD.
Images courtesy of the AAMC.

2013 Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Awards

Each year since 1988, Alpha Omega Alpha, in cooperation with the Association of American Medical Colleges, presents four AΩA Distinguished Teacher Awards to faculty members in American medical schools. Two awards are for accomplishments in teaching the basic sciences and two are for inspired teaching in the clinical sciences. In 1997, AΩA named the award to honor its retiring executive secretary Robert J. Glaser, MD. Nominations for the award are submitted to the AAMC each spring by the deans of medical schools.

Nominations were reviewed by a committee chosen by AΩA and the AAMC. This year’s committee members were prior award recipients J. John Cohen, MD, PhD; Ruth Marie Fincher, MD; William H. Frishman, MD; Bruce F. Giffin, PhD; Richard B. Gunderman, MD, PhD; Brian Hodges, MD, PhD; John (Jack) Nolte, PhD; LuAnn Wilkerson, EdD; Amy Leigh Wilson-Delfosse, PhD.

Winners of the award receive $10,000, their schools receive $2,500, and active AΩA chapters at those schools receive $1,000. Schools nominating candidates for the award receive a plaque with the name of the nominee.

Brief summaries of the accomplishments in medical education of the 2013 award recipients follow.

Richard L. Byyny, MD
Executive Director


Left to right: Valerie N. Williams, PhD, MPA; Roy Ziegelstein, MD, MACP; Cynthia Lance-Jones, MA, PhD;
Stuart Slavin, MD, MEd; Richard Byyny, MD, FACP, Executive Director, AOA; Darrell G. Kirch, MD

Cynthia Lance-Jones, MA, PhD (Basic)

Assistant Dean for Medical Student Research, Associate Professor, Department of Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Dr. Lance-Jones received her PhD at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1977, and completed a fellowship in neuroscience at Yale University in 1980. She joined the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1983 as an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology and is now Assistant Dean for Medical Student Research.

Dr. Lance-Jones has received many of the University of Pittsburgh’s awards for outstanding educator, including the Excellence in Education Award as a Preclinical Course Educator in 1997, the Dean’s Award for Master Educator, Kenneth E. Schuit Award in 2004, the Academy of Master Educators in 2005, the Excellence in Education Award as Small Group Facilitator in 2009, and the Sheldon Adler Award for Innovation in Medical Education in 2011.

Dr. Lance-Jones is coordinator for the first-year basic science block, and oversees implementation of the core anatomy, biochemistry, genetics, cell biology, and pathology courses. She was a major designer of the combined course in cell biology and pathology, has designed a computer module on vascular structure, atherosclerosis, and the potential use of noninvasive biomarkers, has created and implemented a team-based learning exercise on wound healing, and introduced the use of virtual microscopy material for histology workshops and laboratories.

As Assistant Dean for Medical Student Research, Dr. Lance-Jones is responsible for helping student design and implement Scholarly Projects, longitudinal research experiences required of all medical students. She has been asked to speak at other medical schools interested in establishing similar programs.

Dean Arthur S. Levine says of Dr. Lance-Jones, “She approaches . . . tasks with creativity and insight into student concerns and learning styles because she also serves as a lecturer, a small group facilitator, and/or a laboratory instructor in multiple courses. Her ability to clearly present and synthesize [information] . . . and to make topics relate organically to several different courses is recognized by the students not only with outstanding evaluations and attendance at her lectures but also by the fact that she is one of only three faculty members who are asked each year to provide review sessions for USMLE step 1 exams. Dr. Lance-Jones has served for several years as one of three faculty advisors to the Medical Student Honor Council. This working group of elected student representatives advises students on issues relating to our honor code and professionalism. This role, coupled with her teaching and Scholarly Project work, positions her as one of our most committed preclinical educators.”

Stuart Slavin, MD, MEd (Clinical)

Associate Dean for Curriculum and Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Saint Louis University School of Medicine (AΩA, Saint Louis University, 1984)

Dr. Slavin received his MD at Saint Louis University in 1983 and his residency in Pediatrics at UCLA in 1986. He completed his MEd at the University of Southern California 1992. He joined Saint Louis University as a professor of Pediatrics in 2004. He is currently the Associate Dean for Curriculum and chairs the Curriculum Management Committee.

Dr. Slavin received the Saint Louis University School of Medicine Distinguished Teaching Award for Humanism in 2009, 2011, and 2012, and the Father James Tobin award in 2008. He received numerous awards while a faculty member at UCLA, including the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching from the UCLA School of Medicine Class of 1999 and the Robert C. Neerhout Teaching Award from the UCLA Pediatric Residents in 2004.

During his tenure at UCLA, Dr. Slavin was cofounder of the Doctoring curriculum, which has since become a national model for curricula addressing underrepresented topics at medical schools in the United States. He was the primary architect for the Colleges system, which focused on enhancing the educational experience for fourth-year medical students, was pediatric clerkship director, and led the development of a core curriculum based on the COMSEP educational guideline.

At Saint Louis University, Dr. Slavin directed an effort to improve the mental health of medical students, and spearheaded a comprehensive restructuring plan for the four-year undergraduate medical curriculum.

Dr. Slavin is a popular teacher, as evidenced by the comments of students: “Dr. Slavin just gets it. I think it’s pretty rare for professors to be able to remember what it was like to be a student and the fact that he remembers and is able to relate to us is greatly appreciated. Fantastic.” “Dr. Slavin is an excellent teacher because he takes complex subjects and makes them simple to understand. I appreciate that instead of focusing on excessive detail, Dr. Slavin taught overarching principles that can then be used to remember why certain diseases present in a particular fashion.”

Dean Philip Alderson writes of Dr. Slavin, “He is being nominated because of the long track record of leadership an innovation that he has accrued during his career in medical education, his significant creative work in the field, and his outstanding record in teaching of medical students.”

Mikel Snow, PhD (Basic)

Director of Medical Education and Professor and Chair, Department of Cell and Neurobiology, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (AΩA, University of Southern California, 1988)

Dr. Snow received his PhD in Anatomy at the University of Michigan in 1971 and his doctorate in Molecular Biology at the University of Washington in 1989. He joined USC in 1975 as assistant professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. He is currently Professor and Chairman of the Department of Cell and Neurobiology and Director of Medical Education at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.

Dr. Snow is the director of Anatomy at the medical school, known for his dynamic and comprehensive lectures as well as his original student materials. Dr. Snow played a pivotal role in the revision of the basic science curriculum, one of the greatest curriculum advances at USC in the past ten years. He serves as an advisor on the Student Ethics Committee.

Dr. Snow’s awards at USC are many: he received the Master Teacher of Distinction Award at the Keck School of Medicine in 2009, the Outstanding Teaching Award and Outstanding Mentor Award in numerous years, as well as the Excellence in Teaching and Lecturing Awards in several years. He was also given the Gender Equity Award for “Promoting a fair environment for the education and training of women physicians,” by the American Women’s Association in 1996 and the Dean’s Teaching Award in 2002 at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine.

Dean Carmen Puliafito writes of Dr. Snow, “As an educator, administrator, and mentor, Dr. Mikel Snow is nothing short of exemplary. Through his directorship of the gross anatomy course, his chairmanship of the musculoskeletal system section, and his involvement in ethics and curricular committees, Dr. Snow is a pillar of the medical school and integral to students’ success. This truth may be most evidenced by the students who ‘vote with their feet’ and fill his lectures to 100% capacity, despite their opportunity to webcast lectures comfortably from home. . . . With his gifts Dr. Snow has helped thousands of students learn the difficult concepts inherent to physiology and anatomy. Simply put by one student, ‘Every time Dr. Snow speaks, I learn something useful.’ . . . We believe Dr. Snow is exactly the type of medical educator worthy of AΩA recognition.”

Roy Ziegelstein, MD, MACP (Clinical)

Vice Dean for Education, Sarah Miller Coulson and Frank L. Coulson, Jr., Professor of Medicine, and Executive Vice Chairman, Department of Medicine, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
(AΩA, Boston University, 1986)

Dr. Ziegelstein received his MD from Boston University in 1986 and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins in 1989. He subsequently completed a Cardiology Fellowship at Johns Hopkins in 1993. Dr. Ziegelstein joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1993 as an assistant professor. He is currently Vice Dean for Education and professor and Executive Vice Chairman of the Department of Medicine.

Dr. Ziegelstein directed the Internal Medicine residency program at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center from 1997 to 2006, and also coordinated the Internal Medicine rotation for third-year medical students. He redesigned that program to emphasize not just the didactic and technical aspects of medical education and clinical medicine, but also humanism and professionalism. Dr. Ziegelstein developed the fourth-year course “Transitions to Residency and Internship and Preparation for Life (TRIPLE),” which has become one of the highlights of the required medical school curriculum.

At Hopkins, Dr. Ziegelstein has won the George J. Stewart Award for outstanding clinical teacher five times and was awarded the Professor’s Award for Distinction and Teaching in the Clinical Sciences in 2003. The Maryland chapter of the American College of Physicians awarded him the C. Lockard Conley Award for contributions to resident education and research in 2004 and the Theodore W. Woodward Award for medical education in 2007. His clinical skills were recognized by the Miller Coulson Academy for Clinical Excellence in 2009.

Dean Landon S. King says that “Dr. Ziegelstein has been an outstanding teacher of medical students (and all levels of learners) since he came to Johns Hopkins as a member of the Osler House Staff program in 1987. . . . As a reflection of the commitment and excellence that define Dr. Ziegelstein’s approach to teaching, he was recently named as the Vice Dean for Education in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In this critical role, he will oversee the medical school’s undergraduate, graduate, residency, postdoctoral, and continuing medical education programs.”

Program Announcement

Last updated: 12/2/13

Updated on November 14, 2014.


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