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Department of Medical Education

Department of Medical Education

Distinguished Educator Award at the Morsani College of Medicine

This award was developed as a collaborative effort by the Department of Medical Education (DME), the Morsani College of Medicine (MCOM) Faculty Council and the Office of Faculty Affairs (OFA) to enhance the practice, quality, and scholarship of teaching and learning at USF Health MCOM through educational service, consultation, and research. Essential to this mission is helping faculty members grow as educators and recognizing teaching excellence and innovation in medical education. This program is being developed to honor exemplary educators of students (UME and GME), physicians, physician assistants, physical therapists, athletic trainers and scientists amongst our faculty by awarding the title of Distinguished Educator. These award winners become inductees of the MCOM Academy of Distinguished Educators.

To be eligible for the Distinguished Educator Award, faculty members must hold an active appointment at USF Health MCOM for a minimum of three years and hold the rank of at least associate professor. In addition to demonstrating excellence as a teacher, nominees will have made exceptional contributions to the education mission in one or more of the following ways:

  • Research in education (e.g., publications or grants)
  • Innovations and scholarly approaches in curriculum development, instructional design, or assessment of student learning
  • Mentoring and development of faculty as educators or educational researchers
  • Individual learner mentoring and development
  • Leadership in education (e.g., course director, program director, with involvement at national level)

Administration of the program will be through the Department of Medical Education.


To be a community energized to grow together as educators and learners.


To cultivate excellence in Health Sciences Education.

  • Nomination Process

    On an annual basis, the DME /OFA shall invite nominations of individuals to be considered for the Distinguished Educator Award.

    • A candidate for this award must be nominated by two current MCOM faculty members at or above the Associate Professor rank, who must submit independent letters explaining why his/her nominee is deserving of this honor.
    • Nominations must be submitted to Dr. Bryan Bognar, Vice-Dean for Educational Affairs and Chair, Department of Medical Education, (email to, by January 8, 2024.
    • If a single nominating letter is received for a faculty member, the person making that nomination will be notified that his/her candidate will not be considered unless a second nominating letter is received.
    • The writer will be informed to arrange for a second letter to be submitted by email within 72 hours of the original deadline.
  • Submission Process

    All nominees will be contacted by the Department of Medical Education and offered the opportunity to apply. The application will include a structured template to use to submit materials, as a single PDF document, in the order below. Applications need to follow this format to be considered by the Selection Committee. Materials must be submitted electronically to Tiffany Baulkman ( by February 9, 2024 and must include Items 1-6.

    1. Table of Contents (please include name, title, and department of nominee on this page)
    2. . Statement of personal values and core purpose as an educator. The statement should address: What do you believe and value about teaching and learning? How do these theories and values influence the way you teach and pursue education work? What do you strive to achieve as a teacher and educator? – maximum two (2) pages.
    3. Description of intent for future involvement in education and how these educational activities will further the candidate’s goals as an educator – maximum one (1) page. 
    4. Teaching Involvement:
      1. Complete summary table of teaching activities.
      2. Submit current teaching evaluations – multiple years (no more than 3 years) from the same educational activity are acceptable. Evaluations for a given course or teaching activity should be complete (maximum 10 teaching activities).
      3. Teaching maintenance and growth – statement describing ways in which you have worked to improve your teaching practices (including participation in faculty development workshops, personal reading, mentoring you have received, etc.) – maximum one (1) page.
    5. Curriculum vitae - please highlight relevant educational awards, activities, and publications.
    6. Description of innovative teaching activities or methodologies. Explain why you chose to implement the activity and how it helped to develop your skills and knowledge as an educator – not to exceed two (2) pages. 

    OPTIONAL: Supporting Materials (to be included at the end of the PDF described above) The header for each section should contain a description (no more than ½ page) of the materials included therein. Acceptable documentation includes:

    1. Maximum of five (5) solicited or unsolicited letters from previous learners; please indicate whether each letter is solicited or unsolicited.
    2. Reprint(s) of publications relevant to education and/or educational scholarship – no more than four (4); provide a maximum half-page reflection for each publication submitted that describes how the publication/project contributed to the field of education. 
    3. Any additional materials relevant to your role as an educator – no more than twenty (20) pages for the total application, and the first page must contain a summary to describe the relevance for this award. 


  • Selection Process

    The two letters of nomination and all material submitted by each candidate will be reviewed by the Selection Committee. A maximum of four faculty members will be selected as award recipients. Determination of award recipients is by a Selection Committee comprised of the following individuals:

    • Senior Associate Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
    • Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education
    • Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education
    • Two representatives from the Academy of Distinguished Educators (For future)
    • Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs or his/her designee
    • Vice-Dean for Educational Affairs, who serves as Chair of the Committee
    • MCOM Faculty Council President or his/her designee

    The above committee will be convened over the next 2-3 years as this society increases in size

  • Rewards and Recognition

    The faculty members named as Distinguished Educators will receive:

    • The title of Distinguished Educator, which can be used in CV, other office/email signage
    • Membership in the Academy of Distinguished Educators
    • Gift of a medallion signifying the wearer as a Distinguished Educator that can be worn at graduation and other ceremonies
    • Having their name listed on a plaque within the MCOM listing all recipients
    • Recognition at Commencement
    • Rental cost of gown for graduation, if needed
  • Inductees

    2021-2022 Inductees

    • Kevin O’Brien, MD, FACP – professor, MCOM Department of Internal Medicine
    • Jessica Dominguez Rieg, PhD – associate professor, MCOM School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences; associate professor Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology
    • Burt Anderson, PhD – professor and associate dean, MCOM Molecular Medicine
    • Rebecca Edgeworth Ditwiler, PT, DPT, OCS – associate professor, MCOM School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences
    • Douglas E. Haladay, PT, DPT, PhD, MHS, OCS, CSCS – director, MCOM School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences; associate dean and associate professor
    • Amanda J. Tritsch, PhD, LAT, ATC, CSCS – associate professor, MCOM Orthopedics and Sports Medicine; associate professor, MCOM School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences
    • Bryan G. Kane, MD – associate professor, MCOM Department of Medicine; assistant program director of research, Lehigh Valley Health Network Emergency Medicine Residency
    • Emad Mikhail, MD, FACOG, FACS – associate professor, MCOM Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

    2022-2023 Inductees

    • Andreas Seyfang, PhD – professor, MCOM Department of Molecular Medicine
    • Vinita Kiluk, MD – professor, MCOM Department of Pediatrics
    • Eduardo Gonzalez, MD, FAAFP – professor, MCOM Department of Family Medicine
    • John Armstrong, MD – professor, MCOM Department of Surgery
    • Marzenna Wiranowska, PhD, MS – professor, MCOM Department of Pathology
    • Susan Pross, PhD – professor, MCOM Department of Molecular Medicine