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Medical Students Honor Faculty with New Awards Series

More than 25 faculty, staff members  and departments were honored at the first Saint Louis University School of Medicine (SLUSOM) Faculty Awards Banquet on Friday, Feb.23, in the St. Francis Xavier College Church Ballroom.

MariaTeresa Tersigni-Tarrant, Ph.D.

MariaTeresa Tersigni-Tarrant, Ph.D., received the first "Spirit of SLUSOM" award from students in the School of Medicine for her work organizing the University's annual memorial service honoring those who have gifted their bodies to science and for her passion as an instructor. Photo by Nabiha Quadri

The awards mark an innovation on a past tradition. In years past, students in the School of Medicine nominated individuals for a select few educator awards known as the Distinguished Teachers Award. Winners were feted at a small luncheon in the Margaret McCormick Doisy Learning Resources Center.

This year, students decided to start a new tradition to thank those contributing to their educations for their continued hard work and dedication to furthering students’ medical education.

The students expanded the award categories and awarded nearly 30 honors across both the preclinical and clinical curricula.

The new categories included:

  • Pre-clinical (best course, outstanding lecturer, etc.)
  • Clinical (outstanding attending and resident per clerkship, etc.)
  • Overall (staff, humanism, mentorship, etc.)

To choose the winners, students examined nominations and objective evaluation data from OASIS. The top three finalists for each award were selected and winners were chosen by majority student body vote.

The highest overall award of the evening, “The Spirit of SLUSOM” Award, recognizes someone who demonstrates exceptional compassion, leadership, professionalism and overall dedication to the growth and development of future physicians.

MariaTeresa Tersigni-Tarrant, Ph.D., associate professor in the Center for Anatomical Science and Education (CASE), received the spirit award. Students emphasized Tersigni-Tarrant’s dedication to SLU’s mission and to her passion for instruction.

SLUSOM Awards Ceremony
Students and faculty gathered on Friday, Feb. 23, for the first Saint Louis University School of Medicine (SLUSOM) Awards in the ballroom at St. Francis Xavier College Church. Photo by Lewis Tian

According to organizers, one student noted, “Dr. T's [Tersigni-Tarrant] passion as course director of our anatomy class was evident from the first day of the course to the last. The class is logistically one of the most difficult to put together, and is presumable the most challenging to teach given the scope of what us students were asked to learn.”

Another wrote that, “Dr. T clearly puts in an incredible amount of work into making anatomy the best experience possible for us.”

Tersigni-Tarrant’s role in organizing the University’s annual memorial service for the families of those who give their bodies to science also factored into the award decision. "Dr. Tersigni-Tarrant worked tirelessly to give us a great education in anatomy. Particularly impressive was her organization of a special memorial service for the families of the body donors.”

Faculty, staff members and departments were honored at the award ceremony.

Award Winners

Preclinical Awards
  • Outstanding Lecturer in a First Year Course: Amelia Kirby, M.D.
  • Outstanding Lecturer in a Second Year Course: Louay Omran, M.D.
  • Outstanding Small Group Facilitator: Kelly Everard, Ph.D.
  • Outstanding First Year Course: Pathology
  • Outstanding Second Year Course: Gastroenterology
Clinical Awards
  • Outstanding Clinical Educator Award for a Community Preceptor: Philip Vaidyan, M.D.
  • Outstanding Clinical Educator Award for a Faculty Member in Family Medicine: James Deckert, M.D.
  • Outstanding Clinical Educator Award for a Resident in Family Medicine: Steven Song, M.D.
  • Outstanding Clinical Educator Award for a Faculty Member in Internal Medicine: Adam Merando, M.D.
  • Outstanding Clinical Educator Award for a Resident in Internal Medicine: Andrea Ramirez-Gomez, M.D.
  • Outstanding Clinical Educator Award for a Faculty Member in Neurology: Sean Goretzke, M.D.
  • Outstanding Clinical Educator Award for a Resident in Neurology: Jeff Calvin, M.D.
  • Outstanding Clinical Educator Award for a Faculty Member in OB/GYN: Michael Thomure, M.D.
  • Outstanding Clinical Educator Award for Resident in Obstetrics and Gynecology: Cara Buskmiller, M.D.
  • Outstanding Clinical Educator Award for a Faculty Member in Pediatrics:  Jamie Sutherell Outstanding Clinical Educator Award for a Resident in Pediatrics: Mary Kate Lockhart, M.D.
  • Outstanding Clinical Educator Award for a Faculty Member in Psychiatry: Anjan Bhattacharyya, M.D.
  • Outstanding Clinical Educator Award for a Resident in Psychiatry: Sohail Nibras, M.D.
  • Outstanding Clinical Educator Award for a Faculty Member in Surgery: Michael Williams, M.D.
  • Outstanding Clinical Educator Award for a Resident in Surgery: Anne Mooser, M.D.
  • Outstanding Clinical Educator Award for a Faculty Member in an Elective Rotation: Anthony Scalzo, M.D.
  • Outstanding Clinical Educator Award for a Resident in an Elective Rotation: Peter Boor, M.D.
  • Outstanding Clinical Clerkship: Pediatrics 
Overall Awards

The Arnold P. Gold Humanism in Medicine Award: Fred Rottnek, M.D.

The Excellence in Mentorship Award: Sara Barnett

The Outstanding Staff Member Award: Debbie Schindler, Ph.D.

The Spirit of SLUSOM Award: MariaTeresa Tersigni-Tarrant, Ph.D.

SLUSOM Awards Committee

A student committee planned the awards, breaking from past tradition to expand the honors to include more faculty, staff and departments in the School of Medicine.  (From left) Medical students Ken Dekitani, Natalie Gaio, Grace Fredman, Nabiha Quadri, Zac Zabriskie, Ryan Sanchez, Clayton Southern, Dylan Barnes and Nicholas Piening. Photo by Lewis Tian