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CLS Chair Dr. Freeman is 1 of 6 UTMB faculty members to earn top teaching prize in UT System

August 15, 2014

The University of Texas System Board of Regents has awarded six faculty members at the University of Texas Medical Branch with the board's highest honor in recognition of their performance in the classroom and their dedication to innovation and advancing excellence.

Considered the top teaching prize in the UT System, the Regents' Outstanding Teaching Awards program is believed to be among the single largest financial teaching awards program in the country and also one of the nation's most competitive.

Top Teaching Prize


"We are extremely proud of these members of our faculty," said UTMB's Dr. Danny O. Jacobs, executive vice president and provost, and dean of the School of Medicine. "They are committed to educational excellence and dedicated to our students."

Regents Vice Chairman Steven Hicks, chairman of the board's Academic Affairs Committee, said that these teachers are truly "the best of the best."

Each of these faculty members will receive a $25,000 award and will be honored at a ceremony Aug. 20.

Faculty members undergo a series of rigorous evaluations by students, peer faculty and external reviewers. The review panels consider a range of activities and criteria in their evaluations of a candidate's teaching performance, including classroom expertise, curricula quality, innovative course development and student learning outcomes.

"Our excellence in teaching faculty is a critical part of the System’s vision of an institution of the first class," said UT System Chancellor Dr. Francisco G. Cigarroa, "These awards are a reflection of the Regents placing the highest priority on undergraduate, graduate and professional teaching excellence System-wide."

The Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award recipients at UTMB for 2014:

Michael A. Ainsworth, M.D.
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, School of Medicine
"My goal is to help students understand their strengths, appreciate what they need to learn and know when to ask for help."

Vicki S. Freeman, Ph.D., M.L.S. (ASCP) SC, FACB
Chairwoman and Professor, Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences
Director, Academy of Master Teachers and Marie Hall Scholar
A.H. Potthast Distinguished Professor University of Texas Distinguished Teaching Professor
"As a teacher, I seek to guide students through the learning process by inspiring them to learn, then providing them with a variety of materials and experiences so they feel engaged in their field of study."

Richard Wilder Goodgame, M.D.
Professor and Vice Chairman for Graduate Medical Education
Director for Internal Medicine Residency
"To teach once is to learn twice. I teach to learn; I learn to teach. The valued gifts that good teachers bring to lectures and teachable moments: accuracy, brevity, clarity, energy, levity and memory."

Ruth E. Levine, M.D.
Clarence Ross Miller Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Assistant Dean for Educational Affairs
Director, Office of Clinician Education
"I believe that being a good teacher is kind of like being a therapist; under the best of circumstances the student should come away feeling supported, enlightened and with an increased understanding not just about the subject at hand but about themselves."

Steven A. Lieberman, M.D., FACP
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Senior Dean for Administration
"Our students are so talented and motivated, with a fertile environment and attentive mentoring, they will far exceed our expectations."

Virginia N. Niebuhr, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Pediatrics
UT System Distinguished Teaching Professor
"John Dewey said, 'If we teach today like we taught yesterday, we rob our students of tomorrow.'"

Article from UTMB Newsroom