Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award recipients

These 10 members of the faculty at UT Southwestern Medical Center have been honored by the UT System Board of Regents with 2014 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards, which recognize educators in the state’s top institutions for mentoring and personal commitment to students and the learning process.

Dr. Mark Agostini

Dr. Agostini

Teaching philosophy: “I want to show the fun and joy that comes from translating the often arcane and complex principles of neural function to a therapy that can change a patient’s life.”

Awards: In 2008, Dr. Agostini received the A.B. Baker Teaching Award, presented by the American Academy of Neurology.

Did you know? Dr. Agostini was a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1981 to 1983, serving in the Kingdom of Tonga.

Dr. Keith Argenbright

Dr. Argenbright

Teaching philosophy: “Teaching is the essence of our profession. Health care leaders are called upon to be effective teachers and mentors to less experienced physicians and scientists. As William Osler, the founding father of the modern method of medical education, said: ‘No bubble is so iridescent or floats longer than that blown by the successful teacher.’ ”

Research: His research focuses on cancer control activities, with particular emphasis on cancer prevention and survivorship in rural and underserved communities.

Other titles: Dr. Argenbright is Medical Director of the Moncrief Cancer Institute, a Fort Worth-based affiliate of UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Dr. Ravi Bhoja

Dr. Bhoja

Teaching philosophy: “I believe that targeting students’ learning styles has tremendous value and affords them a better understanding of the concepts being taught.  People have a variety of learning methods – auditory, visual, kinesthetic, and experiential – but most tend to have a preferred method, especially when encountering a challenging topic.  Teaching must be a dynamic process to capture these different learners. Using a variety of modalities such as didactics, problem-based learning, Socratic questioning, on-line tutorials, as well as clinical simulation helps ensure that students remain engaged.

Other honors: Dennis F. Landers, M.D., Ph.D. Junior Faculty Teaching Award; James D. Griffin, M.D. Medical Student Teaching Award; Faculty of the Year Award (Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Management).

Dr. Barry Botterman

Dr. Botterman

Teaching philosophy: “Over the course of my career at UT Southwestern I have witnessed the changing needs and expectations of our students. I have also witnessed major changes in how the medical curriculum is presented – from a paper syllabus to web-based delivery of course content, and from discipline-focused lectures to more emphasis on competency-based learning. My goal is to provide students with the most up-to-date anatomical education, incorporating innovations in radiographic imaging, teaching methods, and content delivery.”

Other honors: Dr. Botterman, a former collegiate and professional baseball player, focuses on the neurophysiology of motor control; repair of injured peripheral nerves; spinal-cord injury. His athletic experiences triggered an interest in how the nervous system controls muscle action

Dr. Adam Brenner

Dr. Brenner

Teaching philosophy: “Whether it is in a primary care setting, on the medical and surgical wards, or in a psychotherapy session, our patients often have concerns that are hard to talk about. Sometimes that’s because of their accompanying feelings of sadness, shame, or anger. With this in mind I often focus on teaching trainees how to help patients tell them what they are most concerned about. Knowing that their doctor is sharing their most difficult concerns can be crucial in both comforting the patient and also in forming a real partnership in managing an illness together.”

Other honors: Most recent include the Irma Bland Award for Excellence in Teaching Residents, by the American Psychiatric Association (2013); and election to the UT Kenneth I. Shine Academy of Health Science Education (2013).

Dr. Steve Cannon

Dr. Cannon

Teaching philosophy: “For me, the act of learning brings many rewards; the satisfaction of understanding something new about the world around us, the thrill from knowing how or why, and the sense of accomplishment from gaining a new skill. I teach because I want to share this enthusiasm with students, to see them delight in their own achievement, and to teach them how to learn independently and become tomorrow’s teachers.”

Research: For 20 years, Dr. Cannon and his laboratory team have focused on a group of inherited muscle disorders that cause intermittent attacks of severe weakness or muscle stiffness. This work has implications for disorders of cellular excitability such as epilepsy, headache, or heart arrhythmias.

Endowed title: Patricia A. Smith Distinguished Chair in Neuromuscular Research in Honor of Dr. Gil Wolfe.

Dr. Jennifer Cuthbert

Dr. Cuthbert

Teaching philosophy: “Rather than teach, I want to stimulate learning by facilitating and guiding the learner during their acquisition of knowledge. My other goal is to encourage contextual and experiential learning by providing a role model at the bedside and in the clinic. Helping the novice on the path toward being a self-driven, lifelong learner is its own reward.”

Research: Dr. Cuthbert uses focused clinical pathology analytics to optimize management of complications from advanced chronic liver disease.

Dr. Elliot Frohman

Dr. Frohman

Teaching philosophy: “Having been blessed by great mentoring, I recognized that a key responsibility in my own career in academic medicine was to translate these important and significant gifts into my approach toward educating students at every level. Fundamentally, effective educators are exuberant and energetic in their approach to both the organization of their course materials, as well as their specific methods of captivating and intensifying the student's attention.”

Other honors: Dr. Frohman is an 11-time recipient (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) of the Outstanding Faculty Teacher Award, as voted by first-year medical students in Neuroscience Course Lectures.

Endowed titles: Irene Wadel and Robert Atha Distinguished Chair in Neurology, and the Kenney Marie Dixon-Pickens Distinguished Professorship in M.S. Research.

Dr. David Greenberg

Dr. Greenberg

Teaching philosophy: “I strive to put into real-life situations those myriad facts that bombard students. I find that when I am able to mold what seems like random pieces of information into a clinical context, the students not only remember the material, but can also apply it at a much deeper level. It is particularly gratifying to see the student enter the hospital excited and passionate to experience in real life what they have been taught in the classroom.”

Other honors: Dr. Greenberg has won Outstanding Teacher Awards from the MS2 Class on four occasions, and is a three-time recipient of a UT Southwestern Excellence in Education Award.

Dr. Angela Mihalic

Dr. Mihalic

Teaching philosophy: “Teaching drives me, inspires me, and is where I find my greatest reward. Nothing has driven me to learn more than wanting to share new knowledge with others. Nothing has inspired me to be the best physician I can be, than to be able to teach my learners clinical skills, role model communication and interpersonal skills, and provide guidance on topics of ethics and professionalism. Nothing brings more joy than seeing the excitement in learners when they connect with a concept and watching their desire to go beyond and seek out answers to additional clinical and foundation of science questions.”

Other Honors: Dr. Mihalic has been honored repeatedly by UT Southwestern Medical School students. She has been a faculty marshal at commencement seven times and was elected to the Southwestern Academy of Teachers in 2012.