Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award recipients

Dr. Joseph Albanesi

Joseph Albanesi, M.D.

Teaching philosophy: “Our students are exceptionally bright and receptive, but nothing can douse their enthusiasm faster than a dry, uninspired lecture. As a teacher, the least I owe them is clarity and organization. But the greater goal is to endow them with an appreciation for the beauty of the science that underlies the simplest dose-response curve and the most complex signaling pathway.”

Research: Dr. Albanesi focuses on determining how intracellular membrane trafficking is disrupted in neurodegenerative diseases.

Other honors: Member, and former Chair, of the Southwestern Academy of Teachers (SWAT). He also has been selected numerous times as an Outstanding Teacher by MS2 students.

Did you know?: Dr. Albanesi is a history buff. One particular facet of history intrigues him most: “In my free time I like to learn about the many tribes – including Goths, Lombards, and Franks – that have invaded my birthplace, Pesaro, Italy, over the centuries.” He describes himself as “a voracious reader of “dark ages” histories, whether written in English or in Italian.

Dr. Benjamin Greenberg

Benjamin Greenberg, M.D.

Teaching philosophy: “Teaching provides physicians with the ability to impact patients that they will never meet. A successful teacher connects with students in many ways, makes complex material accessible, inspires students to pursue knowledge and understand the importance of that knowledge, leads students to ask difficult questions, doesn't have all the answers, and is passionate about the most mundane topic. I am still striving to be a successful teacher.”

Research: Dr. Greenberg’s research focuses on neuroimmunology, specifically transverse myelitis, neuromyelitis optica, and multiple sclerosis. He works to identify biomarkers that will be diagnostic, prognostic, and advance the understanding of these rare disorders. He also specializes in the design and implementation of Phase I translational clinical studies for these conditions.

Other honors: Since 2010, Dr. Greenberg has been recognized with 10 UT Southwestern Medical School teaching awards. He has won the First-Year Medical School Teaching Award in each of the past six years.

Did you know? Before moving to Texas, he was a firefighter in Baltimore County, Maryland.

David Klocko

David Klocko

Teaching philosophy: “My teaching philosophy is largely shaped by my clinical experience, but is enhanced by my interest in adult education theory, innovative methods of teaching, outcomes assessment, and applying educational technology to learning. It is most gratifying when I see students ‘understand,’ have good educational outcomes, and later tell me something they learned from me was applied to their clinical practice.”

Research: Mr. Klocko’s qualitative educational research is in outcomes assessment, faculty development, and how cognitive biases affect clinical decisions while caring for patients.

Other honors: Since 2009, he has been recognized with six major awards, including the Outstanding Faculty Award for Excellence in Education (2014) by the School of Health Professions.

Did you know? Mr. Klocko’s first college major – at Mansfield (Pennsylvania) State College – was Music Education, with the goal of becoming a band director. His first responsibility at UT Southwestern was Clinical Coordinator, which he says was much like being a marching band director.

Kim Hoggatt Krumwiede

Kim Hoggatt Krumwiede

Teaching philosophy: “I consider teaching both a responsibility and a privilege. My role as a teacher has been to guide learners to take ownership of their learning through interaction, collaboration, and construction of their own knowledge. It is extremely rewarding to have some part in facilitating the development of skills that empower a learner to process information, think creatively, work collaboratively, and solve problems.”

Research: Ms. Krumwiede focuses on interprofessional education (IPE) and educational technology in health care education.

Titles: In addition to being an Associate Professor and Distinguished Teaching Professor in Health Care Sciences Education and Research, she is the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Educational Technology in the UT Southwestern School of Health Professions, and is the 2015 President of the Southwestern Academy of Teachers (SWAT). She also is a Certified Medical Illustrator.

Did you know? She has a small weekend farm in East Texas that includes a barn that was used to house sweet potatoes.

Dr. John N. Phelan

John Phelan, Ph.D.

Teaching philosophy: “As a human anatomy Professor teaching first-year medical students, I consider who it is I am competing against for the students’ attention: namely Wikipedia and YouTube. I strive to be more informative and entertaining than both.”

Other honors: Dr. Phelan is a 12-time recipient of the Kathryn Howe Muntz Teaching Award in Human Anatomy, given to an instructor who has made the greatest contribution to the teaching of gross anatomy. He has also won multiple Outstanding Teaching Awards, all voted on by UT Southwestern medical students.

Did you know? Dr. Phelan is a former competitive bodybuilder, who missed by one place making the 1997 United States Mr. Universe Team. (published in the January 1998 issue of Ironman magazine).

Dr. Clifford Wai

Clifford Wai, M.D.

Teaching philosophy: “As educators, we try to adapt with the times and with the needs of our trainees, and we ourselves evolve with the experience. Many enthusiastic, intelligent, and inquisitive trainees have challenged me to re-examine and refine my own knowledge and training, and aspire to become a better, more patient, and more effective teacher.”

Research: Primarily a clinician, Dr. Wai has interests in all facets of basic science research. His own investigations center on animal models and mechanisms of wound healing of the anal sphincter and how they relate to fecal incontinence.

Other honors: He began winning teaching awards while a resident at Georgetown University Medical Center, and Dr. Wai had eight such awards by the time he arrived at UT Southwestern in 2003. Since then, he was won four teaching awards, including the 2014 award for Outstanding Faculty Teacher in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Did you know? When he’s not teaching or seeing patients, Dr. Wai enjoys spending time with friends and family. When he can, he tries to visit relatives in Asia.