Academy for Excellence in Education

  • 13 new Academy members in 2017: Kim Dahlman, Mike Fowler, Marie Martin, Robert Miller, Lourdes Estrada, (Neil Osheroff, Director, Lori Deitte, Chazen Award recipient) Aaron Shaver, Maria Gillam-Krakauer, Dan Dulek, Kim Unertl, Mayur Patel, Kendra Parekh, and Maya Neeley

The past year has been marked by many important and positive changes in the Academy. At the beginning of academic year 2016-17, the Academy changed its name from “The Academy for Excellence in Teaching” to the “Academy for Excellence in Education.” This change in title was meant to reflect the expanded role of the educator that now encompasses so much more than the teaching component of the profession. As a result, the criteria for membership was broadened from primarily excellence in teaching, to excellence in any of five areas: teaching (facilitation), educational leadership, course/ curricula/program design, educational scholarship, and mentorship. This change in criteria was reflected in the diversity of the thirteen new members who were inducted at the Chapman Dinner in April. These individuals contributed to our educational programs in a variety of different ways. The following include the most noted Academy accomplishments:

Mission Statement

With the change in the name and criteria for membership, the Academy adopted a new mission statement that focused on advocacy:

“The mission of the Academy for Excellence in Education is to enhance the educational environment in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center by advocating for the development, support, and recognition of dedicated educators, by sustaining a community of educators, and by fostering educational excellence, innovation, leadership, and scholarship.”

Academy Leadership

At the beginning of academic year 2016, there also was a change in leadership and in the leadership structure of the Academy. Dr. Lillian Nanney, who was the founding Director of the Academy and successfully led the Academy for a decade, decided to step down to devote her energies to the development and implementation of two new Interdisciplinary Science Courses. Dr. Neil Osheroff was appointed as the new Director of the Academy. In addition, the Academy moved to new leadership structure that now includes a Board, the election of at-large representatives from the membership, making the Director an elected (rather than an appointed) position, and a chain of succession that includes the Past-Director, Director, and Director-Elect. The first election for the Director-Elect will take place at the end of academic year 2017-18.

Lillian B. Nanney Award for Outstanding Service

To honor the achievements and service of Dr. Nanney to the educational community, she was the recipient of the inaugural Lillian B. Nanney Award for Outstanding Service to the VUSM/VUMC Community of Educators. In the future, this award will be given out to deserving members of the Academy.

Geoffrey David Chazen Award for Innovation in Medical Education

This award has been given since 1998. Although some of the early recipients were faculty, over time it transition to a student-based award. Starting in academic year 2016-17, both a student and a faculty award will be given out annually. The Academy was given oversight over selecting the faculty recipient from VUSM/VUMC. This year, the faculty award went to Dr. Lori A. Deitte for her work on developing and implementing the QuizTime application for asynchronous workplace-based education.

Dr. Brian Hodges, University of Toronto and the Wilson Centre

A highlight of the year was the visit of Dr. Brian Hodges, University of Toronto and the Wilson Centre, who was invited to present the John E. Chapman, M.D. Distinguished Flexner Lectureship. The title of his talk was “Educating Health Professionals in the 21st Century: What Will We Need Humans for?”

Health Science Education Grand Rounds

The 2017 series has been very strong. An outstanding in-house presentation from Dr. Donald Moore was followed by presentations from Dr. Graham T. McMahon, President and CEO, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME); Dr. Kay Lund, Director, Division of Biomedical Research Workforce, Office of Extramural Research, NIH; and Dr. David A. Hirsh, Associate Director of the Academy, Harvard Medical School. Later this year, Dr. Stanley J. Hamstra, Vice President for Milestone Research and Evaluation, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and Dr. Tracy B. Fulton, University of California, San Francisco will present Grand Rounds talks.

Academy Member Recognition

A number of Academy members distinguished themselves in academic year 2016-17 by presenting invited sessions at a variety of meetings and institutions. They were also honored with awards, received medical education grants or fellowships, and held offices in national and international educational organizations.

For more information about the Academy for Excellence in Education, please visit


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