April 15, 1997
Volume 43 Number 30

Lindback Time:
April 24

The annual ceremony for giving out Lindback Awards and Provost's Awards is a Provost's party, to which all members of the University are invited. This year's is at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 24, in the Rare Book Room of Van Pelt Library. For short profiles of the eight Lindback and two Provost's Award recipients this year, please see information at right.

Medical Teaching Awards: Also in this issue are the fifteen winners of teaching awards at PennMed this year.

In this Issue

Senate: The 1997-87 Slate

Senate: Agenda for SEC's Special Meeting 4/16

Vice Provost/Computing: Dr. O'Donnell

Leaving Penn: Mr. Golding, VP/Finance

Endowed Chairs in Ophthalmology: Dr. Maguire and Dr. Stone

Two New Sites for Dental Faculty Care

Deaths: Dr. John Carr, Mrs. Edwina Briggs

Teaching Awards 1997: Medicine

PennMed's Radnor Unit
April's A-3 of the Month: Bill Witmer

COMPASS Features
-- Bob Seddon: Hitting the 500th
-- Talking Point: Ian Lustick on the Logic of Peace in the Middle East
-- Ethics and Embryos in Research
-- A Town-Gown Conference on Penn's Role in Philadelphia


Open Enrollment: Comparing Options

Environmental Guide Available

Of Record: Reminder--Exclusive Vending Contract

Take Our Daughters to Work Day



Summer Softball League

Profiles in Teaching 1997 Lindback Awards
and Provost's Awards

In the Health Schools

Dr. Bernett Johnson, professor of dermatology. A member of the faculty since 1980, he has won numerous awards and honors including the Resident Staff Outstanding Teaching Award from Howard University, the Legion of Merit from the U. S. Navy and the Attending Teaching Award from Penn. He has been on the Admissions Committee, and served as Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and Minority Affairs. He has also been Director of Dermato-pathology and Director of the Medical Board. A colleague calls him an astute administrator, an excellent clinician, a superb teacher, an accomplished artist and dedicated family man. Another says: "...whenever I go to the Medical Center with Dr. Johnson, students and residents greet him with enthusiasm and heartfelt warmth and affection that I have rarely, if ever, seen." A student adds: "The University... has many good teachers, but an excellent teacher is harder to find. The excellent teacher is a willing resource for all students and recognizes the unique aspects of every student. Dr. Johnson is such a teacher."

Dr. Jon B. Morris, assistant professor of surgery at HUP. Since joining Penn in 1990, Dr. Morris has received the 1992 Medical Students' Award for Excellence and the Penn Pearls Award for outstanding clinical teaching in 1994 and again in 1996, when he was also named "Top Doc" in general surgery by Philadelphia Magazine. Dr. Morris helped design and implement a new curriculum for the School, introduced the medical students to problem-based learning, and coordinated a network of residents and attending physicians to act as mentors for the program; he also redesigned what is now "simply the best of the required clinical clerkships." He takes an active interest in the education of the surgical housestaff, and initiated a Faculty Lecture Series that is called "one of the educational highlights in our program." He "challenges you to think independently and with common sense, and perhaps his greatest gift is to make the study of surgery enjoyable."

Dr. Charles O'Brien, professor of psychiatry. A member of the faculty since 1968, Dr. O'Brien has made outstanding contributions to the education of thousands of medical students, psychiatry residents, and postdoctoral research fellows, receiving national recognition for his innovative curriculum in Addictions Medicine. He is an international authority on substance abuse and psychopharmacology--recognized by the University of Bordeaux with an honorary doctorate--who has "worked hard to ensure that medical students and resident receive consummate training in these areas." Teaching by example, he is "appropriately critical, always insightful and naturally nurturing. Like all truly great teachers he has the ability to bring out the best in everyone around him. Through his intellect, enthusiasm and achievements, Dr. O'Brien has inspired a generation of students, residents, fellows and faculty to pursue careers in academic psychiatry."

Dr. Rosalyn Watts, associate professor of nursing. Dr. Watts joined Penn in 1970, and in 1984 she developed the Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist Program that evolved over the next ten years into the first Critical Care Nurse Practitioner program in the country. Alumni commonly refer to themselves as "a graduate of Roz's program." Combining "superb professional leadership and interdisciplinary collaboration," Dr. Watts has been an advocate and mentor for minority students and has expanded this passion to include educating all of us about cultural diversity through the Biennial Black Health Conference. A former graduate student writes: "a teacher should enable students to think and create as they might say in today's re-engineering circles 'out of the box.' Roz Watts has been out of the box for years. She always insisted on high standards. She insisted that we write 'elegantly,' think 'critically,'and perform expertly." A colleagues notes: "The School of Nursing is justifiably proud of its advising program and Dr. Watts serves as a role model for excellence in undergraduate and graduate and doctoral advising."

Provost's Award (Health)

Valerie Cotter, lecturer in nursing. Teaching at Penn since 1991, Ms. Cotter was named Associate Director of the Gerontological Nurse Practitioner Program in 1994, taking a leadership role in the popular and important advanced practice option. Students describe her as approachable and caring, an outstanding instructor and educator. Alumni still turn to Ms. Cotter as a friend and mentor because she willingly gives of her time, knowledge, and support. Colleagues were equally enthusiastic: "a role model for students; her character, motivation, and integrity are standards her students aspire to emulate..." and "Her lectures are extremely effective in helping students bridge the gap between theoretical content presented in the classroom and their practice in the clinical area. She has that rare change the way students view gerontological nursing. She has the ability to command the attention of students from a variety of disciplines in teaching topics that may be controversial or ethically difficult to discuss."

In the Non-Health Schools

Dr. Edward Breuer, assistant professor of religious studies. Dr. Breur, who joined Penn in 1989, has teaching style one nominator called "a schmooze of a very sophisticated kind; he wants his students to be inspired, to think, to be creative." Another says "Professor Breuer's classes were definitely directed, goal orientated. It was just that the direction was so subtle as to be almost seamless. Somehow he managed to make us feel that we were running the class, that we were raising the issues, that we were doing the discovery. He succeeded in fostering in us a sense of community, a sense of a shared process of learning and discovery." A colleague, a Lindback winner who team-taught with Dr. Breuer, writes, "This I have had confirmed in my own experience what undergraduates have often told me: that Dr. Breuer is a gifted and challenging teacher." Another says "His classroom method, close reading followed by intense questioning and focused discussion, demands of the students a significant intellectual engagement directly with the professor as well as the ability to maintain an ongoing debate with fellow students."

Dr. Michael Gamer, assistant professor of English. Dr. Gamer joined Penn in 1993, already the recipient of a teaching award from the University of Michigan, and has since won the English Department's Alan Filreis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. He is co-director of the Teaching Mentor program which has significantly improved the department's teacher training. A colleague says: "What I am most taken with is the careful thought about pedagogical techniques and strategies that underlies Michael's success as a teacher." Another says he has read widely about pedagogy and has adapted what he has read to the nature of his own personality and his sense of educational aims. Still another says: "I have learned a lot from him this semester about electronic pedagogy and the portfolio system which I plan to adapt in my own course." Dr. Gamer has received consistently high SCUE ratings, and one students writes "I give this course straight A's not only because Professor Gamer obviously enjoys teaching, loves poetry, and devotes a great deal of time to his students but because the class demands originality, a little risk taking and a lot of just plain brain work. Gamer's humor is a hoot, too."

Dr. Stephen Morse, Ferdinand Wakeman Hubbell Professor of Law. A member of the faculty since 1988, Dr. Morse is also professor of psychology and law in psychiatry in the Medical School. He is a leading expert in criminal law and mental health law whose writings are often cited and discussed not only in the scholarly literature but also by the courts and in the media. Students say that "Morse is real law school." He leads students to examine critically judicial opinions, law review articles and social science studies. "His teaching style is at once challenging, engaging, enlightening, stimulating, and a bit intimidating," said one; others said that of all the excellent teachers in the Law School, Professor Morse was the one who has made a lasting impression: pivotal to their educational experience at the law school, bringing interdisciplinary perspectives to the substantive issues he teaches, with a unique ability to explore and respect perspectives with which he disagrees. With a colleague he originated a seminar to interest students in the possibility of a scholarly career.

Dr. Larry Sneddon, professor of chemistry. Joining Penn in 1974, for over two decades he has provided "outstanding classroom teaching and served as a consistently exceptional role model to students studying chemistry. He has served to inspire students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels to pursue excellence; he is a shining example to other faculty at Penn." Particularly notable are letters from former students on his influence on their lives and careers. One recalls "a conversation with Dr. Sneddon which ultimately led to my decision to pursue graduate studies in inorganic chemistry at MIT," while another says "I didn't realize it at that time how my experience in his lab would profoundly shape my career. I have had mentors throughout my life. Few have had the lasting impact that Dr. Sneddon has had." One of his TAs wrote: "I found myself taking notes during his lectures, not just on the material that he was presenting but on the techniques he was using to present the material so clearly."

Provost's Award (Non-Health)

Dr. Ayelet Lindenstrauss, lecturer in mathematics. In her three years at Penn, Dr. Lindenstrauss has been cited for exceptional teaching both in the Penn Course Review evaluations and the Math Department's own evaluations. In 1993-94 she was the faculty advisor for Phi Mu Epsilon, the undergraduate mathematics honor society, at the request of the students. "She has a spark in her eyes which speaks of a passion for mathematics which makes learning a very beautiful experience...She genuinely cares about her students," say the students. Several describe Dr. Lindenstrauss as one of the best instructors at Penn: "I believe that it is professors like her who contribute more than anyone else to the development of the elusive intellectual atmosphere within the undergraduate community."

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