Each year, faculty who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to engaging UAB’s undergraduate students in research, creative activities, service-learning, education-abroad experiences and learning in a team environment are awarded the Provost’s Award for Faculty Excellence.
This year’s winners represent four departments from three schools: Caroline Harada, M.D., associate professor of gerontology, geriatrics and palliative care and assistant dean for Community Engaged Scholarship in the School of Medicine; Burel Goodin, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences; Tina Kempin Reuter, Ph.D., associate professor of political science and public administration and director of the Institute of Human Rights in the College of Arts and Sciences; and Allison Shorten, Ph.D., professor of nursing and director of the Office of Interprofessional Curriculum in the School of Nursing.
Caroline Harada, M.D., Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics and Palliative Care
Harada oversees all service-learning activities in the School of Medicine, from Equal Access Birmingham, the school’s student-run free clinic for the under-and un-insured, to the service components in each medical school preclinical course. She also developed “Learning Communities,” a new four-year longitudinal curriculum focused on professionalism, wellness and ethics and centered on teaching through relationship-building. This mandatory part of the medical school curriculum has increased engagement, decreased burnout and improved wellness among students.
“Dr. Harada has established herself as an enthusiastic and superior teacher,” wrote a nominator; Harada received the Outstanding Teaching Award from her division in 2010, 2011 and 2013 and the UAB School of Medicine Leonard Town Humanism in Medicine Award in 2019.
“I can think of no one more deserving of this award than Dr. Harada,” said another.
Burel Goodin, Ph.D., Department of Psychology
Gooden is known for offering undergraduates opportunities to get hands-on research experience and invest themselves in projects, actively ensuring students work directly with study participants in critical ways. He also creates fun and relaxed, yet productive and successful lab environments that promote open dialogue and friendship among students, many of whom he mentors personally.
While some student researchers worry about feeling overworked or under-appreciated by their lab’s principal investigator, Goodin’s students consistently feel valued and encouraged by their work in his lab, a nominator wrote.
“Dr. Goodin makes sure that each and every person who wants to learn leaves with great knowledge to go out into the world and share,” wrote another. “In the year that I’ve worked for him, I’ve gained more courage, higher self-esteem and a passion for my major.”
Tina Kempin Reuter, Ph.D., Department of Political Science and Public Administration
When Tina Kempin Reuter accompanied a group of students on a trip to Kenya in 2019 to distribute menstrual health information and sanitary supplies to adolescent girls living in remote areas, she inspired those with her to ask questions and explore their opinions on basic human rights and reflect on their experiences working with students in the Massai Mara region. When students struggled to face firsthand experiences of realistic conditions of those who lived in the region, Kempin Reuter provided a space for them to explore their feelings within the context of human rights education.
“Tina solidified by opinion that she was not only the most intelligent and qualified professor I’d ever been taught by, but she could connect with students practically and effortlessly,” wrote one nominator. “Any time her name is mentioned in conversations with other students, we all gush, each sharing a special experience we’ve had with her.”
Learning in a Team Environment
Allison Shorten, Ph.D., Office of Interprofessional CurriculumShorten has developed innovative educational offerings in interprofessional (IP) education, from the use of gamification principles to design offerings such as the UAB IP Passport, a virtual badging system designed to enable learners to track individual progress toward key competencies needed for working in interprofessional teams, developed through a CTL-QEP Teaching Innovation Grant. Shorten also developed new service-learning opportunities for students to help high-risk patients diagnosed with multiple chronic illnesses and a fellows program within which several faculty attend an immersive educational experience at a national center for IP education before participating in a yearlong peer-mentoring program to develop new educational offerings.
Additionally, the faculty-development programs she has created are responsible for training faculty across multiple schools at UAB, reaching hundreds of learners each year.
“Dr. Shorten’s task is not a small one, implementing interprofessional curricular offerings universitywide,” wrote an nominator. “She has developed innovative educational options in IP education.”