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Osheroff to direct Academy for Excellence in Education

Jul. 21, 2016, 10:18 AM


Neil Osheroff, Ph.D., has been named director of the Academy for Excellence in Education.  He succeeds Lillian Nanney, Ph.D., who served as director since the Academy’s inception in 2007.

Neil Osheroff, Ph.D., is the new director of Vanderbilt’s Academy for Excellence in Education. (photo by John Russell)
Neil Osheroff, Ph.D., is the new director of Vanderbilt’s Academy for Excellence in Education. (photo by John Russell)

Osheroff, professor of Biochemistry and Medicine, is a founding member of the academy, formerly known as the Academy for Teaching Excellence, which now includes 107 members. He launched his scientific career at Vanderbilt in 1983 and has taught biochemistry to first-year medical students since then. He was awarded the John Coniglio Chair in Biochemistry in 2003.

Osheroff helped integrate biochemistry and other foundational sciences throughout Curriculum 1.0 and 2.0 and currently chairs the Foundations of Medical Knowledge Phase Team and serves as one of the directors for the Human Blueprint and Architecture Block within Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM).

An executive board has been established to assist Osheroff in his role as the director of the academy.

“In the last 10 years, the academy has done an outstanding job of coalescing a community of educators,” Osheroff said. “This change in leadership presents a good opportunity to transform, in part, the core mission of the Academy. The mission is really one of advocacy — advocating for the educational mission and for educators. We want to broaden the scope of the academy so we can now recognize people who are doing curricular development and other essential activities but not necessarily a lot of stand-up teaching. There are so many more ways to be an educator these days.”

The academy was established in 2007 to reinvigorate the education enterprise within the Medical Center and to give educators a forum to voice and implement their collective ideas for achieving excellence in teaching and learning.

“Vanderbilt truly values its learning mission and this is one of the ways of showing it,” said Bonnie Miller, M.D., senior associate dean for Health Sciences Education. “However, this academy is not just an honorary title. Each member assumes the responsibility of helping other faculty members become better educators in a variety of ways.”

Membership selection is done via nominations from existing members, the dean’s office, department chairs and center directors. Members of the academy represent the entire school and Medical Center and include those devoted to the teaching of medical students, graduate students, residents, postdoctoral and clinical fellows and practicing physicians and scientists.

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