Academy for Excellence in Education elects 13 new membersJul. 17, 2023, 12:40 PM
by Doug Campbell
The Academy for Excellence in Education was established in 2006 to provide a forum to foster higher levels of participation and promote excellence and scholarship in the delivery of education to health professionals.
The academy is a collective of outstanding faculty educators in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine who are highly engaged in the educational mission. Each strives to have a significant impact on educational endeavors in diverse settings with a variety of learners.
The Academy for Excellence in Education has elected the following 13 new members for 2023.
Lealani Mae “Leah” Acosta, MD, MPH joined the faculty in 2013 and is an associate professor in the Department of Neurology. She was elected to the academy based on her excellence in teaching, educational leadership, course/curricula/program design, mentorship and educational scholarship. Acosta is a Master Clinical Teacher and portfolio coach, and she received the Neurology Resident’s Teaching Award in 2019. She was chosen for the Early Career Women Faculty Leadership Development Seminar through the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and completed the Vanderbilt Educator Development Program (EDP) in 2022. As the new director for the Behavioral Neurology fellowship, she developed a novel interdisciplinary online curriculum with Geriatrics and Psychiatry that has been shared nationally. She has mentored medical students, residents and fellow EDP peers and has published a number of educational abstracts and manuscripts.
Jeremy Boyd, MD, joined the faculty in 2013 and is an assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine. He was elected to the academy based on his excellence in educational leadership, course/curricula/program design and mentorship. He has served as assistant residency program director, associate fellowship director and the fellowship director of Emergency Ultrasound. Currently, he is the director of Faculty Education & Training and division director of Emergency Ultrasound. Boyd helped start the Division of Ultrasound (now Point of Care Ultrasound, or POCUS) first as a fellow and then as faculty, fellowship director and now as division director. In the Department of Emergency Medicine, he is charged with educating the faculty at all the regional sites to ensure all Vanderbilt Emergency Departments are providing consistently high care. Boyd co-founded the first VA POCUS course training. He has successfully mentored medical students, residents and fellows.
Qingxia (Cindy) Chen, PhD, joined the faculty in 2005 and is a professor in the Department of Biostatistics. She was elected to the academy based on her excellence in teaching, educational leadership, course/curricula/program design, mentorship and educational scholarship. She has taught several courses and workshops at VUMC, and her learners rate her among the best teachers in graduate school. Her leadership roles include vice chair of Education for the Department of Biostatistics, director of the Executive Data Science Program and director of Post-Graduate Studies and Distance Learning. She has been involved with Vanderbilt’s graduate program in biostatistics since its inception. Her mentorship has included serving as primary dissertation advisor for PhD students, thesis advisor for MS students, mentoring research staff biostatisticians and research assistants, and serving as academic/research supervisor and/or committee member for numerous individuals. She has published numerous manuscripts and has been invited to present multiple talks.
Amy Chomsky, MD, joined the faculty in 1994 and is a professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. She was elected to the academy based on her excellence in teaching, educational leadership, course/curricula/program design, mentorship and educational scholarship. She has received several teaching awards, including the Ophthalmology residents Surgical Teaching and Outstanding Teaching Awards. Chomsky is the chief of Ophthalmology at the VA and the VA site residency program director. For the past two decades she has been the optics course director for the Ophthalmology residents. She has mentored numerous medical students and residents and received the Mentor in Resident Research Program Award. Her mentorship, as well as her own work, has led to numerous educational grants, national presentations and manuscripts.
Luke Finck, EdD, MA, joined the faculty in 2014 and is an assistant professor in the Department of Medical Education and Administration. He was elected to the academy based on his excellence in teaching, educational leadership and course/curricula/program design. He currently serves as the associate director of the Office of Medical Student Research at the School of Medicine and is responsible for the development of program goals, objectives and success criteria, including assessment creation, development, implementation and oversight of the Inquiry Program. In addition to course evaluation and improvement, faculty development and administrative supervision of the Office, he is the course director for the second-year research course, Discovery, which exposes students to the numerous research opportunities and resources at Vanderbilt University as they identify a project and mentor to partner with for the PLAN: Developing a Research Project course and ultimately the Research Immersion course. He also serves as the co-course director for the Research Immersion course, a 3-6 month mentored research project in which students participate full time in their research.
Evon Lee, PhD, MA, joined the faculty in 1981 and is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics. She was elected to the academy based on her excellence in teaching, educational leadership and mentorship. She has taught learners from a wide variety of backgrounds during her career. For approximately 20 years, she taught an elective course for first- and second-year Vanderbilt medical students that was structured around inviting parents of children with disabilities or complex medical needs to share their family experiences. Her current leadership roles through the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center include project director for the Vanderbilt Consortium LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities) Program, training director for the UCEDD (University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities) and psychologist with the Vanderbilt Treatment and Research Institute on Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD). She has mentored and supervised countless individuals throughout the course of her career.
Sumathi (Sumi) Misra, MD, MPH, joined the faculty in 2001 and is an associate professor in the Department of Medicine. She was elected to the academy based on her excellence in teaching, educational leadership, course/curricula/program design, mentorship and educational scholarship. Misra has received several teaching awards, including the Tremaine Billings Faculty Award for Excellence in Primary Care Education and the VA Central Office Excellence in Education and Curricular Planning. She is the founder and program director for the Hospice & Palliative Medicine Fellowship at VUMC, founder and section chief of the palliative care clinical service at the Nashville VA and associate director for Education and Evaluation at the Tennessee Valley Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center. In addition to being engaged in multiple educational programmatic leadership roles, she has created numerous new programs and educational infrastructures on the LCME, GME and CME levels. Her efforts towards program and curricular creation, program leadership and active mentorship of trainees has resulted in a significant body of educational scholarship in terms of grants, publications and dissemination of educational products locally and nationally.
Emily Morris, MD, joined the faculty in 2018 and is an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics. She was elected to the academy based on her excellence in teaching and
course/curricula/program design. As a neonatologist she has demonstrated excellence in teaching through several forums and across multiple groups of learners, and while she was a resident, she won several teaching awards. In the area of program design, she helped develop an education deployment strategy for “Just in Time Teaching” around high-risk, low-frequency situations which have the potential for serious patient harm. The deployment package for this program uses multiple modalities to teach, recognize and anticipate complications in high-risk situations. Another successful program design project she developed pertains to the education and care of patients with congenital diaphragmatic hernia.
Roy Neeley, MD, joined the faculty in 2009 and is an associate professor in the Department of Anesthesiology. He was elected to the academy based on his excellence in teaching, educational leadership and scholarship. He served as director of the Critical Care Medicine Basics elective during VUSM’s Foundations of Clinical Care phase and teaches medical students in CELA simulations and within the Critical Care Integrated Science Course, one of the most sought-after courses in VUSM’s Immersion catalogue. He currently serves as a faculty affiliate adviser within Chapman and Batson Colleges. He serves on the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) Biochemistry and Pharmacology Question-Writing Committee and most recently was selected to the NBME Item-Review Committee. As chair of the Department of Anesthesiology Standardization of Practice Committee, he has helped design and implement several clinical practice guidelines and was appointed as director of the Neuroanesthesiology fellowship. He has written multiple book chapters and mentored residents on abstract and poster presentations.
Verity Rodrigues, PhD, joined the faculty in 2016 and is an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics. She was elected to the academy based on her excellence in teaching, educational leadership, course/curricula/program design, mentorship and educational scholarship. She has taught learners from a wide variety of backgrounds and has received glowing feedback on her teaching. She has been in the leadership role for TRIAD’s mental health educational programming since 2017 and was selected to serve in an educational leadership capacity on the advisory board for the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities National Training Center. In her TRIAD leadership role, she has developed multiple novel programs, including partnerships with school district-level teams focused on developing/refining their autism evaluation processes. She has provided high-quality mentorship at TRIAD and has received advanced training and is working towards certification as an agency trainer in Cognitive Coaching. She has presented at numerous scientific, peer-reviewed conferences and recently delivered a keynote address for the Hanoi Forum on Pedagogical and Educational Sciences in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Ryan Splittgerber, PhD, joined the faculty in 2018 and is an associate professor in the Department of Surgery. He was elected to the academy based on his excellence in teaching, educational leadership, mentorship and educational scholarship. He has received multiple teaching awards at multiple universities, including the 2022 Shovel Award presented by Vanderbilt’s graduating medical school class to the most impactful faculty member during their medical education. He has served as a Master Science Teacher and is a consultant for faculty who teach basic sciences in the Immersion Phase. He has also been a member of the VUSM admissions committee. Over the past 10 years he has served as dissertation committee director, member or teaching mentor for multiple students. He is the lead author for “Snell’s Clinical Neuroanatomy,” which published its eighth edition in 2018 and will publish its next at the end of this year.
Madhvi Venkatesh, DPhil, joined the faculty in 2021 and is an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry. She was elected to the Academy based on her excellence in teaching, educational leadership, course/curricula design and educational scholarship. Venkatesh has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate school courses at VUSM, Harvard Medical School and Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, and at all these institutions she consistently receives high teaching evaluations from her learners. As the curriculum director for the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences (IGP), she led the design and implementation of the newly designed competency based IGP curriculum. She has also demonstrated excellence in curriculum and course design in several other courses. Venkatesh has an extensive presentation and publication record in biology and engineering education. Her areas of current educational research include competency and self-efficacy development among bioscience graduate students.
Chase Webber, DO, joined the faculty in 2017 and is an assistant professor in the
Department of Medicine. He was elected to the Academy based on his excellence in teaching, educational leadership, course/curricula/program design and educational scholarship. He has received multiple teaching awards including the Outstanding Inpatient Preceptor Award and the Hugh J. Morgan Teaching Award, Best Faculty Teacher (VA). In 2022 he was appointed to be a Master Clinical Teacher and is the Physician lead for elearning Portfolio pillar of the AMA Reimagining Residency Project at VUMC. He has designed several novel courses and curricula at VUMC/VUSM including the GME Medical Humanities Certificate Program and the “How Doctors Think” Clinical Reasoning Integrate Science Course. In 2021 he was the FAME (Faculty Advancing Medical Education) Fellowship grant recipient for his work on the Electronic Learning Record (ELR), a novel method to use interactive notetaking software with cloud-based storage and accessible by all members of the teaching team to crowdsource and co-create artifacts of learning.
Edwin Williamson, MD, joined the faculty in 2010 and is an associate professor in the
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He was elected to the academy based on his excellence in educational leadership, course/curricula/program design, mentorship and educational scholarship. His educational leadership positions include fellowship program director and inaugural chair of the Psychiatry Department Education Council at VUMC, faculty head of house on the undergraduate campus, and as a member of the training and education committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. As fellowship program director, he started an innovative child track for residents, created an award-winning program on the undergraduate campus, brought a debate series on difficult subjects to the national stage at AACAP, and created a new course to connect fellows to the current literature in child and adolescent psychiatry. He has provided mentorship to learners at multiple educational levels. He has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals and supported trainees in their own scholarly projects.