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Awards for Excellence in Education

The Woodward Center offers a variety of programs designed to recognize great educators at the College of Medicine.

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Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching Expand answer

This award was established in 2008 to recognize faculty members who make outstanding contributions to medical, graduate and physician assistant education at the College of Medicine.

See past recipients here

Distinguished Educator Award and the Society of Distinguished Educators Expand answer

The Distinguished Educator Award recognizes exemplary educators among the faculty of Penn State College of Medicine. Award recipients become members of the Society of Distinguished Educators.

To be eligible for a Distinguished Educator Award, faculty members must have held an appointment at Penn State College of Medicine or Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center for a minimum of three years and hold the rank of at least associate professor or equivalent.

In addition to demonstrated excellence as a teacher, nominees will have made exceptional contributions in medical (which could include undergraduate or graduate) education and/or graduate student (which could include postdoctoral) education in one or more of the following ways:

  • Research in education (e.g., publications or grants)
  • Innovations in teaching methods or curriculum (e.g., new ways to teach subject matter)
  • Development of new assessment methods
  • Mentoring and development of faculty
  • Leadership in education (e.g., course director, program director, involvement at national level)

Distinguished Educator awardees receive:

  • The Distinguished Educator title
  • Membership in the Society of Distinguished Educators
  • A medallion signifying the wearer as a Distinguished Educator
  • Recognition on the Distinguished Educator plaque
  • A $1,500 financial award to be used at the discretion of the Distinguished Educator
  • Free rental of academic regalia for Commencement

See all Distinguished Educators

Excellence in Career Mentoring Award Expand answer

Penn State College of Medicine values the contributions mentors make to enhance and develop the careers of faculty, students and trainees. Generosity of time and spirit; objectivity and honest feedback; and commitment to the personal, professional and career development of mentees are some of the components of superb mentoring.

In order to recognize the contributions of outstanding mentors in the College of Medicine, the Office of Faculty and Professional Development presents four annual Excellence in Career Mentoring Awards.

The awards acknowledge the exceptional effort of faculty who enable and empower students, residents and trainees, junior faculty and peers on their path to achieve their full potential in one or more of the organization’s missions: clinical care, scholarship and research, teaching and/or service.

Learn more about the Excellence in Career Mentoring Award

Excellence in Education and Mentorship Award Expand answer

The Excellence in Education and Mentorship Award (formerly the Student-Nominated Excellence in Teaching Award) was established in 2019 to recognize exemplary educators who fourth-year medical students recognize as consistently demonstrating exceptional teaching. The educators may teach in any area of the medical school throughout any of the four years of training. These educators promote excellence within one (or more) of Penn State’s four educational domains: basic and clinical sciences, humanitarian patient-centered care and health systems sciences.

Learn more about the Excellence in Education and Mentorship Award

Junior Faculty Teaching Award Expand answer

The Junior Faculty Teaching Award recipients are selected by the Society of Distinguished Educators as a means of recognizing the accomplishments of some of the outstanding junior faculty who are already making an impact on the educational mission. Recipients of this award are program leaders, instructional designers, education scholars and, above all, great teachers.

This award is arguably the most competitive educational award available through the College of Medicine.

Learn more about the Junior Faculty Teaching Award

Resident Excellence in Teaching Award Expand answer

Each year, medical students who are completing their clerkships show their appreciation for their GME colleagues by nominating them for the annual Resident Excellence in Teaching Awards. These awards acknowledge GME trainees’ outstanding work happening every day on the College of Medicine’s teaching services.

Learn more about the Resident Excellence in Teaching Award

Scholarship in Education Award Expand answer

The Scholarship in Education Award is open to all Penn State College of Medicine Faculty members and is designed to recognize educators’ outstanding scholarly contributions to medical education.

Applications are reviewed by a highly rated panel of internal and external reviewers, using specific criteria of scholarship.

See details on the award

SiE Boot Camp Workshop

Those interested in applying for the Scholarship in Education Award are encouraged to attend the interactive boot camp workshop designed to assist in the application preparation and process.

This workshop, held each year before applications are due, introduces participants to Glassick’s criteria, which are used as the basis for selecting awardees. After practicing with all six criteria, workshop attendees will then begin to examine how the criteria apply to their own educational activity, and plan for how they will organize their Scholarship in Education Award submission.

Upcoming workshops are listed here.

Student Educator Award Expand answer

The Student Educator Award was established to recognize the teaching impact of graduate and medical student colleagues, who are instrumental in the College of Medicine’s education mission.

Learn more about the Student Educator Award