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Women’s Faculty Awards celebrate achievements

Recipients honored for community service, education, science , patient care and mentoring

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

May 15, 2012

The 12th annual Women’s Faculty Award luncheon held at UMass Medical School Thursday, May 10, honored six women who have made outstanding contributions in community service, education, science, patient care and mentoring.

Keynote speaker Douglas Ziedonis, MD, MPH, chair and professor of psychiatry and the recipient of last year’s award for excellence in mentoring, spoke about the importance of both seeking out mentors and being a mentor oneself. “At one time or another during our careers, sometimes at the same time, we are all mentors and mentees,” he said.

Following the keynote address, Women’s Faculty Committee co-chairs Elaine Martin, DA, director of library services and Rebecca Lundquist, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry, presented the awards. “We received a record number of nominations this year, so choosing the winners was difficult,” Dr. Martin noted.

Closing comments from Judith Ockene, PhD, MEd, MA, the Barbara Helen Smith Chair of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, professor of medicine and associatevice provost for gender & equity, and Luanne Thorndyke, MD, professor of medicine and vice provost for faculty affairs, further illuminated the medical school’s focus on developing and promoting women’s careers.

Dr. Ockene enumerated many recent accomplishments and accolades among women faculty. These include a growing cadre of alumnae of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program for Women; the recent awarding of the American Medical Women's Association’s Elizabeth Blackwell Award for the most outstanding contribution to the cause of women in the field of medicine to Dr. Thorndyke; and the recent appointment of Jeanne Lawrence, PhD, professor of cell biology, as the department’s interim chair. Thorndyke then presented data showing the progress UMMS has made in recent years in meeting and, in some cases exceeding, American Association of Medical Colleges benchmarks for the percentage of women in the senior ranks of faculty and leadership.

The recipients of the 2012 Women’s Faculty Awards are:

  • Outstanding Community Service Award: Matilde Castiel, MD, assistant professor of medicine and family medicine & community health
  • Sarah Stone Excellence in Education Award: Jackie Coghlin-Strom, MD, MPH, assistant professor of family medicine & community health
  • Women in Science and Health Achievements Award: Deborah Molrine, MD, MPH, associate professor of pediatrics
  • Excellence in Clinical Service Award (tie): Barbara Olendzki, RD, MPH, LDN, assistant professor of medicine; and Catherine A. Phillips, MD, clinical associate professor of neurology
  • Outstanding Mentoring Award: Jean King, PhD, professor of psychiatry