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Educational Recognition Awards bring together UMMS community to honor faculty achievements

The Last Lecture ‘It’s All Jazz’ from Mai-Lan Rogoff reflects on how making music informs teaching medicine

The UMass Medical School Educational Recognition Awards and Last Lecture returned virtually on Wednesday, May 5, after a one-year hiatus. More than 150 remote and in-person attendees came together for the 22nd celebration of achievement by faculty of the Graduate School of Nursing, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and School of Medicine.

Awards were presented to 24 recipients by Joan Vitello, PhD, dean of the Graduate School of Nursing; Mary Ellen Lane, PhD, dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Terence R. Flotte, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor, executive deputy chancellor, provost and dean of the School of Medicine; and Educational Policy Committee Co-chairs Erin McMaster, MD'96, associate professor of pediatrics and Patricia Seymour, MD, associate professor of family medicine & community health. Student Body Committee Co-presidents Emily Chin, and MD/PhD candidate Jason Freedman presented the student-selected Outstanding Medical Educator awards. See the full list of winners here.

Mai-Lan Rogoff, MD, delivers the Last Lecture

Following the awards presentations, Mai-Lan Rogoff, MD, the 2019 Chancellor’s Medal for Excellence in Teaching recipient, delivered the Last Lecture. Dr. Rogoff, professor emeritus of psychiatry and former associate dean for student affairs in the School of Medicine, chose a career in medicine after training as a classical musician and dancer. In “It’s All Jazz” she reflected on her experience as an educator through the lens of “jazz as improvisation.”

The premise of the Last Lecture is to deliver the message that an educator would want to give students if they had only one lecture left to give.

“Mine would be that in geological time, we live for only a moment,” said Rogoff. “Don’t waste this moment that you have. It flashes by quickly and there is a lot of improv to it.

“Hold onto what works and let what doesn’t work go. Some teaching exercises involve more jazz and less predetermined material premise: not only in teaching but in life actually it’s all jazz,” said Rogoff. “We need to learn to incorporate those interesting themes and those unexpected errors into our lives. Appreciate the jazz of your life!”

Rogoff is also the recipient of the 2020 Manning Prize for Excellence in Teaching, which honors one outstanding faculty member from each of the five UMass campuses. Frank Domino Jr., MD, professor of family medicine & community health, has been named the Medical School’s recipient of the 2021 Manning Prize and will deliver his Last Lecture next year.

Watch the full ceremony here:

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