PCOM recently honored two of its faculty members for their efforts to think creatively both inside and outside their classrooms. Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP, professor, psychology; and Howard Lu, PhD, associate professor, bio-medical sciences at GA-PCOM, received the College’s first-ever Innovative Teacher of the Year award at faculty senate meetings in September.
The award, given by the Office of the Provost, is designed to recognize faculty from both campuses who are not afraid to try new things and take chances in their classrooms, said Kenneth J. Veit, DO ’76, MBA provost, senior vice president for academic affairs and dean. “Rather than doing the same lectures or the same projects, year after year, we want to applaud those who are trying to push the teaching envelope, and are testing out new and innovative ways to impart important information to our students, to help them become the most effective health care providers possible,” he said.
The winners were chosen by a diverse committee on each campus, led by Erik Langenau, DO, chief academic technology officer and associate professor, family medicine.
Dr. Felgoise has developed several initiatives designed to improve the educational experience of PCOM students, including an integrative health care course, co-taught with faculty from the departments of psychology and physician assistant studies; a shadowing experience for students in the First Year Professional Seminar course at Friends Hospital and at PCOM’s Center for Brief Therapy and Healthcare Centers; a shadowing experience for students in the Third Year Supervision and Administration course with PCOM faculty who have administrative and supervisory responsibilities to teach leadership skills, and comprehensive advocacy requirements and symposium in the first-year curriculum.
“I am truly flattered to be recognized with this award,” said Dr. Felgoise. “Innovation is key to having a cutting-edge curriculum and contemporary learning experiences for our PsyD Clinical Psychology students, and it’s part of what I love most about my position as director of the program.”
At GA-PCOM, Dr. Lu has devised creative ways to help his students learn complex concepts related to neuroanatomy, such as a “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”-style interactive Q&A session; a group study activity in which students work together to answer questions and identify structures; and a histology lab designed to spark discussion among students and teach them microscope skills.
“If it is proper for the material, I make an effort to turn the lecture room into an active learning environment for the students,” Dr. Lu said. “They will pay more attention to the learning material you want them to focus on. My efforts to improve the learning environment for our students will be a continuous process of adapting newly developed technologies to the classroom and the lab.”
He added, “The Innovative Teacher Award is the result of team work. Without the effort of the whole SPOM team, I would not have been able to accomplish it.”
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine has trained over 13,000 highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach, treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM offers the doctor of osteopathic medicine, doctor of pharmacy and doctor of psychology degrees and graduate programs in mental health counseling, school psychology, physician assistant studies, forensic medicine, organizational development and leadership, and biomedical sciences. Our students learn the importance of health promotion, education and service to the community and, through PCOM’s Healthcare Centers, provide care to the medically underserved populations in inner city and rural locations.
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