Six Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine faculty members were accepted into the 2012-13 Searle Fellows Program, a year-long faculty development program for early career faculty that pairs them with a senior faculty mentor. Since The Searle Center for Teaching Excellence began the program in 1999, 50 Feinberg faculty members have completed the program and 40 senior Feinberg faculty members have served as mentors.
The medical school fellows will join 12 faculty members from across a range of disciplines and schools at Northwestern University.
“In our selection process, we look for clear commitment to improving teaching and the ability to attend all program events,” said Susanna Calkins, PhD, associate director of the Searle Center. “The program is designed to enhance our faculty members’ ability to facilitate and assess conceptual understanding and change in their students.”
Faculty members are invited to apply by the University Provost, and for the last two years, FAME, led by Jon Lomasney, MD, associate professor in pathology and molecular pharmacology and biological chemistry, has helped review applications from Feinberg faculty.
Throughout the year, faculty members participate in a series of events, including development workshops, retreats, consultations, peer and expert observations, and student focus groups. Participants also complete a project where they identify a teaching or learning challenge that they have observed, provide a critical solution to the challenge, and implement the solution either during the program or in the next academic year.
“I am hoping to develop an educational tool to improve residents’ skills with the cardiac exam. Through the Searle program, I anticipate receiving the mentorship and guidance in how best to accomplish this, as well as in how to best evaluate the tool itself and the residents’ performance with it,” said Jeffrey Gossett, MD, FAAP, assistant professor in pediatrics.
The other fellows from Feinberg are:
“As a new faculty member, participation in the Searle Fellows Program is a great way to interact with my colleagues and network with other Northwestern educators to benefit from their knowledge and experience. This will help us provide the best education we can to our students,” Brinkmann said.
“I was trained as a physician, not an educator, but I spend the majority of my time now educating. I am always trying to enhance my teaching skills, and I see this as an opportunity to get outside input to take them to the next level,” Trainor said.
At the end of the program, the faculty members present their teaching and learning projects to senior administrators and colleagues.
“We always invite back former Searle Fellows from Feinberg to speak about their teaching to the current group. This year, we plan to add a ‘capacity-building’ element to the program to work with medical school faculty to be able to do workshops and roundtables in their own departments,” Calkins said.