Visionary Leadership in Education Award
This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated the ability to skillfully establish or administer an educational initiative or role at UNMC or a national organization.
- Name: Karen Gould, Ph.D.
- Title: Associate professor and vice chair for graduate education in the UNMC Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy
- Joined UNMC: 1999
- Hometown: Chicago
You are the recipient of the Visionary Leadership in Education Award, which is given for establishing or administering an educational initiative. Tell us about the benefits of the initiative you oversee.
I am the co-director of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (IGPBS). Biomedical science today is interdisciplinary, and the training that IGPBS students receive in our Ph.D. program can significantly enhance their success. Furthermore, the structure we have created within the IGPBS helps to formalize an educational model that reflects the current vision of best practice in graduate education in the biomedical sciences -- a model that is also consistent with and makes us more competitive for NIH institutional pre-doctoral training grants.
I also help to oversee the Anatomy Teaching Track, a Ph.D. track that provides biomedical science students with additional training in teaching in the anatomical sciences. Students who complete this specialized track are recruited, often directly out of their Ph.D., to faculty positions as anatomical sciences educators.
Finally, I also direct the M.S. Medical Anatomy program, a pre-professional master's program designed for individuals aspiring to careers in the health professions. More than 83 percent of graduates of the M.S. Medical Anatomy program have been admitted to professional school. The MS Medical Anatomy program can help students to achieve their goal of going to professional school and also helps them to succeed in professional school.
Describe your proudest moment as an educator.
It is hard to identify a single, most meaningful moment. What makes me feel most proud as an educator is when I know that I have helped a student to succeed or to overcome an obstacle.
What advice would you give other faculty members who want to have an impact in education?
Don't be afraid to make changes or try something new. Even when our educational programs and courses are functioning well and achieving the desired student learning outcomes, there are always ways in which we can improve. As long as we keep our focus on making changes or starting new initiatives that are designed to enhance student learning outcomes, we will have a positive impact.
Do you have a favorite quote or philosophy on teaching?
In elementary school, I did a report on Helen Keller. I was amazed by her determination to learn to read sign language with her hands, to master braille, and to pursue a formal education. When Helen Keller graduated from Radcliffe College in 1904, she was the first deaf and blind person to earn a bachelor's degree.
Helen Keller said, "A well-educated mind will always have more questions than answers." This quote reminds me that my role as an educator is to help students not only acquire knowledge and skills but also to foster lifelong learning and a passion for the pursuit of new knowledge.
She is one of the good ones and deserves full professorship and leadership positions.
Congratulations Karen! Well deserved!
Congratulations Dr. Gould.