Impact in Education: Kendra Schmid, Ph.D.

Kendra Schmid, Ph.D.

Kendra Schmid, Ph.D.

Kendra Schmid, Ph.D., is one of the recipients of an Office of Academic Affairs 2018-19 Impact in Education Award. She will receive the Research in Education Scholar Award.

Research in Education Scholar Award

This award recognizes an individual who has advanced the educational literature through peer-reviewed publications, educational grants, and original research.

  • Name: Kendra Schmid, Ph.D.
  • Title: Professor and interim chair, UNMC College of Public Health, Department of Biostatistics; assistant dean, Graduate Studies; campus director of assessment, Academic Affairs
  • Joined UNMC: 2007
  • Hometown: Hershey, Neb.

You are the recipient of the Research in Education Scholar Award. What is the importance of research in health care education?
Educational research is very important and especially in health sciences education. We are educating the future health care providers and researchers, so it is important to continually look for ways to improve ourselves as educators, our teaching approaches and methods, and student learning.

To some extent, I think we should approach education like we do other areas of research. How do we move the needle forward? How do we generate new knowledge in the area? How do we find new approaches and better ways? How do we better serve a diverse group of learners?

Educators have a natural desire to improve their teaching and their students’ learning, but in general, we don’t do a great job of telling others about what we’ve done and collecting evidence something worked. Documenting and disseminating our work is critical for advancing health sciences education.

Describe your proudest moment as an educator.
For me, there is not really a single proudest moment as an educator, but it’s a collection of the little things that make me proud to be an educator — the times when you can see the light bulb replace confusion, when students thank you for spending extra time working with them or telling you they felt your class was valuable, when someone you’ve mentored has success, etc.

What advice would you give other faculty members who want to have an impact in education?

  • Never stop trying new things and trying to improve. I’m constantly tweaking and updating things. Even when I think I have it “right” I always find something that can be done in a new or different way. Whether it is a more relevant way, simpler way, or more interesting way I like to try to make it better.
  • Find a good mentor (or several). I’ve been fortunate to have great mentorship throughout my career and when I was a student, and they have all been invaluable in different ways.
  • Watch others. I’m always watching and learning from the way others deliver content. This is a great way to think about what is effective or ineffective and how to adapt your own style to what is effective and best suits your personality.

Do you have a favorite quote or philosophy on teaching?
It’s a silly one, but I’m a firm believer that there are no stupid questions. The “stupid” questions can lead to so much. They can tell you where your students are stuck, or where your delivery method was ineffective, or they can lead you down the path of your next great idea!


  1. Jane Meza says:

    Congratulations, Kendra!

  2. Kaeli Samson says:

    Congrats, Kendra! We're so lucky to have you in our department – you're an excellent leader and mentor!

  3. Denise Britigan says:

    Congratulations on a well-deserved award!

  4. Emily McElroy says:


  5. Greg Karst says:

    Congratulations, Kendra! This is a well-deserved honor.

  6. Soumitra Bhuyan says:

    Many congratulations, Dr. Schmid. You deserve it.

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