Celebrating faculty and staff excellence

Awards of Excellence 2018 Recipients

Dean’s Awards of Excellence for Faculty
Lifetime Achievement

Dr. Bertha Garcia, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Dr. Garcia came to Western University as an assistant professor in 1984 and for more than 30 years has served as an educator and leader at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. She is recognized as an exceptional educator with extraordinary passion for medical education. Through her leadership, three clinical pathology departments from three different hospitals amalgamated, the School has developed student-led altruistic initiatives, the Learner Equity & Wellness Office was established, and the undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing medical education programs have flourished with strong accreditation results. She is a woman of distinction focused on innovation and is a role model for how women in medicine can have their voices heard in academic and clinical environments.

Dean’s Awards of Excellence for Faculty

Lauren Flynn, PhD, Anatomy and Cell Biology
In 2014, Flynn was jointly appointed to the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology and Chemical & Biomedical Engineering at Western University. Serving as an associate professor, she has emerged as a leader in bringing her engineering approach to important health issues. She has published 33 peer-reviewed publications and has an h-index of 21. She is currently supervising six PhD, three MSc and two postdoctoral trainees, and has one of the largest research training labs in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. Flynn was named as a 2018 Faculty Scholar at Western.

John McCormick, PhD, Microbiology and Immunology
McCormick is a professor whose research is focused on the interface of immunology and infectious disease. He is described as a gifted teacher and outstanding role model. As the former Department Undergraduate Chair, he played an integral role in the planning, development and success of a new undergraduate curriculum. He has attracted and supervised more than 50 trainees and has been recognized for his excellence in teaching.

Dr. Faisal Rehman, Medicine
Dr. Rehman is being recognized for his achievements in administration, public service and education. An associate professor, he is the Clerkship Director for internal medicine, and in 2017 received the Class of ’62 Award, which is presented to the faculty member who, in the opinion of the Class, has contributed the most to the medical school in the previous four years. Dr. Rehman is a kidney specialist and community champion. Through philanthropic efforts, he has raised nearly $2 million benefiting London Health Sciences Foundation, the Kidney Foundation of Canada, as well as several other causes.

Dr. Anthony Tang, Medicine
Dr. Tang is a Professor and the Scientific Director and CEO of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Network of Canada, a National Centre of Excellence established in 2015. His clinical and research expertise is on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with cardiac arrhythmia. He is internationally recognized for his research on device and interventional therapy specific to cardiac arrhythmia associated with heart failure. His many mechanistic and clinical trial findings have resulted in wide clinical utilization of cardiac resynchronization therapy benefiting patients around the world.

Junior Faculty

Dr. Adam Power, Surgery
Dr. Power has been described as a gifted and valued contributor, acclaimed teacher, educator and inventor. He has filed 13 patents based on prototypes developed for advanced endovascular procedures and converted one patent to a non-provisional patent. Dr. Power has been at the forefront in guiding trainees through surgical training in vascular surgery. And although his focus has not been solely on research, Dr. Power has authored 25 journal articles and six book chapters. He was recently selected as one of London’s top 20 under 40 recipients.

Andrew Pruszynski, PhD, Physiology and Pharmacology
Pruszynski is an assistant professor and researcher. He has distinguished himself as an emerging leader in sensorimotor neuroscience and is described as a rising star in this field. He studies the complex interactions between the mechanical properties of the body and a highly distributed neural circuit. He has 32 career publications with an h-index of 15 and more than 1,000 career citations. He holds a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair.

Schulich Excellence in Education Awards for Undergraduate

Dr. Melfort Boulton, Clinical Neurological Sciences
Dr. Boulton is an assistant professor, and Director for Neurosurgery for Undergraduate Medical Education. He is involved in resident and postgraduate medical education, as well as fellowship training, and serves as the Site Director for the Neurosurgery Resident Program at London Health Sciences Centre’s University Hospital. Dr. Boulton works to improve student experience and make his students aware of every opportunity available to them.

Dr. Andreana Bütter, Surgery
Dr. Bütter is an associate professor and the Associate Director of Surgical Education. She is described as an outstanding teacher who is extensively engaged in undergraduate education and has been on the University Students’ Council Teaching Honor Roll four times, and won the Surgery Clerkship Faculty Teaching Award for the Division of General Surgery three times. She is willing to explore the needs and thoughts of students to optimize the learning environment and maximize student engagement. She has done this, in part, through the inclusion of technology tools in her teaching. Dr. Bütter is a strong mentor and serves as a role model for female medical students and trainees.

John Di Guglielmo, PhD, Physiology and Pharmacology
An associate professor, Di Guglielmo is described as a superior educator and academic who continuously demonstrates a natural skill in teaching and management of undergraduate courses. He has a dedication to undergraduate teaching and has taken initiative to lead and implement several changes to the curriculum in the Physiology course. Di Guglielmo is a sought-after supervisor for students enrolled in the honours specialization program and a highly regarded supervisor for MSc and PhD trainees.

Dr. Andrew House, Medicine
Dr. House is the Associate Chief of Nephrology at London Health Sciences Centre and the Chair/Chief for the Division of Nephrology. He is an award-winning teacher, and redesigned the entire renal physiology curriculum. This is currently the highest rated block in the medical school curriculum, and it has received the HUMEC Award of Excellence, in large part due to Dr. House’s efforts. Dr. House has also developed a renal physiology course for the Nephrology fellows. Dr. House’s nomination for this award came from students within the Medicine Class of 2020 – who have experienced the tremendous impact of his teaching.

Dr. Erin Peebles, Paediatrics
Dr. Peebles is an assistant professor, and since 2014 has served as a clinical methods and small group facilitator, clerkship oral examiner, OSCE examiner, and Integration and Transition Facilitator. She has developed a reputation for being hardworking, honest, creative and holding her peers, her students and herself to a very high standard. She led the redesign of the second year Child Health Small Group curriculum, which involved introducing entirely new teaching materials. She has also revamped the paediatric clerkship experiences and introduced a full-day Paediatric Orientation Bootcamp.

Dr. Jordan Schmidt, Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Dr. Schmidt is an Associate Professor and until most recently served as the Director of the Undergraduate Medical Education Committee in Obstetrics & Gynaecology. In this position he oversaw the entire four-year program for the Department including the pre-clinical years, where he also served as the co-chair of the course in reproduction. He was the faculty lead for the Clinical Methods Course and administered the Clerkship and Electives Programs. Dr. Schmidt made significant changes to the Clerkship Program which has greatly enriched the education of students.

Dr. Javeed Sukhera, Psychiatry
Dr. Sukhera is an assistant professor who has been extensively involved in undergraduate education since 2012. He has been involved in multiple educational innovations related to implicit bias and mental illness stigma. He teaches implicit bias related topics in all four years of the undergraduate curriculum and has piloted an innovative clerkship seminar on stigma. He is a dedicated small group facilitator for undergraduate medical education including PCCIA and PCCM. He is also a first year portfolio mentor and second year Quality Improvement mentor.

Schulich Excellence in Education Awards for Graduate/Postgraduate

Dr. Robert Arntfield, Medicine
Dr. Arntfield is an associate professor and Educational Director of junior resident education, interdisciplinary point-of-care ultrasound rounds, and course leader for critical care ultrasound curriculum. He has developed a first-of-its kind point-of-care ultrasound training program for critical care residents, unique within critical care residency training in Canada. He has also developed a critical care ultrasound fellowship. He has a commitment to excellence as a teacher, mentor, leader and role model.
Arthur Brown, PhD, Anatomy and Cell Biology
Brown is a professor and course director of the Advanced Topics in Integrated Neuroscience, the core course of the interdisciplinary Neuroscience Graduate Program. In developing this course, Brown fundamentally changed the way graduate students were taught in the program, switching from didactic teaching of content, to innovative methods of skills training and empowering students to identify gaps of knowledge and close them through self-dependent learning. As a supervisor, Brown has always made time for students, providing mentorship and guidance in whatever form is needed. He is what every educator should strive to be.

Hanif Ladak, PhD, PEng, Medical Biophysics and Electrical and Computer Engineering
Ladak is an associate professor who has served two terms as the Graduate Chair for Medical Biophysics, and has tremendous accomplishments in graduate teaching and research. He has an unfailing commitment to his graduate students as a supervisor and to undergraduate students in both curricula. Ladak was nominated by two of his former students and his nomination was supported by faculty and several current students in Medical Biophysics and Engineering. He has been named to the University Students’ Council Teaching Honour Roll seven times in a 10 year period, and received the Chair’s Award of Excellence from the Department of Otolarynoglogy – Head & Neck Surgery. He is described as a dedicated academic, prolific researcher and outstanding teacher.

Dr. Michael Ott, Surgery
Dr. Ott is an associate professor and has played a significant role in enhancing surgical education to meet the changing needs of students. He served as the Program Director for Surgical Foundation and currently serves as the Program Director of General Surgery. He has redesigned the curriculum for the academic half-day teaching program in general surgery. Dr. Ott’s initiatives for clinical education, assessment and performance have generated scholarship in peer reviewed journals. He is an outstanding education leader and mentor.

Dr. Bret Wehrli, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Dr. Wehrli is an associate professor who participates in the Department’s high volume multidisciplinary clinical service, leads the immunopathology division and teaches at the undergraduate level in medicine and dentistry, as well as the postgraduate level. He has been the sole lead responsible for the Bone and Soft Tissue curriculum across all education levels. He is described as an enthusiastic educator and committed teacher. He has inspired many students to pursue pathology as a specialty and is a role model and mentor.


Lina Dagnino, PhD, Physiology and Pharmacology
Dagnino is a professor who served as Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee from 2010 to 2016. During that time, she guided the program through considerable change, most notably merging the two graduate programs to form the largest graduate program at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. She also spearheaded the introduction of the accelerated master’s degree and launched several new courses including online modules, which greatly enhanced the quality of graduate education within the Department. Dagnino provides mentorship and tools to her students allowing for their success. She is known for her calm demeanor, thoughtful approach to change, and problem-solving skills.

Dr. Brian Rotenberg, Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
Dr. Rotenberg is an associate professor and the Residency Program Director. Described as a ‘triple threat,’ Dr. Rotenberg is a committed and dedicated educator, leader and surgeon. He has taken innovative approaches to postgraduate teaching and is described by his students as “superb”, “organized” and “fantastic.” With a strong appreciation for the important role technology plays in education, he has incorporated online interactive technology during resident seminars and has revamped the entire postgraduate curriculum to better reflect the entrustable professional activities – which he helped to develop. He continues to have an impact on all resident trainees serving as a positive mentor and role model and has twice received the Clinical Teachers Award and the PARO Excellence in Teaching Award.

Schulich Award of Excellence for Faculty in Community/Distributed Sites

Dr. Firas Al-Dhaher, Family Medicine
Dr. Al-Dhaher is the Site Director for the Family Medicine residency training program in Petrolia. Under his leadership, the Petrolia Medical Clinic has become a highly successful training site. Dr. Al-Dhaher is actively involved with teaching family medicine residents and medical students. He is described as an enthusiastic mentor to medical students and residents and a role model for comprehensive care. Dr. Al-Dhaher was a recipient of a Peer Recognition Award recognizing his dedication to patients and colleagues. He also received the Ontario College of Family Physicians Award of Excellence recognizing exceptional achievement in the speciality of family medicine.

Dr. Susan Munro, Family Medicine
Dr. Munro is an outstanding clinical and educational leader in the community of Chatham. She was instrumental in establishing the Family Health Team in Chatham and developing the site as one of the core teaching sites for Family Medicine. Dr. Munro served as the Site Director for the Family Medicine residency training program in Chatham-Kent at its inception in 2010. She continues to provide high quality mentorship and teaching to the medical students and residents. Dr. Munro is a role model for comprehensive care and engagement in medical education and has been recognized by the Ontario College of Family Physicians with an Award of Excellence.

Dr. Donald Eby, Medicine
Dr. Eby joined Grey Bruce Health Services in 1984. He is an outstanding faculty educator who has displayed exceptional interest and enthusiasm towards the learning needs of trainees. Dr. Eby has demonstrated superior leadership skills both in his role as a clinician in the emergency department, as an educator with trainees and as an administrator in various capacities over the years, including medical Chief of Staff. He is described as a patient, effective teacher who leads by example, and encourages a thoughtful approach to patient management.

Dr. Martin Hug, Medicine
Dr. Hug has been described as a pillar of excellence in Emergency Medicine and hospital-based family practice at the St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital, as well as in his role as a faculty member representing the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. He has been a staff physician in St. Thomas for approximately 20 years. He is a dedicated teacher and clinician in the dual domains of Emergency Medicine and Hospitalist Medicine. Dr. Hug makes himself available for learners at all levels of training. He is consistent with constructive feedback and genuinely loves to teach.

Schulich Continuing Dental Education Educator Award

Dr. Tom Mara, Dentistry
Dr. Mara always delivers an education program of the highest quality to a diverse audience of dental professionals, including dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants. He is described as a gifted teacher who is always capable of answering questions and providing examples from his experience as a general practitioner and specialist in Oral Medicine and Pathology. Dr. Mara’s dedication to the profession of dentistry is evident by his numerous publications, his many teaching awards, and consistent rave reviews on his course evaluations.

Schulich Continuing Medical Education Educator Award

Dr. Robert Nicolson, Psychiatry
Dr. Nicolson is the Chair of the Developmental Disabilities Program. He is described as a champion and advocate for people with developmental disabilities, through his academic and clinical work, and through his leadership and involvement in the community. Under his leadership and innovative vision, the first ‘Developmental Disabilities Clinical and Research Rounds’ in Canada were implemented through the Developmental Disabilities Program in the Department of Psychiatry.

Schulich Faculty Development Award

Dr. Wayne Weston, Family Medicine
Dr. Weston is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Family Medicine since his retirement as a full-time clinical academic. His work in developing the core curriculum for the Graduate Studies program in Family Medicine, highlights his talents for identifying faculty needs. He is a natural educator, who has shaped many physicians into great teachers.

Schulich Faculty Mentorship Award

Dr. Joe Mymryk, PhD Oncology
Dr. Mymryk is described as an exceptional mentor. He is the Chair of Experimental Oncology, a Professor for the Departments of Oncology and Microbiology & Immunology, as well as an Assistant Director and Distinguished Oncology Scientist at the London Regional Cancer Program. His commitment and dedication as a faculty mentor has had a tremendous impact on the careers of many new faculty, both in the areas of science and clinical research. He has published 110 peer-reviewed papers, holds multiple grants from CIHR and NSERC and is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Virology.

Dean’s Awards of Excellence for Staff
Spirit Award

Kristina Fornelos, Robarts Research Institute
Kristina Fornelos is a vital link between the Scientific and Executive Director’s Office and the scientists within Robarts Research Institute. She is described as a pillar of support in the organization of events, including the Robarts Research Retreat and the J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine Symposium. She is a team player and supports the success of others. Fornelos is respected by her peers and provides leadership and mentorship throughout her work with research trainees.

Continuous Excellence
Team Award

‘Triple A Team’
Allison Berger, Angelika Edwards and Ann Jones, Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
It is Allison Berger, Angelika Edwards, and Ann Jones who comprise the ‘Triple A’ team. This very special team continuously seeks excellence in practice, as they oversee the daily operations of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery’s academic programs in education and research. Although each individual has their own specific portfolio on paper, they truly function seamlessly as a team and always “take it to the next level.”

Continuous Excellence Individual Award

Janelle Pritchard, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs
Janelle Pritchard always seeks ways to improve graduate activities and the graduate student and postdoctoral environment at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. She has great skill in addressing the issues and needs of trainees, as well as looking for opportunities to enhance their experiences at Western and beyond in a holistic manner. Pritchard has branched out to organize and lead key activities that have had a positive impact on the workplace health and wellness of the School community. She is described as having high work ethic, professionalism and enthusiasm for her role.

Ron Vander, Robarts Research Institute
Ron Vander is described as an exemplary employee with a strong personal commitment and devotion to Robarts Research Institute. His ability to seamlessly engage researchers and staff in his role has allowed him to develop innovative solutions, and meaningfully support the research environment. Vander is looked to as the keeper of the virtual and physical history of the Institute and its infrastructure.

Team Award

Diabetes Research Staff Team, Centre for Studies in Family Medicine
It is Stwart Harris (PI), Mariam Hayward, Harsh Zaran, Meghan Fournie, Selam Mequanint, Susan Webster-Bogaert, Jackie McLellan, Jim Esler, Jennifer Donaldson, Mauricio Marin, Marnie Orcutt, Alex Roa-Aqudelo, Danielle Havord Wier, Natalie Wu, Ryan Brooks, Sonja Reichert, Sue Miner, Tanya Bhayana, Jason Black, Alex Ratzki-Leewing, Rachelle Maskell who comprise “The Diabetes Research Staff” team. The team has built the first-ever national network of Indigenous communities working with researchers at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry to improve diabetes care and management. Emphasizing and truly honouring the OCAP (Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession) principles. They have built relationship with Indigenous communities throughout the country and have made a lasting impact.

Individual Award

Joan Binnendyk, Postgraduate Medical Education
Joan Binnendyk is described as a medical education innovator who consistently meets challenges with positivity and determination. She is the creator of the T2R lecture series, Bootcamp for Resident Teachers, Five in Five online short video series, academic half days on social media, a novel transition to practice curriculum, as well as the co-creator of a novel clerk-as-patient educator program. Binnendyk has changed the culture of postgraduate medical education from a monologue with residents passively receiving education to a vibrant, active dialogue, in which residents and clinician educators consistently strive for academic excellence.

Inspirational Leadership Award

Nicole Farrell, Clinical Neurological Sciences
Nicole Farrell demonstrates commitment to the mission, vision, and values of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and the Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences. She exhibits integrity, fairness and strong leadership skills which inspire her colleagues to produce their best work. Farrell continuously seeks opportunities for improving administrative efficiencies and eliminating redundancies or non-value-added steps. She goes above and beyond to get work done and is highly collaborative working with other departments.

Dr. John D. Brown Award

Dr. Ayaaz Sachedina, Cardiology PGY6
Dr. Sachedina is described as a passionate teacher. He is a wonderful clinician who is a role model for the residents and medical students who work with him. Dr. Sachedina embodies the best attributes of an academic clinician. He has an extraordinary rapport with patients, their families and with the multidisciplinary health care team and this quality greatly enhances his ability to provide excellent care. Dr. Sachedina has been recognized for his dedication to education by being awarded the PARO teaching award and the UWO Kostuk Teaching Award for two consecutive years.

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