2019 Awards of Excellence recipients to be celebrated

Dean’s Awards of Excellence for Staff

Spirit Award

Mauricio Marin

Marin is a Clinical Trials Coordinator at the Centre for Studies in Family Medicine. He works directly with patients enrolled in the various ongoing trials, staff on the Diabetes Team, sponsors, pharmaceutical companies and faculty. He is described as an invaluable member of the team and colleague and a true asset to the department. Marin’s warm nature, friendly smile and humour are reflected in everything he does and have been the foundation for building the reputation of the Centre. With core values of humour, holiness, happiness and humanity, Marin positively contributes to the culture and environment within the Department.

Continuous Excellence Team Award

Distributed Education Team - Megan Baxter, Danny Kim, Lily Noel, Julie Stuifbergen

The Distributed Education Team is a cohesive group that works collaboratively and efficiently. They are a great representative of the School to external partners and provide incredible support to all corners of Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. Together, they coordinate more than 7,500 weeks of clinical training throughout the academic region. They provide service to regional community partners through Discovery Week, and manage the summer camp experiences Discovery Healthcare and MedLINCS. Their commitment to continuous excellence is evidenced through some recent customer service enhancements including the “one number” philosophy, the execution and subsequent successful implementation of a new centralized accommodation monitoring system; an access database that contains all distributed education learner rotations, faculty appointments, contact information and faculty teaching payments; and an appointment and reappointment process that helps to better understand the teaching taking place across all distributed sites.

Continuous Excellence Individual Awards

Joan Estabrooks

Estabrooks is the Manager of the BMSc Program. Along with Kathy Boon, she runs and manages an extremely efficient operation that oversees the recruitment, admission and progression of approximately 1,000 students in the undergraduate BMSc and Neuroscience modular programs. Additionally, she serves as an ambassador for current and prospective students, works closely with student clubs and positively contributes to the overall student experience. Passionate about recruitment and students, Estabrooks continuously seeks excellence in all that she does.

Sarah O’Flanagan

O’Flanagan is the Program Coordinator for the Developmental Disabilities Program in the Department of Psychiatry. She is described as having a remarkable work ethic, which when combined with her dedication and creativity, has significantly enhanced the reputation and visibility of the Program at Western and with the larger developmental disabilities community. O’Flanagan has been instrumental in the development of novel education opportunities for undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing professional development learners. She has undertaken research projects examining the dearth of opportunities for psychiatry residents in developmental disabilities and presented these nationally. She has drafted a strategic plan for the Program, is an excellent communicator and a generous and thoughtful colleague.

Janice Sutherland

Sutherland is being recognized for her continuous excellence in her work with the Department of Surgery. In her role, she supports the MSc in Surgery Program and serves as the Department’s Research Committee Administrator. Sutherland has been dedicated to her work and her perseverance has been critical to achievements in research and graduate education. She is responsible for creating and managing all administrative aspects of the MSc Program, supervising staff of the Program and organizing an increasing number of course instructors and supervisors from across the School. Her substantial support of the Research Committee is well known. She has been responsible for all of the intricate details and administrative processes surrounding the launch of expanded research grant and scientist competitions, managing the research node activity, reporting, creating resources, and turning Research Day into an enormous enterprise which attracts 200 attendees and international speakers.

Innovation Award

Crystal Mackay

As the Senior Media Relations Officer at the School, Mackay is responsible for all proactive and reactive media, issues management and video production. She also supports photography and feature writing. To achieve strategic plan metrics and operational goals, Mackay has had to be innovative in her approach to media and story-telling. A few of her innovations include producing broadcast-ready video and photography to be used by media outlets; annually meeting with nationally focused reporters to share news and information and build relationships; and creating a plan and process to increase the number of op-eds being written by Schulich Medicine & Dentistry faculty. She managed and executed the REAL Life Project, a photo journalist storytelling project focused on Distributed Education, as well as managing @SchulichMedDent Live, a live interview series focused on going behind the scenes at various School programs. A storyteller at heart, Mackay is described passionate, creative and driven.

Inspirational Leadership Award

Mariam Hayward

Hayward worked with the Diabetes Alliance for more than 12 years as a Project and Program Manager and more recently as the Research and Knowledge Translation Manager for the research team at the Alliance with the Centre for Studies in Family Medicine. She is recognized for strengthening the team culture and promoting overall team unity, revamping and reorganizing the structure and organization of the research program and establishing strong linkages with Indigenous organizations. She is highly respected by her peers locally and across Canada and is recognized for her creativity, leadership and innovation.

Schulich Award of Excellence for Faculty in Community/Distributed Sites

Dr. Michel Haddad

Dr. Haddad is the Regional Academic Director for the Sarnia-Lambton Academy and also serves as the Chief of Staff for Bluewater Health in Sarnia, as well as a staff intensivist. He has long been a champion for medical education in the Sarnia-Lambton region and is a strong supporter of faculty and trainees. He has a strong focus on aligning the needs of the community with the needs of trainees and is described as a great role model for trainees.

Dr. David Huffman

Dr. Huffman is the Site Director for the Chatham Family Medicine Residency Training Program. He is dedicated to teaching trainees and understanding how to create learning experiences in every situation and deploying them in a sensitive and trainee-centric manner. Dr. Huffman has a knack for recognizing their immediate needs, which allows him to provide individualized support. Trainees have often commented on Dr. Huffman’s caring approach and how it has enriched their training experience.

Dr. Zeke Milkovic

Described as a thoughtful mentor and teacher who models a type of physicianship many aspire to meet, Dr. Milkovic is a supervising physician for the Chatham Family Medicine Program. Using effective communication and strong leadership, Dr. Milkovic supports trainees along their entire journey of learning and tailors the message specifically to the ability of the learner. He is a strong leader in the local community supporting numerous initiatives benefiting the physician’s community and patients.

Dr. Ken Uffen

A passionate advocate for rural medicine, Dr. Uffen is a clinical faculty member in Wiarton, Ontario. He is described as an enthusiastic teacher and mentor to trainees and colleagues who has an infectious passion for education. He continues to support trainees, always providing diverse learning opportunities and serving as a champion for change in medicine and in his community.

Dr. Samuel Appavoo

Dr. Appavoo is the co-site director for the Goderich Family Medicine residency-training program. A champion for family medicine training, he is described as a passionate teacher with numerous accolades recognizing his mentorship and training of medical learners.

Dr. Donald Neal

Dr. Neal is the co-site director for the Goderich Family Medicine residency-training program. He has held a number of senior administrative and leadership roles in his medical community and is often recognized for his continuing support and mentorship of colleagues and trainees.

Schulich Continuing Dental Education Educator Award

Dr. Richard Bohay

Dr. Bohay’s career with Schulich Dentistry spans 30 years. During that time, his contributions to education of dental health care professionals has been outstanding. His extensive knowledge of radiology complements his ability to disseminate theory to a variety of learners with the utmost professionalism and success. Described as a phenomenal instructor, his course evaluations are filled with accolades from participants for the ease with which he shared his expertise, the ability of enabling participants to acquire skills and knowledge required to succeed in radiology.

Schulich Continuing Medical Education Educator Award

Dr. David Pelz

Dr. Pelz’s teaching is respected worldwide, evidenced by his 15 invited lectures at international conferences, eight visiting professorships and many awards for teaching. He is a champion of practice-altering techniques, he has contributed to the development of current standard-of-care technologies in the fields and is well known for his contribution to radiology including his work on landmark vascular studies. He is described by his peers and trainees as approachable, warm and welcoming, as a physician and an educator alike.

Schulich Faculty Development Award

Dr. Jennifer Vergel De Dios

Dr. Vergel De Dios developed a strategy for competency-based medical education (CBME) within Anesthesia and has been contributing to the implementation of CBME School-wide. During the implementation within her home department, Dr. Vergel De Dios personally organized and taught all of the Anesthesia CBME faculty development workshops, and her leadership is considered the primary reason for the success of the transition in Anesthesia.

Schulich Excellence in Education Awards for Graduate/Postgraduate

Kelly Anderson, PhD

Anderson has been described as a true role model for her trainees and an inspirational instructor. Her commitment and effectiveness as an educator are underlined by the enthusiasm she projects to her trainees and students as a mentor, instructor and researcher. Anderson is being recognized for her development of courses and overhaul of curriculum, her leadership role on the Curriculum Committee and Comprehensive Exam Committee and her role as the co-lead of the IQAP external review process, as well as outstanding evaluations and mentorship.

Dr. Sameer Elsayed

Serving as an Associate Professor in the Division of Infectious Disease, Dr. Elsayed is the training director for residents and recently created sub-specialty training program in infectious disease. He also serves as the Course Director for the fourth year microbiology/infectious disease review course. He is described as an excellent communicator with an encouraging learning style and strong leadership skills who takes advantage of every case as a teaching opportunity for learners.

Stan Leung, PhD

A professor with the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Leung was the founding member of the Neuroscience Graduate Program and participated in formulating its policies and constitution. He has also served as the graduate chair for the graduate program in Physiology and Pharmacology and the Director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program. He is recognized for making extensive contributions to that program including the development and redevelopment of courses. Many of the practices that he instituted remain common practice for all graduate programs at the School. He has supervised seven PhD, 21 MSc, and one Master’s trainee, as well as providing mentorship to 13 post-doctoral fellows. His trainees describe him as a strong mentor.

Dr. Aleksandra Nowicki

Described as an excellent role model for residents who takes a personal interest in the success of her learners, Dr. Nowicki is an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and physician lead for the Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders program at London Health Sciences Centre. She has developed an outstanding learning curriculum for paediatric resident rotations in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry with a particular focus on eating disorders. Her teaching and supervision is considered among the best and extends well beyond her clinical specialty.

Matthew Teeter, PhD

An Assistant Professor in Medical Biophysics, Teeter is being recognized for his development of programs and courses and his support of students. He is known as the creator of the Innovation Fellows Program and the Knowledge Translation for Clinical Scientist course, which recognizes the specialized needs of young clinicians in finding balance between clinical and graduate school commitments. He also redesigned part of a physics course to include aspects on grant writing and peer review.

Dr. Sheri-Lyn Kane

Dr. Kane has served as the postgraduate medical education program director for Geriatric Medicine and now serves in that role for Internal Medicine. She is currently leading the implementation of competency-based medical education (CBME) for the Program and is recognized for creating novel assessment methods to be used with CBME. She has participated in the development and facilitations of the Boot Camp for Resident Teachers Program, as well as developed and facilitates an Art of Teaching Workshop. She consistently has high evaluations, sits on multiple committees and is a strong advocate for trainees, providing support to overcome struggles and ensuring learners thrive in their environment.


Schulich Excellence in Education Awards for Undergraduate Education

Schulich Educator Awards

Nica Borradaile, PhD

Borradaile is being recognized for her education leadership. She has played a key role in curriculum development and developed brand new teaching materials for every single course she has taught. She finds a way to go beyond didactic lectures believing that students should be part of the learning process, for example bringing in-class debates to courses. Borradaile promotes a positive and comfortable learning environment that fosters integrative thinking and understanding for students. She is a strong mentor and role model, who instills confidence in her students, allowing them to have a greater understanding and application of the material.  

Learner Awards

David Rodenhiser, PhD

Rodenhiser has demonstrated exceptional commitment and dedication to enhancing the education experience of undergraduate students. He implemented a new Honours Specialization in Biochemistry and Cancer Biology module that is the only program of its kind at a Canadian university. He demonstrates exceptional initiative to familiarize and implement diverse innovative teaching approaches in his courses. This includes using Wikis, blogs, Blackboard Collaborate, Ignite talks and Appetizers. He is recognized as a leader in education and receives outstanding instructor evaluations.

Walter Rushlow, PhD

A member of the Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology and the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program, Rushlow is being recognized for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. He has served as the undergraduate course coordinator for both programs, took the lead in conceptualizing and developing a new Anatomy course focused on the neurobiology of mental illness and played a key role in developing a strong new five-year strategic vision for the department related to undergraduate education. His course evaluations note his energetic, passionate teaching style. “Easily my favourite professor in all four years,” noted one of his students. He is caring, engaging and works to mentor his students to success.

Schulich Faculty Mentorship Awards

Dr. Kevin Armstrong

An Associate Professor in Anesthesia & Perioperative Medicine, Dr. Armstrong has a passion for education and is able to highlight key learning points relevant to his junior faculty’s objectives. His positive attitude, excellent work ethic and immense commitment as a mentor are described as inspiring and infectious. His mentees noted that he instilled confidence in them, diligently guided them and crafted their career in wonderful directions. A warm, genuine individual, he is an advocate for faculty mentees demonstrating compassion, empathy and enthusiasm.

Dr. S. Jeffrey Dixon

Dr. Dixon is extremely generous of his time to formal and informal mentorship, invests heavily to ensure the success of others and has served on 18 faculty mentorship committees. In addition, he has served as Director of the CIHR Group in Skeletal Development and Remodeling, was the principal investigator and served as co-Director of the Joint Motion Program and Co-Director of the Bone and Joint Institute. The creation of these interdisciplinary research groups and training programs have enabled collaboration and promoted the professional development for numerous faculty members across campus. Dr. Dixon leads by example. He displays tremendous wisdom, knowledge and ingenuity in guiding his junior colleagues in solving problems and challenges and in enabling unique and personalized trajectories for each individual faculty member.

Aaron Fenster, PhD

Fenster is described as a true visionary leader, a consummate professional and an archetypal mentor for faculty. He is an exemplary role model and excellent communicator who shares his more than 50 years of experience with and in support of junior faculty. His nominators noted that they owe a significant amount of their career development to Professor Fenster’s mentorship and to the opportunities he has created for them and many others.


Dean’s Awards of Excellence for Faculty


Dr. Glenn Bauman

Dr. Bauman is being recognized for his contributions to research, innovation, education and administration. For 14 years, he has served as the Chair/Chief of Oncology, a diverse and complex department with more than 150 faculty members across five divisions. He has a highly inclusive approach, making every faculty member feel valuable as an integral part of the Department’s missions and visions. He is a strong contributor to research and has been tireless in his efforts for advocating for and building the greater cancer research community across the city of London. He developed and continues to lead the city-side Centre for Translational Cancer Research – a highly successful virtual centre that serves to facilitate the translation of scientific knowledge to clinical practice. He is an honest, positive and direct leader.

Mansour Haeryfar, PhD

Haeryfar is being recognized for his contributions to research. He is described as an outstanding scientist, mentor and teacher who has made enormous contributions to the School’s research mission. He is a productive and innovative scientist who has developed an important area of research and is internationally recognized for his work in immunology and cancer research.

Marlys Koschinsky, PhD

Koschinsky is being recognized for her contributions to research and administration. She is an internationally recognized researcher in the field of cardiovascular disease with expertise in the field of lipoprotein(a) and its roles as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. She has demonstrated deft skills as an administrative leader, and is noted for skillfully addressing challenges at Robarts Research Institute while supporting research excellence as the primary mission at Robarts.

Junior Faculty - Clinical

Dr. Nicholas Power

Dr. Power is described as a rising star in the subspecialty of urology. He is an exemplary researcher, clinician, educator and leader. He is highly engaged in clinical research, supporting clinical trials in genitourinary cancers, including serving as the provincial co-lead on a randomized trial. He has more than 55 publications and three patents with one additional patent in the works. He is actively engaged in medical education and trainee and fellow teaching. He has assumed the Directorship of the Urological Oncology Fellowship Program and is the undergraduate education coordinator for the Division of Urology.

Junior Faculty – Basic Science

Jimmy Dikeakos, PhD

Dikeakos has developed a reputation of excellence in all aspects of academic life. He has a highly impressive record of research productivity and is recognized for his contributions to the fields of HIV virology and membrane protein trafficking – emerging as a Canadian leader within this field. He is an outstanding teacher at the undergraduate level, and truly excels as a mentor to graduate students.

Art Poon, PhD

Since his appointment in 2016 as an Assistant Professor, Poon has established an independent research program for developing and applying new and innovative computational methods for the study of virus evolution. His enthusiasm, insightful thoughts and willingness to help is appreciated by all faculty members.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Bhagi Singh, PhD

Singh represents the highest level of achievement in administration, service, research and training. He has had a profound effect on the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, the School, in Canada and internationally. He has had a long and distinguished academic career, including vast contributions to basic research in autoimmunity. He is recognized for his unmatched leadership, for enhancing research excellence at the Multi-Organ Transplant Program at London Health Sciences Centre and addressing the educational needs of the Canadian Society of Immunology and the Canadian Society of Transplantation. Singh served as the inaugural Director of the CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunology, a program that critically supports all federally-funded microbiology and immunology research in Canada. His career has been nothing short of outstanding. Singh’s personal charm, respect of others, unquestionable integrity in science, academic achievements and contributions have enhanced every tier of research to positively impact the health of many Canadians. He has helped place Western University and the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry on the global map.