Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2010

Faculty Award winner

Mohtashem Samsam

 College of Medicine

 Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences

I love teaching. My areas of interest are anatomy, neuroanatomy and neuroscience. I teach the fundamental contents of the subject in a clinically-oriented way. I believe the clinical application of the topics fosters critical thinking, encourages case-based learning and problem-solving strategies, and facilitates the acquisition of life-long learning skills. This prepares the students to perform better in future studies and in a clinical setting. I believe anatomy is the basis of medical science, and should be thoroughly learned.

My students can directly apply their basic knowledge and translate it to clinical terms. I use technology and Web sites to deliver my lectures or announce course supplemental material. I provide a comprehensive lecture and lab syllabus with clear objectives and expectations for all my courses to help students learn the material effectively. Drawings can help students learn the important structures. I provide additional instructional resources of all types to the students. I never turn down a question in my class or through e-mail. In a course with 700 students it is important to respond to every question on time, since failing to do so will discourage the students and will have a negative impact on their studies, on the course, and on the department.

My assessment of a student’s learning is also relevant to the course objectives, so critical thinking is evaluated in the exams. The clinical and regional approach in anatomy and neuroscience at the undergraduate level has given our students a unique competency in these fields, and makes them far more informed and superior than many others on similar educational levels. Several letters we have received about their efficiency and competency in the professional schools, as well as excellent scores at the national undergraduate and medical board exams, are all indicative of this fact. I believe a good educator should also be a scholar with research activities. Using knowledg