For 2020, the School of Health Professions will be hosting a virtual awards week leading up to commencement. Activities are planned daily Monday, Nov. 30 - Thursday, Dec. 3, with commencement on Saturday, Dec. 5. Please see below for a description of daily activities.
J. David Holcomb, Ed.D., Achievement Award
This award is given annually to a health professions educator who has provided a sustained record of leadership in health professions education, research, faculty development and scholarship. The award was developed by faculty and students of the School of Health Professions.
Dean's Excellence Award
Dean’s Excellence Awards are conferred on behalf of the School of Health Professions at the discretion of the dean and with the endorsement of school and program leaders. Recipients are honored for merit in any domain of service benefiting the mission of the School of Health Professions.
Carl E. Fasser Visionary Leadership Award
This award was established in honor of Carl Fasser for his sustained demonstration of visionary leadership toward the physician assistant profession through education, research, clinical practice, and service. The enduring award will be given annually to a Baylor College of Medicine physician assistant or program alumnus who demonstrates exceptional leadership in these same domains.
Alumni Association Lehmann Student Award
The BCM Alumni Association Lehmann Outstanding Student Awards is in honor of ophthalmology resident alumnus and active alumni volunteer, Dr. Robert P. Lehmann. In April 2011, Dr. Lehmann made a donation to establish a permanent endowment. It is the earnings from this endowment that now allow us to present three scholarships yearly for the School of Health Professions.
Tuesday, Dec. 1: Teaching Excellence Awards
At the end of their didactic phase of classroom instruction, students in each program scheduled to graduate the following year nominate and select recipients of awards for excellence in didactic instruction.
Members of the graduating class who are concluding their clinical instruction nominate and select recipients of awards for excellence in clinical instruction.
This award is given to the physician assistant graduate who, in the opinion of the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, demonstrated outstanding knowledge and skills in the practice of psychiatry.
Thursday, Dec. 3: Research Awards
As a graduation requirement, each health professions student conducts a research project and reports the results through a Master’s Paper. The purpose of this activity is to develop students’ abilities to identify questions that may be answered through investigation. Furthermore, the research process develops students’ knowledge in the subject area being studied and the health research methods and statistical analyses being applied. Preparation of the Master’s Paper also enhances students’ skills in written communication.
Each student has a primary and secondary faculty mentor with the expertise needed to nurture the student’s ability to conduct a research project. The mentors are responsible for the overall guidance, supervision, and evaluation of the student’s work on the research project.
Physician Assistant / Orthotics and Prosthetics
Orthotics and Prosthetics Product Pitches
Students in the O&P Program have the option to pursue a product development project as their master's thesis. This project involves identifying a need, analyzing the market, developing a prototype, and testing the prototype. Students completing a product development project present a product pitch to faculty, students, and program stakeholders at the end of their academic term. This pitch is designed to enhance a student's ability to communicate the need for and benefits of their product should they seek institutional licensing or external funding.
O&P RIITE Values Award
This award is given in honor of the contributions of Earl Fogler, founding lab manager in the O&P Program. Students in the first year of the program spend the vast majority of their time working in the orthotics and prosthetics lab, a place which Earl ensured was a home for all students. The award is given annually (as of 2020) to a second-year orthotics and prosthetics student who demonstrated respect, integrity, innovation, teamwork, and excellence during the first year of the program. Recipients embody the spirit of teamwork and community through their willingness to support members of their cohort.
Joan Wilson Appel Award for Excellence in Clinical Research
The Joan Wilson Appel Award for Excellence in Clinical Research is established to encourage Physician Assistant (PA) students at Baylor College of Medicine to broaden their knowledge of translational medical science and to consider clinical research as part of their future careers. This competitive award aims to encourage PA students to pursue academic careers where scholarship, clinical research and discovery will be part of their ongoing medical practice. The award recognizes superior work by a graduating student as embodied by a final draft manuscript and supporting documentation.
Saturday, Dec. 5: Commencement
Other Student Awards
Doctor of Nursing Practice Program - Nurse Anesthesia Awards
Alice Magaw Award
This award is given annually to the graduate who achieved the highest clinical ranking during the clinical phase of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program in Nurse Anesthesia.
The award honors Alice Magaw, CRNA (1860–1928), bestowed the recognition as “the Mother of Anesthesia” by Dr. Charles H. Mayo, cofounder of the Mayo Clinic. Miss Magaw was considered a “peerless” scholar in the drop technique of ether/chloroform anesthetic administration. She was the first nurse anesthetist to publish her vast experiences in anesthesia serving to profoundly advance the art and science of anesthesia.
Helen Lamb Award
This award is given annually to the graduate who achieved the highest scholastic ranking during the didactic phase of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program in Nurse Anesthesia.
The award honors Helen Lamb, CRNA (1900–1979), the founder and director of Barnes Hospital School of Anesthesia from 1929 to 1951. She chaired the AANA Education Committee from 1931-1939 that established the curriculum and minimum standards for schools of nurse anesthesia. She performed the anesthetic for the world’s first successful pneumonectomy. She served as AANA president from 1940 to 1942.
Spent Bullet Award
This award is given annually to the graduate who, in the opinion of the faculty of the Division of General and Trauma Anesthesiology at Ben Taub Hospital, demonstrated outstanding clinical expertise and leadership skills required of the Trauma Nurse Anesthetist.
The award honors the countless and stressful hours that the faculty and students spend providing life-saving care to the victims of violence in our community.
Virginia Apgar Award
This award is given annually to the graduate who, in the opinion of the faculty of the Division of Obstetric Anesthesiology at Ben Taub Hospital, demonstrated outstanding knowledge, skills, motivation, and dependability in the provision of obstetric and gynecologic anesthesia services.
The award honors Dr. Virginia Apgar, one of Columbia University's first female medical doctors and Columbia's first-ever full professor of anesthesiology. Dr. Apgar specialized in anesthesia and childbirth. She invented the Newborn Scoring System, also called the Apgar score, that assessed the health of newborns. The Apgar scoring method is widely utilized today.
Henry D. McIntosh Award
This award is given annually to the graduating physician assistant student who in the opinion of classmates and faculty has achieved the highest degree of academic excellence and service, and who best exemplifies the concept of the physician assistant. The award carries the name of Henry D. McIntosh, M.D., former professor of medicine and chair of the Department of Internal Medicine. This distinguished physician, closely involved in the genesis of the Physician Assistant concept at Duke University, provided the impetus for further development of the profession at Baylor College of Medicine.
Lewis A. Leavitt Academic Excellence Award
This award is given annually to the graduating physician assistant student who has achieved the highest scholastic ranking in the graduating class. The award is in memory of Lewis A. Leavitt, M.D., former professor of rehabilitation, chair of the Department of Physical Medicine, and chair of the Allied Health Manpower Development Committee. His lifelong pursuit of academic excellence and his outstanding contributions to mankind, made by exemplary achievements in the fields of medicine and health professions, did much to provide innovative development of the Physician Assistant Program at Baylor College of Medicine.
Agatha Hodgins CRNA Memorial Award
This award is given annually to the outstanding graduate who, based on both scholastic achievement and clinical performance, demonstrated the dedication and enthusiasm that best symbolizes the qualities desired in a Nurse Anesthetist.
The award honors Agatha Hodgins, CRNA (1877–1945), founder and first president of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. Miss Hodgins was one of the first to perfect the nitrous oxide–oxygen technique of anesthesia. In 1915, she founded the first formal school for anesthesia at Lakeside Hospital in Cleveland and was a visionary force in the establishment of the practice of nurse anesthesia.
Orthotics and Prosthetics Academic Excellence Award
This award is given annually to the Orthotics and Prosthetics student who has achieved the highest scholastic ranking in the graduating class.
Lucille M. Becker Clinical Achievement Award
This award honors the contributions of Lucille Becker to the profession by recognizing a clinical resident in Orthotics and Prosthetics who has consistently demonstrated passion for patient care and clinical excellence. In 1960, Ms. Becker became the director of Becker Orthopedic Appliance company after her husband Otto's unexpected passing. At a time when clinicians and leaders in the profession were overwhelmingly men, she led the company with passion and innovation, bringing to market the first non-protrusion locking knee joint and double action ankle joint.