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Foundation honors professors for teaching excellence

Four faculty members will be honored for teaching excellence at MUSC's annual Faculty Convocation at the beginning of the 2012-13 academic year at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Drug Discovery Building.

The faculty members are: Patricia Coker-Bolt, Ph.D., Clincal-Professional: Educator-Mentor; Kelly Ragucci, PharmD, Educator-Lecturer; Tom Smith, Ph.D., Educator-Mentor: Academic-Scholarship; and Gretchen A. Seif, DPT, Developing Teacher.

Presented for the first time in 1995, these universitywide teaching awards were proposed as part of MUSC's Educational Strategic Plan. In addition to a commemorative medallion, each recipient will receive a cash award from the MUSC Foundation.

Kelly Ragucci, PharmD

Kelly RagucciRagucci is assistant dean for curriculum, professor, Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Outcomes Sciences, South Carolina College of Pharmacy, associate professor, Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine.

It would be difficult, if not impossible, to describe in one word someone with the skills and talents Ragucci possesses, but "passionate" would be a good start. Maintaining that passion could be difficult with a pharmacy school spread over three campuses, yet students in Charleston and Columbia rate her as one of the most effective teachers in distance education. Students have described her lectures as riveting, interspersed with clinical cases to actively engage them in the learning process. Additionally, she leads discussions with College of Medicine students on rotation and lectures to physician assistant students.

As respected as Ragucci is in the classroom, however, she appears to rate higher when mentoring students, taking time to make sure students understand concepts and help prepare them for other challenges.

Gretchen Seif, DPT
Developing Teacher

Gretchen SeifSeif is assistant professor, Division of Physical Therapy, College of Health Professions

The quotation "Those who can – do; those who can't – teach" and its derivatives are often attributed to Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw. It is unfortunate that he never met anyone like Seif, for he might have changed his mind. Her students praise Seif for her innovative teaching skills, her vast knowledge of the subject and her rapport with them. She will gladly spend extra time outside the classroom to ensure that her students understand the clinical concepts involved. As time-consuming as this can be, Seif manages to remain actively engaged in her profession, currently serving as president-elect for the state chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association. She also is a board-certified orthopaedic physical therapy clinical specialist and a Fellow in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists.

Tom Smith, Ph.D.
Eductor-Mentor: Academic/Scholarship

Tom SmithSmith is professor and associate director, Center for Academic Excellence/Writing Center.

There are few individuals on the MUSC campus whose influence transcends all six colleges; Smith is one of them. In his position with the Center for Academic Excellence, he comes in contact with students from all colleges, even some from learning online. These students could be in their first year of study or professionals working on their doctorate, ranging in age from their early 20s to 50s or later in the midst of a career change. His clientele, however, is not just limited to students. He also works with faculty is assessing student development and assisting in scholarly publications and grant applications.

Smith also conducts workshops on study techniques and has helped establish orientation programs for international scholars.

Patricia Coker-Bolt, Ph.D.
Educator-Mentor: Clinical-Professional

Patricia Coker-BoltCoker-Bolt, assistant professor of occupational therapy, College of Health Professions, has been praised by colleagues and students for her work in and out of the classroom.

Inside the classroom she lectures and teaches students about infant motor skills, muscle development and pediatric occupational therapy. Outside the classroom, she can be found working with the Charleston Miracle League, which provides the baseball experience for children and adults with special needs; serving as camp counselor with Camp Hand to Hands, a therapy program for preschool children with cerebral palsy; mentoring students on a medical mission trip to Uganda and other community programs. One of her favorite quotations about teaching is this Chinese proverb: "Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand."




Friday, May 18, 2012

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