Three faculty members selected to UT System’s Shine Academy
UT Health San Antonio faculty members Babatunde “Kay” Oyajobi, MD, PhD, MBA; Bridgett Piernik-Yoder, PhD, OTR; and Moshtagh Farokhi, DDS, MPH, have been selected as members of The University of Texas Kenneth I. Shine Academy of Health Science Education.
Dr. Oyajobi is a professor in the Department of Cell Systems and Anatomy; Dr. Piernik-Yoder is an associate professor and chair in the Department of Occupational Therapy; and Dr. Farokhi is an associate professor in the Department of Comprehensive Dentistry.
The academy fosters excellence in education in the health sciences by recognition of outstanding educators and advancement of knowledge and innovation in the field of education. Members represent all UT System health science campuses and represent multiple professional backgrounds. It was named for former UT System executive vice chancellor Kenneth Shine.
“The induction of Drs. Farokhi, Oyajobi and Piernik-Yoder as UT Health San Antonio’s newest members to the Shine Academy speaks to the outstanding contributions they have made to advance education in health care and the biomedical sciences,” said Jacqueline Lee Mok, PhD, vice president for academic, faculty and student affairs. “Their long-standing commitment to excellence in education and the innovations in pedagogy they have brought to their disciplines will benefit the critical work of the academy.”
Dr. Oyajobi, a recipient of UT Health San Antonio’s Presidential Teaching Excellence Award in 2018, is the associate director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. He has served as an elected member on the board of directors for the Cancer Biology Training Consortium since 2017, and he is principal investigator on several National Institutes of Health and Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas-funded training grants. He seeks to be not only an exemplary educator, but also a role model and mentor to his trainees, particularly those from diverse backgrounds. He also serves as the founding program director of the Pre-Professional Graduate Certificate (post-baccalaureate) Program, which will launch in July 2021.
Dr. Piernik-Yoder is an occupational therapist with an emphasis in adult rehabilitation and geriatrics. She serves as chair and program director of the Department of Occupational Therapy. She also serves as chair of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Academic Education Special Interest Section, and as a member of the leadership team for the AOTA Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Institute and Mentoring Program. She achieved the AOTA distinction of Credentialed Leader in Academia in 2019. Her scholarly interests include the scholarship of teaching and learning, rehabilitation outcomes, and assessment and intervention of home safety and fall risk for seniors.
Dr. Farokhi, a recipient of the American Dental Association’s Golden Apple Award, serves as the dental director of the San Antonio Refugee Health Clinic.
She is a fellow of both the Academy of Dentistry International and the International College of Dentists, and has received the Mastership Award from the Academy of General Dentistry. She has been an advocate and mentor for dental students seeking to pursue academic careers through the American Dental Education Association Fellowship Program. Her teaching and scholarship activities are at the intersection of disease prevention, health promotion and community engagement. Her research focuses on the social determinants of health, interprofessional education, and refugee and immigrant health. In collaboration with her colleagues at UT Health San Antonio, she partners with various local organizations to address health disparities in the community.