Two faculty members honored with 2019 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award

Two distinguished members of the faculty at UT Health San Antonio have been selected to receive the 2019 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award from The University of Texas System.

Michaell A. Huber, D.D.S., professor in the Department of Comprehensive Dentistry, and Eileen M. Lafer, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Structural Biology, were honored with the award.

Overall, the System named 27 faculty members from UT’s 14 academic and health institutions to receive the teaching award. They each will receive $25,000 in recognition of their commitment to student success.

Over the past 11 years, regents have awarded $20 million to more than 700 UT educators for delivering the highest quality of instruction in the classroom, lab, field and online.

“This distinguished honor is awarded only to a few who inspire their students by their extraordinary teaching expertise, mentoring and personal commitment,” UT Health San Antonio President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, said in congratulating Drs. Huber and Lafer. “As a result, your students flourish with success, which reflects the honored traits you have used to set them on their professional path.”

Eileen M. Lafer, Ph.D.

Dr. Lafer said she was honored to have her teaching recognized by the UT System.

“I am especially proud of my work introducing therapeutic nutrition into the medical curriculum,” she said. “I hope that our students will carry what we teach them about nutrition and use it to educate their patients about how to improve their health and quality of life through healthier eating habits. I am convinced that such education about lifestyle has the greatest potential to improve health in our country in the 21st century.”

Michaell A. Huber, D.D.S.

Dr. Huber said he was “extremely surprised and humbled by the award. It represents and is an acknowledgment of all the hard work done by all of my great colleagues in the School of Dentistry. Dental education is a team sport.”

Nominees undergo a series of rigorous evaluations by students, peer faculty and external reviewers. The review panels consider a range of activities and criteria in their evaluations of a candidate’s teaching performance, including classroom expertise, curricula quality, innovative course development and student learning outcomes.

“These educators are dedicated to continually looking for new and better ways to inspire students to learn and succeed,” Board of Regents Chairman Kevin Eltife said. “And they’re ensuring the next generation, whether they be teachers, scientists or health care providers, is armed with passion and knowledge. Their contributions are immeasurable.”

Recipients of the 2019 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards will be recognized Aug. 14 at a reception held in conjunction with the Board of Regents meeting in Austin.



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