GUMC Faculty Honored at Annual GWIM Event

Posted in GUMC Stories

The theme of the 2012 Georgetown Women in Medicine (GWIM) annual fall awards ceremony was the recognition of female faculty who have demonstrated a devotion to the ideals of academic medicine. GWIM honored recently appointed, promoted and tenured faculty, and presented two named awards and an achievement award at its ceremony on Dec. 5.

“The recognition of these outstanding women faculty, encourages the GUMC community to pursue professional development opportunities, and provides an important benefit of creating a process through, which women can be formally recognized for their academic excellence by their local academic communities,” explained Pamela A. Saunders, PhD, associate professor for the department of neurology and psychiatry at GUMC, and co-president of GWIM.

This year’s Estelle Ramey Mentorship Award was awarded to Jane M. Fall-Dickson, PhD. The awardee is nominated annually by female faculty members, and is given to a male or female faculty member who has provided outstanding encouragement, support, and mentorship for GUMC female faculty to reach their maximum professional potential. Fall-Dickson joined the department of nursing at the School of Nursing & Health Studies in fall 2011 after having previously served as an investigator at the National Institute of Nursing Research at the National Institutes of Health. A nurse scientist, Fall-Dixon studies novel treatments for oral complications of cancer treatment and related symptoms.

Since her arrival, she has worked to catalyze research in a variety of ways, leading teams of investigators on grant development and submission, founding the department’s research task force, and serving on internal grant review committees.

This year’s recipients of the annual John Eisenberg Career Development Award were Suzanne C. O’Neill, PhD, Nazaneen Grant, MD, Rochelle E. Tractenberg, PhD, and Yumi S. Jarris, MD. This competitive award is given to four female faculty who “show the most potential for leadership.” The winners are eligible to attend the Association of American Medical College‘s Early Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar. The seminar provides an introduction to the knowledge and skills needed to follow the path to leadership in academic medicine.

The GWIM Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to two of the organization’s members — Guinevere F. Eden, PhD, and Rhonda B. Friedman, PhD. The winners were selected by their peers for “demonstrating outstanding achievement through their research, education and service,” and for contributing to the GUMC community.

Eden, an associate professor in the departments of pediatrics and neuroscience, is the director of the Center for the Study of Learning (CSL), one of only four national learning disabilities centers funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Development. Her work focuses on characterizing visual processing in individuals with and without dyslexia using fMRI and extending this approach to other sensory domains, such as sensorimotor control. One of her goals is furthering the scientific understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms of learning disabilities with particular emphasis on dyslexia.

Friedman, a professor in the department of neurology, serves as research and academic advisor at GUMC. She is the director of the Center for Aphasia Research and Rehabilitation and the cognitive neuropsychology laboratory at GUMC. Her work focuses on how language is processed in the normal brain, how language breaks down in a brain damaged by stroke, head injury, or dementia, and how the brain recovers language functions — with or without therapy — in the months and years following the injury.

Friedman is past- vice president of the university faculty senate and past- chair of the medical center caucus of the senate. She has also served as a past president of GWIM.

For over a decade, GWIM has spearheaded the professional advancement of female faculty at GUMC. Programs supported by GWIM, such as monthly meetings, women faculty retreats, and guest speaker events, provide members and guest attendees a common a community and a voice at GUMC.

By David Blanco, GUMC Communications

(Published December 14, 2012)