Susan Mulroney Honored by National Organization with Educator of the Year Award

Posted in GUMC Stories

APRIL 1, 2015 — The American Physiological Society, a century-old organization dedicated to supporting physiological research and education, has selected Susan Mulroney, PhD (new window), as its 2015 Arthur C. Guyton Educator of the Year.

Mulroney is a professor in Georgetown University Medical Center’s Department of Pharmacology and Physiology (new window) and is director of the Special Master’s Program in physiology (new window). She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses at Georgetown for more than 20 years.

The Guyton Educator of the Year recognizes members who “demonstrate excellence in classroom teaching over a number of years at the undergraduate, graduate, or professional levels; commitment to the improvement of physiology teaching within the candidate’s own institution; and contributions to physiology education at the local community, national or international levels.”

“It’s a true honor to receive the Guyton Award, because it recognizes the impact the person has in education on a national level,” Mulroney says. “Importantly, it takes into account not only the student evaluations, but what the physiologist has been able to accomplish in advancing the teaching of physiology as judged by their peers.” 

The award was presented at the organization’s business meeting on March 31.

Mulroney is the recipient of numerous other teaching awards including the Kaiser Permanente Award for Excellence in Basic Science Teaching and five Golden Apple Awards at Georgetown. In 2013, she was inducted into Georgetown’s MAGIS Society for Master Teachers.   

“I love seeing students become engaged in material that they didn’t think would be interesting,” Mulroney says. “And then they come up with question after question about things they always wanted to know. Physiology rocks!”

Adam Myers, PhD (new window), Mulroney’s colleague, nominated her for the award, which included letters of support from Mulroney’s peers and fellow Georgetown alumni. Mulroney received her PhD in Physiology with distinction from Georgetown University in 1990.

“This award is highly competitive,” says Myers. “That Sue was selected the very first time she was nominated speaks to her strength as an educator.”

Myers explains that Mulroney’s contribution to physiology education outside Georgetown likely impressed the award committee. “Winners of the prize are expected to be national figures in physiology education, which Sue is,” Myers adds. He also pointed to Mulroney’s strong involvement in curriculum development, advising and mentoring, and educational research and leadership at Georgetown as important factors in her selection.

“I can’t believe the great support I received from tremendously busy colleagues, and can’t thank them enough for their efforts,” Mulroney adds.

In addition to her teaching prowess, Mulroney is an accomplished researcher with expertise in sex differences in diabetic renal disease, genetic expression of growth factors in renal development, and mechanisms of acupuncture action in chronic stress. She is the co-author with Myers of the textbook Netter’s Essential Physiology in four languages (second edition is in press), and co-author with Myers of Netter’s Essential Physiology Flash Cards (second edition is in press). Mulroney is a past president of the Society for Experimental Biology & Medicine.

By Karen Teber
GUMC Communications