Distinguished Service Award 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The UA College of Medicine awarded Associate Professor Paul St. John, PhD, the Distinguished Service Award during the inaugural reception to honor all faculty that serve on committees within the College of Medicine.

Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs Anne Wright, PhD, said that after many years of having countless faculty members participating on College of Medicine committees, the Offices of Faculty Affairs and Special Events were able to recognize all committee members at Hacienda del Sol on Friday, June 24.

She said that roughly 150 faculty members currently serve on standing or permanent committees.

“In the past, a few of the most time-intensive committees would go out to dinner with the dean,” she explained. “What we realized is that a lot of people are working hard on committees and we wanted to recognize everybody.”

In preparation for the reception, the associate and deputy deans discussed recognizing one member of the faculty for their committee service.

All committees underwent a great deal of reconstruction this year. First, “the committees had been completely revamped because of the evolving relationship between the Tucson and Phoenix campuses of the College of Medicine,” Dr. Wright said.

In order to sort out the appropriate structure for common and separate committees, a “Committee of Committees” was created.

“That [committee] consisted of a couple of administrators and Paul St. John. He helped us to figure out the appropriate structures, depending on when a committee should be joint and when separate.”

Dr. St. John also “stepped up” to determine which slots of the different committees needed to be filled, and what prerequisites existed for service on those committees.

Dr. Wright explained further that when selecting a faculty member to receive the award, the obvious choice was Dr. St. John.

“It became evident as we were thinking about recognizing service on these committees that there was one person going above and beyond who was willing to provide service however it was needed, with regard to the committees,” she said.

“Even though his name didn’t appear on many of the committees, he was involved in them. We really wanted to recognize that extra service.”

Dr. St. John was given a plaque made of glass with his name, the award title and the date etched into it.  Dr. Wright said he was completely surprised. 

“He was really happy and I think very surprised. Nobody even knew we would be presenting an award,” she said.

Dr. Wright spoke about Dr. St. John’s character and said, “He’s very thoughtful and has a broad perspective on the College of Medicine and how different parts of it function. He’s very committed to education—that’s his passion.  He’s very involved with students and education policy. He’s a great person to work with.”

She said that the reception was lovely and a lot of fun for those who attended. Dr. Wright added that the food and live music played by Dean Goldschmid’s son, Max, and one of his bands, were great.

The Offices of Faculty Affairs and Special Events plan to make the reception an annual tradition, which will include the announcement of the next recipient of the Distinguished Service Award.