College of Medicine – Tucson Faculty and Departments Honored with Awards

March 8, 2023
Faculty Awards

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson presented the winners of the Faculty Awards at a ceremony on March 2. The ceremony continues the college’s commitment to recognize and honor outstanding service in clinical care; diversity, equity and inclusion; research; and graduate medical education.

Faculty members were asked to nominate peers with a letter of support describing how the nominee’s contributions demonstrated excellence in one of the mission areas. Several committees, including the Faculty Diversity Advisory Committee, members of the Dean’s Research Council, past residency program directors and a clinical faculty panel, reviewed the nominations and selected the winners.

Excellence Awards

Allie Min, MD, associate dean for career development, presented the Faculty Excellence Awards, which recognize exceptional faculty members in the College’s mission areas. They are voted on by faculty selection committees. 

Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Awards

Diversity Equity and Inclusion Excellence Awards honor the contributions of faculty members to advance diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI, at the college. 


  • Noshene Ranjbar, MD, Psychiatry
  • Wendy Parent-Johnson, PhD, Family and Community Medicine
  • The Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities

Clinical Excellence Awards

Clinical Excellence Awards recognize physician faculty members at the assistant or associate professor level for outstanding clinical care. 


Stephanie Schock, MD, Anesthesiology

  • Vijay Chandiramani, MD, Medicine
  • Stephanie Schock, MD, Anesthesiology

Graduate Medical Education Excellence Awards

Graduate Medical Education Excellence Awards recognize faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding effort in advancing the educational quality of residents and fellows.


  • Bujji Ainapurapu, MD, Medicine
  • Olivia Hung, MD, PhD, Medicine

Research Excellence Awards

Research Excellence Awards recognize faculty investigators at the assistant or associate professor level who have demonstrated outstanding research efforts and advancement of science. 


Clinical Investigator Award

  • Alicia Allen, PhD, MPH, Family and Community Medicine (not pictured)

Basic and Translational Investigator Award

  • Torsten Falk, PhD, Neurology

Mentoring Awards

Erika Bracamonte, MD, chair of the Dean’s Council on Faculty Affairs and vice chair of Anatomic Pathology, presented the Faculty Mentoring Awards, which recognize the importance of mentorship for the success of the faculty at the College of Medicine – Tucson. Awardees are nominated by their peers and are selected for their ability to share time and be accessible to mentees, expand their mentees’ networks and professional connections, and serve as a role model for colleagues by maintaining high standards for excellence in their own discipline. 


  • Mindy Fain, MD, Medicine
  • Indu Partha, MD, Medicine
  • Jarrod Mosier, MD, Emergency Medicine
  • Louis Magnotti, MD, MS, Surgery
  • Ralph Fregosi, PhD, Physiology
  • Sarah Tariq, MD, Medicine
  • Tejo Vemulapalli, MD, Medicine (not pictured)

AMES Awards 

Tejal Parikh, MD, associate dean of admissions, presented the AMES Awards. The Academy of Medical Education Scholars (AMES) provides mentorship and support for outstanding educators, and promotes excellence in teaching and educational scholarship at all College of Medicine – Tucson teaching sites. 

Vernon and Virginia Furrow Awards

The Vernon and Virginia Furrow Excellence in Teaching Awards recognize outstanding achievements in education at the College of Medicine – Tucson.


Excellence in Basic Science Teaching, Undergraduate Medical Curriculum

  • Gayatri Vedantam, PhD, School of Animal & Comparative Biomedical Sciences, CALS

Excellence in Clinical Science Teaching, Undergraduate Medical Curriculum

  • Micah Etter, MD, Neurology

Excellence in Graduate Medical Education

  • Richard Amini, MD, Emergency Medicine

Excellence in Innovation in Medical Education

  • Rebecca Thiede, MD, Medicine

AMES Awards

The AMES Awards recognize outstanding achievements in education by early career faculty.

James Proffitt, PhD, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Salma Patel, MD, MPH, Medicine

Excellence in Basic Science Teaching

  • James Proffitt, PhD, Cellular and Molecular Medicine

Excellence in Clinical Science Teaching of Medical Students and or Residents

  • Salma Patel, MD, MPH Medicine

Faculty Teaching Awards

Anna Landau, MD, MPH, director of the CUP Program and the Rural Health Professions Program, presented the CUP Awards and the RHPP Awards.

CUP Awards

CUP Awards recognize outstanding service and teaching in the student CUP Clinics. The Commitment to Underserved People (CUP) Program is a student-developed and student-directed co-curricular program that provides students with clinical and teaching opportunities working with medically underserved and resource-poor populations.


CUP Award for Outstanding Service and Dedication to the CUP Clinics & Community Engagement

  • Patricia Lebensohn, MD, Family and Community Medicine

CUP Faculty Teaching Award

  • Eric Brucks, MD, Medicine

Rural Health Professions Program (RHPP) Faculty Teaching Awards

Dr. Landau also presented the RHPP Faculty Teaching Awards in recognition of excellence in preceptor physicians who have trained medical students during clerkship rotations as part of the Rural Health Professions Program. 


  • Cristian Laguillo, MD (Douglas), Family and Community Medicine
  • Janelle Lee, MD (Safford), Family and Community Medicine (not pictured)
  • Donald Smith, MD (Green Valley), Family and Community Medicine (not pictured)
  • Sean Smithson, MD (Show Low), Family and Community Medicine (not pictured)

Kevin Moynahan, MD, vice dean of education, presented the Faculty Teaching Awards, student-nominated awards that recognize faculty members for teaching excellence and their ability to encourage intellectual excitement, inspire the discovery of knowledge, and foster critical inquiry in the classroom or laboratory. 

Recognizing Outstanding Service Pre-Clerkship


Outstanding Teacher in a Block/Course

  • Erika Bracamonte, MD, Pathology

Outstanding Achievement in Teaching by a Block/Course

  • Cardio, Renal, and Pulmonary Block, accepted by John Bloom, MD 

Outstanding Use of Educational Technology (Pre-clerkship)

  • Dale Woolridge, MD, PhD, Emergency Medicine

Outstanding Administrative Support Staff (Pre-clerkship)

  • Selma Ajanovic, MBA, Student Affairs

Commitment to Quality Feedback

  • Amy Sussman, MD, Medicine

Recognizing Excellence in Professionalism


Basic Sciences Faculty

  • James Proffitt, PhD, Cellular and Molecular Medicine

Medical Student, Class of 2024

  • Oluwatobi Odeneye

Medical Student, Class of 2025

  • Davina Dobbins

Staff (Pre-clerkship)

  • Justin Darling, Curricular Affairs

Staff (Clerkship)

  • Selma Ajanovic, MBA, Student Affairs

Clinical Instructor, Resident or Fellow Educator: 

  • Amy Sussman, MD, Medicine
  • Dawn Martin-Herring, MD, MPH, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Recognizing Outstanding Service During Clerkship


Outstanding Clinical Instructor in a Clerkship

  • Kareem Shehab, MD, Pediatrics
  • Amy Sussman, MD, Medicine

Outstanding Achievement in Teaching by a Clerkship

  • Department of Medicine

Outstanding Administrative Support Staff (Clerkship)

  • Julie Tary, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Resident/Fellow Educator of the Year


  • Meredith Whittaker, MD, Surgery
  • Muhammad Makkieh, DO, Neurology

Specialty Advisor Awards

Richard Amini, MD, associate dean of student affairs, presented the Specialty Advisor Award, recognizing faculty who have given of their time and effort guiding fourth-year medical students through the specialty selection and residency application process.



  • Allison Thoeny, MD
  • Jerry McCoy, MD, PhD
  • Kristin Swenson, DO


  • Rebecca Thiede, MD

Emergency Medicine

  • Christopher Williams, MD
  • Elaine Situ-LaCasse, MD
  • Hans Bradshaw, MD
  • Nicholas Stea, MD
  • Noah Tolby, MD
  • Richard Amini, MD
  • Vivienne Ng, MD, MPH

Family & Community Medicine

  • Anna Landau, MD, MPH
  • Karyn Kolman, MD
  • Nicole Person-Rennell, MD, MPH
  • Paola Casillas, MD
  • Sommer Aldulaimi, MD
  • Violet Siwik, MD

General Surgery

  • Lourdes Castañón, MD
  • Michael Ditillo, DO
  • Stephanie Worrell, MD
  • Tanya Anand, MD, MPH

Internal Medicine

  • Amy Sussman, MD
  • George Fantry, MD
  • Tara Carr, MD


  • G. Alex Hishaw, MD
  • David Labiner, MD
  • Holli Horak, MD
  • Micah Etter, MD
  • Muhammad Khan, MD


  • Michael Avery, MD
  • Travis Dumont, MD

Obstetrics & Gynecology

  • Amy Mitchell, MD
  • Celia Valenzuela, MD
  • Heather Reed, MD
  • Michelle Abbate, MD
  • Rachel Darché, MD
  • Steven Dudick, MD

Ophthalmology & Vision Science

  • Roy Swanson, MD
  • Todd Altenbernd, MD

Orthopaedic Surgery

  • Brad Askam, MD
  • Gregory DeSilva, MD
  • Travis Hughes, MD


  • Audrey Baker, MD
  • Shethal Bearelly, MD


  • Demaretta Rush, MD


  • Conrad Clemens, MD, MPH
  • Kareem Shehab, MD
  • Katie Kowalek, MD
  • Rachel Cramton, MD

Plastic Surgery

  • Aaron Mason, MD


  • Brittany Pace, MD
  • Derek Paul, MD
  • Jason Curry, DO
  • Kathy Smith, MD
  • Saira Kalia, MD
  • Terry Platto, MD

Radiation Oncology

  • Christopher Morrison, MD
  • Jared Robbins, MD

Radiology – Diagnostic

  • Christopher Miller, MD, MS
  • Dorothy Gilbertson-Dahdal, MD
  • Tyson Chadaz, MD

Radiology - Interventional

  • Gregory Woodhead, MD, PhD
  • Jack Hannallah, MD


  • Christian Twiss, MD, MPH, MBA
  • David Tzou, MD
  • Joel Funk, MD
  • Sunchin Kim, MD

Vascular Surgery

  • Kay Goshima, MD
  • Wei Zhou, MD

COM-T Alumni Recognized for Advising Medical Students in the Field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

  • Nitin Prabhakar, MD
  • Touré Barksdale, MD
  • Zachary Bailowitz, MD