News From The Colleges
NYU College of Dentistry’s Academy of Distinguished Educators Inducts Inaugural Members

NYU President John Sexton

From left: Dr. Vernillo, Dr. Robbins, Dr. Spielman, Dr. Moghadam, Dr. Lipp, Dr. Dasanayake, Mr. William Eidtson, Director, Faculty/Staff Development Center, Mr. Eric Baker.

NYU President John Sexton is Keynote Speaker

The NYU Academy of Distinguished Educators at the College of Dentistry inducted its inaugural members at a ceremony held at the College on May 3, 2010. Dean Bertolami, who provided the impetus for the creation of the Academy, explained that "The Academy is a collective of highly qualified NYUCD faculty who share a commitment to improving the overall level of teaching at NYUCD via educational research, pedagogical practice, development of learning materials, and educational mentorship. Although excellence in teaching is indisputably central to the mission of educating tomorrow's healthcare providers across disciplines, it is often undervalued and under-supported. The Academy is designed to change that."

A highlight of the event was the participation of NYU President John Sexton, who presented keynote remarks and formally inducted the inaugural members.

"Whenever I have to fill out a form identifying my profession," said President Sexton, "I never write 'university president,' I always write 'teacher.' That's what I was put on this earth to be and that's why I am so enthusiastic about and inspired by Charles's decision to create the College's Academy of Distinguished Educators. As a youngster at Brooklyn Prep in 1955, I was privileged to encounter a teacher who enabled me to recognize my destiny, a mystical man who instilled in me an openness to "the other," a yearning to understand and be curious about experiences I hadn't yet had, to encounter the world and learn from it. The educators whom we induct into the Academy this afternoon exemplify that person's understanding of teaching as the most thrilling and satisfying calling one can have. I am honored and privileged to officially induct them as the first members of the NYU College of Dentistry's Academy of Distinguished Educators."

The NYUCD Academy of Distinguished Educators inaugural inductees:

  • Eric Baker
    (Basic Science & Craniofacial Biology)
  • Ananda Dasanayake
    (Epidemiology & Health Promotion)
  • Mitchell Lipp
  • Marjan Moghadam
  • Miriam Robbins
    (Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology & Medicine)
  • Anthony Vernillo
    (Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology & Medicine)

Each inductee received a certificate of membership and a specially crafted pin. The conceptual foundation for the Academy was laid by Dr. Andrew I. Spielman, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who, working with a leadership committee of faculty members known for their insight, wisdom, expertise as teachers, and commitment to the College, provided the intellectual framework and bylaws needed to launch the Academy.

Dr. Spielman noted that "With its focus on championing the central role of teachers in facilitating innovation in teaching, conducting research, and creating an environment that enhances the status of health professions educators, the Academy will function as a unique think tank, one that will redefine our understanding of health professions educators."