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Tufts University School of Medicine

2020 Faculty Award Recipients

Framed awards laid out on a table
Saturday, May 16, 2020 - 4:30pm

Distinguished Career in Teaching Award

The Distinguished Career in Teaching Awards are presented with profound gratitude to faculty members in recognition of an outstanding academic career and a strong commitment to the education and mentoring of Tufts medical students. This year the Class of 2020 awarded this honor to Dr. Alvar Gustafson.

Those that had the privilege of working with Dr. Gustafson know that he was the quintessential medical educator⁠—Dr. Gustafson taught histology with extraordinary heart and humor. He truly earned this award⁠—during his 40 plus years on our faculty, Dr. Gustafson received the excellence in teaching award numerous times from our medical students as well as similar awards from dental and veterinary students. Sadly, Dr. Alvar Gustafson passed away last October.

Dr. Gustafson’s extraordinary gift for mentoring and teaching and his lasting impact on 40 years of Tufts medical students, best conveyed through the words of his former students.

“Dr. Gustafson’s enthusiasm for education and his never-ending support as a mentor was instrumental in my success as a medical student. I still remember meeting Dr. Gustafson for the first time at the MBS program orientation. I was nervous to start, but his warm demeanor and willingness to get to know each student quickly put me at ease. He truly believed in each and every one of us, and was passionate about mentorship. Throughout the program, his door was always open to students to get advice. When I saw him again as a Histology professor as a med student, I still recall his smile as I mentioned I was doing better in his course the second time around as I remembered his same jokes about burgundy wine glasses and goblet cells! I and many others would not have been able to accomplish what we have in medical school if it weren’t for Dr. Gustafson.”

“Without any headphones or ear buds, I still heard the power chords of Kenny Loggins’ “Highway to the Danger Zone” as I stroll through the doorway of the classroom in the MedEd basement. I was ready for another hour of histology with “The Goose”, better known as Professor Alvar Gustafson. I never told him about this nickname, the endearing moniker I had given to him after watching the hit 80’s Tom Cruise flick Top Gun. However, I think (or perhaps hope) that he would have enjoyed being referred to as the “Goose”. With his signature professor’s blazer and tie, clicker in hand, the dapper Dr. Gustafson brought humor to learning, a clear reflection of both his passion for histology and the students he taught.”

“When I first met Dr. Gustafson, his down to earth, kind nature was undeniable. He was passionate about histology and both an engaging and gifted educator. I remember at one point being convinced of the beauty of histological slides and actually considered decorating my apartment with prints of lung tissue! While I ended up with bare walls, Dr. Gustafson inspired me to teach a summer course in histology where I tried to share his knowledge and personify his passion for the subject. Though I couldn’t live up to his legacy, Dr. Gustafson has and will continue to inspire me."

“Dr. Gustafson was one of the kindest professors that I've met at Tufts. He was very encouraging and supportive throughout my journey in the MBS program and in my application to medical school. Dr. Gustafson has truly been a great mentor to me and played a huge role in my success.”

“Dr. Gustafson treated medical students like family - his office door always open to talk about school and general life events, and always asking what he could do to make our experiences better. In the classroom, he always had a smile in his face and a story to share. It was clear that he was filled with joy whenever he was surrounded by students, passing on his knowledge not only for histology, but for life as a whole. Dr. Gustafson’s jovial spirit, warm demeanor and kindness are greatly missed.”

Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Awards Presented by The Arnold P. Gold Foundation

This award is presented to the faculty member who best exemplify the Foundation’s ideals of outstanding compassion in the delivery of care, respect for patients, families, and healthcare colleagues, and who demonstrate clinical excellence.

  • Dustin Patil, M.D.

Dean’s Outstanding Mentor Award

This award was established in 2004 by Dean Michael Rosenblatt. It is presented to a medical school faculty member in recognition of exceptional mentoring of medical students and for outstanding leadership.

  • Lilian Chen, M.D.

Dr. Jack Mitus Special Faculty Recognition Award

This award was established in 1981 by the senior class of Tufts University School of Medicine. In 2008, in collaboration with the friends and family of Dr. Jack Mitus, Tufts renamed the endowed Special Faculty Recognition Award in honor of Dr. Mitus’ legacy of outstanding teaching. This award commends one faculty member who has demonstrated an exceptional dedication to teaching, a commitment to academic scholarship, and a concern for the general well-being of medical students.

  • Robert L. Trowbridge, M.D.

Outstanding Teaching in the Clerkship Years

  • Dena Lynn Whitesell, M.D.

Outstanding Teaching in the Pre-Clerkship Years

  • Jeffrey K. Marchant, Ph.D.

Faculty Awards for Excellence in Teaching

  • Paul N. Abourjaily, Pharm.D.
  • Laura Baecher-Lind, M.D., M.P.H.
  • James M. Bartz, M.D.
  • Laurence H. Brinckerhoff, M.D.
  • John J. Castellot, Ph.D.
  • Frank Chessa, Ph.D.
  • Scott J. Gilbert, M.D.
  • Angela L. Jellison, M.D.
  • Henry Klapholz, M.D., M.E.E.
  • Ingrid A. Liff, M.D.
  • Rebecca S. Lufler, Ph.D.
  • Taylor H. Monica, M.D., M09
  • Peter E. Paull, M.D.
  • Arthur R. Rabson, M.D.
  • Beverly S. Rubin, Ph.D.
  • Laura Kate Snydman, M.D., M04
  • Monica Thim, D.O.
  • Robert F. Willson, Ph.D.

Housestaff/Fellow Awards for Excellence in Teaching

  • Kevin F. Baier, M.D., M15
  • Lauren N. Boehm, M.D., M19
  • Yazan Daaboul, M.D.
  • Hoshang Farhad, M.D.
  • Augustus M. Gleason, M.D., M17
  • Jean Chavez Hostage, M.D.
  • India I. Pappas, M.D., M17
  • Andrew B. Servais, M.D., M13
  • Michael L. Talanian, M.D.
  • James T. Trussler, M.D