June 15, 2015
Dr. Darren Cox, associate professor of pathology and medicine in the department of dental practice, received the Pacific Dental Helix Innovation Award in recognition of his leadership and involvement in interprofessional education at University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry.
The fifth-annual award was presented at the school's Faculty Development Day held on June 9, 2015.
Based on accomplishments during the 2014-2015 academic year, faculty members were invited to nominate themselves or their colleagues for innovative projects that have helped define new standards of learning at the dental school. Six nominations of individuals and teams were received this year, reflecting a wide variety of innovative teaching and learning approaches being tested or implemented at Pacific Dugoni.
At Faculty Development Day, three finalists selected by the awards committee presented their projects (finalists pictured below at right with Dr. Nadershahi). Faculty members voted to select the winner at the end of the presentations.
Dr. Cox's first-place presentation covered the design and implementation of interprofessional education (IPE) initiatives into Pacific Dugoni's three-year curriculum. He shared work of the school's IPE committee and gave examples of IPE in action, including Pacific's dental and pharmacy students who recently collaborated on patient cases through simulation/pre-clinical projects. He received a trophy and $1,000 prize to be used within his department toward further learning enhancements.
Finalist Dr. Anna Arias presented on the topic of "Educational Outcomes of Small Group Discussion versus Traditional Lecture Format in Learning and Skills Acquisition" using research from recent endodontics courses.
Finalist Dr. Andrew Young presented recent work on implementing "evidence-based dentistry" through the use of online modules to support how students critically evaluate literature.
"We were pleased to receive so many faculty submissions that demonstrated innovative approaches to teaching and learning," said Dr. Nader Nadershahi, executive association dean and associate dean for academic affairs, and a member of the Helix Innovation Award committee. "Our core value of Innovation is alive and well within our curriculum. Thank you to all faculty members who submitted a project this year. This work will help us continue to define new standards in dental education."