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Teaching award given to biomedical scientist

by Pat Keefe - September 7, 2005

The first Osborn Award, a newly created honor that recognizes faculty excellence in teaching and mentoring students in the Health Center’s Ph.D. program in biomedical science, has been awarded to William Mohler, an assistant professor of genetics and developmental biology.

The award, established with funding from the UConn Foundation, is named in honor of Mary Jane Osborn, Ph.D., the former head of microbiology and a member of the National Academy of Science, who is currently a professor of molecular, microbial, and structural biology.

“Dr. Mary Jane Osborn is an extremely important figure in Ph.D. student education at the Health Center, who has influenced countless students over the years,” said Gerald Maxwell, a professor of neuroscience and associate dean of the Health Center’s graduate school. “The award underscores the importance of graduate education and the vital role classroom teaching and laboratory mentoring plays at the Health Center.”

The award-winner is chosen by a group of graduate students representing all the major Ph.D. programs. Two department chairs serve as faculty mentors for the selection process but are not voting members of the committee.

“Mary Jane Osborn continues to be an inspiration as one of the founding forces in both research and graduate education at the Health Center,” said Mohler. “It is truly an honor to receive an award in her name.”

He said the award would serve as an inspiration to him in the future.

“While it is nice to be acknowledged in this way,” he said, “I must take this award and the praise from the students who bestowed it as an advance on all of the graduate teaching I have yet to do.”

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