2017 Northup Educator of the Year - Dr. Thad Wilson, Ph.D
Dr. Wilson is a Professor of Physiology and the Physiology Lead for Biomedical Sciences at Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine. His continual presence in the educational field has not gone unnoticed, as he has helped implement curriculum changes at MUCOM and beyond, published ample physiology resources, and won teaching awards at both allopathic (Drexel University College of Medicine) and osteopathic (Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine) medical schools. We believe his genuine approach to improving students’ educational experiences perfectly exemplifies the qualities of Dr. Northup, and we believe it is well past time for Dr. Wilson to receive national recognition.
Dr. Wilson introduced us to our systems-based courses and was our first Point of Contact. He outlined the semester in detail, describing the 8 different Themes we will be concentrating on, ranging from “Obstructive & Restrictive Lung Diseases” to “Arterial Blood Pressure & Renal Diseases.” Each theme carries an intense pathophysiology focus rather than just a basic science focus, allowing future doctors to make direct connections between the physiology we read in text books to the presentations of diseases in clinic. Within each theme, Dr. Wilson presents multiple Integrated Learning Sessions (ILAs) regarding the subject matter. These ILAs consist of a 5-minute pre-quiz to assess students’ preparedness and a 5-minute post-quiz to assess students’ ability to digest the material from the roughly 2-hour interactive lecture. These ILAs have been perfected by Dr. Wilson’s, as noted by his published articles, Flipped Classroom Physiology (2015), and multiple conferences held throughout the country highlighting his teaching practices and philosophy. As students, we appreciate Dr. Wilson’s effort, ultimately making learning an active and engaging process through group and individual work.
Outside of the classroom, Dr. Wilson has opened more than just his office for students. He gave each of us his Skype name, imploring us to reach out to him when material seems too difficult. He maintains an active research program involving medical students, with several students winning research awards for projects completed in his lab. Still, his office is constantly flooded with students. Conversations include the previous lecture, academic research opportunities, and myriad other topics, both academic and non-academic. Never once has he hurried a student out of the room or welcomed anyone with anything but a smile. Rather than direct students to pages in his textbook, he chooses to simplify it himself with students in his office. His sincerity and politeness is contagious.
Dr. Thad Wilson is a true role model, both in the classroom and in the community. He cares more of his students than he does himself, and we believe he is more than deserving of this prestigious award. It is our honor to recommend Dr. Wilson for the George Northup Educator of the Year Award, and we cannot thank him enough for his service to our school.