Two UC Davis School of Medicine faculty members were recognized with the Hibbard Williams Extraordinary Achievement Award and the C. John Tupper Prize for Excellence in Teaching during the school’s commencement ceremony on May 29. The Williams Award went to Mark Mannis, professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Science, and the Tupper Prize was given to Anthony Jerant, professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine.
Named for the second dean of the medical school, the Williams Award recognizes exceptional faculty contributions beyond traditional teaching and research roles. One of the nominations for Mannis noted that he has been on the UC Davis faculty since 1980, and since then, he has held many positions in his department, and provided extensive service to the school, hospital and local community.
Mannis has chaired the department since 2003, and under his guidance, the nomination stated, the department “has risen to national and international acclaim, and he to a place on the list of top ophthalmologists and leaders in that field in the United States and abroad.”
The nomination also states that Mannis, in addition to his research and publications, and his local educational advances and accomplishments, “continues to see and care personally for many, many patients in our busy eye clinics, teach and inspire medical students, residents and fellows, mentor and sponsor young investigators and clinicians, and to lecture and see patients from all strata of society.”
Mannis’ international and charitable work also was cited in the nomination. It noted his recent term as president of the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology, and the training he provides in new and difficult ophthalmologic surgical procedures to eye surgeons in multiple countries. His work includes operating “on people who would otherwise remain blind for lack of local skill or money to pay.”
The Tupper Award, created by the founding dean of the medical school, recognizes sustained and enduring contributions to medical education. An important factor in the selection of award recipients is widespread recognition as an outstanding teacher.
The nomination for Jerant describes him as “an outstanding teacher in all regards. He is remarkably knowledgeable and skilled in all aspects of family medicine, and yet is approachable and humble. His command of literature review is impressive, but he is patient and encouraging in teaching these skills to medical students and residents.”
The nomination notes Jerant’s receipt of the Family Medicine Full Time Faculty of the Year Award for several years in a row. Despite his busy research activities and rank as a full professor, the nomination states that Jerant “takes his teaching responsibilities seriously.” It includes quotes from medical students’ evaluations of him.
One student called Jerant a “great mentor (who is) always willing to discuss medicine and future goals.
Another student said, “I was given plenty of independence, and appreciated that he gave me time to come up with a differential diagnosis.”