UA College of Medicine's Jack Nolte Receives AAMC Distinguished Teacher Award

..one of four medical school faculty members in the U.S. and Canada recognized by the (AAMC)

John “Jack” Nolte, PhD, professor of cell biology and anatomy at The University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson, is one of four medical school faculty members in the United States and Canada recognized by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) for their efforts to give the next generation of physicians an exceptional educational experience. He was presented with an Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award during the AAMC meeting Nov. 3 in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Nolte received a $10,000 grant for educational research and development activities, and the UA College of Medicine will receive $2,500 for teaching activities. In addition, the College’s AOA chapter will receive a stipend of $1,000 toward its activities.

“The importance of this award to the College of Medicine cannot be emphasized strongly enough. It represents national acclaim and acknowledgement for what we all know locally – that we have a spectacular, dedicated and creative faculty who are dedicated to teaching. One of our very best – Jack Nolte – now carries the torch nationally for all those involved in our superb medical student teaching programs,” says Keith A. Joiner, MD, MPH, vice provost for medical affairs and dean of the UA College of Medicine.

A faculty member at the UA College of Medicine since 1990, Dr. Nolte was director of the Human Neuroscience course, which UA students routinely gave the highest rating of all basic science courses in the curriculum. He now directs the Nervous System block of the College of Medicine’s new curriculum; the block is the most highly rated block in the first year of the new medical curriculum.

He has received numerous UA awards for his innovative teaching, including Excellence in Innovation in Teaching (1992, 2006), Excellence in Basic Science Teaching for Medical Students (1999, 2002), Basic Sciences Educator of the Year (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000), and has been recognized as Basic Science Educator of the Year by the graduating classes of 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2007.

Dr. Nolte was instrumental in developing the UA College of Medicine’s Learning Resource Center for computer-based instruction and small-group teaching of basic science knowledge and clinical skills. For 12 years he directed the Division of Academic Resources, which worked with faculty and students to evaluate and enhance the College’s educational programs and which administered the student laboratory wing of the Basic Sciences building. He also developed the Deans’ Teaching Scholars program to recognize and enhance teaching skills at the Arizona Health Sciences Center; faculty selected for the program participated in seminars, workshops and development projects dealing with educational issues.

He is the author of two texts that are used widely in medical and other health sciences schools around the world. “The Human Brain: An Introduction to Its Functional Anatomy” first appeared more than 25 years ago, and a sixth edition will be published in 2008. He also is co-author (with Jay B. Angevine, PhD, UA professor emeritus of anatomy) of “The Human Brain in Photographs and Diagrams;” the third edition of this work was published earlier this year. Dr. Nolte also recently authored “Elsevier’s Integrated Neuroscience,” one volume in a comprehensive series that covers the basic medical curriculum. He also is involved in the design and production of instructional multimedia and software packages dealing with human neuroscience, one of which includes “Stalking the Wild Asparagyrus: An Interactive Neuroscience Syllabus,” an extensive online syllabus for learning neuroscience that contains quizzes for students’ self-assessment.

Dr. Nolte received his bachelor of science degree from Providence College in Rhode Island in 1966 and his doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1971. Following postdoctoral work at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, he joined the faculty there in 1972 and was named the first University of Colorado President’s Teaching Scholar from the School of Medicine.

Established by the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society in 1988, the AOA Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award provides national recognition to faculty members who have distinguished themselves in medical student education. The award is named for long-time AOA executive secretary Robert J. Glaser, MD. Each medical school dean in the United States and Canada may nominate one faculty member. As many as four awards are granted each year to recipients selected by members of a committee appointed jointly by the AOA and the AAMC.

More information about the AOA Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award and Dr. Nolte is available on the Web site http://www.aamc.org/newsroom/awards/nolte.htm.