Thursday, May 26, 2016

USA Libraries Book Drive A Success

From left: Heather Hoven-Glass, library supervisor at the USA Biomedical Library; Andrea Wright, associate librarian at the USA Biomedical Library; and USA pediatrician Dr. Cindy Sheets.
The University of South Alabama libraries collected more than 500 books to donate to USA Children’s Medical Center, a pediatric outpatient clinic in Mobile.

The books were donated to the pediatric clinic’s Reach Out and Read Program. This non-profit organization encourages early literacy and school readiness nationwide by giving books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading.

“Multiple studies have shown that the possession of books, plus being read aloud to at an early age greatly improves a child's vocabulary and preschool readiness,” said USA pediatrician Dr. Cindy Sheets.

In addition to the Reach Out and Read guidelines of providing books to children from 2 months to 5 years of age, USA Children’s Medical Center also provides books to children at sick visits.

The book drive has been an annual event during National Library Week since 2012. “We always have great participation from departments across the university,” said Andrea Wright, information services coordinator at the USA Biomedical Library. “It was a big success.”

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Two USA College of Medicine Faculty Members Honored With Teaching Awards

Dr. Benjamin Estrada, professor of pediatrics and assistant dean for medical education at the USA College of Medicine, and Dr. T.J. Hundley, associate professor of internal medicine at USA, pose for a photo in one of USA's Active Learning Centers. USA recently hosted its Team USA Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) annual celebration of success, where both Dr. Estrada and Dr. Hundley were honored with teaching awards.
The University of South Alabama recently hosted its TeamUSA Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) annual celebration of success. Dr. Benjamin Estrada, professor of pediatrics and assistant dean for medical education at the USA College of Medicine, and Dr. T.J. Hundley, associate professor of internal medicine at the USA College of Medicine, were honored with teaching awards.

The purpose of the event is to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of faculty participating in the TeamUSA QEP. “Dr. Hundley, Dr. Estrada and I participated in South’s initial launch of the TeamUSA Quality Enhancement plan in 2012,” said Dr. Julie Estis, director of QEP and associate professor of speech-language pathology at USA. “Since then, they have been unwavering beacons for the program within their departments, leading other faculty members to implement team-based learning.”

Team-based learning (TBL) is the pedagogical focus of the university-wide QEP, aiming to improve student learning outcomes, to achieve higher levels of critical thinking and problem-solving skills, to enhance collaboration and communication and to apply course content to real-world situations.

“These universally valuable skills are especially important for medical students,” Dr. Estis said. “Physicians use these skills to provide optimal treatment for patients - working together as a team.”

Dr. Estrada received the Professional Development Fellow Award and a Certificate of Pedagogy in team-based learning. To qualify for the TeamUSA QEP Certificate of Pedagogy, recipients must complete a minimum of five QEP professional development sessions, submit at least three application activities and submit a peer-reviewed manuscript, professional conference presentation or grant proposal. “Dr. Estrada exceeds the expectations of this award and is a valuable contributor to team-based learning at USA,” Dr. Estis said. Dr. Estrada also received recognition for being a faculty development presenter and a pedagogical scholar.

Dr. Hundley received the 2016 TeamUSA QEP Educator of Distinction Award. “His vision has resulted in significant education innovations not only in the internal medicine clerkship for which he is responsible, but also across multiple courses within the four years of our undergraduate medical education curriculum,” Dr. Estrada said.

The TeamUSA QEP Educator of Distinction Award is intended to distinguish those QEP faculty members who express a commendable enthusiasm for the implementation of TBL and the impact on the quality of education it provides. “Dr. Hundley has demonstrated a conviction for the success of students and the improvement of their learning through innovative educational techniques such as team-based learning,” Dr. Estis said. “He has transcended expectations of both his colleagues and students.”

Dr. Hundley also received a Certificate in Pedagogy in team-based learning and recognition for being a faculty development presenter, a pedagogical scholar and a Professional Development Fellow.

Each university accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is required to develop and implement a QEP.

In the fall of 2012, the USA College of Medicine launched a curriculum structure designed to facilitate communication between teachers and students, enhance student engagement and collaboration, as well as incorporate appropriate teaching technology. This new structure resulted in the establishment of the Active Learning Center (ALC), which neighbors the Biomedical Library on USA’s main campus.  The space accommodates 11 teams of seven students so that every station faces a 42” touch screen monitor.

Additional ALCs have been developed at USA Medical Center and USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital to facilitate medical student education during their clerkships. This team-based learning approach allows the group members to work together by bringing their various expertise and using their collective knowledge to analyze data.

For more information on the quality enhancement plan at USA, visit

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Memorial Service to Remember Dr. Aubrey E. Taylor

The USA College of Medicine department of physiology and cell biology will hold a memorial service for Dr. Aubrey E. Taylor, former professor and chair, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 4, 2016. Dr. Taylor passed away on December 23, 2015. He was 82.

The service will be held in the first floor auditorium of the Medical Sciences building on USA’s main campus. There will be a reception to follow in the Aubrey Taylor Conference Room 3110.

Dr. Taylor was appointed professor and chair of the physiology department at USA in 1977. He was appointed the Louise Lenoir Locke Eminent Scholars Chair, Distinguished Professor of Physiology at USA in 1993. During his career, Dr. Taylor mentored 15 predoctoral graduate students and 20 postdoctoral fellows, making an impact on each one’s professional development.

Click here to view the memorial invitation.

COM Alumni to Reunite at Annual Alumni Weekend

The University of South Alabama Medical Alumni Association will host its annual Medical Alumni Weekend June 3-5, 2016, at Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, Ala. All alumni and their family members are invited to attend.

The event is a multi-day class reunion held every summer that reunites USA medical graduates on the Gulf Coast. It offers Continuing Medical Education (CME) accredited courses and an alumni dinner sponsored by the association. The classes of 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011 will be honored at this year’s event.

Due to high attendance, the room block at Perdido Beach Resort has sold out. Rooms are available at the Island House, which is located less than a mile from Perdido Beach Resort.

If an attendee requires special accommodations or dietary considerations, contact the USA Office of Medical Alumni Relations by May 27, 2016. For additional information, contact the Medical Alumni Office at (251) 460-6805 or click here.