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UTHSC professors receive Yellow Rose Award for teaching excellence
(11-14-01)

Two faculty members of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSC) are among 13 local educators honored with the 2001 Yellow Rose Award in recognition of their lifetime devotion to teaching.

Rajam S. Ramamurthy, M.D., professor of pediatrics, and Gail B. Williams, Ph.D, associate professor of nursing, received their awards during the Salute to Education event in San Antonio. Each honoree was presented a ceramic medallion, a certificate and a yellow rose.

The award, given yearly by the Constance Allen Heritage Guild for Lifetime Learning, recognizes educators from throughout the city. The guild, chartered in 1986, is a non-profit corporation organized by the past presidents of the Business and Professional Women's Club of San Antonio. Named after Constance Allen, who dedicated 63 years to education, the guild provides scholarships to assist deserving individuals in furthering their education. The governor of Texas commissioned Allen as a Yellow Rose of Texas.

Dr. Ramamurthy has been on the faculty of the Health Science Center for 24 years. She completed her residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in neonatology at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. The hospital offers one of the largest and most prestigious pediatric training programs in the country. She has pioneered efforts to teach neonatal resuscitation in San Antonio and South Texas.

Dr. Ramamurthy is the recipient of numerous teaching and community service awards, including the Health Science Center's Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching.

When she is not practicing medicine, Dr. Ramamurthy is practicing her second love — dancing. "Medicine is my life and dance is my love," she says. She is a founding member of the Arathi School of Indian Dance, the first school for Indian classical dance in San Antonio. Her involvement with the school has helped draw citywide attention to the art of Indian classical dance and has earned her recognition in the San Antonio arts community. Dr. Ramamurthy has served on the advisory board of the city's Office of Cultural Affairs and the Texas Commission on the Arts. She currently serves on the dean's advisory council for UTSA's College of Fine Arts and Humanities.

Dr. Gail Williams has been with the Health Science Center since 1991 and has more than 20 years of teaching experience. She earned her master's degree in psychiatric mental health nursing from Adelphi University Garden City in Long Island and her doctorate in nursing research from New York University. She is certified as a childbirth educator and as a perinatal nurse clinician.

Dr. Williams is active in the Planned Parenthood organization in San Antonio and South Central Texas. She believes that with the constantly changing nature of the profession of nursing, it is vital for nurses to develop critical thinking skills and to be able to evaluate and act effectively in clinical situations. She strives to instill these essential skills in her students. Dr. Williams was honored with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching last year.

Contact: Natalie Gutierrez or Will Sansom