First Sanford award goes to doctoral student
The first annual Dr. Barbara A. Sanford Memorial Teaching Award was presented to microbiology doctoral student Nathan E. Standifer.
The award was created by colleagues to honor Dr. Barbara Sanford, one of the founding faculty members in microbiology, who was present in 1968 when the doors to the Medical School first opened. Dr. Sanford died in March 2000.
The award is designed to support a deserving graduate student who demonstrates dedication to teaching in the microbiology department. Microbiology research associate Mary Alice Ramsay and faculty member Dr. Virginia Thomas used one of Ramsay's photographs of Texas Hill Country bluebonnets to create a background for the plaque.
Award winner Standifer received the plaque and a check for $500 at the end-of-semester luncheon attended by all involved in teaching the medical microbiology course.
Standifer has helped to teach microbiology at the Health Science Center since 1995, when he first assisted with a dental microbiology lab. He also has taught medical microbiology labs, small group conferences and courses in tumor immunology and autoimmunity, among other topics.
"Not only has teaching while performing my dissertation research enabled me to grow as a scientist, but it has forced me to grow as a person," Standifer said.
The course director and subdiscipline coordinators for the medical microbiology course and the chairman of the committee on graduate studies select each year's recipient. The award is based on leadership in and dedication to teaching, positive interaction with students, preparedness, thoroughness, enthusiasm, attendance and creativity.