DPM Faculty Members Recognized by Harvard Medical School for Excellence in Mentoring
Congratulations to Assistant Professor Izzuddin Aris, PhD and Associate Professor Anita Wagner, PharmD, MPH, DrPH, recipients of two Excellence in Mentoring Awards from Harvard Medical School. The Excellence in Mentoring Awards were established to recognize the value of quality mentoring relationships and the impact they have on professional development and career advancement in basic/clinical medicine, research, teaching, and administration.
A. Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award:
Anita Wagner, PharmD, MPH, DrPH
The first Excellence in Mentoring Award was established in 1995 and in 1997, was renamed to honor
the memory of Dr. A. Clifford Barger who, among other things, devoted his career to bringing out the best in those who studied, trained, and worked at Harvard Medical School. Those nominated and chosen for this award embody his mentoring spirit and exhibit a longstanding record of mentorship leaving lasting impressions on generations of mentees. Anita Wagner is a recipient of this year’s award. As co-director of the Fellowship in Health Policy and Insurance Research since 2005, Dr. Wagner has long mentored fellows locally and internationally to generate evidence for policy decision-making. She says she is “humbled, honored, and grateful to be recognized in the name of Dr. Barger for the for the part of my work I treasure most.”
[Mentoring] allows me to seek to listen carefully, create space for trustworthy relationships, and learn, grow, and strive, together with caring individuals, to make the world a better place.
While she enjoys all aspects of her work – mentoring, research, and service – Dr. Wagner finds that paying forward lessons she’s learned from her esteemed mentors via mentoring fellows and junior colleagues is the most rewarding. “Striving to be helpful on the professional and personal journeys of the dedicated, thoughtful, caring mentees I am fortunate to collaborate with is the most meaningful and rewarding aspect of my work,” she notes. “It allows me to seek to listen carefully, create space for trustworthy relationships, and learn, grow, and strive, together with caring individuals, to make the world a better place. This, is, from my perspective, at the essence of life.”
Young Mentor Award: Izzuddin Aris, PhD
Awarded to early-stage faculty members, the Young Mentor Award recognizes faculty who provide consistent, high-quality mentoring. Candidates for the award are nominated by mentees, leading to a pleasant surprise for Dr. Aris when he learned of his nomination and award. “It was completely unexpected and a nice surprise!” he said. “It feels great to know how much my mentees appreciate me to nominate me for the award. I feel blessed and grateful to be working with such great mentees and have wonderful mentors who guide me as well.”
Dr. Aris works with Emily Oken on research projects focused on identifying trajectory patterns and characteristics and their relationships with subsequent health and cardio-metabolic outcomes in the Project Viva cohort. He also co-leads the Clinical Epidemiology and Population Health course, a core component of the HMS Pathways curriculum, with Laura Garabedian and Jason Block. Dr. Aris also lectures at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health on the topic of obesity epidemiology, and has mentored PhD students and taught several of his peers.
I view mentoring as a two-way street – I’ve learned just as much from my mentees on how to be a better mentor, as they have learned from the knowledge and expertise I’ve shared with them.
What inspires this ethic of mentoring in Dr. Aris? He cites the strong tradition in both CoRAL and DPM to continuously provide outstanding mentorship to support professional and personal development at all stages of career development as a key driver for his striving for excellence as a mentor. “I view mentoring as a two-way street – I’ve learned just as much from my mentees on how to be a better mentor, as they have learned from the knowledge and expertise I’ve shared with them,” he says.
Award recipients will be honored in a ceremony on Thursday, September 15 from 4:00pm – 6:00pm. Details can be found online here.