Top teacher

For Mary Ellen Young, Ph.D., a clinical associate professor of behavioral science and community health in the College of Public Health and Health Professions, reaching students has always been about more than simply teaching them. Back when she joined the Peace Corps and traveled to Thailand, she realized it would take more than spelling tests and homework to get through the language barrier to her students. “I relied on my desire to get to know them as people, to make a difference in their lives, and to prepare them for their challenges ahead as teaching professionals,” she said. This year, her student-centered approach to teaching was recognized when she was named the College of Public Health and Health Professions’ Teacher of the Year. Motivating students to continue their education and contribute to society is a priority for Young. “I’m a counselor by training, so I want an environment where students feel comfortable talking to me about things that impact their learning and lives,” she said.


Mobeen H. Rathore, M.B.B.S. (M.D.), a professor and associate chair of pediatrics, was installed as president of the Florida Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics/Florida Pediatric Society during the chapter’s annual meeting in June. Rathore, who also serves as division chief of pediatric infectious diseases and immunology, will serve a two-year term. He was president-elect from 2010-12.

Phyllis L. Hendry, M.D., an associate professor of emergency medicine, was recently appointed to the state Emergency Medical Review Committee. Hendry is one of six new members on the committee, which analyzes Florida Emergency Medical Services data to help improve the quality of care and response across the state and country. Committee members are appointed by the Florida Department of Health. Hendry, also an assistant chair of emergency medicine research, was nominated for the post by the Florida EMS for Children Advisory Council.

College of Medicine

Johannes Vieweg, M.D., chair of the department of urology and the Wayne and Marti Huizenga Eminent Scholar chair in urology research, recently became a member of the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons. Vieweg is only the second UF urologist to be named a member of the prestigious organization, which has only 75 active members at a time.

Kirstan K. Meldrum, M.D., joined the department of urology as chief of pediatric urology. Meldrum’s arrival provides the community with comprehensive urological care, a medical specialty previous unavailable in North Central Florida. Pediatric urologists care for patients with abnormalities of the genitalia and urinary tract, treating conditions such as urinary reflux and bladder abnormalities. Her arrival expand UF’s nationally recognized urology program, which is ranked 20th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Melvin L. Rubin, M.D., M.S.c, a professor and chair emeritus of ophthalmology, has received the University of California San Francisco’s 2012 Alumnus of the Year Award. The award is the highest honor presented by the UCSF School of Medicine Medical Alumni Association. Rubin was selected for the honor based on his history of accomplishments and service to ophthalmology. Rubin’s areas of special interest include retinal diseases, optics and refraction, and he has published more than 100 articles and seven books related to the eye. “I had absolutely no idea they would select me,” Rubin said. “UCSF produces hundreds who are immensely qualified for this award.” He graduated from the UCSF School of Medicine in 1957.

College of Nursing

Andrea Gregg, D.S.N., R.N., director of the college’s Jacksonville campus, was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Nurses Association at its June biennial meeting. The association is the only full-service professional organization representing the interests of the nation’s 3.1 million registered nurses through its constituent and state nurses’ associations and its organizational affiliates. Gregg, who has practiced as a registered nurse for more than 40 years both in clinical and administrative roles, has served as president and board member of the Florida Nurses Association and has sat on the boards of the Florida Nurses Foundation and the Florida League for Nursing.

College of Veterinary Medicine

Jeffrey Abbott, D.V.M., Ph.D., an assistant professor of anatomical pathology in the department of infectious diseases and pathology, was recently named the College of Veterinary Medicine’s 2012 College Council Teacher of the Year. He was chosen based on criteria of fairness, enthusiasm, interest in student welfare and knowledge of the subject matter. He received $2,000 and a plaque.

Distinguished distinctions

Jay Coisman, D.V.M. (left) and Kevin Drygas, D.V.M. (right)

Jay Coisman, D.V.M., Kevin Drygas, D.V.M., Colin Burrows, B.Vet. Med., Ph.D., and the late Kevin Anderson, Ph.D., were named the College of Veterinary Medicine’s 2012 Distinguished Award winners. Coisman, a 2004 graduate of the college and a captain in the U.S. Army, received the Alumni Achievement Award. He currently is a small animal surgery resident at the college. Drygas, a 2006 graduate of the college, received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award. A board-certified veterinary surgeon, Drygas practices as a staff surgeon in Orange Park, Fla. Burrows, who worked for the college for more than 30 years as a clinician, researcher, educator and administrator before retiring in 2011, received the Distinguished Service Award. Anderson, a professor in the college, received the Special Service Award. He died in June 2010 after battling brain cancer.

Leader to leave

Glen F. Hoffsis, D.V.M., has announced plans to step down as dean of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. Hoffsis, who was hired in August 2006 after a national search, will remain dean for another year and will leave UF on July 1, 2013. Hoffsis created a model of patient care in the new Small Animal Hospital with the patient and client in the center of a continuum of care and services, consistent with the central vision of the academic health center. Hoffsis also advanced scientific inquiry with key recruitments of accomplished scientists, expanded class size in a manner that maintained the highest quality of education while generating resources to support the academic mission and, most recently, helped create an emergency room in Ocala as a joint venture with community-based veterinarians. “We are grateful to Dr. Hoffsis for his vision, energy and accomplishments,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for health affairs and president of the UF&Shands Health System. “He has advanced our veterinary school along several lines that will be enduring and have a lasting impact.” UF will embark on a national search to find a new dean.

True InvestiGators

Ten Health Science Center faculty members were among the 33 UF professors selected as UF Research Foundation professors for the 2012-2015 term. Faculty members were selected for their strong research records and contributions to their fields of study. The professors were chosen based on staff recommendations and were each formally recommended to the UFRF by their respective college deans. The three-year award includes an additional $5,000 annual salary and a one-time $3,000 grant. The Health Science Center UFRF professors are:

College of Dentistry

Robert Caudle, Ph.D., associate professor of neuroscience

College of Medicine

Arthur S. Edison, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular biology

Douglas Grant McFadden, Ph.D., professor of molecular genetics and microbiology

Kelli Komro, Ph.D., M.P.H. M.A., professor of health outcomes and policy

Colin Sumners, Ph.D., professor of physiology and functional genomics and director of the Junior Honors Medical Program

I. David Weiner, M.D., professor of medicine and physiology and functional genomics

College of Nursing

Charlene A. Krueger, Ph.D., R.N., associate professor of women’s, children’s and family nursing

College of Pharmacy

Maureen Keller-Wood, Ph.D., professor and chair of pharmacodynamics

College of Public Health and Health Professions

Michael Marsiske, Ph.D., associate professor of clinical and health psychology

College of Veterinary Medicine 

Ayalew Mergia, Ph.D., professor of infectious diseases and pathology