Theresa Walunas Selected to Participate in Searle Fellows Program

CHIP Associate Director and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Feinberg’s Department of Medicine (General Internal Medicine), Theresa Walunas, PhD, has been selected to participate in the Searle Fellows Program through Northwestern’s Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching. The program runs for one academic year, from September to June, and provides faculty with opportunities to develop their teaching expertise through critical inquiry, professional development opportunities, and mentorship activities. Fellows engage in group projects, collaborative meetings, and a final presentation at the end of the year.

Through the Searle Fellows program, Theresa will learn new pedagogical methods and collaborate with faculty from across the university. She is looking forward to learning ways to make classes more interactive through discussions, comprehensive examples, and guest speakers.  One of the aspects of the program that Theresa found most engaging was the opportunity to collaborate with faculty from both within and outside of Feinberg. Searle Fellows come from a wide variety of disciplines—from engineering to computer science to biology to humanities—and bring new perspectives to the cohort. Theresa will work with a mentor, Department of Medicine (General Internal Medicine) Research Professor Kenzie Cameron, PhD, MPH, who participated in the 2010-2011 Searle Fellows program.

Theresa applied for the program with the support of the Feinberg Department of Medicine. Last summer she co-taught a course on using electronic health record (EHR) data for research with Abel Kho, MD, and Al’ona Furmanchuk, PhD, all three of whom are faculty of the Department of Medicine and based at CHIP. The course, MSCI 330: Research with Electronic Health Records, is a core course in the Master of Science in Clinical Investigation program at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Students come from primarily clinical backgrounds, including medical doctors, doctors of pharmacy, public health practitioners, and clinical researchers. The ultimate goal of the class is to empower clinicians to maximize the use of EHR data in their research. As a fairly new, but hugely important tool for researchers, EHR data can have a significant impact on their future careers and the studies they conduct.

CHIP congratulates Theresa on this exciting fellowship and wishes her the best as she progresses through the program!

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