GMS Faculty Awards Celebrate Excellence in Teaching

To recognize faculty who adapted quickly and successfully during the COVID-19 crisis and continued to provide students with quality education, mentoring and research experiences, GMS recently created new awards for faculty excellence.

GMS students nominated faculty members whose efforts really stood out during the pandemic and the shift to remote learning.

The award was broken down into four categories:

  1. Didactic teaching in GMS master’s programs
  2. Mentorship in GMS master’s programs
  3. Didactic teaching in GMS doctoral programs
  4. Mentorship in GMS doctoral programs

Congratulations to the winners:

Shoumita Dasgupta, PhD, Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Genetics and Genomics, in the “Didactic teaching in GMS doctoral programs” category.

One nomination praised her “excellent leadership and adaptability to class needs during COVID-19, especially when coupled with stresses around the November 2020 election.”


Aaron Young, PhD, Assistant Professor of Physiology & Biophysics, in the “Didactic teaching in GMS master’s programs” category.

This man is literally unmatched in his ability convey complex topics in a simplistic manner. He is engaging with his students and illustrates his compassion in ways others fall short. I have never felt so connected with a professor through Zoom in my life.


Gerald Denis, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics, in the “Mentorship in GMS doctoral programs” category.

He is very sympathetic of everyone’s situation, not only recognizing it is difficult times, but also trying to understand what we are going through individually. He always spends time talking about the current situation and encourages us in the end.


Kathleen Swenson, MS, MPH, Program Director of the Genetic Counseling Program, in the “Mentorship in GMS master’s programs” category.

Kathleen has put the students FIRST during the entirety of the pandemic. She was quick to start doing more frequent check-ins with each student and provided us the space to reflect, grieve, support each other, and create change together. That was an emphasis of Kathleen’s – she helped us move forward as a program, together.


Theresa Davies, PhD, Director of the Oral Health Sciences Program, in the “Mentorship in GMS master’s programs” category.

Dr. Davies has been the most supportive and caring professor I have encountered during COVID. She adapted our program to fit every one of us, even though we weren’t all in Boston. When I had COVID, she specifically reached out every day to check on me, and I have never had a professor care like that before. She is such an inspiration.


Thank you to our winners, and to all GMS faculty, for persevering and finding innovative teaching solutions in a truly unprecedented year!