Education is at the core of the Mailman School. The Mailman School Teaching Academy, along with its sister academies at the School of Nursing and the Colleges of Dental Medicine and Physicians and Surgeons, seeks to recognize excellent teaching and advance the educational mission of Columbia University Medical Center.
As a partner school of the Glenda Garvey Teaching Academy, the Mailman School Teaching Academy is committed to supporting education in the health sciences. We foster teaching as a scholarly activity, offer recognition to outstanding educators, provide instructional role models for faculty, and promote innovation in the curriculum. As a faculty advisory committee, our members advise and support the work of the Office of Educational Programs to develop the educational mission of the Mailman School.
The Mailman School Teaching Academy is joined in its educational mission by parallel academies at the Colleges of Dental Medicine and Physicians and Surgeons and the School of Nursing, in addition to the Virginia Apgar Academy of Medical Educators at the College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Learn More About Our Partners
Meet Our Members
Members of the Mailman School Teaching Academy are selected for their achievements in education.They include faculty from each of our six departments. Our members are repeat winners of the Mailman School Teaching Awards and the Univeristy Teaching Award; they have been recognized on both local and national stages for their exemplary contributions to teaching and learning.
Dr. Melissa Begg, Vice Dean for Education and Professors of Biostatistics, holds a unique place in the faculty, not just for her focus on advancing interdisciplinary education but also for holding some of the school’s highest teaching ratings for over 16 years. She is a recipient of the University Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching, the Lagakos Distinguished Alumni Award from Harvard, and the co-director of Columbia’s Clinical and Translational Science Award. Dr. Begg’s accomplished approach to teaching comes from her drive to “come up with new and creative ways to illustrate the connection between statistics and public health.
Again and again, Dr. Marina Catallozzi’s students extol her effective instruction, dedication to learning, and commitment to excellent teaching. Her students note not only her extensive support, even after the course has ended, but also the way that her empathy as a clinician and researcher translates to through in the classroom. One student wrote, “I appreciated how much she tried to connect the content to our professional goals as public health practitioners.” Dr. Catallozzi holds a dual appointment in the Department of Pediatrics at the College of Physicians & Surgeons and the Heilbrunn Department of Population & Family Health at the Mailman School. She is a currently the Co-Director for the Sexuality and Reproductive Health Track at the Mailman School, the Medical Director of the Lang Youth Medical Program of New York Presbyterian Hospital, an Adolescent Sexuality and Reproductive Health researcher, and a practicing Adolescent Medicine physician in the Division of Child and Adolescent Health.
Dr. Bin Cheng, professor in the Department of Biostatistics, has long demonstrated a unique dedication to education. Students in his Statistical Inference (P8109) course comment that "the subject and course is one of the more difficult and challenging in the biostatistics curriculum," but they remark on his singular ability to make the material accessible and clear. They repeatedly praise his enthusiasm and continued commitment to teaching. Dr. Cheng was inducted of the Glenda Garvey Teaching Academy in 2009.
As a professor in Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health and with over 25 years of experience in the classroom, Linda Cushman teaches with a student-centered philosophy because "students learn best by doing, and having an active role in their own learning." An extremely popular teacher, she has received kudos from students across Mailman departments, and those in other schools at the medical center actively seek the rare vacancy in her classes. Dr. Cushman is a former recipient of the Dean's Award for Innovation in the Curriculum and the Mailman School Award for Teaching Excellence. In April 2010 she was the recipient of the University Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching.
Tal Gross teaches in the Department of Health Policy and Management, having previously taught at MIT and the University of Miami. A recipient of the Early Career Teaching award, he is considered one of the School’s finest instructors. One student remarked in a class evaluation that Professor Gross “treats students as future colleagues and teaches with that in mind.” In Gross’ own words, he learns by teaching, interacting with students and physicians from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines
Dr. Robert Fullilove is the first three time winner of the Mailman School Teaching Excellence Award. Dr. Bob, as students refer to him, brings his extensive experience in researching HIV/AIDs, minority health issues, substance abuse and addiction into the classroom. “Not only does he have a wealth of experience to share, but he creates an open energetic environment within the class so that shared thoughts and the development of new ideas is an intrinsic part of the dialogue.” Dr. Fullilove’s regular course offerings are Race and Health (P8750), Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (P6732), and Evaluation of Health Programs (P8705).
Associate Professor Dr. Therese McGinn’s expertise in program evaluation pervades her teaching; her students comment that they feel challenged, transformed, and equipped for future work through their experience in her courses. In addition to her teaching, Dr. McGinn serves as Director of Reproductive Health Access, Information and Services in Emergencies (RAISE) Initiative. Her gifted instruction is informed by over 30 years of work in public health.
Dr. Peter Muennig serves as an associate professor in the Health Policy and Management Department. He has been award the ASPH/Pfizer Early Career in Public Health Teaching Award and holds honors from the Academy of Distinguished Teachers. A prolific author of more than 70 research articles and two textbooks, Dr. Muennig’s work contributes greatly to the high quality of education at the Mailman School.
Dr. Todd Ogden, professor of Biostatistics, holds a PhD from Texas A&M University. Named a Glenda Garvey Teaching Fellow in 2008, he teaches small seminars and large lectures alike, and is consistently aware of the applicability to biostatistics to real world situations. As his 2008 Citation of the Glenda Garvey Teaching Academy notes: “A fourth-generation teacher, he approaches each class with energy and enthusiasm, injecting his unique sense of humor into each session. His students appreciate his common-sense explanations of seemingly difficult concepts and find him approachable outside of the classroom as well.”
Martina Pavlicova is a professor in the Biostatistics Department. Over the years, her outstanding teaching and dedication to students have been recognized by the Glenda Garvey Teaching Academy and by the School with the Early Career Teaching Award. As one student noted in a course evaluation: "Dr. Pavlicova not only taught me stats, but helped me find my internal love for it. I didn't just learn information for a test or a homework, I truly understand the information and found myself thinking about it outside of class and applying it in other classes."
Les Roberts is a professor in the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health. His classes cover broad range of critical topics, from humanitarian assistance to water and sanitation. Dr. Roberts was a recipient of the 2012 Mailman School Teaching Excellence Award. Along with the wealth of field experience he brings as a professor, students have commented on his creativity, charm, and humor in engaging students on important health issues.
Sharon Schwartz, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, is an alumna of the Mailman School of Public Health, having received both her master’s and doctoral degrees from Columbia University. Time and again, Professor Schwartz’s students praise her instructional abilities, and her courses are a highlight for many graduates. One student remarks that studying with her was “by far among the most thought-provoking and worthwhile [course] I have taken through my academic tenure.” Another, commenting on her dedication to students, notes that “her enthusiasm and dedication to each student is apparent in every aspect of her course. Dr. Schwartz deserves the highest of accolades.” Dr. Schwartz is a two-time recipient of the Mailman Teaching Excellence Award; in 2000 she received Columbia University's prestigious Presidential Teaching Award.
Dr. Michael Sparer, chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management, is among the most renowned lecturers at the Mailman School. His core module on the US Health Care System, like all his courses, draws raves each year. Students remark that he turns the complex world of health care management and policy into a living story. Dr. Sparer has twice received the Mailman School’s Teaching Excellence Award and was recently awarded the University’s Presidential Teaching Award.
Mary Beth Terry holds a PhD from Columbia University and teaches in the Epidemiology Department and in the Medical School through various Columbia Translational Science Award programs. She is also an affiliate of several organizations, including the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, the NIEHS Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the American Society for Preventive Oncology.
Professor, and Vice Dean Dr. Roger Vaughan believes in setting high standards for education, both in terms of instructional performance and student expectations. A past winner of the Teaching Excellence Award, Dr. Vaughan was recently awarded the Outstanding Teaching Award from the American Statistical Association. He is currently teaching Applied Regression (P8100), the Master’s Essay in Biostatistics: Clinical Research Methods (P9165), Doctoral Consulting Seminar (P9185), and Introduction to Biostatistical Methods (P6104) for the Columbia Summer Research Institute. Dr. Vaughan is highly regarded by his students, who regularly rate him as a top instructor. His leadership in teaching and willingness to experiment with innovative technologies place him in a rarefied class of exceptional educators, both at the Mailman School and across the Medical Center.