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Please Keep Dr Han

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Dear Provost Maltzman,

 We were shocked and saddened to learn that Dr. Han was recently denied tenure. We fear that Dr. Han’s departure will compromise our education and GWSMHS as an institution devoted to educating the best future medical professionals.

 Dr. Han is a universally beloved instructor and the 2016 recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award. Biochemistry is an abstract and difficult subject where having a good teacher makes all the difference. Dr. Han has a sophisticated pedagogical approach and arranges his lectures to appeal to different kinds of learners. He uses clear graphics always accompanied by a written explanation. He reinforces information with summary slides, case studies and practice questions. He deconstructs each pathway and explains it in a logical, stepwise manner. He then illustrates how failures in the pathway can lead to disease. The content is challenging but mastering it becomes that much more rewarding. His exam questions are difficult but fair. Personally, Dr. Han is kind, good humored and approachable. His demeanor is always calm. He speaks clearly and deliberately.

 We experience lectures from hundreds of different instructors. There is a learning curve when it comes to each new instructor’s style, organization and expectations. When there is little continuity between lecturers, an instructor like Dr. Han who is consistently clear, logical and upbeat becomes especially salient and valued.

 As students, it is important to us that the school rewards teaching excellence by fully recognizing the contribution of exemplary educators and rewards them accordingly. We are constantly required to take surveys in the hopes that our feedback will be used to make the curriculum better and the institution stronger. What is the point of giving feedback if our interests are overlooked?

 Dr. Han is a widely published and accomplished researcher. According to SCOPUS, since 1995 he has authored 49 articles which have been cited a total of 1525 times and he has an h-index of 19. In the past five years, he was the senior author of seven peer-reviewed papers and co-author of four others. Importantly, his research interests include both biochemistry and pedagogy, which demonstrate his commitment to medical education. He has also taken on an active role in the new curriculum’s implementation. By definition, Foundations is the most disjointed block but Dr. Han directed it ably.

 Given Dr. Han’s record of research, substantial administrative responsibilities and large base of support from students across years, we hope that he will continue to be part of the GW SMHS faculty.

 

Sincerely,

GW SMHS Students



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