ASPE Outstanding Educator Awards for 2020

By Kerensa Peterson

Every year, our membership recognizes two ASPE members for outstanding achievement within our organization. The first Outstanding Educator of the Year Award was given in 1998. Each year since that time, an SP Educator who has “been involved in human simulation education for more than seven years, [has] made significant contributions to the community, and [is] recognized as a leader within their own institution, the community, and in national and international organizations” has received the award.  This year the award was given to Dr. Tamara L. Owens, Founding Director of the Simulation & Clinical Skills Center at Howard University Health Sciences.

Dr. Owens is recognized by her colleagues as knowledgeable, giving and compassionate. Her accomplishments within ASPE – as a former President, presenter at numerous conferences, author and researcher – and within the field of human simulation could fill volumes. She is not only a great contributor to the field, but also a warm and generous leader who has great personal regard for her colleagues. Howard Gregory recalled how she made him feel welcomed as a young guy trying to figure out where to put up his poster at his first ASPE conference. He added, “You hope to be just a little like her!” She has served as a role model, guide and inspiration for many SP Educators throughout their careers.

“When I first learned I was selected, I was elated that my peers bestowed upon me the highest honor in our field.  I thought of the founding board members, specifically Linda Perkowski, who mentored me and saw longevity in my career. I am very honored, humbled, and blessed to receive this award,” Dr. Owens said.  This award is so well-deserved. Dr. Owens has been and continues to be a positive leader, full of captivating energy and innumerable contributions to the field of simulation and those who work within it.

The Emerging Leader of the Year Award was established in 2013 and recognizes an ASPE member who has worked in human simulation for less than seven years. These Leaders have “made significant contributions at the ASPE conference and ASPE committees, and [are] recognized as up-and-coming leaders in the profession.” The 2020 Emerging Leader of the Year Award was given to Joseph M. Miller, Standardized Patient Program Coordinator at M Simulation, University of Minnesota.

Mr. Miller is a highly skilled SP Program coordinator and has served on multiple ASPE committees. As chair of the Website and Social Media committee, Mr. Miller has led the effort to grow ASPE’s social media engagement, which Amber Snyder notes, “increases ASPE’s ability to build revenue streams, bring on new members, increase attendance at conferences and ASPE sponsored webinars, and bring attention to the unique world of human simulation.” Mr. Miller also has been an advocate for SP methodology within his own institution.  Dr. Samreen Vora said, “He helped my team understand the value of SPs and showed us best practices in training and debriefing SPs for unique, high emotion cases.” But many in our field recognize Mr. Miller most readily for his team’s leadership to move our field toward online simulation during early days of this pandemic. Mr. Miller and his team exemplified leadership during this time with a generous approach to sharing knowledge with the whole simulation community.

The ASPE membership is grateful for the continued hard work and leadership of both Dr. Tamara Owens and Joseph Miller.  Congratulations!

Publications Committee Mission: “To bring high quality reporting of current research, trends, techniques and information regarding SP methodology and other relevant industry articles to the attention of the membership through the web-based ASPE eNews blog.”

Please provide comments, questions or suggestions about the ASPE eNews Blog here.

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