Patty Cunningham Honored with 2014 Gillis Award


The 2014 Gillis Award is presented to Patty Cunningham (center) by Jane Neill (left) and Jules Dienstag, MD.


Patricia Cunningham, Academic Programs Administrator for IMES and HST, was honored with the 2014 Richard A. Gillis Award for Excellence in Medical Education at Harvard Medical School’s annual Teaching Awards Ceremony on May 5. 

This phenomenally well-deserved award recognizes Patty’s very long tenure as an HST administrator and her dedication and devotion to the HST program, students, faculty and staff. Patty is widely admired for her amazing can-do spirit, positive attitude, even temperament, and consummate teamwork, which she exercises uniformly both within HST and in the broader MIT and Harvard communities. As her colleagues explained:

"Patty has been integral to the lives of literally generations of HST students and faculty. In her typical understated and diplomatic manner, Patty works her magic in just about every aspect of the workings of HST at HMS. What she does is always in the best interests of the students and the program, as she shies away from taking credit."
"Patty is simply the heart and soul of HST. Beyond herding all the HST cats and insuring that the trains run on time (something she seems to do almost effortlessly), Patty also functions as the institutional memory of the program. She knows every student past and present, and is a loving mother/sister/aunt to each and every one of them. She is also a wise and experienced observer of the human condition; her insights, reflections, and broad shoulders (to cry on) have salved many a bruised ego, and salvaged many a difficult situation.”
The Richard A. Gillis Award for Excellence in Medical Education was established in 2012 in memory of Rick Gillis (1953-2011), Executive Director of Curriculum Programs, whose 27 years of contributions to the MD program at Harvard Medical School exemplify the standards of excellence and the work ethic he inspired in those who were privileged to know him and to work with him. The award is given to a member or members of the HMS staff for their outstanding contributions to the educational mission of the School. This award serves as a reminder of Rick’s legacy and the critical role of staff in facilitating, in the words of his hero, President John F. Kennedy, “the infinite potential of the human mind that can be realized through education … [and that] can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our Nation.”


Thursday, May 8, 2014