The Academy for Excellence in Education was established in November 2006 with a founding membership of 44 distinguished medical educators. The Academy provides a forum to foster higher levels of participation and promote excellence and scholarship in the delivery of education to health professionals.
The Academy is a collective of outstanding faculty educators in Vanderbilt University School of Medicine who are highly engaged in the educational mission. Each strives to have a significant impact on educational endeavors in diverse settings with a variety of learners.
Two in the newly elected 2022 cohort are Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) members, who are dedicated to the VKC’s mission of improving the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families.
Pablo Juárez, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA, joined the faculty in 2011 and is a senior associate in Pediatrics, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, and Special Education. He is co-director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (VKC TRIAD). He was elected to the Academy based on his excellence in teaching, educational leadership, course/program design and mentorship. He received the national 2016 Educator of the Year Award from The Arc of the United States based on the success at TRIAD in developing local and statewide training programs for educators and service providers in Tennessee. He has been in the leadership role of education programming at TRIAD since 2012 and has chaired multiple committees at state and national levels focused on educational programs and outcomes. He has been active in applied behavior analysis quality improvement work and developed an online education program. As the supervising behavior analysts within the Department of Pediatrics he had mentored 26 behavior analysts, as well as a number of faculty and staff in program development, education programming, and leadership.
Hakmook Kang, Ph.D., joined the faculty in 2011 and is an associate professor of Biostatistics. Kang also directs the Data Sciences Core of the VKC’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (EKS IDDRC). He was elected to the Academy based on his excellence in teaching and mentorship. He has taught a core course for second-year graduate students in Biostatistics for the past eight years. During that time, he has received strong student evaluations, as well as two Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching. Since 2013 he has mentored four Ph.D. and two M.S. students in Biostatistics at Vanderbilt University. His mentees have had successful careers, publishing papers, presenting at national conferences, and winning teaching awards.