2010 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award
John W. Pelley, Ph.D., Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine
John W. Pelley, Ph.D., an associate professor of cell biology and biochemistry at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine (TTUHSC SOM), has devoted his career to studying how medical students learn—before, and after they step foot into medical school. Among the comprehensive toolkit of resources he’s built to help students learn are the book, Success Types for Medical Students: A Program for Improving Academic Performance and the “Success Types Learning Indicator,” an instrument that helps students determine their learning style. Through these, and a host of other materials, Dr. Pelley makes clear the responsibilities of both students and teachers; that the former are obligated “to extend beyond their learning style,” and the latter must “understand themselves as students” since they can subconsciously “teach through their own learning style.”
In addition to his teaching role at TTUHSC SOM, Dr. Pelley served as its assistant dean for admissions and associate dean for academic affairs, a position he held for 10 years. He is also founding chair of the TTUHSC SOM Teaching Academy.
Furthermore, Dr. Pelley is nationally known for his application of concept mapping, a learning technique that focuses on building patterns and relationships to concepts, to medical education. He is frequently invited to speak on this topic, as well as other learning strategies subjects (e.g., team-based learning, communications skills) at medical school workshops on teaching effectiveness and academic achievement.
A popular teacher who carries a larger-than-average teaching load, Dr. Pelley has been recognized many times over as an outstanding educator during his 38-year career. He has also been recognized as an AΩA Visiting Professor at both the University of Nevada School of Medicine and the Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy, and is a recipient of the AAMC’s Southern Group on Educational Affairs (SGEA) Medical Education Scholarship Award for the Outstanding Presentation.
Dr. Pelley has been active with the AAMC, first as a member of the Group on Medical Education in the mid 1980s and more recently as a member of the Group on Educational Affairs and the SGEA. A prolific writer, he has authored numerous articles in refereed journals, book chapters, and monographs on learning strategies.
Dr. Pelley received a B.A. in Zoology from the University of South Florida, a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of North Carolina and an M.B.A.in Management from Texas Tech University. He completed postgraduate training at the University of Texas Department of Chemistry in Austin, Texas.
Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award
This award provides national recognition to faculty members who have distinguished themselves in medical student education.