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GEA Member Spotlight

Caren M. Stalburg, MD, MA

In 1-2 sentences tell us about yourself.

I am an Ob/Gyn and a proud “Edugeek”, having attained a Masters in Higher and Postsecondary Education about 10 years after I finished my residency. The expertise I gained while learning about the science of education informs so much of my teaching now, as well as my interest in innovation. I am particularly focused on novel ways to help others expand their educational skills.

How did you get involved in the GEA?
Through the Central Group on Educational Affairs. Early on in my education journey Larry Gruppen suggested that I start to participate in the regional meetings as an attendee. The meetings and the people were (and still are) wonderful. Then I ended up submitting work that was accepted, then I got engaged at the Special Interest Group Level, then someone suggested that I run for a Member at Large position..and the next thing I know… I am serving as the Chair of the Steering Committee for CGEA!   

How has the GEA benefited you in your professional role?

In so many simple and complex ways! The best thing about participating with the GEA was encountering individuals whose work I was reading and referencing—and benefiting from their generosity of spirit, wisdom, and mentorship. The collegiality and challenging discussions about education, evaluation, and assessment just sparked my interest and engagement. I would leave every conference energized, curious, and connected. I formed partnerships with others around the region, doing workshops, presentations, etc. My CGEA colleagues are a part of the foundation for my intellectual work as an educator.

What excites you most in medical education right now?
The opportunities provided by information networks, advanced computation and data science—basically, the idea of the Learning Health System. Whether that is through learning analytics and documenting progressive competencies attained by our learners, engagement with large health information exchanges to understand the impact our care services make on health and wellness, or the opportunity for connection across distances and disciplines that technology affords our learners and colleagues—it is all exciting!

Where did you grow up?

I am proud to say that I am a Detroit girl through and through. Even though I left the Detroit metropolitan area to go to Ann Arbor for college (and basically have never left!), my family remains connected to Southeastern Michigan—and so do I. When you see those ads for Pure Michigan, touting the wonders of our cities and towns, lakes and lakeshores, and the four seasons?—that’s the real deal.

What was the most interesting job or project you have worked on?

The University of Michigan was one of the first schools to partner with Coursera early on in the development of MOOCs. I had the opportunity to create a course titled, “Instructional Methods in Health Professions Education” focused on teaching teachers how to teach. That was a watershed moment for me, and has led to my involvement in a number of on-line academic innovations that fuel my curiosity and creativity.

What do you do for fun outside of work/school?
As folks in the CGEA can attest, I am a rabid sports fan—particularly any and all sports played by the student athletes wearing Maize and Blue! I am a hopeless extrovert, and so I spend lots of time connecting with family and friends. I recently have resumed my connection with horses by serving as a side-walker for a therapeutic riding program, assisting individuals with physical and/or emotional disabilities learn to ride.

If you could invite any three people to a dinner party (real or fictional), whom would you invite and what would you talk about?

  • Susan B. Anthony—I’d want to talk about persistence and advocacy and the strength of belief in one’s self.
  • Bo Schembechler---Yeah. Michigan Football, sure. But I’d want to talk about team, motivation, selflessness, and tough love.
  • Maimonides--- Medieval Philosopher, Physician, Rabbi, and so much more. I might need two dinners with him!