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2014 GFA Carole J. Bland Phronesis Award Honoree


Luanne Thorndyke, MD (left) presents

the 2014 Carole J. Bland Phronesis Award

to Valerie N. Williams, PhD

We are pleased to announce that Valerie N. Williams, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Faculty Affairs, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, is the 2014 recipient of the Carole J. Bland Phronesis Award.  Dr. Williams' excellence as an innovator, mentor and faculty affairs' leader exemplifies the criteria established for the award. Dr. Williams, a member of the Group on Faculty Affairs for 10 years, said she is grateful that her colleagues in the group selected her as the recipient of the award. “To be chosen for recognition from within a group like that and receive an award named for one of our most respected and admired colleagues is a wonderful and humbling honor,” Williams said. “I am very grateful to be seen by my colleagues as deserving.”

Dr. Luanne Thorndyke, Past Chair of the GFA Membership and Nominating Subcommittee, presented the award to Dr. Williams at the 2014 GFA Professional Development Conference in Boston on July 19.

The GFA Carole J. Bland Phronesis Award


The GFA established the Carole J. Bland Phronesis Award to commemorate the legacy of service and example of Dr. Bland. This award serves to honor members of the faculty affairs community who exemplify the spirit of phronesis through dedicated and selfless promotion of faculty vitality.

Phronesis (fro-NEE-sis): Acting for the welfare of others without thought for the self; seeking and enabling heroically the development and success of others.

Carole J. Bland devoted her professional career to serving the faculty at the University of Minnesota since receiving her doctorate there in 1974. Dr. Bland accepted her first position upon completion of her degree and continued there, ultimately becoming Assistant Dean for Faculty Development at the Medical School. Her work embodied a commitment to faculty success, and while her career included various titles, all of her work focused on the development of others in their professional careers. Dr. Bland served as a mentor to many and she encouraged and trained others to be mentors. Through her personal investment of time and knowledge, and by lecturing and publishing her work on mentoring and faculty development, Dr. Bland extended her effectiveness and shared her wisdom and values. She introduced the application of practices that nourished and supported faculty vitality in academia. The professional life she lived is a model which the Group on Faculty Affairs holds in the highest regard and will honor and remember with the Carole J. Bland Phronesis Award.

The GFA Steering Committee received approval from AAMC to establish this award upon securing the permission of Dr. Bland's family to name this award in her honor and in recognition of Dr. Bland's service to faculty affairs, faculty development and academic medicine.

Award Criteria

2015 Timeline:

February 2015

Call for nominations announced and submission materials available

March 2015

Nominations for award due to AAMC

April 2015

Award recipient selected and notified

June 2015

2015 GFA Carole J. Bland Phronesis Award recipient announced and award presented at the Joint GDI/GFA Professional Development Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Award Criteria and Selection Process

Past Honorees:

2014 Honoree

Valerie Williams, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Faculty Development
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

2013 Honoree

Laura F. Schweitzer, Ph.D.
Union Graduate College

2012 Honoree

Stephen P. Bogdewic, Ph.D.
Dr. George W. Copeland Professor of Family Medicine
Executive Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Professional Development
Indiana University School of Medicine

2011 Honoree

Thomas R. Viggiano, M.D.
Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs
Mayo Medical School