(Boston)--Fadie Coleman, PhD, assistant professor of medical sciences and education at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), has been awarded a 2021 Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching. She is one of two recipients to receive one of BU's highest teaching honors.
Coleman is also the director of the Biomedical Laboratory and Clinical Sciences (BLCS) program, the medical school's only degree granting undergraduate program in the biomedical sciences. As an educator and researcher, she draws from her previous K-12 and higher education teaching experiences and training to establish new and innovative strategies designed to prepare undergraduates (especially from underrepresented backgrounds) to enter and succeed in the biomedical/STEM workforce.
In a letter nominating Coleman, a colleague wrote "Dr. Coleman's most admirable quality is her advocacy for diversity and equality. As a person of color herself, Dr. Coleman understands and empathizes with struggles minority students face, which comprise the majority of the BLCS program." BLCS is gateway to STEM education--perhaps the only one--for underrepresented minorities and nontraditional students. During her directorship, the BLCS has awarded 59 bachelor of science degrees, with another 21 anticipated for this year.
"My experiences working with younger students help me to quickly assess where students are and develop effective teaching strategies for introducing new material, reinforcing content knowledge and encouraging critical thought at appropriate levels," said Coleman. Reassuring her students with confidence that they can do the work, Coleman says she loves engaging with the range of students she works with because it keeps her from forgetting what it was like to be in their shoes.
Coleman received her doctorate from the BUSM department of microbiology and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Boston Children's Hospital in the department of pathology/transfusion medicine. She is trained in both the biomedical sciences and science pedagogy. As a microbiologist, her research focuses on bacterial pathogens. She has served as principal investigator and collaborator with other investigators on several projects and has published in a wide range of peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Infectious Diseases, Mucosal Immunology and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Coleman has been invited to give several professional seminars at national and international meetings, including the mini-symposia at the American Thoracic Society International Conference in San Diego, California. She is also the recipient of numerous awards for research excellence, including a National Research Service Award Fellowship from the National Institutes of Health, the BU President's Award for Outstanding Biomedical Research and the 2014 Raymond W. Sarber Award.
A gift from the late Arthur G. B. Metcalf, a BU Board of Trustees chair emeritus and former professor, funds the Metcalf Cup and Prize and the Metcalf Awards for Excellence in Teaching, created in 1973 as the University's highest teaching awards. Each year, the Provost's Faculty Teaching Awards Committee selects one Metcalf Cup and Prize winner who receives a stipend of $10,000. Up to two Award winners receive $5,000 each. A University committee selects winners based on statements of nominees' teaching philosophy, supporting letters from colleagues and students and classroom observations of the nominees. The awards will be presented at the University's 148th Commencement on May 16.