Dr. Mohtashem Samsam of the UCF College of Medicine’s Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences has been recognized with the Keeper of the Creed /Scholarship award for his exemplary commitment to learning and teaching at the University of Central Florida.
The yearly honor goes to select undergraduate students and UCF faculty or staff who represent one of the five pillars of the UCF Creed: scholarship, integrity, community, creativity, and excellence. Dr. Samsam received his award in a ceremony May 8.
“Dr. Samsam has a passion for helping students learn and grow professionally. He sets the bar high and is an excellent role model,” said Dr. Deborah German, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine.
Nominated by students, Dr. Samsam was chosen by a committee of university officials for honoring “learning as a fundamental purpose in the UCF community,” according to the UCF Creed. He has received multiple awards for teaching, including the Golden Apple Excellence in Teaching Award and Professor of the Year from the UCF American Medical Student Association (AMSA) for eight years in a row.
“I don’t want to waste my students’ time,” said Dr. Samsam, an assistant professor of anatomy and neuroscience, in explaining his love of teaching. “Medicine is much more advanced, and they need to know more to help. Our students at UCF are among the best in the U.S.,” he said. “I expect them to be the best professionals to help people.”
In his classrooms, Dr. Samsam said, groups anatomy by region so that students gain a better understanding of how body systems – from organs to muscles to nerves — interact.
Through the years, Dr. Samsam has received emails from former students thanking him for his dedication in the classroom. One student wrote: “As I went throughout the first year of dental school, I heard your voice from your anatomy and neuroanatomy lectures in my head. Anatomy is considered one of the toughest classes in the dental program, but because of your classes it was a breeze.”
In addition to teaching undergraduate, graduate and honors students, Dr. Samsam has written textbooks, including “Functionally Oriented Regional Anatomy” and is working on an e-book (“Atlas of Regional Anatomy”) that will be published in fall 2013. He has written and edited numerous journal articles, developed several courses at UCF, and conducted research into inflammation and neurological disorders.
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