Medical Students Honor Faculty Who Inspire Them at Aesculapian Awards

By April Wilkerson 
Writer, OU College of Medicine

Albert Einstein said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”

During the 2015 Aesculapian Awards, OU College of Medicine students honored the faculty members who stir their thirst for scientific knowledge and passion for helping others. The awards included the 30th presentation of the Edgar W. Young Lifetime Achievement Award, given this year to Robert W. Blair, Ph.D., David Ross Boyd Professor and vice chairman of the Department of Physiology. It was also 30 years ago when Blair got his start in medical education – an area of academic medicine he didn’t realize how much he would love.

Laura Bock, left, member of the OU College of Medicine Class of 2016 and president of the College of Medicine Student Council, presents the Aesculapian Award for preclinical faculty to Molly R. Hill, Ph.D., Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

“Early in my career, I never would have predicted how much I would enjoy teaching, much less that I might be considered a good teacher. Maybe that will happen to some of you,” he told the students. “Give it a chance if you have the opportunity. As I have discovered, you might just find out how rewarding it is.”

Blair serves as course director for three courses in the current medical school curriculum: Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Renal; Neuroscience and Psychiatry; and Reproductive and Gender-Based Medicine. 

Blair received the Stanton L. Young Master Teacher Award in 2005, and he is the chairman of the Academy of Teaching Scholars. He has won the Aesculapian Award several times, including a 2015 honor. The full list of Aesculapian honorees, according to class and campus, are:



Robert W. Blair, Ph.D., David Ross Boyd Professor and vice chairman of the Department of Physiology, accepts the Edgar W. Young Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2015 Aesculapian Awards.

Class of 2018-Oklahoma City:

  • Aesculapian Award-Preclinical Faculty: Molly R. Hill, Ph.D., Department of Microbiology and Immunology        

Class of 2017-Oklahoma City:

  • Aesculapian Award-Preclinical Faculty: Robert W. Blair, Ph.D., Department of Physiology

Class of 2016-Tulsa SCM:

  • Aesculapian Award-Resident: Jessee K. Bustinza, D.O., Department of Pediatrics                             

Class of 2016-Oklahoma City:

  • Aesculapian Award-Resident: Ryan F. Wicks, M.D., Department of Surgery

Class of 2015-Tulsa SCM:

  • Aesculapian Award-Clinical Faculty: Jeanne O. Hayes, M.D., Department of Pediatrics
  • Aesculapian Award-Clinical Faculty-Volunteer: Michael S. Charles M.D., Department of Surgery

Class of 2015-Oklahoma City:

  • Aesculapian Award-Clinical Faculty: Mark R. Allee, M.D., Department of Medicine
  • Aesculapian Award-Clinical Faculty-Volunteer: Samuel J. Ratermann, M.D., FM Community Preceptorship-Grove

Medical students also presented Podalirian Awards to their peers to recognize commitment to the university, community service, clinical capability, the ability to function well in the team approach to medicine, leadership and strong advocacy on the part of patients and fellow students. Winners, according to class, are:
Class of 2018-Oklahoma City: J. Matthew Dupree
Class of 2017-Oklahoma City: C. Max Weddington
Class of 2016-Tulsa SCM: Dhara K. Sheth
Class of 2016-Oklahoma City: Laura K. Bock
Class of 2015-Tulsa SCM: Matthew K. Le
Class of 2015-Oklahoma City: D. Ashkawn Ehsan