Whitfield named first OSLER senior scholar

On July 1, Carol Whitfield will become the first senior scholar in the newly launched Office for Scholarship in Learning and Educational Research (OSLER) at Penn State College of Medicine. To ensure the success of her new role and focus on her many active teaching, mentoring and educational research projects, Whitfield will leave her role as associate dean for the Pre-Clinical Curriculum.  

Whitfield joined the College of Medicine as a research associate after completing her doctorate in physiology at George Washington University Medical Center. She is a tenured professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology and became the associate dean for the Pre-Clinical Curriculum in 2005. In 2003 she received the Distinguished Educator Award. Whitfield pioneered the introduction of problem-based learning (PBL) into the College of Medicine curriculum. She developed PBL assessment methods and teaching manuals that continue to serve as a basis for today’s PBL resources. Appreciating the importance of peer teaching, Carol designed an elective in PBL facilitation for fourth year medical students. This popular course serves as an important venue for students to learn and practice their skills in small group facilitation. She was also the key curriculum leaders who developed the proposal for the curriculum renewal that was approved by the Faculty Organization in 2012 and is currently under way. Whitfield’s academic interests include understanding how people learn and design innovative medical education initiatives.

As a senior scholar, Whitfield will help to expand the services of the Office for Scholarship in Learning and Educational Research, continue her medical student teaching and mentoring, and focus on her innovative and challenging educational research projects.

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Last Updated June 18, 2014