Swails wins UT System Outstanding Teacher Award

By University of Texas System
October 20, 2023

Jennifer Swails, MD

Jennifer Swails, MD

The University of Texas System announced Jennifer Swails, MD, associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, as one of 14 recipients of the 2023 Regents Outstanding Teacher Awards.

The honorees – faculty from multiple UT academic and health institutions – have been selected for demonstrating extraordinary classroom teaching performance and dedication to innovation. Each recipient will receive a medallion, a cash award of $25,000, and formal recognition by the Board of Regents at its upcoming quarterly board meeting on Nov. 20. Recipients are showcased on the UT System’s ROTA website.

“I am eternally grateful for the support and trust of my mentors, students and trainees for their support and trust,” Swails said. “Without them, I would never have had the opportunities leading to this award.”

Swails serves as the program director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program and also is the director of Interprofessional Education at UTHealth Houston. In 2020, she was named as one of 16 inaugural members of the McGovern Medical School Champions of Learning Environment and is a four-time recipient of the Dean’s Teaching Excellence Awards.

“UT faculty members guide our students’ success and prepare Texas’ future leaders, job creators and innovators,” said UT Board of Regents Chairman Kevin Eltife. “The Board of Regents is proud to recognize their excellence through the Regents Outstanding Teaching Awards program.”

After earning her medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College and completing a residency in internal medicine and primary care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Swails joined the McGovern faculty in 2012.

“The UT presidents and I are grateful to the regents for their continued investment in this important program,” said UT System Chancellor James B. Milliken. “The impact that exceptional faculty have on our students’ lives, both professionally and personally, is immeasurable.”

The 2023 Outstanding Teaching Award winners are:
Academic Institution Recipients

  • Nehal Abu-Lail, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering, UT San Antonio
  • Joshua Banta, Department of Biology, UT Tyler
  • Paul Bonin-Rodriguez, Department of Theatre and Dance, UT Austin
  • Kenneth Bryant, Jr., Department of Political Science, UT Tyler
  • Cherry Duke, Department of Music, UT El Paso
  • Sonia Kania, Department of Modern Languages, UT Arlington
  • Christy Spivey, Department of Economics, UT Arlington
  • John Zweck, Department of Mathematical Sciences, UT Dallas

Health Institutions Recipients

  • Sharron Forest, School of Nursing, UT Medical Branch
  • Nora Gimpel, Family and Community Medicine, UT Southwestern
  • Bridgett Piernik-Yoder, Occupational Therapy, UT Health San Antonio
  • Robert D. Spears, Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences, UTHealth Houston
  • Melanie Sulistio, Internal Medicine, UT Southwestern
  • Jennifer L. Swails, Internal Medicine & Center for Interprofessional Education, UTHealth Houston

The Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards were established in 2008 to honor exemplary classroom performance. Nominees undergo a series of rigorous evaluations by peer faculty and external reviewers. The review panels consider a range of activities and criteria in their evaluations of a candidate’s teaching performance, including classroom expertise, curricula quality, innovative course development and student learning outcomes.

About the University of Texas System
The University of Texas System has enhanced the lives of Texans and individuals worldwide through its commitment to education, research and healthcare for 140 years. With 14 institutions collectively enrolling more than 255,000 students, the UT System stands as one of the largest public university systems in the United States. UT institutions annually produce over 66,000 graduates and award more than one-third of the undergraduate degrees in Texas, as well as over 60% of the state’s medical degrees. The combined efforts of UT-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics resulted in over 10.7 million outpatient visits and more than 2 million hospital days last year. The UT System’s $3.8 billion research enterprise is one of the nation’s most innovative and ranks No. 1 in Texas and No. 2 in the nation for federal research expenditures. The UT System has an operating budget of $29.1 billion for fiscal year 2024 and employs more than 116,000 faculty, health care professionals, support staff and student workers.