McGovern Center names winners of the 2020 Karff Chair Awards

The McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics (McGovern Center) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Karff Chair Awards. These are given to graduating seniors at McGovern Medical School and the School of Dentistry at UTHealth. These awards are made possible through the Samuel Karff Chair, which is held by Nathan Carlin, PhD, Assistant Director of the McGovern Center.

Samuel Karff, for whom these awards are named, is Rabbi Emeritus at Congregation Beth Israel in Houston, TX. Rabbi Karff is among the most influential rabbis of his generation, especially for his interfaith and social justice work in Houston. Of interest, there is a monument dedicated to Rabbi Karff (along with two of his friends and colleagues) in Downtown Houston.

The winner of each category receives a prize of $250.

Best Humanities Project

This award goes to a graduating senior who has fulfilled the requirements of the Medical Humanities Scholarly Concentration and has completed an exceptional humanities-based project, broadly conceived. Papers can be in clinical ethics, history, literature, law, the social sciences, and more, or these projects also can be practical in nature, such as the creation of learning materials or curricula.

2020 Winner: Christle Nwora, “Using the Pediatrics HEADSS Exam to Explore Racism as an Adverse Childhood Experience – Module”

Best Creative Project

This award goes to a graduating senior who has fulfilled the requirements of the Medical Humanities Scholarly Concentration and has created an exceptional piece of art that is related to life in medicine, broadly conceived. Painting, drawing, musical composition, dance, poetry, memoir, fiction, and creative nonfiction are all possibilities. Usually, the student who wins this award will have some prior experience with the art medium, though this is not required. Also required is a brief academic paper related to the creative project.

2020 Winner: Amanda Actor, “Journey through Narrative Medicine: A Creative Writing Compilation”

Best Final Project

This award goes to a graduating senior who has fulfilled the requirements of the Clinical Humanities Certificate Program and has completed an exceptional humanities-based research paper or project, broadly conceived, or has created an exceptional form of art that is related to life in dentistry, also broadly conceived. Papers can be in dental ethics, history, literature, the social sciences, and more. These projects also can be practical, such as the creation of learning materials or curricula. Poetry, painting, drawing, dance, musical composition, memoir, fiction, and creative nonfiction are all possibilities as well.

2020 Winner: Erica Trammell, “My Dental School Experience: 4 Years Summed up in 6 Images”

Humanities Leadership Award

This award goes to a graduating senior who has completed the requirements of the Medical Humanities Scholarly Concentration at McGovern Medical School or the Clinical Humanities Certificate Program at the School of Dentistry, and has been exceptionally active in the life of the McGovern Center through events, dinners, classes, and programs (e.g., participating in the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Program, the creation or leading of student-run elective courses, working with local non-profit organizations, etc.). To win this award, students must display leadership, initiative, and creativity, as well as a commitment to ethics and justice.

2020 Winner: Meenakshi Darden

Congratulations to the winners!