Recipients of the 2021 Karff Chair Awards announced

The McGovern Center is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 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, was Rabbi Emeritus at Congregation Beth Israel in Houston, TX. Rabbi Karff was 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 prize amount for each award is $250. This year there are four awards.

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.

2021 Winner: Lindsey Ulin, “Caregiver Burden: Who Is Caring for the Caregivers?”

Best Creative Project

This award goes to a graduating senior who completed the McGovern Center’s fourth-year elective, Humanistic Elements of Medicine, taught at McGovern Medical School, and has created an exceptional piece of art that relates 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.

2021 Winner: Kira Gomez, “The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Mental Health of Healthcare Workers”

Best Final Project

This award goes to a graduating senior who has fulfilled the requirements of the Clinical Humanities Certificate Program at the School of Dentistry, and has completed an exceptional humanities-based research paper or project, broadly conceived, or has created an exceptional form of art that relates 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.

2021 Winner: Ariane Huet Moss, “Ghosts of Houston’s Hidden Epidemic”

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.

2021 Winner: Jacqueline Dickey

Congratulations to all the winners!