The McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics (McGovern Center) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Karff Chair Awards. These are given to graduating seniors at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston. These awards are made possible through the Samuel Karff Chair, which is held by Reverend Dr. Nathan Carlin, 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 two 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.
2023 Winner: James Burden, “Politically Adverse Experiences – How Waves of Anti-trans Legislation Are Exacerbating the Adversity and Mental Health Crisis Faced by Trans Youth”
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.
2023 Winner: Olivia Weiner