Dr. Henry Strobel
Dr. Henry Strobel

Dr. Henry Strobel, professor emeritus of biochemistry and molecular biology, is the recipient of the 2017 Carole J. Bland Phronesis Award by the Group on Faculty Affairs (GFA), which is a constituent group of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

The award serves to honor members of the faculty affairs community who exemplify the spirit of phronesis through dedicated and selfless promotion of faculty vitality. The GFA established the Carole J. Bland Phronesis Award to commemorate the legacy of service and example of the late Bland, who devoted her professional career to serving the faculty at the University of Minnesota from the time she received her doctorate there in 1974.

With McGovern Medical School being one of the first medical schools to establish a faculty affairs office, Strobel was instrumental in creating the GFA.

“Not only did I meet many of the most dedicated faculty in the U.S. through the GFA, I made lifelong friends,” he said. “Being involved in the Steering Committee opened opportunities to aid in planning meetings and organizing sessions in the early meetings of the GFA.”

Strobel received the award at the organization’s annual conference July 29 in Austin. He said he was surprised by the recognition.

Strobel joined the medical school in 1972 as one of the first members in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. In addition to his faculty role, he served as assistant dean for student affairs, associate dean for faculty affairs, and associate dean for alumni affairs. He received his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed a National Institutes of Health traineeship there as well.

“I have really enjoyed and loved my life here at the medical school. It’s been an incredibly supportive environment,” he said. “People who come here can succeed and prosper.”

Strobel has played a key role advising faculty, which began when he started serving on the medical school’s Faculty Appointments, Promotions and Tenure Committee; he also served as its chair for a number of years. “I run the gamut from father confessor, listening to complaints, to the bad guy, honestly reviewing CVs,” he said.

“I joined UTHealth 20 years ago as a post-doctoral fellow, I am now a tenured full professor. In every step during my rise through the faculty ranks I have benefited from his sage advice and support. Dr. Strobel has been a constant source of encouragement, always ready to review or suggest improvements to promotional materials or CV organization….I have always felt that Dr. Strobel is an individual who listens before he advises, a rare quality,” wrote one faculty member in his nomination letter.

Strobel is the recipient of numerous awards, including the UTHealth President’s Scholar Award for Excellence in Teaching, the TIAA-CREF Distinguished Medical Educator Award, the John P. McGovern Outstanding Teacher Award from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and is a member of the University of Texas Academy of Health Science Education.

The mission of the Group on Faculty Affairs (GFA) is to build and sustain faculty vitality in medical schools and teaching hospitals. The GFA supports faculty affairs deans and administrators in their development and implementation of institutional policies. The GFA also provides professional development activities that advance the academic missions of teaching, research, and clinical care.