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Dean makes president's list

Michael J. Ahearn, Ph.D., has been instrumental in securing MD Anderson’s status as a degree-granting institution during his tenure as dean of the School of Health Professions. Photo by F. Carter Smith

In June, Michael J. Ahearn, Ph.D., accepted the prestigious Presidents’ Award from John Mendelsohn, M.D.


Founding dean of 
MD Anderson’s School of Health Professions, Ahearn is retiring after a distinguished 46-year career at MD Anderson dedicated to improving the quality of science education.  Thanks in large part to his efforts, the institution gained degree-granting status in 2000. Today, the School of Health Professions offers eight programs that lead to bachelor's degrees. Other career highlights include creating and directing The Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation Annual High School Summer Program in Biomedical Sciences. It offers graduating high school students an opportunity to conduct research under the guidance of 
MD Anderson faculty. Ahearn also initiated a summer training opportunity for secondary science teachers.


Ahearn developed the science-based skin cancer awareness and prevention curriculum Project S.A.F.E.T.Y. (Sun Awareness for Educating Today's Youth), now in use in many schools in Texas and beyond (see Advance Team story).


The Presidents' Award is the latest of several honors Ahearn has received during his career, including the Julie and Ben Rogers Award for Excellence in the area of education in 2000. He was inducted into the Texas Science Hall of Fame in 2002 and into The University of Texas Academy of Health Science Education in 2006.


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center