Affectionate students and admiring faculty filled the Michigan League’s Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre yesterday to honor Prof. Thomas Gest, winner of the 13th Annual Golden Apple Award for Outstanding University Teaching. Gest, who teaches anatomy at the Medical School, delivered a lecture titled, “Doctoring Education for Future Doctors,” which discussed unique, successful teaching methods with scientific examples.

“If we train (students) to be obedient we are doing them a great disservice,” Gest said, joking that he prefers a “lecture-lite” teaching style. “(It’s) less filling, more satisfying,” he said.

Gest said he tries to intersperse facts and humor in interactive lectures. “It’s amazing I receive this honor because I have tried to limit lecturing – I find it to be a horrible delivery of information,” he said. “It seems almost unethical that I get this award because I love what I do so much.”

Brian Netter, president of the Students Honoring Outstanding University Teaching, the organization in charge of selecting Golden Apple Award winners, explained the criteria for receiving the award.

“When students are deciding who to nominate, some of the math and science subjects have students who band together,” he said. “(It takes) a certain class of professor that doesn’t just teach material, they inspire their students to want to learn more. … These professors enrapture their students and can excite them about a subject they didn’t expect to enjoy.”

Medical student Adam Rogers said Gest’s dedication to his students sets him apart. “He’s the kind of guy who grew on everybody over the semester. The amount of time he gives to us is astronomical. … And he’s always happy to be there with you. I go and talk to him whenever I want. And I always feel comfortable scheduling appointments.”

Gest closed his “ideal last lecture” by explaining the results of his teaching method, which gained faculty approval and increased ratings for the class.

“So, until next week – adios, amoebas.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.