College Honors Faculty Excellence in Teaching, Research and Service
December 4, 2015 | The College of Health Professions recently honored three faculty members for excellence, with its annual Faculty Excellence Awards.
Tiffany Lepard-Tassin, M.S., a board-certified genetic counselor and assistant professor in the Department of Genetic Counseling, received the award for Excellence in Service. Her research interest in arterial tortuosity syndrome, a rare autosomal recessive genetic, connective tissue syndrome (ATS) that causes hyper-mobility and hernias led her to be an advocate for patient and families living with the disease and a leading expert in the condition.That advocacy also factored into a role in helping establish a non-profit organization, A Twist of Fate, where she serves on the board of directors. The organization seeks to raises awareness and support for continued research but also to connect patients of the rare condition with one another as a support group as well as connect them with researchers and physicians.
Lepard-Tassin hosted a three-day international conference on ATS at UAMS in August 2015, bringing together ATS patients, families and researchers for the first time.
Josh Phelps, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition, received the Excellence in Teaching award. Among comments in nominations for Phelps, he was called “the perfect blend of friendliness, professionalism, intelligence and passion for academia and mentoring” and that he “challenges and inspires students to achieve their potential.”
Phelps joined the faculty in 2012, teaching courses in macronutrients, geriatric nutrition and sports nutrition while also advising and directing students in the master’s degree program on their research projects. In addition to teaching, he has continued research work, being awarded a grant from the UAMS Medical Research Endowment Fund in 2013 for his project “Community Perspectives of Nutrition Care and Education Through the 12th Street Health and Wellness Center.”
Cliff Franklin, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, received the Excellence in Scholarship award for his research. He has 10 peer-reviewed publications, given 25 national and international presentations of his work and this year co-authored the textbook Hearing Assistive and Access Technology with two other UAMS colleagues.
In his nomination form, Franklin was praised by peers for collaborations with colleagues and with students, for discovery of new knowledge, and garnering more than $46,000 in research funding.
In 2014, Franklin was recognized for his research by the Arkansas Speech Language Hearing Association. Cited in this award were “his contributions to the literature in two areas: 1) acceptance of background noise and 2) audiometric threshold comparisons among pure, pulsed, and warble tones. … Dr. Franklin is a well-liked, well-respected audiology faculty member who enjoys research collaborations with other faculty members and enjoys sharing his love for research and the profession with his students.”