Unni K. Udayasankar, MD, professor of medical imaging, was one of six faculty members named as a 2020 Faculty Mentoring Award winner at the May General Faculty Meeting of the College of Medicine – Tucson. Dr. Udayasankar is a board-certified pediatric and neuroradiologist, and currently serves as the vice chair of quality and safety for the Department of Medical Imaging.
For nominees to be considered for the award, now in its sixth year, mentees were asked to submit letters of nomination to the Dean’s Council on Faculty Affairs indicating the types of mentoring they received and how their mentor has contributed to their success. The annual awards honor faculty members who demonstrate outstanding commitment to mentorship and recognize the importance of mentorship for the success of faculty.
“The Faculty Mentoring Awards were established to recognize the selfless faculty who are committed to empowering their fellow colleagues,” said Alice Min, MD, assistant dean of faculty development. “For junior faculty in academic medicine, mentorship is crucial. Finding someone who will support you, coach you through challenges, and help you build networks and find the right opportunities is essential.”
Dr. Udayasankar’s research interests include newer techniques to reduce radiation dose in pediatric CT scans, faster MRI sequences and improving MRI technology to better detect pediatric diseases. Research topics include abusive head trauma, also known as shaken-baby syndrome, which can be diagnosed by correctly identifying specific imaging findings. Described by his nominators as inspirational and encouraging, Dr. Udayasankar was selected in 2016 for the college’s Learning to Lead Program, a nine-month-long program designed to foster the development of the next generation of leaders in academic medicine.
“I am thrilled to be one of the recipients of the COM-T mentor of the year award. It’s a great honor to be included in this select list of elite academicians, educators and mentors,” Dr. Udayasankar said. “I’ve been extremely fortunate to have remarkable mentors all through my training and junior faculty years, who meticulously guided me through some of the challenging scenarios in academic medicine. I would consider myself successful if I am able to impart some of their wisdom to the next generation of faculty and residents in the College of Medicine − Tucson.”
The other 2020 Faculty Mentoring Award winners are:
- C. Kent Kwoh, MD; professor, Department of Medicine
- Helen Amerongen, PhD; professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
- Mindy Fain, MD; professor, Department of Medicine
- Lawrence Mandarino, PhD; professor, Department of Medicine
- John A. Szivek, PhD; professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery