2024 Faculty Achievement Award winner named

PhillipsOn Wednesday, Dr. Nicole Phillips, assistant professor, microbiology, immunology and genetics, in the School of Biomedical Sciences was awarded The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth’s prestigious Faculty Achievement Award.

The Faculty Achievement Award Committee annually selects one winner based on a nominee’s achievements in teaching, research and scholarship, service and leadership. A committee comprised of one senator and one faculty member from five of HSC’s six colleges and schools reviews the nominations. Since the College of Nursing is a new school, they did not have any nominees during the award period.

The winner of this award will receive a $10,000 taxable award and crystal plaque. To be considered for the peer-nominated award, a faculty member must meet all eligibility criteria. A nominee from each of the colleges at HSC is chosen and recognized at the Spring Assembly held in MET 109/111.

Dr. Denise Inman from the UNT System College of Pharmacy, Dr. Deborah Gillespie from the School of Health Professions, Dr. Stacey Griner from the School of Public Health, and Dr. Collin O’Hara from the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine were all finalists and will receive a $2,500 taxable award for their nomination.

Faculty members are nominated by their colleagues for epitomizing HSC’s values in all they do.

This year’s winner, Dr. Phillips, was nominated for her teaching, research/scholarship, service and performance/professionalism. Phillips has also received the Golden Apple Teaching Award from SBS on two separate occasions.

“The fact that Dr. Phillips has won the Golden Apple Teaching Award twice is a testament to how much her students value her,” the letter reads. “She tirelessly serves her students and HSC, and it often goes unnoticed and under appreciated.”

Phillips served as the chair of the Departmental Faculty Search Committee and is currently co-chairing a faculty search committee. She’s served on the Institutional Review Board and was the vice chair for two years. She also serves in the SBS traditional admissions committee. Phillips has served as the graduate advisor for the genetics students since 2020.

“The professionalism Dr. Phillips displays on a daily basis makes our institution a better place,” the nomination letter reads. “She is exceedingly collaborative and willing to work with different PIs and lab groups across campus and at other institutions.

“Instead of only being focused on her own labs, she gladly provides services to others to ensure everyone is successful.”

2024 Faculty Achievement Award Finalists

InmanDr. Denise Inman received her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Virginia. Prior to her role as vice chair and associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, she held her first faculty position at Northeast Ohio Medical University in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. While there, her research focused on metabolic vulnerability of retinal ganglion cells and their axons in glaucoma. At HSC, Inman serves as a professor and graduate advisor, and she sat on the task force that established the Master of Science in Drug Discovery and Development program.

She is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Association for Women in Science, American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and the International Society for Eye Research.

Her research focuses on how energy generation and utilization is impacted by chronic diseases such as glaucoma.

GillespieDr. Deborah Gillespie is an assistant professor in the Department of Personalized Health and Well-Being. She is one of the first International Board of Lifestyle Medicine certified registered and licensed dietitians with more 25 years of experience across a broad spectrum of dietetics, including clinical, oncology and cardiovascular research, renal, health promotion and public health education. Gillespie served as the founding interim chair of the Department of Lifestyle Health Sciences, program director for the Graduate Certificate in Lifestyle Health, and has been a leader in providing nutrition, emotional intelligence, culinary and lifestyle medicine education at HSC.

She sits on several committees within the Department of Lifestyle Health Sciences including, Admissions Committee, Scholarship Committee, Curriculum Committee, Physician Assistant Curriculum Committee and chairs the Student Performance Committee.



Dr. Stacey Griner focuses her research on health behavior, sexual and reproductive health women’s health and community health. As an assistant professor in the Department of Population and Community Health in the School of Health Professions, she has developed curriculum and activities designed to improve the cultural competence of students in maternal and child health. Griner’s teachings draw from the social determinants of health and the ecological perspective to encourage her students to examine health inequities from multiple levels.

Griner understands the importance of mentorship and has mentored several students as they train to become clinicians, researchers and public health experts.

Her research currently focuses on sexual and reproductive health, and STI screening and prevention.

O'hara.Dr. Collin O’Hara is an assistant professor of medical education and health systems and the year-two curriculum director of TCOM. She is board certified in anatomic pathology, clinical pathology and cytopathology. Since coming to HSC, O’Hara has been instrumental in improving student performance, student engagement and interdepartmental collaboration at TCOM.

O’Hara is a member of the International Association of Medical Science Educators, Texas Medical Association and Tarrant County Medical Society.

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