Shalizeh “Shelly” Patel, DDS, MEd, of UTHealth School of Dentistry at Houston, has been inducted into The University of Texas Kenneth I. Shine, MD, Academy of Health Science Education.
Patel joined UTSD in 2008 after two years of volunteering. She is now an associate professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry and Prosthodontics and also serves as director of clinical simulation.
In 2019, she won the ADEA/Colgate-Palmolive Co. Excellence in Teaching Award, as well as a Dean’s Excellence Award for Mentoring from UTSD. In 2012 and 2015, she won Dean’s Excellence Awards for Teaching, and in 2014, first- and second-year dental students selected her as winner of the John H. Freeman Award for Faculty Teaching.
She was a co-creator of UTSD’s “Behind the Smile” storytelling events, which have helped patients, students, faculty, staff, residents and alumni connect to the community through narrative dentistry. The series debuted in 2018, with two events in 2019 and a fourth planned later this year. UTSD was the first U.S. dental school to embrace storytelling as a tool for mental health awareness.
“I’m appreciative of the fact The University of Texas System recognizes dedicated and hardworking educators,” she said. “Being recognized means a lot, and recognition like this continues to motivate me, and others, to continue our hard work.”
The academy annually selects new members from among UT System’s health science institutions on the basis of the honorees’ contributions in the areas of direct teaching, curriculum development, mentorship, educational scholarship, and leadership. Kenneth Shine is a former UT System executive vice chancellor for health affairs who helped establish the academy in 2005. It was renamed in his honor upon his retirement in 2013.
Patel was one of four UTHealth faculty members selected this year. With approval of the home institutions, inductees are given the title, “Distinguished Teaching Professor.”
Previously inducted members of the academy from UTSD include John Valenza, DDS; Jacqueline Hecht, PhD; Ryan Quock, DDS; Paula O’Neill, EdD; Catherine Flaitz, DDS, MS; John McMahon, PhD; Leslie Roeder, DDS, MS; and Donna Warren Morris, RDH, MEd.