Each year at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford Convocation Ceremony, the Distinguished Teaching Award is presented to a faculty member who has demonstrated a longstanding history of outstanding interest in our medical students and a strong commitment to medical education. The 2023 Distinguished Teaching Award recipient is Paul Chastain, PhD. Dr. Chastain is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Health Sciences Education and associate director of simulation events and development at the College of Medicine Rockford.
Dr. Chastain received a PhD in biochemistry and biophysics from Texas A&M in 1997 and two post-docs at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2007. He had several academic and industry positions before joining the William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine where he was an assistant professor of biomedical sciences from 2013 to 2016. He was recruited to UICOMR in 2016 to be an integral educator in our transition to a new curriculum.
His teaching focus has always been biochemistry, but he’s become a critical educator for all phases of the curriculum and a full-fledged member of the administrative and research communities. He received the Faculty and Staff Aureus Award on five occasions and the Golden Apple Award in 2022. He was an established researcher even before joining UICOMR, having 35 peer-reviewed publications.
In his nomination letter, his nominator says, “For his ongoing and educational efforts, continuing interdisciplinary research efforts and service/administrative responsibilities, Dr. Chastain is an ideal candidate for the Distinguished Teaching Award.”