College of Medicine faculty member named Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence Award recipient

Annual award honors two faculty members who exhibit uncommon excellence and devotion to education of their students
May 4, 2021

Wei-Jung A. Chen, PhD, professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics at the Texas A&M University College of Medicine, has been named a recipient of the 2021 Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence (PPTE) Award.

The PPTE Award is conferred upon the most distinguished professors at Texas A&M University, and recipients of this award exhibit uncommon excellence and devotion to the education of their students.

In order to be nominated for this award, candidates must have at least five years of full-time service to Texas A&M and should have a demonstrated record of teaching excellence, including college-level teaching awards.

Chen, who is one of two recipients of this award, also serves as the associate dean for Student Affairs for the College of Medicine.

“This award speaks volumes toward Dr. Chen’s endless service and dedication to the College of Medicine,” said Amy Waer, MD, FACS, dean of the Texas A&M College of Medicine. “He is not only excellent at leading and mentoring our students through their medical education, but he also helps aid fellow College of Medicine faculty with their professional development.”

Chen earned his PhD in behavioral neuroscience from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1992. Since joining the College of Medicine in 1999, Chen contributed to teaching in both graduate and medical programs. Following joining the Office of Student Affairs in 2010, he has dedicated his passion to providing personal and career counseling to students throughout their medical training. Additionally, as a former course director for Medical Gross Anatomy, he has developed a peer teaching program for this course. He served as a Curriculum Committee member for over a decade and participated in the curriculum redesign when the College of Medicine moved from a discipline-based curriculum to an integrated curriculum.

“It is such an honor to be considered and chosen for this great distinction,” Chen said. “The opportunity to work at such an excellent university, coupled with my passion for helping our medical students succeed, makes this recognition uniquely special to me.”

Presidential Professor Award recipients receive a certificate, a commemorative medallion and a financial award in the amount of $25,000. They also bear the designation “Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence” for the rest of their careers.

— Gracie Blackwell