UAMS College of Medicine Honors Faculty, Staff at Annual Celebration

The UAMS College of Medicine paid tribute to faculty and staff for exemplary service, innovation and contributions to the college’s education, research and clinical mission areas at the eighth annual Dean’s Honor Day ceremony on April 24.

Two men holding commemorative bowl

Distinguished Faculty Service Award recipient Aubrey J. Hough Jr., M.D., (left) with his nominator, Kent C. Westbrook, M.D., at the Dean’s Honor Day ceremony. Hough received a commemorative glass bowl created by Arkansas artist James Hayes.

Interim Dean Christopher T. Westfall, M.D., used the occasion to emphasize how all of the college’s mission areas are ultimately carried out on behalf of patients – including the patients who will receive care in the future from physicians educated at UAMS and those who will benefit from the college’s research.

“But none of these things could happen without all of you,” Westfall said. “Thank you for going the extra mile, for doing more with less. Thank you for your hard work day in and day out in support of our mission and, again, most importantly in support of the patients who entrust their care to us.”

Aubrey J. Hough Jr., M.D., drew a standing ovation in the packed first-floor auditorium of the I. Dodd Wilson Education Building after being presented the Distinguished Faculty Service Award in recognition of his many leadership roles at UAMS over the past four decades.

Two men shaking hands

Interim Dean Christopher T. Westfall, M.D., congratulates Aubrey Hough Jr., M.D., on his award during the post-ceremony reception.

Hough chaired the Department of Pathology from 1981 to 2002, substantially growing the department and transforming it into a nationally known program. He was an associate dean from 2003 to 2011, leading initiatives in translational research and special programs. He went on to serve as a special assistant to the UAMS chancellor for four years, supporting translational research, new program development and facilitation of the Myeloma Institute.

Hough has served on and led numerous college and campus committees. He served two terms as chief of staff of UAMS Medical Center. He was promoted to the rank of distinguished professor in 2004. In 2015 he was named a university professor, the only person at UAMS who has received the University of Arkansas System honor. Hough became a professor emeritus in July 2017.

“The things I think are most impressive are Dr. Hough’s steady character, his commitment to intellectual pursuit – he is probably the smartest person I have ever met – his commitment to the institution, and his commitment to fairness,” said Kent C. Westbrook, M.D., who nominated Dr. Hough.

After receiving the award, Hough read poet Edward Rowland Sill’s “Opportunity.” He said the college’s future, as well as the answer to any challenges it faces, “is here in this room; it is you; it is our faculty.”

The ceremony included 12 individual awards for faculty and staff, recognition of 55 faculty members receiving promotion and/or tenure, and a round of applause for five faculty members invested in endowed chairs this academic year. Associate Dean for Faculty Erick Messias, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., served as master of ceremonies.


In addition to Hough, Faculty Award recipients were:

Michael Jennings, Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Physiology and Biophysics – Master Teacher

Kevin Phelan, Ph.D., professor, Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences; and Gregory Snead, M.D., associate professor, Department of Emergency Medicine – Educational Innovation

John Spollen, M.D., professor, Department of Psychiatry – Educational Research

Edgar Garcia-Rill, Ph.D., professor, Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences – Excellence in Research

Jeannette M. Shorey II, M.D., UAMS associate provost for faculty and professor, Department of Internal Medicine – Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award (presented by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation

Dale Blasier, M.D., professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery – Residency Educator

Henry Farrar, M.D., professor, Department of Pediatrics – Residency Educator

Read more about the 2018 faculty award honorees.


The recipients of Staff Excellence Awards were:

Jennifer VanEcko, M3-M4 coordinator – Education

H.J. “Trey” Spencer, M.S., biostatistician, Department of Biostatistics – Research

Steve Michener, M.P.A., administrator, Department of Emergency Medicine/Emergency Medicine Service Line – Administration

Gloria Townsend, executive assistant, Department of Internal Medicine – Administration

Read more about the 2018 staff honorees.