Inaugural Lee McLean Award for Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Honors Dr. Elizabeth R. Crais

The inaugural Lee McLean Award for Excellence in Faculty Mentoring honored Dr. Elizabeth R. Crais at The Carolina Club in early November.

Inaugural Lee McLean Award for Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Honors Dr. Elizabeth R. Crais click to enlarge Drs. Lee McLean, Cam Enarson, Elizabeth R. Crais, and Stephen Hooper celebrate at the inaugural Lee McLean Award for Excellence in Faculty Mentoring celebration on November 1, 2016.
Inaugural Lee McLean Award for Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Honors Dr. Elizabeth R. Crais click to enlarge Dr. Stuart Bondurant, dean emeritus of the UNC School of Medicine, at the inaugural Lee McLean Award for Excellence in Faculty Mentoring celebration.

The UNC School of Medicine’s Department of Allied Health Sciences awarded the inaugural Lee McLean Award for Excellence in Faculty Mentoring to Dr. Elizabeth R. Crais, CCC-SLP and American Speech-Language-Hearing Associations Fellow, on Tuesday, November 1, 2016.

Named in honor of Dr. Lee McLean, chair emeritus of the DAHS, the award recognizes faculty who have mentored junior faculty members. The award’s purpose is to stimulate mentoring for future faculty members to assure generations of strong faculty, particularly in the realm of research. McLean served as chair from 2000 until 2013.

Several current and former faculty members and friends gathered at The Carolina Club to speak about McLean and the legacy of mentorship she established within the department.

Dr. David Yoder, also a former DAHS chair, spoke of McLean’s focus on mentorship both in the professional and personal spheres, including dedication to her family. When Yoder retired from his role as chair, he knew McLean’s professional accomplishments made her a good fit to succeed him. 



“There was one person I was urging to apply for that position, and that was Lee McLean,” he said. Yoder chaired the department from 1986-2000. He also credited Dr. Stuart Bondurant, dean of the UNC School of Medicine from 1979-1994, as one of his mentors in terms of guidance and support.

Crais joined the faculty in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences in 1986. Her research focuses on providing services to young children with special needs, particularly those with autism spectrum disorder. Of McLean, Crais said she has shown a model of commitment and strong character. “I have always thought of her as a mentor,” Crais said.

Dr. Cam Enarson, interim president at The Medical Foundation of North Carolina, said mentorship is central to the mission of the UNC School of Medicine and that McLean personifies that quality. “I could see it in the faculty, staff and students: mentorship was really important to her,” he said.

Current DAHS Chair, Dr. Stephen Hooper, reiterated the importance of endowments and the role they can play in beginning a long-standing tradition of honoring faculty. “We are excited and fortunate to be the departmental recipients of this gift,” Hooper said. “I am looking forward to this being the beginning of a long-standing tradition within the department.”

Of the award, McLean said Crais is an outstanding model of successful faculty mentorship. “None of us got here without the help of those before us who encouraged us; none of us got here without the terrific help of our mentors,” McLean said.

“I love this department. This department and this school are like a family.”

 

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