Siegel Awards Acknowledge Teaching Excellence

Published June 26, 2020

story by dirk hoffman

Fourteen Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences teachers, seven residents, four medical students and three staff members received 2020 Louis A. and Ruth Siegel Awards or honorable mentions for excellence in teaching.

“I am in awe of how much sheer knowledge she has, how she is able to effectively teach students, and yet be so clinically strong with great bedside manner. ”
Student comment about award winner Babitha Haridas, MD

The annual awards are the foremost means for Jacobs School medical students to honor their professors, instructors and teaching assistants.

This year’s awardees are from nine departments: biochemistry, medicineobstetrics and gynecologyotolaryngology, pathology and anatomical sciencespediatricspsychiatry, surgery and urology.

This year’s awards were announced virtually through a series of newsletters and a special video message.

Award Winners

Teaching in the Preclinical Program

Lisa Jane Jacobsen, MD

Student nominators said they wanted to “honor a physician who has been admired by many as an enthusiastic educator who truly cares about her students’ well-being — mentally and physically.”

Several students noted that she is “never limited by the status quo,” “she clearly wants to pass on her passion of medical education to others,” and she has “an enthusiasm for the work that she does that is so contagious.”

This year, more than ever before, Dr. Jacobsen has had to break the status quo and take on the task of remodeling the reproductive module to an online learning experience.

One student stated that “she stepped up and got us excited about the module; she reminded us that we can be invested in something else in the era of COVID.”

Colin W. Moore, PhD

He was described by a nominee to be the “pentathlete of teachers,” as he “manages to be good at explaining everything no matter what subject” in a “clear, concise presentation.”

One student wrote that Dr. Moore produced “some of the best organized, straight forward, and helpful lectures.”

To complement his academic abilities, he is described by multiple nominees as being “encouraging, kind-hearted, dedicated, respectful, motivating, patient and approachable.”

Teaching in the Clinical Program

Abigail S. Green, PhD

Dr. Green was described by one student as “one of the best attendings I have had the pleasure of working with.”

“She is a hands-on teacher who takes hours out of her day to work with students and ensure they understand the proper management of patients,” wrote another.

Students said she is warm and empathetic, and the lessons that can be learned from watching her will last students a lifetime, no matter what specialty they practice.

Volunteer Teaching

  • William Boggiano, MD, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry

Dr. Boggiano is described as in a “tier of his own” who gives patients “hope and desire to improve their lives” and works collaboratively with all members of the team.

A student nominator said he prioritizes the student experience by “engaging in discussion, making students feel appreciated, providing meaningful feedback, and giving daily lectures.”

Another student wrote “I was excited to go to the Erie County Medical Center every day to learn from him.”

Resident Teaching

Throughout her several nominations there were comments of her warm nature and superior teaching:

“She is truly the most impressive resident teacher I've had in medical school.”

“Her enthusiasm and warmth toward everyone, whether it be other residents, medical students, attendings, or patients and their families, is unmatched.”

“I am in awe of how much sheer knowledge she has, how she is able to effectively teach students, and yet be so clinically strong with great bedside manner.”

“She is the kind of person I strive to emulate and the kind of resident I am going to work toward becoming when it is my turn to teach medical students.”

Special Recognition


  • Kevin Hittle, curriculum coordinator

The inaugural winner in the Jacobs School staff category, nominators said Hittle is the backbone of second-year examinations, small groups, recordings and Zoom meetings.

He even maxed out the number of Zoom meetings that one user could host, just to make sure the Class of 2022 could complete the final module before the dedicated study period began, they noted.

“Something as seemingly simple as an email response within 5 minutes at 10:30 p.m. does not go unnoticed, and it makes us students feel supported and cared for,” one nominator wrote.


One fellow student wrote: “Since having had her as a teaching assistant (TA) in neurology, her teaching and guidance has become the standard by which myself and many of my other classmates have expected of every single TA.”

Another student said, “She was very kind, pleasant to talk to and easy to approach. She made small group sessions very beneficial for me and the rest of the people in the class.”

Honorable Mention

Teaching in the Preclinical Program

Teaching in the Clinical Program

Volunteer Teaching

  • Paul R. Hosking, MD, clinical assistant professor of pathology and anatomical sciences
  • Alex Kuehl, DC, staff assistant in pathology and anatomical sciences
  • Nashat H. Rabadi, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine

Resident Teaching

Special Recognition


  • Larry Daniel, security
  • Stacey I. Komendat, Office of Student and Academic Affairs


  • Paul J. Blasio, fourth-year medical student
  • Mary M. Leeman, fourth-year medical student
  • Evan W. Shaw, fourth-year medical student

About the Siegel Awards

Louis A. Siegel received his medical degree from UB in 1923 and served as an assistant professor of obstetrics-gynecology for 21 years. He was a dedicated clinical teacher who inspired both medical students and house officers with enthusiasm and the spirit of inquiry.

Considerations for the Siegel Awards include nominees’ instructional skill, ability to stimulate thinking and develop understanding in students, demonstration of sensitivity toward the human condition and ability to serve as a role model for students.

A student committee comprised of representatives from each medical class reviews nominations from students and selects awardees.

Learn More About Our Residency and Fellowship Programs

The University at Buffalo is internationally recognized as a leader in education, research and patient care, with a long history of excellence in medical education that began in 1846. We have achieved this recognition by blending academic excellence, exceptional bedside clinical teaching and thoughtful innovation designed to meet the changing needs of future clinical practitioners.

Our Residency and Fellowship Programs offer physicians-in-training outstanding opportunities to learn from clinicians who are among the best in their fields.