Dr. Tekian is Professor and Director of International Affairs at the Department of Medical Education (DME), and the Associate Dean for the Office of International Education at the College of Medicine, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He joined DME in 1992, and is involved in both teaching courses offered in the Master’s of Health Professions Education (MHPE) program and advising graduate students. Prior to joining DME, he was the founding Director of the first Medical Education Department in Saudi Arabia, at King Saud University, College of Medicine in Riyadh (1983 – 1990). He served during the 80s and 90s as a consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO) for projects in the Division of Development of Human Resources for Health. He also served as consultant to the Ministries of Health and Education in most of the Eastern Mediterranean countries. Dr. Tekian established a number of medical education departments/ units in the Eastern Mediterranean countries.
Dr. Tekian is an internationally recognized scholar and leader in health professions education. He has organized and conducted over 250 workshops in more than 45 countries and 60 cities, as well as presented over 200 keynote addresses nationally and internationally. He has over 100 peer-reviewed publications, and is the Principal Investigator of 15 research and training grants totaling over 5 million U.S. Dollars. His consultations and workshops have focused on curriculum development, assessment, program evaluation, simulations, and international medical education. His scholarship in health professions education is reflection in publications in the premiere medical education journals. Dr. Tekian is the senior author of the book Innovative Simulations for Assessing Professional Competence: From Paper-and-Pencil to Virtual Reality published in 1999. Ara Tekian has received numerous honors and awards. In 1996, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Tashkent University in Uzbekistan. Dr. Tekian was the recipient of the 1997 Teaching Recognition Program Award from the University of Illinois (UIC) Council for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. He is also the recipient of the 2012 ASME (Association for the Study of Medical Education) Gold Medal Award which is one of the most prestigious international awards in medical education. In 2014, he was honored by receiving the most revered Lifetime Achievement Award by the Armenian American Medical Society. He also received the “Faculty of the Year” award from UIC-DME in 2015. He has served as the President of the Division of Education in the Professions of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) from 2009 – 2012, which is a major venue for presentation of scholarship in health professions education. AERA is the leading international professional association for the field of education. In 2017, Dr. Tekian received AERA’s most prestigious Division I’s Distinguished Career Award. He was also the 2017 recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which recognizes individuals who have made their mission to share with those less fortunate their wealth of knowledge, courage, compassion and unique talents, all while maintaining the traditions of their ethnic heritage as they uphold the vision and spirit of America. Dr. Tekian is also the recipient of the highly competitive UIC Award for Excellence in Teaching for the 2017-18 academic year.
Kay Spreitzer Associate Director for International Education
Kay was as an archaeologist for 10 years after completing her degree in Anthropology from Loyola University of Chicago. Her interest in international services developed when she advised graduate students from all over the world here in UIC’s Department of Physics. She continued her work with international students as an immigration advisor at IIT where she won the Staff Excellence Award as part of a team helping students succeed academically and financially towards their degree. She loves travelling and spent several months backpacking solo throughout Europe. Her more recent travels have taken her to Turkey and Morocco. She believes that her time travelling solo helps her relate to the international students she works with, as she can better understand having to make her way in a variety of cultures and languages that are new to her.
Nicole Kozlowski Research Assistant, International Education
Nicole is the International Education research assistant. She completed her undergraduate bachelor’s degree at The Ohio State University, with a dual degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and English. She is highly interested in engaging with other healthcare professionals of different cultural backgrounds. Nicole is currently in her second year at UIC’s College of Pharmacy.