The Dean's Teaching Awards are typically presented annually as part of Medical Education Day. Unfortunately, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic forced cancellation of Medical Education Day. However, the School of Medicine and Public Health wishes to recognize the 2020 Dean's Teaching Award recipients for their outstanding contributions in student education.

Beth Altschafl

Beth Altschafl, PhD
Academic Affairs and Kinesiology

Dr. Altschafl joined the physiology teaching group at the University of Wisconsin in 2007, with a focus on teaching undergraduate and graduate human physiology courses. In 2014, she was selected to serve as the founding Integrated Block Leader for the Body in Balance Block in the ForWard Curriculum. She now also serves as the Phase 3 Basic Science Consultant, assisting faculty in the development and design of basic science electives for medical students. During her time at the School of Medicine and Public Health she has expanded her teaching portfolio to include consultation with national organizations to integrate online teaching activities and tools to aid health professions education. She received her bachelor’s degree from St. Norbert College and her master’s and doctorate degrees from University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Meghan Cotter

Meghan Cotter, PhD
Academic Affairs

Dr. Cotter joined our Anatomy teaching group in 2012 and has served in multiple teaching and leadership roles during her time at UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Cotter’s anatomy teaching reach includes a wide spectrum of health profession courses and students of all levels. In 2013, she became co-director of the popular Clinical Anatomy and Radiology M4 medical student elective as well as the anatomy course for OT and PT students. Most recently, she was selected to serve as a founding Assistant Block Leader for the Mind and Motion block and has been an important contributor to the development of the new ForWard Curriculum. Dr. Cotter received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, master’s degree from Bournemouth University and her doctorate in Anatomy from Case Western Reserve University.


Kelly Hodgson Kline

Kelly Hodgson Kline, MD

In 2000, Dr. Hodgson Kline joined the pediatrics faculty at Gundersen Health System. Since that time, she has taken on numerous teaching and leadership roles as preceptor and pediatric clerkship director for the Wisconsin Academy of Rural Medicine (WARM) program. Currently, Dr. Hodgson Kline serves as the regional block director for Care Across the Life Cycle at the Western Academic Campus and teaches Phase 2 and 3 WARM students in her rural pediatrics practice in Tomah, Wisconsin. She has been a pioneer in curriculum initiatives such as teaching in the new Intern Prep Course at Gundersen as well as the yearly La Crosse County Rural Disaster Drill where she has contributed to writing disaster scenarios and facilitated simulated cases in the field. Dr. Hodgson Kline received her undergraduate degree from Valparaiso University and medical degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.


Sara Johnson

Sara Johnson, MD

Dr. Johnson joined the faculty of the Department of Medicine at UW in 2011. She has devoted time to a broad range of teaching efforts at UWSMPH that includes medical students, residents and faculty with a focus on communication and teaching skills. Most recently, she is a founding co-director of the Internship Preparation Course and played an important role in the design and implementation of the new course as part of the ForWard Curriculum. Dr. Johnson has completed both the Stanford faculty development and Harvard Macy programs for educators and continues to be involved in national programs to train educators. Dr. Johnson received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and medical degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.


Catherine Reiser

Catherine A. Reiser, MS, CGC
Genetic Counseling

In 1981, Ms. Reiser joined the University of Wisconsin as a Clinical Genetic Counselor and has worked with a variety of different clinical centers and programs throughout her tenure. She has been a devoted educator, teaching a variety of health profession students across the continuum including undergraduate, graduate, medical students and residents. In addition to coordinating, teaching and developing curriculum for over 14 courses, Ms. Reiser is a highly valued mentor for undergraduate and genetic counseling students. Since 2000, she has been the director for the Genetic Counseling Training Program. Ms. Reiser received her undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dean's Award for Excellence in Medical Student Research Mentorship

Jason Abel

Jason Abel, MD

Dr. Abel joined the Urology department in 2010 after completing a urological oncology fellowship at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Abel has built a regional and national reputation for his clinical and academic work in renal cancer. He is a prolific researcher and was promoted to Associate Professor (CHS) in 2016. Dr. Abel has consistently involved medical students in his funded program of research and has proven to be an outstanding mentor. He has mentored eighteen medical students in summer and yearlong research projects, resulting in 19 publications and 65 abstracts. Dr. Abel received his undergraduate degree and medical degrees at University of Texas in Houston.