A dedicated and passionate educator.

Congratulations to Pedro Fernandez-Funez, PhD, who will be recognized with a 2024 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education! Dr. Fernandez-Funez is a dedicated and passionate educator deeply involved in all aspects of graduate and professional education, from program development and course planning to high-contact student teaching and advising. He has served in critical roles in the new medical curriculum and spearheaded the development of a new Masters of Science program (Gateways to Medicine and Research MS program) and an entirely new curriculum. This award reflects the University’s strong and enduring commitment to outstanding graduate and professional education.

The following are quotes from some of the individuals who supported Dr. Fernandez-Funez’s nomination: 

I enthusiastically support Dr Pedro Fernandez-Funez for the award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate / Professional Education. He has demonstrated the utmost dedication with a genuine care for the students and a desire to provide the best learning environment based on modern learning principles. We are proud of his accomplishments and contributions to the Duluth Campus. This award would truly reward his exceptional effort to transform the teaching of graduate and medical education. I cannot think of a better candidate for this award. - Detlef Heck, PhD, head of the Department of Biomedical Sciences 

It is my pleasure to wholeheartedly support the nomination of Dr. Pedro Fernandez-Funez for the University of Minnesota Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education. I have worked closely with Dr. Fernandez-Funez in several different capacities since he joined our faculty seven years ago. Dr. Fernandez-Funez has been an outstanding addition to our campus with many impactful contributions including serving as a course director and instructor within our undergraduate medical education curriculum while also helping to move forward several different educational initiatives that have modernized and improved medical and graduate education in our campus and the entire Medical School. Dr. Fernandez-Funez is highly deserving of this educational award. - Kevin W. Diebel, PhD, Regional Campus Dean, Duluth Campus

I am a non-traditional medical student and chose the Duluth Medical School because it allowed me to start my medical training at an institution that values the importance of rural health. It also allowed me to continue the personal connections I had built with some of the faculty through research experiences. I knew these factors would be key assets to succeed in medical school and I ended up needing some of that support during challenging times in my first year. It is a pleasure to write this support letter for Dr Fernandez-Funez. He is an outstanding medical educator who cares deeply about his students. I am grateful for his support during a difficult time. I cannot think of a better candidate for this educational award. Joel Madson, MD, Family Medicine

As an Indigenous woman, navigating a field that has historically excluded my community is challenging. Because of these experiences, I have a great appreciation for professors who go out of their way to support BIPOC students. Dr. Fernandez-Funez is a great role model for students both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. As much as I admire Dr. Fernandez-Funez for his teaching and work in curriculum development, I admire him more so for his continued work with the Center of American Indian and Minority Health, community outreach in Duluth, and the Gateways to Medicine and Research program. Jennifer Murillo, MD, MPH