Two University of Minnesota Medical School faculty recently earned the 2020 Carole J. Bland Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award. This recognition, which was created after the memory of Carole J. Bland, PhD, ’74, honors faculty who serve as role models for each other, promote the professional development of others and creates a supportive, positive working environment. Dr. Bland, a long-time faculty member in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, was the former assistant dean for Faculty Development, director of Clinical Research Fellowships and principal architect for mentorship programs at the Medical School. This year’s awardees are Susan Everson-Rose, PhD, MPH, and Harry Orr, PhD.

Dr. Everson-Rose is a professor in the Department of Medicine, associate director of the Program in Health Disparities Research and director of the Health Equity Leadership and Mentoring (HELM) program at the University. She is trained in cardiovascular psychophysiology, behavioral medicine, stress mechanisms of disease, neuropsychology and cardiovascular and social epidemiology. Dr. Everson-Rose has over 25 years of experience as a funded investigator through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is currently funded as a co-investigator on several NIH-funded behavioral clinical trials, two National Cancer Institute-funded training programs and as a co-principal investigator on a study of MBSR with breast cancer survivors

“I was fortunate to have wonderful mentors throughout my career, and I would not be where I am without their guidance and support,” Dr. Everson-Rose said. “Mentoring is important to me because it allows me to pay that gift of good mentoring forward, and I derive great joy in seeing people thrive in their chosen career. I am very honored to receive the Carole J. Bland Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, particularly for my work with our HELM program. This program has given me the opportunity to combine my passions for mentoring and working to enhance diversity and inclusion at the University of Minnesota. It is gratifying to have this work recognized, and this award complements the enrichment and satisfaction I feel working with diverse trainees and faculty through HELM each year.”

Dr. Orr is a professor and the James Schindler and Bob Allison Ataxia Chair in Translational Research in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, directs the Institute of Translational Neuroscience and is a member of the Division of Molecular Pathology and Genomics. His research is focused on the molecular genetics of neurodegenerative diseases, principally the autosomal dominant form of spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA1).

“Successes I have enjoyed in my faculty career are largely due to the many formal and informal mentors that have guided me over the years. So, to some extent my mentoring of faculty is payback,” Dr. Orr said. “More importantly, the vitality of academic science and research is dependent on the addition and success of a set of new and diverse faculty. Receipt of a 2020 Carole J. Bland Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award is a tremendous recognition of a role I believe is very important. This award is particularly meaningful for me as it recognizes Carole, a former colleague who was a major and early promoter of mentorship programs in the Medical School. I am honored to have been nominated by the people I respect so much.”