University of Louisville Pediatrics Faculty Recognized for Outstanding Service

Three Faculty Members Recognized by the University

Louisville, KY - Three faculty members of the University of Louisville (UofL) Department of Pediatrics were honored with the 2024 UofL Excellence Award. Drs. Aaron Calhoun, Ronald Paul and Jennifer Porter were recognized in three of the seven categories. They were nominated alongside candidates from every department across the University.

“We are incredibly proud of Drs. Calhoun, Currie, Paul and Porter,” said Department of Pediatrics Chair Dr. Kim Boland. “All of these faculty members exemplify our commitment to inclusive excellence in clinical care, medical education, pediatric research and community advocacy. Our department, the University and the entire medical community are better because of their leadership and dedication.”

Dr. Calhoun, a tenured associate professor specializing in critical care medicine, received the Distinguished Teaching Award.

From the nomination: “Dr. Aaron Calhoun's tireless dedication to education, his innovative approach to simulation-based learning, and his consistently demonstrated excellence in teaching and mentorship, make him an exemplary candidate for one of the University’s esteemed Presidential Distinguished Teaching Professor Awards. At the core of his impact lies his role as the creator and director of the Simulation for Pediatric Assessment, Resuscitation, and Communication Program (SPARC), where he has innovatively integrated simulation into the curriculum with the overarching goal of improving the care of children and the abilities of clinicians to effectively communicate with their families. Dr. Calhoun's commitment to excellence in education is underscored by a myriad of awards over his career that highlight his impact on both students and colleagues not only locally in his large Department (over 200 faculty) but nationally as well; His leadership extends beyond traditional academic roles, including his current position as associate division chief of pediatric critical care medicine, shaping the future of pediatric critical care through his exceptional leadership and commitment “here and beyond.””

Dr. Paul was recognized with the Distinguished Faculty Award for Service of Career. He spent 33 years with the university developing the pediatric emergency medicine program as well as serving as the vice dean of Faculty Affairs and Advancement.

From the nomination: “There is simply no one who has positively influenced the care of acutely ill and injured children in the Louisville region more than Dr. Ron Paul. As of 2023, he had completed 30 years of highly skilled clinical care to tens of thousands of children, sacrificing evenings, weekends, and holidays and working extra shifts when needed to serve his patients. His legacy to our area extends well beyond the bedside, through his role as Division Chief of Pediatric Emergency Medicine for 25 of those years, prior to his transition to School of Medicine Vice Dean of Faculty Affairs in 2016. Even after becoming Vice Dean, he provided outstanding mentorship to the new Division Chief, continuing to work clinical shifts on holidays, and providing highly effective teaching to trainees while serving as a master clinician. Throughout his tenure he trained, recruited, mentored, and sponsored faculty with expertise in clinical research, bedside ultrasonography, simulation, and education. Dr. Paul is a role model of humility, compassion and dedication, going above and beyond to help others, whether at the bedside of a critically ill patient, mentoring colleagues in PEM, or leading positive change in his field. He brings a calm sense of purpose as a leader, emphasizing the importance of consistency, fairness, and equity. Furthermore, in his role as Vice Dean Dr. Paul has fostered a culture of integrity, kindness, and service in the office environment. Faculty describe him as kind and considerate and always prepared. Finally, no description of Dr. Paul’s service to UofL would be complete without inclusion of his leadership in the triennial Pediatric Quiz Bowl (held 6 times since 2007). Dr. Paul serves as emcee, organizer, question writer, and host for this beloved event which positions faculty vs residents in a team‐jeopardy style event. He goes “all‐in” for these events, incorporating his keen sense of humor and extensive knowledge into these highly anticipated events held around the time of residency graduation.”

The Cardinal Principle Champion for Diversity and Inclusion went to Dr. Porter who focuses her practice on early childhood education, health literacy, early childhood development

From the nomination: “Dr. Porter has been a passionate advocate for DEI since her arrival in 2016. She is the Chair of our Department's DEI committee and under her leadership, this committee has created a formal mistreatment reporting process and an anti-racism checklist for all Departmental educational conferences; and advocated at legislative levels for LGBTQ+ youth. She leads several DEI book clubs and podcast reviews -- creating a safe/open space for dialogue around racism in the medical community. As the recipient & PI of an NIH-funded grant evaluating the effects of racism on neurocognitive development of Black children, she is dedicated to DEI in the research realm. Her work includes topics of parent’s perceptions of encounters with medical providers with different race/ethnicity; the impact of Black men on children's literacy behaviors; and asthma treatment disparities in urban, Black youth. Additionally, she teaches on the role of systemic racism in pediatric research and epidemiology. ” 

About the University of Louisville Department of Pediatrics: The University of Louisville (UofL) Department of Pediatrics, part of UofL’s School of Medicine, aims to provide inclusive excellence in clinical care, medical education, pediatric research and community advocacy to meet the health-related needs of children. The faculty are researchers who explore innovation in pediatric medicine, serve on local, regional and national committees and organizations while helping set standards of care and formulate new models of treatment. They are educators, focused on training the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. In addition, our faculty serves as pediatricians who provide services of Kentucky and the region through our affiliation with Norton Children's Hospital. For more information, visit the Department of Pediatrics website.