Dr. Michael Jiroutek, associate professor of Clinical Research, received the 2021 College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences (CPHS) Educator of the Year Award. The award recognizes individuals who provide outstanding intellectual, moral and social instruction to learners. The recipient for this award must demonstrate a concern for education and evidence of distinguished accomplishments as an educator.
Jiroutek began teaching at the pharmacy school in 2012. He currently teaches biostatistics for undergraduate and graduate students. He is a favorite amongst students and is known for his open door policy, his innovative teaching style and his ability to make biostatistics a favorite subject. Jiroutek has been nominated for the Educator of the Year for two consecutive years.
Jiroutek provides valuable statistical and analytical resources for not only CPHS students and faculty, but for the University, Campbell University School of Medicine (CUSOM) and the scientific community as a whole. He has authored 48 peer-reviewed publications and has been awarded numerous grants.
“As the only statistician in all of CPHS (as far as I‘m aware), I’m a bit of an outlier in the College,” Jiroutek said. “When students apply to our clinical research program, they are excited to learn about clinical research and become a clinical researcher. In my experience, pretty much none of them are excited to learn about statistics, even though it is a key part of the evidence-based science that occurs in all the CPHS programs. Overcoming this near-universal bias is a challenge I embrace and put a significant amount of time and energy into. Being recognized for that with this award by a committee of my peers was validation that those efforts aren’t going unnoticed.
The recipient of the Educator of the Year Award engages in collaborative, inter-professional activities, encourages and demonstrates respect, and recognizes the value of sharing knowledge and skills. The educator is to expresses themselves clearly and concisely while inspiring interest and promoting maximal effort.
“Dr. Jiroutek possesses all of these attributes and his passion for teaching is evident in everything he does,” said Dr. Charles A. Carter, interim chair and associate professor of Clinical Research. “Biostatistics is often a challenging subject area and Dr. Jiroutek has found an approach with ‘real-world’ examples, innovation and analogies to make statistics not just understandable, but even enjoyable. There is no one more passionate about his or her subject matter or conveying their expertise to students than Dr. Jiroutek.”