AHU professor Joseph Hawkins named outstanding educator of the year

News Lisa Marie Esser

Joseph Hawkins, MSEd, CNMT, AdventHealth University (AHU) director of institutional effectiveness and accreditation, was the recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Educator of the Year award from the Society of Nuclear Medicine Imaging – Technologist Section (SNMMI-TS). The annual award is given to educators based on their contributions to the field of nuclear medicine, and more importantly, their significant achievements as an educator. Awardees are first nominated by a peer or colleague, and then reviewed and selected by SNMMI-TS leadership.

Joe Hawkins and Liz Duncan pose holding the award.
Joseph Hawkins (left), who was unable to attend the award ceremony, poses with program director, Liz Duncan (right).

Liz Duncan, MSHS, CNMT, program director of AHU’s nuclear medicine technology program, said, “The success of our nuclear medicine program is due to Joe’s leadership abilities. He is an exceptional mentor to both AHU students and faculty; helping instructors with teaching techniques and accreditation issues.” Hawkins was hired in 2001 to start AHU’s nuclear medicine technology program. Duncan is now the program director, but Hawkins continues to teach as a part-time professor in the nuclear medicine program. Currently the program boasts an average 97% ARRT exam pass rate and an average 94% NMTCB exam pass rate.

A senior in AHU’s nuclear medicine technology program, Ashley Behm, spoke highly of her experience as one of Hawkins’ students. “His teaching methods make even intimidating subjects like nuclear physics easy to grasp. He’s always available to help students who have more questions.”

Hawkins has been part of the SNMMI organization for many years in various roles. He’s served as chair of both the entry-level curriculum committee and the student membership task force and as a member of their national council of representatives. Additionally, he is on the board of directors for the Joint Review Committee on Educational Program in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT). Prior to coming to AHU, he taught at Prince George’s Community College where he also served as its nuclear medicine program director. Overall, Hawkins has more than 25 years of experience in the field of nuclear medicine as an educator, technologist, and industry representative.

About the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) is an international scientific and medical organization dedicated to advancing nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, vital elements of precision medicine that allow diagnosis and treatment to be tailored to individual patients in order to achieve the best possible outcomes.

SNMMI’s more than 16,000 members set the standard for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine practice by creating guidelines, sharing information through journals and meetings, and leading advocacy on key issues that affect molecular imaging and therapy research and practice. For more information, visit www.snmmi.org.