Schmidlapp Center

Division Details

Division Data Summary

Research and Training Details

Number of Faculty5
Number of Research Students140
Number of Support Personnel3

Division Photo

Group photo of the Division of Schmidlapp Center

Row 1: S Degen, S Thornton, C Bachurski

Row 2: J Woo, A Modi, L Dorn

Significant Accomplishments

Significant Accomplishments

Schmidlapp Program

Since the start of the Schmidlapp Women Scholars Program, 12 of the scholars have been promoted, two to professor and three awarded tenure. The scholars have published 435 papers since their naming as scholars and have received nine NIH R01 grants, 4 NIH K Awards and 10 foundation grants for a total of $17million in direct costs. This is an eleven-fold return on investment, indicating the success of this program.

Undergraduate Support

Faculty and parents of undergraduates supported by the Schmidlapp Program have donated more than $72,000 to support our future women researchers and clinicians, with over $16,000 raised this fiscal year.

Office for Faculty Development

The Office for Faculty Development (OFD) has provided a variety of seminars, networking opportunities, and career development resources for faculty members. A total of 1,163 faculty attended an OFD event in FY12. In addition, mentorship programs, a strategic plan for recruitment and retention of women and minority faculty members, and two leadership programs have been launched in the past year.

Division Highlights

Sandra J. Degen, PhD Associate Chair for Academic Affairs and Professor of Pediatrics

In 1998, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital received a generous grant from the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Trust, which was used to develop a Scholars Program to promote academic advancement of women faculty. This program has been very successful. To date, 18 women have been selected as Schmidlapp Scholars. This program has successfully promoted career advancement not only of the awardees, but also of all of the applicants. The program has included individual mentorship to all applicants and feedback to their division directors and the chairman of the department. The program has helped create an attractive environment for recruitment of women faculty at all ranks, with the number of women faculty increasing from 58 (30%) in 1996 to 270 (43%) in 2012.

Since the start of the Schmidlapp Women Scholars Program, 12 of the Scholars have been promoted, with two being promoted to professor and three awarded tenure. The Scholars have published 435 papers since becoming a scholar and have received 9 NIH R01 grants, 4 NIH K Awards and 10 foundation grants for a total of $17M in direct costs. This is a return on investment of 11 fold, indicating the success of this program.

In April 2005, Cincinnati Children’s received a $1.5 million grant from the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Foundation of Fifth Third Bank for a new program to support the career development of women in academic pediatrics. The goals of the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Center for Career Development of Women in Academic Pediatrics are to enhance career development of women coming from a broad range of backgrounds and ultimately to become a national model for career development of women in academic medicine.

In 2010 and 2011, a total of $2 million was awarded from the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Foundation at Fifth Third Bank to endow the Schmidlapp Women Scholars Program with continuous support into the future.

And finally, in May 2010, the Office of Faculty Development (OFD) was launched to support various faculty development efforts at Cincinnati Children’s including programs to improve the diversity of our faculty, leadership programs, mentoring guidelines and networking opportunities.

Office for Faculty Development (OFD)

The OFD was launched in May, 2010 with the following goals:

  • To promote an academic environment within the CCRF that supports, enhances, and rewards the professional activities of the faculty
  • To promote recruitment, retention, and academic career advancement of all faculty
  • To improve promotion rates and increase leadership opportunities for women and minority faculty
  • To improve career satisfaction and promote work-life integration among faculty

Strategic Initiatives and Accomplishments for this fiscal year

1. Centralize resources and communication about faculty development

Centralized Resources

  • Jamilah Hackworth, MSEd, was hired as a Consultant in faculty development in July 2011.
  • Scott Steel (Education Strategist, Dept of Education and Learning) and Charla Weiss (HR Consultant, Diversity and Inclusion) collaborate with the OFD.

Centralized communication

  • Email communication, intranet and extranet websites, Facebook page and monthly newsletter (Faculty Flash) have been established in the past and continue to be an effective form of communication
  • Presentations given on behalf of the OFD during 2011-12 included: New Faculty Orientation in October 2011, Division Directors in January 2012 (re: mentorship program recommendations and strategic plan for women and minority faculty), and the Education Subcommittee of the Cincinnati Children's Board of Trustees in April 2012.

2. Provide resources for career development at all levels

OFD seminar series
The monthly faculty development seminar series encompasses a wide variety of topics relevant to faculty career. Seminars are open to faculty, non-faculty providers, and clinical/post-doctoral fellows. Attendance in 2011-2012 averaged 53 participants per seminar, and a total of 625 faculty participated.

Leadership Development Programs
In collaboration with Scott Steel in the Dept of Education and Learning, two development programs were initiated:

  • The Core Leadership Program for 24 mid-level leaders was launched in October 2011.
  • The Senior Faculty Leadership Development Program was developed in collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health’s Division of Executive and Continuing Education. The program was launched in May 2012 with 54 participants.

Grantsmanship resources and seminar series

  • A grantsmanship document representing a compilation of all resources at Cincinnati Children's and UC was distributed and posted on the OFD webpage. The seminar series was launched in August of 2011.
  • The OFD developed two comprehensive grant resource documents – one for internal grants and one for foundation/external grants – to support faculty in identifying grant opportunities. Both documents are updated on a continuous basis as new information becomes available.

Networking opportunities

  • A work-life balance networking group was launched in 2011, under the direction of Drs. Jennifer Hillman and Sean Barnett. A work-life balance needs assessment was developed as an on-line survey for the purpose of informing the development of future programs and support mechanisms.
  • The “Wine and Wisdom” series was launched to highlight the pathways to success of highly successful faculty members at Cincinnati Children's. Speakers in 2011-2012 included Drs. Arnie Strauss and Peggy Hostetter.

3. Enhance mentorship opportunities

Mentorship recommendations

  • The OFD convened a mentorship committee in 2011 that developed recommendations for a mentorship program at Cincinnati Children's. A mentorship advisory committee was created in 2012 to provide strategic guidance for the implementation of the recommendations.
  • Recommendations already put into practice include the following:
    • Mentorship was highlighted in the revised departmental reappointment, promotion and tenure guidelines
    • Awards for excellent mentorship were created, and included in the first annual faculty awards program in February 2012.
  • Resource materials for mentorship, including a mentorship handbook, have been developed and are under review by the mentorship advisory committee.

4. Provide support for psychosocial issues and work-life integration

OFD webpage resources
The webpage has a section about professional health resources and work-life balance

Work-life balance support
Work-life balance sessions have been incorporated into the OFD seminar series and the Core Leadership Program

5. Enhance recruitment, retention, promotion, and leadership development of minority and women faculty

Strategic plan

  • The OFD, in collaboration with in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, developed a strategic plan for recruitment, retention, and promotion of women and minority faculty. A faculty diversity advisory committee was created and is currently meeting to provide strategic guidance as the plan is implemented in FY 13.
  • Leading across racial, ethnic, and age differences has been incorporated into both the Core and Senior Faculty Leadership Development Programs and into the OFD seminar series.

Programs for High School and Undergraduate Students

High School Programs

Cindy Bachurski, PhD
Associate Professor Research Administration, Career Development

High School Science Student Symposium
Each spring all area high schools are invited to bring their best 2 science students and a teacher or counselor to participate in the one day Science Symposium. This past year, we had 156 participants from 52 area high schools. The students and their advisors attended concurrent workshops on careers in medicine, allied health, and science, and participated in hands-on activities throughout the medical center ranging from basic science labs to clinical experiences.

Summer High School Internship Program
The Internship Program is a competitive program for high school seniors in Cincinnati. Sixteen students were selected from 186 applicants to work in clinical programs and participate in a weekly luncheon series. The following students were provided stipend support through the Schmidlapp Program to work with the indicated mentor:

Morgan Alexander

Georgetown HS

Mentor: Lesley Breech

Madison Farley

Highlands HS

Mentor: Marc Levitt

Christina Gao

Sycamore HS

Mentor: Richard Falcone

Emma Headley

William Mason HS

Mentor: John Bissler

Abigail Janke

Walnut Hills HS

Mentor: Don Gilbert

Daniel Magas  

Turpin HS   

Mentor: Tom DeWitt

Meagan Majchzak 

Ursuline Academy HS 

Mentor: Melinda Butsch-Kovacic

Amar Mehta 

Cincinnati Country Day

Mentor: David Franz

Bradley Miyagawa 

Oak Hills HS

Mentor: Raouf Amin

Jeremy Siegel

Walnut Hills HS

Mentor: Patty Manning-Courtney

Alexandria Vamosi

Wyoming HS   

Mentor: Kan Hor

Zachary VerSchure

Indian Hill HS

Mentor: Sean Barnett

Susan Wallace   

Madeira HS  

Mentor: Mary Staat

Sven Wang  

St. Xavier HS

Mentor: Jason Frischer

Cyrus Yang

William Mason HS

Mentor: Susan Rose

Suohui Zhang

Walnut Hills HS

Mentor: Nathan Timm

Biomedical Research Internship for Minority Students (BRIMS)
This program is open to high achieving graduating high school seniors and college freshmen from the Cincinnati tri-state area that belong to a minority group traditionally underrepresented in biomedical careers, including African American, Hispanic, Pacific Islander or American Indian. Students work full time for 9 weeks on a mentored research project, participate in a weekly luncheon series with minority faculty, and shadow in clinical areas to explore biomedical career options. The following students were provided stipend support through the Schmidlapp Program to work with the indicated mentor:

Rosario Alarcon-Cabrera

Lakota West HS 

Mentor: Neeru Hershey 

Madisynn Beckett

Walnut Hills HS

Mentor: Dao Pan

Brant Center

Monroe HS

Mentor: Noah Shroyer

Steven Janes

Anderson HS

Mentor: Julio Alberti 

Mosep Okonny

Mt. Healthy HS

Mentor: Rulang Jiang

Nicole Rojas

William Mason HS

Mentor: Ron Waclaw

Summer Undergraduate Research Program

Sherry Thornton, PhD
Assistant Professor
Division of Rheumatology

Approximately 1,000students applied to the Summer Undergraduate Research Program from throughout the United States. This program enabled 118students to participate in basic and clinical research programs at Cincinnati Children’s. An extensive scientific and social program is provided throughout the summer. Students working with past and present Schmidlapp Scholars were selected for stipend support through the Schmidlapp Program, as well as other exceptional women students. The following students were provided stipend support through the Schmidlapp Program to work with the indicated mentor:

Sara Bush 

Morehead State University 

Mentor: Mark Paterno 

Julie Griffin 

Loveland HS

Mentor: Sherry Thornton

Madeline Miller

Boston College

Mentor: Matthew Flick

Molly Moran

Mt. St. Joseph College

Mentor: Alex Miethke

Maria Schworer

Univ. of Cincinnati 

Mentor: Kris Steinbrecher

WISE (Women in Science & Engineering) Summer Program

This program is run through the University of Cincinnati (UC) and supports women students at UC with an interest in pursuing careers in science and engineering. An extensive academic program is provided to these students throughout the summer. The Schmidlapp Program and the Clinical for Clinical and Translational Science Training (CCTST) provide support for the summer stipend of the following students:

Aisha Hussain

Mentor: Donita Bylski-Austrow

Career Development Programs for Women

Schmidlapp Woman Scholars Program

Lorah Dorn, PhD
Division of Adolescent Medicine

This program provides grants of $50,000 a year for up to two years to women faculty who have shown promise as leaders within the institution and are at a critical stage of their career. Scholars are selected each year by the Schmidlapp Committee, consisting of senior women faculty and including Drs. Maria Britto, Peggy Hostetter, Heidi Kalkwarf, Uma Kotagal, Ardythe Morrow,Lori Stark, Marsha Wills-Karp, and Katherine Yutzey.

Avani Modi, PhDAssistant ProfessorDivision of Behavioral Medicine & Clinical PsychologyFirst year
Jessica Woo, PhDAssociate ProfessorDivision of Epidemiology & BiostatisticsSecond year

Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine, Program for Women (ELAM) 

Each year Cincinnati Children’s nominates a faculty member for participation in this nationally competitive program that provides leadership education and networking opportunities to women who have shown promise as leaders within their institution. The Schmidlapp Program covers all costs of participation in this program. This year’s participant was:

Evie Alessandrini Professor     Division of Emergency Medicine 

AAMC Professional Development Conferences 

The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) offers professional development conferences for both junior and midcareer women. These conferences provide mentoring and leadership guidance and have been viewed by past participants as valuable for their career. This year’s participants were:

Melinda Butsch-Kovacic, PhD Assistant Professor Division of Asthma Research 
Sejal Jain, MDAssistant ProfessorDivision of Neurology
Heather Kaplan, MDAssistant ProfessorDivision of Neonatology & Pulmonary Biology
Ellen Lipstein, MDAssistant ProfessorDivision of Adolescent Medicine
Jareen Meinzen-Derr, PhDAssistant Professor Division of Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Kasiani Myers, MDInstructorDivision of Bone Marrow Transplantation
Kejian Zhang, MDAssociate Professor Division of Human Genetics

Annual Faculty Awards Program

The First Annual Faculty Awards Program was held in February of this year to recognize the achievements of our faculty during the past year. The awards and awardees were:

Research Achievement Award

  • Noah F. Shroyer, PhD (junior)
  • Jeffery D. Molkentin, PhD (senior)

Mentoring Achievement Award

  • Richard A. Lang, PhD

Educational Achievement Award

  • Arnold Carlson Merrow, Jr. MD (junior)
  • Michael K. Farrell, MD (senior)

Clinical Care Achievement Award

  • Jeffrey M. Simmons, MD (junior)
  • Timothy K. Knilans, MD (senior)

Service & Advocacy

  • Alexander J. Towbin, MD (junior)
  • Beverly L. Connelly, MD (senior)

Community Advocacy

  • Michael A. Gittelman, MD & Wendy J. Pomerantz, MD

Entrepreneurial Achievement Award

  • Kejian Zhang, MD (junior)
  • David I. Bernstein, MD & Richard L. Ward, PhD (senior)

Career Achievement Award

  • Jeff Whitsett, MD

Fund Raising

The Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Foundation donated $1,000,000 in February 2010 and again in February 2011 to establish the Charlotte R. Schmidllapp Women Scholars endowment. Interest from this endowment will go to support the Schmidlapp Woman Scholars program.

Faculty and parents of undergraduates supported by the Schmidlapp Program have donated over $72,000 to support our future women researchers and clinicians, with over $16,000 raised this fiscal year.

Faculty, Staff, and Trainees

Faculty Members

Sandra J. Degen, PhD, Professor
Leadership Associate Chair for Academic Affairs
Jessica Kahn, MD, Associate Professor
Leadership Assistant Chair for Faculty Development
Cindy Bachurski, PhD, Associate Professor
Leadership Director, High School Programs
Dorn Lorah, PhD, Professor
Leadership Director, Schmidlapp Women Scholars
Sherry Thornton, PhD, Assistant Professor
Leadership Director, Summer Undergraduate Program