Center for Development of Careers in Child Health

Division Details

Division Data Summary

Research and Training Details

Number of Faculty6
Number of Research Students165
Number of Support Personnel3

Division Photo

Center for Career Development in Academic Pediatrics

Row 1: S Degen

Row 2: S Thornton, J Kahn

Row 3: S Wells, E Janssen, C Bachurski

Significant Accomplishments

Significant Accomplishments

Schmidlapp Program Produces Strong Return on Investment

Since the start of the Schmidlapp Women Scholars Program, 12 Scholars have been promoted, with four being promoted to professor and three awarded tenure. The Scholars have published 689 papers and have received 15 NIH R01 grants, 5 NIH K Awards and 15 foundation grants for a total of $32M in direct costs. This is a 20-fold return on investment of 20 fold, indicating the success of this program.

40 Donors Support Undergraduate Program

Over the past several years faculty and parents of undergraduates supported by the Schmidlapp Program have donated over $90,000 to support our future women researchers and clinicians, with 40 donors contributing almost $18,000 this fiscal year.

Senior Leadership Program Launched

The Office for Faculty Development (OFD) has provided a variety of seminars, networking opportunities, and career development resources for faculty members.  More than 650 faculty attended OFD events in FY 2013. A new senior leadership program was launched this year with the Harvard School of Public Health, a second cohort of faculty participated in the Core Leadership Program, new Core Leadership Program Booster Sessions were offered, a mentorship brochure and templates were published and a diversity promotional video was created.

Research Highlights

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

The Center for Career Development in Academic Pediatrics started in 1998, when Cincinnati Children’s Hospital received a generous grant from the Charlotte R. SchmidlappTrust. These funds were used to develop a Women Scholars Program to promote academic advancement of women faculty.Following the success of the Scholars Program, additional programs were started to support our pipeline of student talent (high school student and undergraduate research programs), our postdoctoral trainees (Office of Postdoctoral Affairs), faculty development (Office of Faculty Development), career development and faculty recognition. These programs are highlighted below.

Support for the Woman Scholars Program comes from an endowment that was put in place in 2010 with a generous gift from the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Foundation at Fifth Third Bank of $2 million. Previous to this endowment gift, we had received an additional $2M between 1998 and 2005 from this fund to support the Women Scholar’s Program, as well as to start the Center for Career Development. The goals of the Center for Career Development in Academic Pediatrics are to enhance career development of our faculty and trainees coming from a broad range of backgrounds and ultimately to become a national model for career development in academic medicine.

Schmidlapp Women Scholars Program

Lorah Dorn, PhD
Program Director
Division of Adolescent Medicine

The Schmidlapp Women Scholars 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, Clare Chougnet, Peggy Hostetter, Heidi Kalkwarf, Uma Kotagal, Ardythe Morrow, Lori Stark, and Katherine Yutzey.

To date, 19 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 295 (43%) in 2013.

Since the start of the Schmidlapp Women Scholars Program, 12 of the Scholars have been promoted, with four being promoted to professor and three awarded tenure. The Scholars have published 689 papers since becoming a scholar and have received 15 NIH R01 grants, 5 NIH K Awards and 15 foundation grants for a total of $32M in direct costs. This is a return on investment of 20 fold, indicating the success of this program.

Our most recent Schmidlapp Scholar is:

Edith Janssen, PhD Assistant Professor Division of Molecular & Cellular Immunology

Second year Scholar:

Avani Modi, PhDAssistant Professor Division of Behavioral Medicine & Clinical Psychology

Programs for High School and Undergraduate Students

High School Programs

Cindy Bachurski, PhD
Program Director
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 136 participants from 45 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. Fifteen students were selected from 110 applicants to work in clinical programs and participate in a weekly luncheon series. The following students were provided stipend support through the Center to work with the indicated mentor:

Claire Albertz Princeton HS Mentor: Rebeccah Brown
Samuel Cochran Lebanon HS Mentor: Melinda Butsch-Kovacic
Miranda Cruse Simon Kenton HS Mentor: Elana Harris
Lindsay Darkins Mt. Notre Dame HS Mentor: Nathan Timm
Alexander Edwards Goshen HS Mentor: Tom DeWitt
Madeline Gates Highlands HS Mentor: Jason Frischer
Nanki Hura Sycamore HS Mentor: David Franz
Ryan Judd St. Xavier HS Mentor: Susan Rose
Steve Lair Moeller HS Mentor: Marc Levitt
Brandon Lewis Madison HS Mentor: Elana Harris
Joel Manzi Princeton HS Mentor: Mary Staat
Patrick McHenry Milford HS Mentor: Donald Gilbert
Cora Miracle Norwood HS Mentor: Richard Falcone
Rachel Murrin Newport Catholic HS Mentor: Patty Manning
Jonathan Sussman Sycamore HS Mentor: Raouf Amin

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 Center to work with the indicated mentor:

Pablo Alarcon-Cabrera Lakota West HS Mentor: Julio Aliberti
Mainelys CeballosLakota West HSMentor: Steve Danzer
Selina GarciaUniv. New MexicoMentor: Andreas Loepke
Emily GonzalesUniv. Notre DameMentor: Jing Xiang
Christopher GonzalezUniv. of CincinnatiMentor: Lauren Haan
Mykia KiddUniv. of CincinnatiMentor: Sundeep Keswani
Aliane KuhbwimanaSpring Valley AcademyMentor: Camille Graham
Allison PegueroHamilton HSMentor: Noah Shroyer

Summer Undergraduate Research Program

Sherry Thornton, PhD
Program Director
Assistant Professor
Division of Rheumatology

Approximately 1,120 students applied to the Summer Undergraduate Research Program from throughout the United States. This program enabled 142students to participate in basic and clinical research programs at Cincinnati Children’s. An extensive scientific and social program is provided throughout the summer. The following students were provided stipend support through the Center to work with the indicated mentor:

Anne Bonifas Univ. of Michigan Mentor: Donita Bylski-Austrow
Emilie Lanter Thomas More College Mentor: Raj Nagarajan
Sarah Schuman Univ. of Tennessee Mentor: Susmita Kashikar-Zuck
Laurin Schwab Indian Hill HS Mentor: Douglas Rose
Elizabeth Shisler Ohio State Univ. Mentor: Lisa Martin

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 Center for Career Development and the Center for Clinical and Translational Science Training (CCTST) provide support for the summer stipend of the following students:

Allison GreggMentor:  Donita Bylski-Austrow
Anna Hinzman Mentor: Jason Lu
Makaela MooreMentor: Donna Jones

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

Susanne Wells, PhD
Associate Professor
Divisions of Oncology and Experimental Hematology

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs provides oversight to over 200 postdoctoral fellows and research associates. Research presentations and career guidance are given at monthly meetings. A day-long Science Careers Workshop was presented in the spring with over 180 attendees (including graduate students). This office also provides guidance on international and human resource issues.

Office for Faculty Development (OFD)

Jessica Kahn, MD
Assistant Chair of Academic Affairs
Division of Adolescent Medicine


The OFD will create effective faculty development programs and resources to achieve the following goals:         

  • Create an academic environment that supports, enhances and rewards the professional activities of the faculty
  • Promote recruitment, retention, and academic career advancement of all faculty
  • Enhance recruitment and leadership development of women and minority faculty
  • Improve career satisfaction and promote work-life integration among faculty

Strategic Initiatives

1. Centralize resources and communication regarding faculty development

Mission: The OFD will enable faculty to easily locate information and resources important for career development through intranet and extranet sites, targeted emails to distribution lists, newsletters, social media and presentations.


  • The OFD fostered collaborations across the institution to support faculty development efforts, including the Department of Education and Learning, Office for Diversity and Inclusion, CCTST, and the Office for Physician and Faculty recruitment.
  • The OFD conference room and faculty development library are available as a resource to faculty.
  • The OFD email address ( is actively used for communication with faculty and distribution lists have been developed to facilitate communication.
  • The intranet and extranet pages were extensively updated.
  • A newsletter, Faculty Flash, was distributed monthly to the faculty to provide information about career development resources and opportunities.
  • A promotional video about resources and opportunities for faculty was created for prospective faculty members.
2. Provide resources for career development at all levels

Mission:The OFD will provide individualized career counseling to faculty members to support them in achieving their career and work-life balance objectives; implement career development seminars to address the career development topics that faculty identify as the most critical to their success; facilitate the development of networking groups and create networking events to foster collaboration, psychosocial support, recruitment/retention, and career success; develop leadership programs to create a cadre of outstanding faculty leaders at all career stages and encourage faculty leaders to create a culture of service, appreciation, inclusion, teamwork and collaboration; implement a mentorship program that supports the career development of all faculty through formal and informal mentoring, ensures that faculty members are well integrated into the institution, helps faculty to define personal career objectives and achieve promotion and/or tenure, and fosters a culture of excellent mentoring; and provide resources for late-career faculty about career options and retirement planning. 


  • Individual consultation was provided to many faculty members.
  • Career development and grantsmanship seminars were held at least monthly
  • Networking opportunities were developed including a work-life balance networking group, an Educator Specialist networking group, the semiannual Wine & Wisdom networking event, and a Black faculty networking group. 
  • Leadership development programs were implemented including the following:
    • The Core Leadership Program (CLP) – This program is designed for mid-level leaders; the first cohort was launched in 2011 and the second in 2012. Data from the 360 evaluations indicate that most Division Directors and direct reports believed the program impacted leadership behaviors positively.
    • CLP Booster Sessions – These programs were developed for participants in the CLP to reinforce learning, apply new skills, encourage peer mentoring, and sustain relationships. Leadership and the Happiness Advantage, was held in February, 2013 and Leading with Presence, was held in May, 2013.
  • The Senior Faculty Leadership Program – This program, developed in collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health’s Division of Executive and Continuing Education, was launched in May, 2012 with a total of 54 participants.
  • Recommendations for a mentorship program were implemented, including the following:
    • Mentorship was highlighted in the RPT guideline revisions and metrics for evaluation of mentorship at each rank and track added.
    • Resource materials for mentorship, including a mentorship handbook and guidance, were developed and distributed.
    • A multi-institution, full-day mentorship symposium is planned for September 16, 2013.
    • Dr. Kahn completed facilitator training for a mentor training workshop designed by the University of Wisconsin, and co-facilitated the first workshop in May and June, 2013.
  • Late-career development programs and resources for faculty approaching retirement have begun to be explored.
3. Provide support for psychosocial issues and work-life integration

Mission: The OFD will develop resources and programs to help faculty achieve their psychosocial and physical health goals and balance work and life responsibilities. 


  • Information about professional health and work-life integration resources are provided to faculty in multiple formats.
  • Programs for support of work-life integration have been developed, including a networking group and seminars.
4. Enhance recruitment, retention, promotion and leadership development of a diverse faculty

Mission: The OFD will provide the resources, training and opportunities necessary to enhance the recruitment and career development of a diverse faculty, to increase the diversity of faculty members in leadership positions, and to provide the support necessary to help them succeed in those positions. Diversity is defined broadly and includes gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, and country of origin.


  • A faculty diversity plan was developed and a Faculty Diversity Advisory Committee established to provide strategic guidance.
  • Best practices at other institutions were explored, including a visit to Vanderbilt’s Office of Health Equity and Inclusion in 2013.
  • Pipeline and recruitment initiatives have been developed including: dashboards, a promotional video, collaboration with marketing/communications, educational programs, and a networking event linking residents, fellows, and faculty.
  • Retention and promotion support are being expanded including: development of dashboards for retention and promotion by race/ethnicity and gender, review of exit interview data, exploration of grant mechanisms for underrepresented minority faculty, and networking opportunities for junior and senior faculty members.
  • Professional and leadership development of a diverse faculty were promoted including: an analysis of salary equity by gender, race and ethnicity; increased nomination of minority faculty for awards and public recognition; and provision of leadership development opportunities for diverse faculty.

Career Development Programs

Professional Development Conferences

This year the Center for Career Development supported faculty to attend various professional development workshops. The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) offers professional development conferences for junior and midcareer women and for minority faculty.  These conferences provide mentoring and leadership guidance and have been viewed by past participants as valuable for their career. Two faculty attended a Negotiation Retreat for Women in Academics run by Catherine Morrison – a negotiation and conflict management consultant and coach.

This year’s participants were:

Maria Britto, MD Professor Division of Adolescent Medicine
Tanya Froehlich, MD Assistant Professor Division of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics
Camille Graham, MD Assistant Professor Division of General & Community Pediatrics
Bin Huang, PhD Associate Professor Division of Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Nana Jones, MD Assistant Professor Division of Endocrinology
Monica Mitchell, PhD Professor Division of Behavioral Medicine & Clinical Psychology
Tanya Mullins, MD Assistant Professor Division of Adolescent Medicine
Hope O’Brien, MD Assistant Professor Division of Neurology
Erin Shaughnessy, MD Assistant Professor Division of Hospital Medicine
Erika Stalets, MD Assistant Professor Division of Critical Care Medicine

Annual Faculty Awards Program

The Second Annual Faculty Awards Program was held in February of this year to recognize the achievements of our faculty during the past year.  Almost 100 nominations were received for the 12 awards.  The awards and awardees were:

Research Achievement Award

Junior:  Saima Riazuddin, PhD (Surgery, ENT)
Senior:  Chris Wylie, PhD (Developmental Biology)

Mentoring Achievement Award

Junior:  Melissa Klein, MD (General & Community Pediatrics)
Senior:  Sandra Degen, PhD (CCRF Administration)

Educational Achievement Award

Junior:  Jennifer O’Toole MD (Hospital Medicine)
Senior:  Javier Gonzalez del Rey, MD (Emergency Medicine)
Senior:  Neeru Hershey, MD, PhD (Asthma Research)

Clinical Care Achievement Award

Junior:  Junichi Tamai, MD (Surgery, Orthopedics)
Senior:  Fred Ryckman, MD (Surgery)

Service & Advocacy

Senior:  Marilyn Goske, MD (Radiology)

Entrepreneurial Achievement Award

Junior:  David Larson, MD (Radiology)
Senior:  Prasad Devarajan (Nephrology) 

Fund Raising

Over the past several years faculty and parents of undergraduates supported by the Center have donated over $90,000 to support our future women researchers and clinicians, with 40 donors contributing almost $18,000 this fiscal year.

Faculty, Staff, and Trainees

Faculty Members

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