Member Spotlights

Will Bynum

Assistant Professor in Community and Family Medicine

Duke AHEAD role

  • Member

Tell us about yourself.

I am in my sixth year as a family medicine faculty member, and I recently completed my first year in the Duke Department of Community and Family Medicine.  I currently have the privilege of serving as associate program director of the Duke family medicine residency, teaching Duke medical and PA students, and conducting research on self-conscious emotion in medical learners. Prior to arriving at Duke, I spent seven years in the US Air Force where I taught at the NCC Family Medicine Residency outside of Washington DC and deployed to East Africa in support of regional military operations.  I am married to my amazing wife Carson, who went to high school with me.  Ten years after graduation, we reconnected, and she finally acknowledged/reciprocated my high school crush and married me!

What do you hope to get out of Duke AHEAD?

Duke AHEAD continues to provide a direct conduit to an incredible network of educators, researchers, and administrators here at Duke.  Arriving to Duke without a network, Duke AHEAD provided me, on day #1, an immediate connection to scholarly resources, inter-professional partners, mentorship, and countless opportunities to get involved, and it continues to do so today.

What can Duke AHEAD do for you?

I view Duke AHEAD as a catalyst for educational scholarship, innovation, and inter-disciplinary collaboration within the larger medical school and university.  In one short year, Duke AHEAD provided me with numerous opportunities to test and improve research ideas and educational innovations.  The sense of community that it provides is both motivating and inspiring, and I am in awe of the quality of the work, support, and collaboration I have experienced in the organization.

Why did you join Duke AHEAD?

I joined Duke AHEAD to contribute to - and grow within - a community of educators and clinicians who are dedicated to improving the educational experience we provide our learners, the quality of care we provide our patients, and the environments in which we work and learn.  Duke AHEAD continues to deliver on each of these core missions, and I'm thankful to be a part of such a dynamic community.

Beth Phillips

Associate Professor in the School of Nursing

Duke AHEAD role

  • Member

Tell us about yourself.

Beth Cusatis Phillips, PhD, RN, CNE

Dr. Beth Cusatis Phillips is an associate professor at Duke University School of Nursing and is the Interim Director of the Institute for Educational Excellence.  Beth teaches in the ABSN and MSN programs.  She has extensive experience in medical-surgical and surgical-trauma ICU nursing and nursing education.  Phillips received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, her MSN from Duke, her BSN from East Carolina University, and her ADN from Waukesha County Technical Institute.  Beth’s research focus is on undergraduate nursing students and their clinical decision making abilities.  Beth is also interested in innovative teaching and learning strategies for nursing students and clinical instructor and faculty development and preparation.  

What do you hope to get out of Duke AHEAD?

I value the opportunities to collaborate with colleagues from other health disciplines.  Duke AHEAD provides avenues to do just that. 

What can Duke AHEAD do for you?

Continue to keep me/us informed of opportunities to meet, collaborate with, and develop new opportunities with interprofessional colleagues.

Why did you join Duke AHEAD?

As I said above, I have a strong desire to collaborate with others from the various health disciplines.  Our students need to learn ways to work together better so the more we learn, know, and demonstrate ways we can work together, the better chance our students will have to make and keep strong connections with other health care professionals. 

Melvania Briggs

Consulting Associate in the School of Nursing

Duke AHEAD role

  • Member

Tell us about yourself.

I am an Academic Coordinator at the Duke Physician Assistant Program. My primary role includes the coordination of the Diagnostic Methods courses which spans the first year of the didactic curriculum. I also provide clinical instruction in psychiatry and behavioral medicine.  In early 2015, I plan to practice as a behavioral health PA at Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham, NC. I have over 25 years of experience in behavioral health, clinical research, and primary care. I also earned Certification of Added Qualification (CAQ) in Psychiatry awarded by the National Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

My clinical and research interest include behavioral health and primary care integration among rural and underserved populations; Interprofessional Education curriculum development.

What do you hope to get out of Duke AHEAD?

I am thrilled to be a member of the Duke AHEAD community. Faculty development programs like the Writing Boot Camp provided the opportunity to challenge myself further. The Duke AHEAD Health Professional Education (HPE) curriculum committee promotes innovative teaching strategies across the health professions. I enjoy serving on this committee with such a diverse group of educators. I look forward to future Duke AHEAD programs, collaborations and networking opportunities.

Why did you join Duke AHEAD?

I joined Duke AHEAD because of the unique opportunity to collaborate and network with a diverse cohort of educators across Duke Health professions. Moreover, as a junior faculty member, the faculty development programs are immensely valuable.

Walter Lee

Associate Professor of Surgery

Duke AHEAD role

  • Member

Tell us about yourself.

I came to Duke in 2008 from the Cleveland Clinic. I am Associate Professor of Surgery and have a clinical focus on head and neck cancers.  My responsibilities include Co-Director of the Head and Neck Program - Duke Cancer Institute, Staff Surgeon at the Durham VA Medical Center, Director of Resident Research, small group leader for Clinical Skills Foundations Year 2, and also an IRB Chair.  My educational focus has been virtue-based professional identity formation and leadership development. 

What do you hope to get out of Duke AHEAD?

I know of no other institution that has so seriously invested in developing and promoting health education  across the healthcare spectrum.  I benefit from the talks, seminars, and comradery around all aspects of health education.  I also deeply appreciate the opportunity to interact with other educators from the different schools (e.g. Nursing, Physician assistant).  Duke AHEAD provides concrete opportunities to support scholarly efforts and projects. 

What can Duke AHEAD do for you?

In summary, it helps me be the best educator I can be, thereby influencing the next generation of health care professionals.

Why did you join Duke AHEAD?

The question really is “Why wouldn’t someone who is involved with teaching and education join Duke AHEAD?”  Not joining would be missing out on an unique and valuable resource at Duke.

Richard Chung

Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Duke AHEAD role

  • Member

Tell us about yourself.

I am a Med-Peds Adolescent Medicine specialist and care for teens and young adults as they transition through adolescence and into young adulthood. I have a particular interest in youth with eating disorders and other chronic health conditions and the preservation of ideal cardiovascular health throughout adolescence and young adulthood. I am also active in teaching our residents and students about adolescent health topics and clinical approaches to caring for this important group optimally.

What do you hope to get out of Duke AHEAD?

I am always excited to learn from the many great teachers here at Duke and develop educational collaborations that span across divisions, departments, and institutes.

What can Duke AHEAD do for you?

Duke AHEAD is invaluable in providing opportunities for continuous professional development, networking, and attainment of funding to support important educational innovations.

Why did you join Duke AHEAD?

I was eager to develop partnerships with other faculty members and continuously improve my own skills in conducting and evaluating educational activities.

Kyle Covington

Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Duke AHEAD role

  • Steering Committee Member

Tell us about yourself.

I’m in my seventh year on the DPT faculty, where my primary responsibilities include managing the first two years of our Clinical STEPs® program.  This is an integrated clinical education curriculum that places teams of students with clinical educators in practice.  The curriculum was built around our TBL didactic curriculum.   I also am a Duke DPT graduate myself and am in the candidacy phase of my PhD studies at North Carolina State University’s  Educational Research and Policy Analysis program.   Clinically I’m a board certified specialist in neurologic physical therapy and practice each week in the interdisciplinary Neuromuscular Disorders Clinic.  

What do you hope to get out of Duke AHEAD?

Collaboration, mentoring, and enhancement of best practices in health professions education.  We can learn so much from each other and we have a great deal to share with the world about the education things that are happening at Duke in the education of health professionals.   I see Duke AHEAD as a great avenue for mentoring each other in our vital roles as educators of future health professionals.  I hope Duke AHEAD will provide a structure and opportunities for educators to work together to produce high quality educational research that demonstrates the importance of best practice in education.    

What can Duke AHEAD do for you?

As  I complete my PhD work in the next year, Duke AHEAD will be a valuable organization to help me progress in the next phase of my career.  I have interests in educational research and assessment as they relate to physical therapist training, and inter professional education.  I see Duke AHEAD as a prime opportunity to connect me with fellow educational researchers across the institution.  Additionally, I am excited about the opportunities for furthered mentoring and support.  

Why did you join Duke AHEAD?

I joined Duke AHEAD because I saw it as an excellent opportunity to network with educators across the health system.  Our educational practices are so diverse and expansive here at Duke, that I am excited to have an organization like Duke AHEAD that will help those of us with passions in education to work with and learn from each other.  I think Duke AHEAD will provide these opportunities, and I wanted to be a part to that.  

Sarah Bean

Associate Professor of Pathology

Duke AHEAD role

  • Steering Committee Member

Tell us about yourself.

I am a board certified Cytopathologist and Breast and Gynecological Surgical Pathologist. I have been a member of the Duke Medicine community since 2006. Providing excellent patient care is a core value, and I am also a passionate medical educator. I am most involved in graduate medical education (GME) and continuing medical education (CME). At Duke, I am Chair of the Pathology Residency Clinical Competency Committee (CCC), Program Director of the Cytopathology Fellowship Program, and Program Director of the Surgical Pathology Fellowship Program. For CME, I am Vice-Chair of the Curriculum Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP), a committee charged with determining the medical education needs of pathologists nationwide and overseeing the development and maintenance of high quality educational products.

My current scholarly interests include GME, feedback, competence, milestones, professionalism and generational differences in learners.

What do you hope to get out of Duke AHEAD?

The path to academic success in health professions education can be isolating.   Duke AHEAD provides a forum for health professions educators and scholars at Duke University to learn and to benefit from one another. Duke AHEAD can provide assistance with professional development opportunities, educational portfolio development, mentoring, funding sources, and scholarship of health professions education.

Why did you join Duke AHEAD?

Duke AHEAD brings together an interprofessional community of talented health professions educators. Duke AHEAD provides a unique opportunity for its members to network, to learn and share best practices, and to foster professional development.

Alison Clay

Assistant Professor of Surgery

Duke AHEAD role

  • Steering Committee Member

Tell us about yourself.

I am the new Assistant Dean for clinical education in the School of Medicine and former Capstone course director.  I am lucky enough to work with several colleagues from other schools in the interprofessional education clinic and in collaborations that include high fidelity simulation, the room of horrors, the Haunted Hospital, patient safety collaborations and several humanities sessions. 

Outside of work, I LOVE to ride the rolling hills of North Carolina on my lime green, bike machine (road bike) and I enjoy gardening.  

What do you hope to get out of Duke AHEAD?

Faculty development, improved scholarly activity, and in general, encouragement in my day to day work.

What can Duke AHEAD do for you?

Help you network!  In my division, I am one of the only people whose research and career include medical education and Duke AHEAD has helped me to meet others with similar interests.  Those individuals encourage me in my scholarly pursuits, share their innovations in curricular design and inspire me to get better each day.

Why did you join Duke AHEAD?

All of the above.