Dr. Adrian K. Reynolds Brings New Dimension to Miller School’s Education Team

Adrian K. Reynolds, Ph.D., has joined the education team at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in a multidisciplinary role that involves building teaching and learning skills, and reaching out to middle and high school students in the community.

“I want to create opportunities for our students, residents and faculty to engage in self-regulated, active learning, and to enjoy the educational process,” said Reynolds, who was recently appointed assistant professor of professional practice in the Department of Medicine. “Whether you are in a clinical, academic or research career, the learning never stops.”

As an academic enhancement specialist, Reynolds will work with the Division of General Internal Medicine, the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, and the Department of Medical Education Office of Student Services. He will focus on faculty development, student learning and academic enhancement, in addition to cultivating the school’s diversity pipeline programs and other outreach initiatives.

“We are excited to have Dr. Reynolds join our team,” said Alex J. Mechaber, M.D., professor of medicine, Bernard J. Fogel Chair in Medical Education, and Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education. “He brings a passion for education that will help ensure the academic success of our students.”

As a teacher educator, educational researcher, teacher of Spanish as a foreign language, and teacher of English as a second language, Reynolds has worked with faculty and students of diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented minorities. As a graduate teaching associate at The Ohio State University, he mentored and supervised foreign language student teachers, providing feedback and evaluations of their teaching in K-12 classrooms.

“My goal in the Department of Medicine will be to focus on resident training and faculty development,” Reynolds said. “While our physicians are well trained in the practice of medicine, they can benefit from ongoing training to develop evidence-based teaching skills.” Reynolds adds that methods such as peer observations of teaching, problem-based learning, and formative feedback can help build those skills.

“Having an education specialist in our department is a great step forward in improving our teaching capabilities,” said Stefanie R. Brown, M.D., clinical assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics, Director of Medicine/Pediatrics Residency Training, and Vice Chair for Education. “For instance, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requires us to teach our residents about how to teach, and Dr. Reynolds will help advance that training process.”

Reynolds will also look closely at the varied learning styles and study skills of the Miller School’s students to help them flourish in a demanding academic environment. “We are
excited to welcome Dr. Reynolds to our medical education team,” said Hilit F. Mechaber, M.D., associate professor of medicine and Associate Dean for Student Services. “He brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and energy to this role, and will be critical in helping us maximize our educational support for all of our students.”

In addition to his internal education roles, Reynolds will support the Miller School’s outreach to middle and high school students in South Florida, fostering skills that can lead to careers in medicine and science.

“We want to open the doors for talented students who can benefit from mentorship, coaching and other forms of educational support,” said Stephen Symes, M.D., associate professor of medicine and Associate Dean for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.
“We also want to be sure our students, residents, faculty and staff reflect our diverse community, bringing fresh ideas and insights.”

After earning his bachelor’s degree in Spanish and international affairs at Florida International University, Reynolds taught Spanish to students in Boynton Beach, before earning his master’s degree and doctorate at Ohio State. “I wanted to learn more about language acquisition and the process of teaching a foreign language,” said Reynolds, who has held state certification in the teaching of Spanish as a foreign language.

Reynolds’ research interests have been driven by a sociocultural approach to learning and development. He has drawn on cultural-historical activity theory to study learning and teaching as change processes mediated by concepts, practical activities, goals, and motives in communities of practice. “There are many opportunities to study and apply these concepts in the Miller School setting,” he said. “I’m looking forward to advancing this line of research while collaborating with our students, residents and faculty.”

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