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Klingman, Krane honored as Tulane's top teachers

June 28, 2001

Mark Miester

Individually, each has been honored as the top teacher at his respective school. Now, they're being honored as the top teachers at Tulane for 2001. Last month, professor of architecture John P. Klingman and professor of medicine Kevin Krane received the 2001 President's Awards for Excellence in Teaching, the university's highest recognition for outstanding teaching.

Klingman received the award for undergraduate teaching, while Krane was recognized for teaching at the graduate and professional school level. The Senate Committee on Teaching Quality selected Klingman and Krane based on nominations submitted by each of the academic units. A graduate of Tufts University, Klingman joined the Tulane faculty in 1983 after completing graduate studies in architecture at the University of Oregon.

Prior to that, he was engaged in professional practice with Payette Associates in Boston for nine years. In addition to his academic responsibilities, Klingman has served as a consulting architect with Waggonner & Ball Architects in New Orleans since 1986. His work has included design projects and studies for the U.S. Customs House and the John Minor Wisdom U.S. Court of Appeals Building.

Also, Klingman was co-editor of Talk About Architecture: A Century of Architectural Education at Tulane. While Klingman teaches lecture-format courses, he says the most satisfying educational experiences take place in design studio reviews, in which faculty members, professional architects and fellow students critique a student's work in an open forum.

"To me, this is the heart of architectural education," Klingman says. "Different people take different points of view about how the project could become better, but everybody always agrees the project could be better."

Klingman, a five-time recipient of the School of Architecture's Outstanding Teaching Award, is a strong believer in integrating analytical and experiential learning, and toward that end his classes have featured frequent visits to sites both around campus and around New Orleans. Those trips have included visits to the American Can Co. historic restoration project in Mid-City and to the French Quarter.

"Quite often, when students go down, the residents will start to become engaged and invite the students into a courtyard or a building," Klingman says. "So not only do the students come back with hard information but they also come back with a story and with things that are not visual--things they heard or things that happened. I think it links architecture to culture in a way that's extremely important."

Krane graduated from Tulane Medical School in 1977 after his undergraduate degree in zoology from Michigan State. He joined the medical school in 1984 as medical director of the dialysis program and has served as director of student programs for the Department of Medicine and chief of clinical nephrology.

Among his teaching awards are two C. Thorpe Ray Teaching Awards, many Clinical Faculty Outstanding Teaching Awards, an Innovative Second-Year Teaching Award, the Alpha Omega Alpha Distinguished Teaching Award and the Tulane University Medical Center Teaching Scholar Award. Krane emphasizes that the best medical education takes place at the bedside.

"When I make rounds in the hospital," he says, "I make sure the student or resident is with me at the bedside in front of the patient. We discuss the patient's problem with the patient. If done appropriately, it keeps the patient as the focus of what's going on. "Almost everything I teach is based on clinical cases," Krane adds. "If we're going to talk about renal disease, I will present a patient with that disease and we will talk about the disease process as it relates to the patient."

Krane also serves as vice dean for academic affairs and chair of the medical school's curriculum committee. In that capacity he has been instrumental in revising the medical school's curriculum, including better integration of course material across multiple disciplines.

"This is something that all good medical schools should be doing, but the ability to make these changes is extremely challenging," says Krane, who in March was elected to chair the American Association of Medical Colleges' Southern group on educational affairs. "But we've done them and we're moving in a direction that makes the curriculum much stronger, much more attractive to students and much more effective in training physicians. Promoting that has been one of the things of which I'm most proud."

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