The commencement speaker at this year's graduation ceremony of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University will be Albert S. Kuperman, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Educational Affairs at Einstein and a member of the Einstein faculty for more than 30 years. "I hope to leave the graduates with something they'll remember," he says. "In their time as students, we hope to expose them to the many diverse possibilities that exist as they prepare to become doctors, offering them medicine through a wide-angle lens. Graduation is always a special moment, the culmination of all those possibilities and of the opportunities each student has made for him or herself, and I am honored to have this privilege."
During the four decades that Dr. Kuperman has guided and provided resources for Einstein's medical education program, he has proven visionary in expanding the horizons through which Einstein students learn about medicine and providing health care. He has stimulated change in content, process and structure of the pre-clerkship curriculum, including the development of integrated, multidisciplinary courses and small-group, case-based conferences. His re-organization of the Division of Education has led to the incorporation of new topics and disciplines at all levels of curriculum, with a goal of developing programs that nurture students' ethical and professional behaviors. He also has promoted greater visibility of basic biomedical sciences as part of clinical education, and has sought to include preventive medicine and complementary and alternative medicine in the curriculum. In addition, he has championed the role of co-curricular educational activities in shaping the growth and development of future physicians and enthusiastically encourages student participation in fellowship-supported projects and programs in basic and clinical research, global health, and population health at different levels of students' education. It is Dr. Kuperman's leadership and support that first established, and since has shaped, Einstein's global health program as one of the premier programs of its kind.
Dr. Kuperman joined the Einstein faculty in 1975, teaching pharmacology, in addition to his role as Associate Dean for Educational Affairs. Previously he served on faculties of Cornell University Medical College, where he had earned a Ph.D. in pharmacology in 1957, and of New York University School of Medicine. In addition, from 1965 to 1968 he served on the faculty of Hunter College of the City University of New York, where he was instrumental in modernizing the teaching and educational facilities in the biological sciences. And, in 1968, Dr. Kuperman joined the Rockefeller Foundation's field staff, serving as chair of pharmacology at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand, as part of the Foundation's University Development Program. He spent six years in Thailand, where he was involved in planning and implementing a modern medical school curriculum and graduate program in the biomedical sciences. For his accomplishments in Thailand, Dr. Kuperman was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Mahidol University, which was presented to him in 1996 by His Majesty King Bumiphol.
In 1997, Dr. Kuperman's excellence was recognized by his alma mater, when he was chosen as the first recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award given by the Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University. It is one of numerous honors he has received during his illustrious career. Honors at Einstein include the Honorary Alumnus Award, in 1994; election as a Faculty Inductee of AOA (the Honor Medical Society), in 1995; the Lifetime Achievement Award in Teaching, in 2005; and the Lifetime Achievement Award in Medical Education, in 2006.