Dr. Mustapha Beleh wins 2019 Teaching Excellence Award
Mustapha Beleh, PhD, is the recipient of the 2019 Teaching Excellence Award. This award recognizes exceptional teaching in the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy’s PharmD and PhD programs. Dr. Beleh is the Director of Education and a lecturer in medicinal chemistry.
“Being named as the recipient of the teaching excellence award carries a special meaning to me,” explained Dr. Beleh. “As college instructors, we do not receive formal training to become teachers, so my abilities as an educator have been largely shaped by my colleagues and my students. To receive this award, based on input from my peers and my students, is an incredible honor that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
“I strive to be a teacher who can show students the way to become life-long learners, unearth their potential as future pharmacists and provide them with the help they may need to be successful in our program,” continued Dr. Beleh.
“I believe that one of the most important roles of any educator is responding to students’ needs and assuring help and guidance as necessary. I feel my attentiveness to student needs relieves their anxiety and equips them with the confidence to excel. I also recognize that students learn in different ways, thus employing a variety of teaching techniques is essential in providing them with diverse methods that may match the way they learn,” said Dr. Beleh. “I try to serve as a mentor, friend, and role model before being a teacher, and I am proud that some of my most important interactions with students happen during their advanced pharmacy practice experience year and after graduation, long after I have stopped being their classroom teacher.”
Students have high praise for Dr. Beleh’s passion and the enthusiasm that he brings to the classroom. One student commented that, “He makes a point to share or clarify good questions or doubts asked by a student to the whole class; again, emphasizing his goal to have each and every student excel to the best of their potentials. He in a true sense is, ‘a friend, a philosopher and a guide.’” Another student added, “Above all else Dr. Beleh is not only a great teacher, but a great person. When I wake up to get to school by eight in the morning, I’m excited whenever he teaches because I know I will learn and also have a fun time.”
Dr. Beleh earned his Bachelor’s in Science Degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Alexandria University, Egypt, in 1985 and his PhD degree in Medicinal Chemistry from The Ohio State University in 1992. He then joined the faculty at the College of Pharmacy, South Dakota state University as an assistant professor. From 1995 to 1998, Dr. Beleh worked as the Director of Research at Pharco Pharmaceutical in his homeland, Egypt.
He returned to the United States and joined the Medicinal Chemistry Department at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy in 1999, where he has served as a lecturer and is currently the Director of Education. Throughout his career, Dr. Beleh has been involved in teaching medicinal chemistry to PharmD and undergraduate students as well as overseeing and coordinating the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology course sequence. His current research interests center around the scholarship of teaching and advances in pharmaceutical education.
Dr. Beleh has won a number of teaching awards including teacher of the year and the Dean’s award for excellence in classroom teaching at South Dakota State University, as well as numerous students’ appreciation awards and a special recognition award for teaching at the University of Michigan. He is a Computerworld Honors Laureate and a finalist for the 21st Century Achievement Award from the Smithsonian.