Dr. Souweidane Wins 2024 Dean's Award for Excellence in Mentorship

At today’s commencement ceremony for the graduating class of Weill Cornell Medical College, Dr. Mark Souweidane was announced as the winner of the 2024 Dean's Award for Excellence in Mentorship. This prize recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates an outstanding commitment to supporting colleagues to become academic leaders in clinical care, research, or education.

Dr. Souweidane was one of the original faculty members of Weill Cornell Medicine Neurological Surgery (recruited before it even was a department, when it was still a division of Surgery). In more than 25 years here, he has served as a mentor to dozens of residents, fellows, medical students, researchers, and academic writers. Today, as vice chairman of Neurological Surgery and the director of pediatric neurosurgery, he continues to mentor future neurosurgeons as well as being an advisor to junior faculty.

During Dr. Souweidane’s tenure he has inspired no fewer than six former neurosurgery residents at Weill Cornell Medicine to enter pediatric neurosurgery.  In choosing Dr. Souweidane for this award, Dean Robert Harrington also noted how he had cultivated an appreciation for academic research in trainees, and praised his generosity for the time he has reserved for mentorship despite his own full clinical schedule and academic workload.

In nominating Dr. Souweidane for this award, department chair Philip E. Stieg, PhD, MD, the Margaret and Robert J. Hariri Professor of Neurological Surgery and Neurosurgeon-in-Chief of NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, noted that in 2004, when the department established an annual award for excellence in education, the resident class chose Dr. Souweidane as the first winner. “His approach to mentoring our residents is always respectful and honest,” wrote Dr. Stieg, “conveying his mastery of our field in a way that guides and develops talent without ever diminishing his mentees’ own skills. For the past two decades he has been highly valued and sought after by dozens of our residents for advice and guidance as they develop their skills and shape their careers.”

In addition to mentoring our residents, Dr. Souweidane also cultivates young talent who spend time in the pediatric neurosurgery fellowship and a medical student research fellowship. He teaches residents, fellows, and students in weekly conferences and clinics as well as in the operating room and research lab. He has worked tirelessly guiding mentees on conducting, analyzing, and preparing research data and case studies for publication, and has produced book chapters, case studies, and abstracts with many young colleagues, providing them with invaluable opportunities to learn and publish alongside an internationally respected neurosurgeon.

“His command of the subject matter is masterful,” says Dr. Stieg, “but he is always completely respectful of his mentees, who appreciate his manner as well as his wisdom. I’ve heard him say many times that he learns just as much from the mentees as they do from him—while I don’t think that’s true it is emblematic of how he acknowledges what his mentees have to offer.”

Dr. Souweidane was presented his award at Carnegie Hall, during the Class of 2024 Commencement Ceremony, with his medal bestowed on him by Dean Harrington.  Read more about the other 2024 distinguished award winners.


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