University of Vermont

UVM Alumni Association Selects Dr. Lewis R. First for 2017 Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award

Dr. Lewis R. First. (Photo: Andy Duback)

Dr. Lewis R. First, professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, has been named by the UVM Alumni Association as the 2017 recipient of its George V. Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award.

The Kidder Award honors one full-time University of Vermont faculty member for excellence in teaching and extraordinary contributions to the enrichment of campus life. Established in memory of Dr. George V. Kidder, UVM Class of 1922 and former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences who served the university for more than 70 years, the prestigious award has been presented annually since 1974.

Dr. First was recognized at a May 10 ceremony at UVM Alumni House, with Dr. Bob Pepperman Taylor – a professor in the Department of Political Science and the 2016 Kidder Award winner – presenting a pin and offering a toast.

“Lewis First is a remarkable teacher, scholar and mentor who students, alumni and colleagues overwhelmingly endorsed for this great honor,” said Alan Ryea, vice president for alumni relations at the UVM Foundation. “We also salute Dr. First as the first faculty member from the Larner College of Medicine to receive the UVM Alumni Association’s highest faculty recognition.”

He now joins the select group of “Kidder” faculty at UVM who have been recognized for igniting passion in the classroom for learning and discovery in so many students. Some of the comments received from students and faculty colleagues about Dr. First during the nomination process include:

“Dr. First embodies the ultimate available mentor. Students and alumni alike feel like they are his number-one priority. He is, and always will be, the kind of doctor I want to be.” (student)

“Dr. First has helped to stimulate me to want to teach more and to teach better. His infectious enthusiasm has been instilled in so many of us; we can only hope to pass it on to others as well.” (colleague)

“He is a fabulous teacher, marvelous mentor and a tireless advocate for children. Our faculty, residents, medical students and the children of Vermont owe a tremendous amount to Lewis First’s vision and efforts.” (colleague)

Dr. Lewis First received his M.D. and M.S. degrees from Harvard University and completed his internship (internal medicine) and fellowship (pediatrics) at Boston Children’s Hospital. Since 1994, Dr. First has served as professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the Larner College of Medicine as well as chief of pediatrics at the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital. He is also the editor-in-chief of Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the recipient of numerous local and national teaching awards. Dr. First provides medical advice to parents through his “First with Kids” radio and television news segments, and his “First with Kids” advice columns appear in multiple community newspapers throughout Vermont.