Grooming the next generation

Kosta Antonopoulos and Valerie Tallerico gained insights on academia in a clerkship created by CPMS Dean R. Tim Yoho, center.

You might say R. Tim Yoho, D.P.M., FACFAS, dean of the College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, is looking for his replacement. Long-term, that is.

Two years ago, he realized that the many educational opportunities for students were thin on training future academic medical administrators. “There were no orientation programs for students interested in the administrative side – those who down the road might have an interest in academic medicine,” he says.

Yoho created a one-month CPMS Academic Medicine Clerkship for fourth-year students with that interest. The clerkship exposes students to the day-today administrative, curricular and clinical operations of the college, often in eye-opening ways.

“You don’t truly realize as a student all the things that faculty have going on,” says Valerie Tallerico, Yoho’s academic clerk in April. “I learned how involved the faculty are, which is great to see – how they’re working to improve the University.”

Tallerico and Kosta Antonopoulos, her successor in the clerkship, say the experience honed their teaching skills. They helped teach second- and third-year podiatric students and wrote some test questions.

“You came to recognize the look on their faces when they needed extra explanation of the material,” Antonopoulos says.

“It made me think through what I did as a second- and third-year student to get myself to understand,” Tallerico adds.

Yoho says he values the clerks’ perspectives as students; in addition, by giving them behind- the- scenes insights, the clerks become ambassadors for the college among their classmates.

“I observed how much faculty will go to bat for students,” Antonopoulos says.

While he and Tallerico came away from the clerkship with different conclusions – he loves the classroom setting; she leans more toward teaching in a residency program – they have the potential to be a package deal. After graduating in May, they got married in June and then began their residencies at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

“Kosta and Valerie are exceptional role models who sought numerous leadership positions as CPMS students,” Yoho says. “They’re the type of people I’d really like to see come back to our college.”

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