Dr. Prakash Mungli, MD., M.B.B.S., UMHS Chair of Department of Molecular Sciences, Professor of Biochemistry, and Assistant Dean of Student Affairs was recently given the Most Inspiring Professor Award from UMHS students for the third time from outgoing students at the Student Clinician Ceremony.
This is not the first award for the popular professor. Dr. Mungli won the “Outstanding Professor of the Year Award” in 2015 and has twice won the “Best Dressed Professor Award” and “Most Inspiring Professor Award” from outgoing students. In addition, Dr. Mungli is an accomplished author and has published several papers in medical journals. He also has an informative Facebook page and group, Biochemistry Made Easy, and his own YouTube channel.
The UMHS Endeavour recently spoke to Dr. Mungli about the award, his ongoing student project Biochemistry Made Easy, his research, the development of his own website and his plans to do another Health Camp in his native India this December, hopefully with two sponsored UMHS students to help out.
UMHS Endeavour: What does it mean to you getting the Most Inspiring Professor Award for the third time?
Dr. Prakash Mungli: It means a lot. I stood humbled while I received this award during the ceremony. Receiving this award for the third time made it special. This is my overall seventh award so far at UMHS. In 2016, I have received the inaugural “The Most Outstanding Professor Award” for the year 2015. Including this award, three times I have received “The Most Inspiring Professor” award. So far I have received three times “The Best Dressed Professor” award. When I look back and think about all these awards, I questioned myself; do these awards truly mean anything? I do believe, somewhere, even in a tiny little way, I influence my students in their professional and personal development. I believe, the story of my hardship and struggle in achieving goals in my life has truly inspired many of my students. Each time I receive such an award, it makes me more humble and grounded. I take this opportunity to say thank you to all my current and past students at UMHS for this recognition. I do wish them only the best as I always do.
Tell us about some of your current projects with students. Are you still doing the Biochemistry Made Easy group?
I’m glad you asked me this question. One exciting thing that I started to do since two semesters is a relatively new teaching module called “hybrid classroom.” This module is more of an active learning process using videos, PowerPoint lecture slides, study material, active group participation, review by me and, pre and post assessment. This is a great way of learning the concepts than classic pedagogy and didactic lecture. Students in fact love this module of teaching and they want more of these. I planned to increase more “hybrid classrooms” in coming semesters.
I have continued doing the Biochemistry Made Easy Facebook group that has 2700 members to date. Simultaneously I’m also continuing doing the Biochemistry Made Easy Facebook page that has 1,237 followers to date.
More importantly, since last semester, I have increased frequency of uploading my videos into my YouTube channel. Our students, both past and current, are finding these videos extremely useful. So far I have around 250 biochemistry videos. The greatest advantage of these videos is our students who are enrolled in biochemistry can view them at their convenient time and place to review the concepts I do in class. This way, they can access my teaching outside the classroom in their convenient time and place. More importantly, I get great feedback from our students who are preparing for USMLE Step1 exam about how useful these videos are for them when they prepare for the step1 exam. To date my YouTube channel has 5050 members and it is growing!
Another exciting thing that I have started this semester is I’m working on developing my own website, www.drmungli.com Through this website I intend to share additional information about USMLE biochemistry, biochemistry of diabetes, food and nutrition topics. This way I can be of more resourceful to our students in specific and community in general.
Any interesting research or charity projects that you would like to discuss?
I’m currently working on getting published my experience and results that I have obtained while conducting hybrid classroom since two semester. I plan to continue gathering the data for another one or two semester before I finalize and write a research paper.
In answer to your question on charity work, I have received a cash reward of U.S. $1,000 when I received the inaugural “The Most Outstanding Professor Award” for the year 2015. As I said in my previous interview to you that I dedicate this award to all my current and past students at UMHS, St Kitts. This dedication applies to the cash reward I have received. I have set aside U.S. $1,000 to help my students in the form of interest- free and no time-bound loan during their difficult time. I know from my personal struggle how important each dollar is when we face financial difficulty. I have been helped by my teachers, friends, and well-wishers during my difficult times. Remembering my humble roots, I do want to share my helping hand to others; just one other way of giving back to society.
Are you doing another Health Camp in India?
Yes, that is the plan. After last year’s successful health camp in India, my like-minded friends and myself have registered a non-profit organization called Navodaya Charitable Society (NCS) in my home district. The aims and objectives of this NGO are to make constant and affordable health care poor rural public of our community. In six months’ time of its existence, our NGO has conducted more than 10 health camps to rural poor people. This time when I visit India during Christmas break, we have planned to organize a bigger health camp on December 10, 2017. Like last year, President Ross has shown interest in these health camps and if all goes well, he has plans to sponsor two UMHS students to attend the health camp we organize in India.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I take this opportunity to say that I’m truly blessed to be part of UMHS. I’m truly blessed to teach to all the wonderful and talented students at UMHS. I have always been true to myself and genuinely try my very best to be part of success stories of my students. I have always did this and will continue to do so. Thank you very much for your time. I wish every one of my students only the best.
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