Sandy Cook

Sandy Cook

Was a member of the Academy from 2014 to 2020

All of us are teachers – be it with our children, our staff, our students. Being a good teacher means recognizing that no all learners learn the same way – and many different strategies might be needed to see that all learners achieve the motivation and curiosity to achieve goals and continue learning on their own. It also means, continually learning for oneself to explore ways to better understand or improve learning.

Play Video


In June 2006, Dr. Cook joined the Duke – NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore, as Associate Professor and the Associate Dean for Curriculum Development as well as head of the Medical Education, Research, and Evaluation Department.  In 2010 she was promoted to Senior Associate Dean.  In 2012 she began working with the Academic Medicine Education Institute (AM.EI) a joint venture with Duke-NUS and SingHealth – Partners in Medicine as Chief of Pedagogy.

She received her PhD from Cornell University in Adult and Continuing Education. Her Master’s is in Research Methodology and her Bachelor’s in Experimental Psychology, both from OhioStateUniversity.  Her previous position was the Associate Dean for Curricular Affairs, Senior Research Professional at The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine from 2001-2006.  Dr. Cook went to Chicago in 1985 to work as an education specialist for the Diabetes Research and Training Center (DRTC), a major NIH grant that was awarded to the University of Chicago in 1976 and continues to be funded. One of the major focuses on that grant has been the translation of diabetes research to the community, patients, and physicians.  She continued on that grant and other diabetes related grants until 2003, when she needed to focus more of her time with University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medical and working with faculty to develop scholarly medical education research projects. 

Dr. Cook’s overall research in Chicago focused on developing and evaluating educational programs throughout the Division of Biological Sciences; health outcomes research in the area of diabetes, sleep medicine disorders, asthma, and geriatrics; and faculty development efforts in the area of the Scholarship of Education.  Her work in the area of simulation and clinical assessment grew with the development of ClinicalPerformanceCenter at the University of Chicago for use in teaching and assessing the clinical skills of our medical students.  This research effort has resulted in over 40 journal publications, 20 published abstracts, and one book chapter.  Since coming to Singapore, she has focused much of her research on the development, implementation, and impact of Team-based Learning.

She has been a member of the Society of Directors in Research in Medical Education since 2002 and served on the Board of Directors for 5 years until she moved to Singapore.  She spent 8 years on the board of the Chicago Asthma Consortium, and served as President from 2003-2006.  She also was the chair of the Curriculum and Evaluation committee of the 13-Schools Consortium from 2001-2006.  She currently is a member of the Team-based Learning Collaborative, International Association of Medical Science Educators, Association of Medical educators of Europe, and is an associate editor for Medical Science Education Journal and the Proceedings of Singapore Health Care.

About being a part of the Academy…

I am quite honored to be a part of the NUS Teaching Academy as it permits me to work with and engage the many outstanding educators in NUS to continue my own growth and development as an educator.  Further, I hope to explore ways that we can all better understand the learning process and seek ways to inspire and challenge our students to great achievements.

Teaching Awards (since my primary roles were program development, educational research, and administration – not  regular teaching, the types of recognitions I received were more reflected through grants, papers, committees, and responsibilities – not formal awards– smiles )

  • Outstanding Reviewer Award for MedEdPORTAL, Presented at 2009 AAMC Annual Award, Boston (Nov 2009)
  • Outstanding Educator Award, Duke-NUS.  Presented at Annual Student and Faculty Awards Gala (May 2011)
  • Spark Award, Duke-NUS. Presented at Annual Student and Faculty Awards Gala (May 2011)
  • Pioneer Award, Duke-NUS, Presented at the Annual Staff Dinner & Dance (April 2013)
  • Inducted in the NUS Teaching Academy (May 2014)