Celebrating Faculty Excellence

Five Top Faculty Members Honored by Peers

Each year, a group of faculty members are nominated by their peers and chosen by the Faculty Development Committee to be honored for their excellence. 

According to Douglas Hanes, associate professor and Chair of the Faculty Development Committee, the winners of the 2015-2016 faculty awards were chosen from a group of 64 nominations for 44 different members of our faculty. Each will receive a $1,000 honorarium and a plaque at the all-faculty meeting this fall.

Congratulations to:

Dr. David Berkshire – Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship in Chinese Medicine

Dr. Berkshire, an associate professor in the School of Classical Chinese Medicine, has spent the last 10 years studying Chinese and natural medicine including herbal medicine, qigong, homeopathy and CranioSacral energy work. He was drawn to these medicines after witnessing the powerful effects of Oriental medicine on a friend with a severe head injury. In order to pursue teaching and scholarship, he left a career as a chemical dependency counselor for adolescents. Dr. Berkshire received his Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree from Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in Portland, Oregon. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies, with an emphasis in English literature and religious studies, from Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage, Alaska. Along with supervising observation shifts at the NCNM Clinic, Dr. Berkshire has a private practice at Kwan-yin Healing Arts Center, his integrative clinic in northwest Portland. 

Dr. Joel Agresta – Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship in Naturopathic Medicine

Dr. Agresta, an associate professor in the School of Naturopathic Medicine, has been in private practice as a chiropractor and physical therapist for over 28 years. He has been a full-time faculty member in physical medicine at NCNM since 2007, and was previously an adjunct faculty instructor in physiotherapy (2002-2006). Dr. Agresta is an attending physician with a specialty in physical medicine at the NCNM Clinic. His areas of professional expertise include: manipulation of the spine and extremities, sports medicine, rehabilitation, soft tissue therapies, orthopedics and physical therapy modalities. In addition to his teaching duties at NCNM, Dr. Agresta continues as an instructor at the University of Western States in the Clinical Sciences Division where he earned his doctor of Chiropractic degree in 1983 and has taught since 1989. Dr. Agresta also supervises students in the medical tents at the Portland Triathlon and the Portland Marathon.

Dr. Kim Tippens – Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship in Research and Graduate Studies

Dr. Tippens, an assistant professor and Director of Public Health & Community-Partnered Research in the School of Research & Graduate Studies, teaches in the Master of Integrative Medicine Research and Master of Global Health programs. She is a graduate of Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington, where she received her doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and a master’s degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Dr. Tippens investigates the role that naturopathic medicine can play in addressing racial/ethnic disparities in health, and in meeting the needs of uninsured and medically underserved communities. In addition to conducting research, she is an active member of NCNM AWARE (Actively Working to Advance Real Equity), and a Cultural Competency Trainer certified through the Cross Cultural Health Care Program. She works with students and faculty to incorporate coursework and training in social medicine and culturally competent health care delivery, with the goal of promoting diversity and excellence in medical education. As a member of the NCNM Vanguard Faculty, she has also been involved in the movement to incorporate the principles of evidence-based medicine into the naturopathic curriculum.

Dr. Megan Golani – Outstanding New Faculty Member

Dr. Megan Golani, an assistant professor in the School of Naturopathic Medicine, is a licensed naturopathic physician and midwife. After graduating with honors and receiving a certificate in natural childbirth from NCNM, she completed three years of residency, focusing on family and community medicine. During her studies, Dr. Golani completed a two-year clinical mentorship rotation in women’s health under the direction of Dr. Kimberly Windstar and a six–month internship focusing on chronic disease management and biotherapeutic drainage with Dr. Dickson Thom. In addition, she completed a two-year apprenticeship in women’s health, midwifery and pediatrics with Dr. Catherine Schaefer in her private practice. Dr. Golani also has trained with Tami Kent in holistic pelvic care. She received her baccalaureate degree from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor where she focused on developmental and transpersonal psychology, with an emphasis the mind-body connection.

Dr. John Brons – Dedicated Service to the Natural Medicine Community

Dr. Brons, a professor in the School of Naturopathic Medicine, and School of Classical Chinese Medicine grew up in Southern California and obtained his doctorate in Anatomy with neuroscience research from UCLA in 1978. He has lived in Portland since 1979, and has been teaching at NCNM since 1981. From 1989-2002 he took a hiatus to do neuroscience research at the Oregon Health & Science University, where he also taught anatomy. During that period he also earned a Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine and taught anatomy and physiology there. Dr. Brons had an acupuncture practice for a few years in the mid-90s, but decided that he still preferred an academic career. He now teaches anatomy, physiology, neuroscience and developmental biology at NCNM in both the ND and CCM programs.

Said Dr. Hanes: “Our award recipients, of course, received especially high praise from their peers this year. Given the diversity of nominations, though, I think we can all appreciate how much good and dedicated work is being done by our whole faculty, and that very many of our efforts have been singled out for recognition by our colleagues.”