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Dr. Perry Sprawls presented Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award

Maggie Elpers The Clemson University Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award honors individuals dedicated to enhancing the quality and value of the university. On March 31, Dr. Perry Sprawls was awarded the DSA. With research on using nuclear medicine to detect cancer and other abnormalities, Perry Sprawls received Clemson’s first Ph.D. in Bioengineering in 1968. He already had a Clemson Bachelor’s degree in physics, a minor in engineering, and a Master’s degree in nuclear science. The degrees were the foundation of a career devoted to the science and engineering of medical imaging and radiology. His 45-year tenure on the faculty of Emory University School of Medicine concluded in 2005 with the title of Distinguished Emeritus Professor. At Emory, a major focus of his effort was the development of educational programs and resources to support the many recent developments in medical imaging technology including mammography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. Simultaneously, he conducted research and development in using technology to improve the educational process, for which he received national and international innovation awards.

Dr. Sprawls realized that his Clemson education and extensive clinical medical imaging experience at Emory would be of value to the entire world, especially to emerging market economies, as new imaging methods were becoming available. For 25 years, this has been a major effort for Dr. Sprawls. The Sprawls Educational Foundation is the organization under which much of this work is accomplished. The Foundation also collaborates with national and international scientific organizations. Dr. Sprawls’s extensive collection of educational materials, including textbooks, online modules, and high-quality visuals for classroom use, the Sprawls Resources, are freely available. These resources are used in the Sprawls Collaborative Teaching Network, through which Dr. Sprawls supports the development of medical imaging education programs and teachers worldwide. He has taught face-to-face in classrooms in 15 countries, to students from over 50 countries. As Dr. Sprawls notes, through his continuing efforts, “Clemson Bioengineering Tiger Paw Prints are all over the world.”

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Clemson Distinguished Service Award Winners