The mission of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children's Hospital Colorado is to improve the health of children through the provision of high-quality, coordinated programs of patient care, education, research and advocacy. The University of Colorado Department of Pediatrics’ SEELS Program offers dedicated research mentorship, coaching, and instruction for subspecialty pediatric fellows committed to an academic career in medical education. 


The goal of SEELS is to equip these fellows with the necessary knowledge/skills/attitudes for success as future medical educators through educational scholarship and professional identity development, faculty and peer mentorship, and engaging in an educational community of practice.

The goal of SEELS is to equip pediatric subspecialty fellows with the necessary knowledge/skills/attitudes for success as future medical educators through educational scholarship and professional identity development, faculty and peer mentorship, and engaging in an educational community of practice.  

SEELS scholars will complete this 18-month program that will begin during the second year of fellowship for three-year fellowship programs (August 2024 – January 2026 for the next cohort). The curriculum will include in-person educational sessions for the first 12 months, along with self-directed independent study, a scholarly project, and mentorship throughout the entire 18 months. Educational content will be delivered through approximately once per month sessions including work-in-progress sessions as well as individual meetings with SEELS Program leaders and mentors.

Curricular content will focus on building the knowledge/skills/attitudes for educational scholarship and leadership including: Developing and implementing a medical education research project (writing goals, aims, quantitative and qualitative study designs and associated analyses, learner assessment, program assessment, scholarly writing, and dissemination); leadership and professional development; mentorship. 

SEELS scholars will receive a certificate of completion from the Department of Pediatrics upon graduation of the program. 

SEELS scholars will be expected to be fully engaged in program participation including: 

  • Mandatory attendance at the two-day, in-person orientation in August 2023 
  • Mandatory attendance at monthly, in-person educational group sessions and completion of any required pre-work 
  • Regular 1:1 meetings with SEELS mentor
  • Development and completion of an education-based research project, meeting the scholarly requirements of the American Board of Pediatrics, and submission of at least one abstract to both a local and national conference 
  • Contribution to a “SEELS Scholars” team project, such as a professional development session, workshop, teaching session, or similar programming
  • Submission of educator’s portfolio consisting of an updated curriculum vitae, teaching matrix, teacher’s statement, and teaching activities along with their effectiveness and impact
  • Participation in all program evaluation efforts (e.g. completion of surveys, interviews, etc.) 

Due to the expected time commitment for SEELS scholars, a letter from the fellowship program director is required to ensure program support. Identification of a medical education research mentor is not required to apply.

The SEELS Program is supported by the University of Colorado Department of Pediatrics. SEELS scholars will have access to limited funds for research-related costs (e.g. software, data analysis, incentives) and national conference costs (fees, travel). Scholars will learn how to develop a budget plan to apply for funding. 


Currently, fellowship programs are not responsible for any tuition for the SEELS Program.  


2023-2025 SEELS cohort left to right:

  • Maria Abou Nader, MD - Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

Dr. Maria Fouad Abou Nader is a second-year pediatric critical care medicine fellow. She grew up in Lebanon, where she completed medical school and her first pediatric residency. After moving to the United States, she completed residency at Indiana University School of Medicine, Riley Children's Hospital, and then moved to Colorado for fellowship. 


Dr. Fouad Abou Nader’s scholarly pursuits center around global health and medical education, with a specific focus on improving critical care and cardiology education in developing countries. Her current project involves a needs assessment to better understand the educational needs of pediatric residents in Lebanon related to the care of children with congenital cardiac defects. This work is particularly important given the country’s socio-economic instability, and it will lay the foundation for Dr. Fouad Abou Nader ’s goal of developing and implementing new educational resources to enhance existing curricula in Lebanon.  


Seeking to deepen her expertise in medical education, she applied to SEELS with the goal of acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills to become a proficient clinicianeducator. Dr. Fouad Abou Nader shared that SEELS has proven to be invaluable in bridging her knowledge and skill gap in medical education, offering highly focused content throughin-person educational sessions, and providing mentorship from Program leaders. 


  • Alison Celello, MD - Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Dr. Alison Celello is a second-year pediatric hematology-oncology fellow in the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. She completed medical school in New York City and pediatric residency in Cincinnati before continuing her steady move westward to Denver. She has a longstanding interest in medical education as a tool for building capacity and addressing disparities.   

Dr. Celello’s overarching research interest is to find tangible ways including educational interventions to address the outcome disparities that we know are persistent in pediatric cancer and blood disorders. Given a growing population of refugee and immigrant patients and families, she recognized there were no guidelines or best practices for providers about how best to support this patient population with unique medical and psychosocial needs. With the guidance of her research mentors, she is working on a multi-institutional provider needs assessment, which will drive the development of such guidelines and an associated educational platform. 

Through the SEELS Program, Dr. Celello has found mentorship, scholarly support, and an educational community both at CHCO and within the broader University of Colorado community.   

  • Cristina Saez, MD - Pediatric Rheumatology

Dr. Saez is a second-year pediatric rheumatology fellow. She hopes to integrate medical education into her career as a rheumatologist. Since starting fellowship, she has developed an interest in the education of primary care providers about pediatric rheumatology since exposure to this subspecialty field is variable amongst providers, especially given the national shortage of pediatric rheumatologists.  


Dr. Saez’s scholarly project aims to describe the reasoning and trends behind the use of ANA in the evaluation of a patient with possible rheumatologic disease. She plans to apply the data from this needs assessment to develop an intervention to address any knowledge or resource gaps that exist in primary care.

She has thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet other medical educators across the CU campus and learning about the different ways to get involved in medical education through the SEELS Program. 


  • Pablo Napky Raudales, MD - Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

Dr. Pablo Napky Raudales is a second-year pediatric critical care medicine fellow. He was born and raised in Honduras, where he attended medical school. He then moved to sunny Miami for his pediatric residency. His academic interests include medical education and global health.  


Dr. Pablo Napky Raudales combined his passions into his scholarly project, "Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Education in the Pediatric Residency of Honduras. It is a multiphase project that includes a needs assessment to better describe the educational gaps of pediatric residents related to the care of critically ill children in Honduras. His goal is to develop, implement, and disseminate educational content that is meaningful, impactful, and accessible to local learners.


Through the SEELS Program, he has gained mentorship and insight into medical education research methodology, which he has applied to his project with great success. 

The deadline to apply for the SEELS 2024-2026 Cohort is February 12, 2024. 

Applicants will be notified of the selection committee’s decision by April 2024.


The August 2024 – January 2026 Cohort will begin with orientation in August 2024


Mandatory, in-person, monthly educational sessions are currently planned for the first Tuesday afternoon of the month from 1-5pm. 

All pediatric fellows completing 3-year ACGME-accredited fellowships within the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine are encouraged to apply, although preference for fellows entering their second year of fellowship in July 2024 will be given. Each cohort will have a maximum of 4 scholars, and selection will be based on academic career goals, balance of educational needs, and diversity. 

Please submit your application online using the following link. Applications are due by Monday, February 12, 2024.

Fellow Application Information and Questions:

  1. Name
  2. Fellowship Training Program 
  3. Fellowship Program Director
  4. Year in fellowship as of July 2024
  5. Why are you applying to the SEELS Program, and what do you hope to gain by becoming a SEELS scholar? Please include a description of any prior training in medical education (for example, a certificate training program or education pathway during residency) and future academic career goals (for example, leadership positions, scholarship goals, or Master programs) related to medical education. 500 word maximum
  6. What medical education project or scholarly idea do you have for completion during the SEELS Program? Please include background information, such as your motivation to complete this project and any relevant literature, project goal(s)/aim(s), and stage of development. 300 word maximum
  7. What mentorship do you currently receive (for example, in the clinical, research/scholarship, leadership, and/or career development domains), and what are your mentoring needs or gaps for which the SEELS Program may fulfill? Current mentors may be local or from other institutions. 300 word maximum
  8. The University of Colorado School of Medicine is committed to supporting a body of diverse learners and faculty who celebrate different races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, religions, disabilities, and more. The SEELS Program is also dedicated to creating an inclusive learning environment that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion from the classroom to the bedside. How would you enhance this mission of diversity, equity, and inclusion for the SEELS Program and/or the University-at-large? 300 word maximum 
  9. The SEELS Program currently meets in-person on the first Tuesday of the month from 1-5pm. Please provide any conflicts that you would have during this time, and list any other times that you have other mandatory, recurrent meetings or conflicts (for example, clinic schedule or Section meeting on the second Wednesday of every month from 1-5pm). **Answers to this question are used for planning purposes and do not impact one's acceptance into the Program.**

Curriculum Vitae: Please highlight specific education-related experiences. Upload as an attachment within the electronic application above. 

Letter of Recommendation from Fellowship Program Director Instructions:

  • Please describe why the fellow should be selected, based on characteristics, career goals, accomplishments-to-date, program/division availability for mentorship, gaps in training, etc.
  • Please explain how the SEELS Program will enhance the fellow's training and the roles that the PD would envision the SEELS Program mentors having.
  • Please provide your support that the fellow's proposed scholarly project for SEELS would serve as their fellowship's scholarly activity requirement or explain if that cannot be the case.
  • Please include a statement of support, such as: “I support the application of [insert fellow’s name] to the SEELS Program 2024-2026 Cohort. I agree to provide the protected time for [insert fellow’s name] to attend mentorship meetings, orientation, and SEELS’ monthly educational sessions, during which the fellow will be unavailable for clinical, Section, or other duties. In addition, I understand that [insert fellow’s name] may need to be available on other dates/times to attend conferences or other learning opportunities as part of the SEELS Program. I will offer or help facilitate the mentorship needed for [insert fellow’s name] to complete the SEELS Program.” 

If you have any questions about the SEELS Program or application, please contact 

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