Professor Sam Drogo: Celebrating the life and legacy of an inspirational educator

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.
        - Henry Brooks Adams


For teachers, leaving an impression on your students is inevitable, and there is a duty to strive to make that impression as positive as possible. One teacher who made an overwhelmingly positive difference for his students and his colleagues was Professor Salvatore Drogo – Sam Drogo - a friend and passionate physiology educator with whom we worked for many years. Sam passed away in 2010.

In Sam’s memory, ADInstruments proudly sponsors the Sam Drogo Technology in the Classroom Award, presented each year at the HAPS conference. The award is our way of celebrating Sam’s life and teaching legacy. Our hope is that this award inspires other teachers to be as innovative, collaborative, and open to possibility as Sam was – and to leave their own effect on eternity.

Sam Drogo’s good friend and colleague for over 35 years, Professor Bill Perrotti, HAPS President Emeritus, shares some of his memories of Sam Drogo.

Professor Sam Drogo

A message from HAPS President Emeritus, Bill Perrotti.

Until his sudden passing in 2010, Sam Drogo spent his entire 36-year career teaching human anatomy and physiology at Mohawk Valley Community College in upstate New York. He was then and remains to this day honored and respected by the many students and colleagues whose lives he touched during this time. He discovered the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society in 1991 at the Greenville, South Carolina conference and remained energized by and committed to the goals of HAPS since that time. In his involvement in HAPS as in his career at MVCC, he quietly led by example.  In his uniquely humble way, Sam created a life filled with initiative, accomplishment, and dedication to his family, students, colleagues, and friends. In the process, he made us better people and better educators.

Sam had the mind of a scientist and the instincts of a teacher and mentor. As a scientist, he was curious, logical, dogged, and insightful. As a teacher and mentor, he was compassionate, engaging, enthusiastic and organized. He inspired students to rise to the intellectual challenges he provided, and he quietly motivated his colleagues to be innovative. Later in his career, he was recognized by the State University of New York with a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. 

Over his many years at Mohawk Valley Community College, Sam quietly established himself as an important element in hundreds of wonderful success stories of students who overcame adversity and forged significant careers in place of lives not yet fulfilled. He shared his expertise and passion with colleagues across the nation and was recognized as a force for innovative and involved education. As one former student said after his death, “Remember, there are a lot of Registered Nurses who can pay it forward because of Mr. Drogo.”

Sam Drogo, the man who inspired this scholarship.

Sam doing what he loved best...

Sam Drogo and ADInstruments
Sam’s involvement with ADInstruments goes all the way back to the original MacLab, the predecessor of PowerLab. He liked the product from the start and stuck with it through each and every new iteration. He loved how adaptive and modifiable the system was because it allowed for the creation of different new lab activities. Leading students in the performance of science in lab…those were the times Sam was at his best. He understood the ADInstruments’ system well and, more than anyone, could manipulate and adjust it “on the fly” effortlessly in order to achieve success in the lab. His feedback and interaction with ADInstruments' technical staff helped make the system better and more user-friendly. It is because of the fact that Sam so ably modeled the skillful use of ADInstruments’ technology as a teaching and learning tool that ADInstruments established the Sam Drogo Technology in the Classroom Award following his death. Those in HAPS who knew Sam well recognize what an honor it is to be selected for one of these scholarships.

- Bill Perrotti

Reproduced, with permission, from

The Sam Drogo Technology in the Classroom Award
The Awards acknowledge educators for their innovative use of technology to engage undergraduates in human anatomy and physiology. Award: up to $500 to attend the HAPS Annual Conference. Award recipients are encouraged to conduct a workshop featuring technology in education innovations at the conference. A total of three awards are currently available, all sponsored by ADInstruments, but the use of ADInstruments equipment or software is not required.
Applications for close annually on 01 December.

Recent award winners:
2018 Sam Drogo Technology in the Classroom Award Winners
2017 Sam Drogo Technology in the Classroom Award Winners


HAPS offers a variety of grants, scholarships, and awards for anatomy and/or physiology faculty and their students. These awards support the mission statement of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society, which is to promote excellence in the teaching of human anatomy and physiology.


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