Christopher Quick, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology in Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM), is one of two Texas A&M University faculty members who has been selected for a 2017 University Professorship in Undergraduate Teaching Excellence (UPUTE).
Texas A&M’s University Professorships in Undergraduate Teaching are a three-year appointment that carry an annual salary supplement of $5,000, provided by the university, and an annual $5,000 discretionary income to support a teaching program and related professional development. The appointment is effective Sept. 1.
The designation is conferred upon only the university’s most distinguished undergraduate teachers, those who have exhibited uncommon excellence and devotion to the education of Texas A&M students, according to provost and executive vice president Karan Watson.
“Texas A&M has long been known for its excellence in undergraduate education and appointment of these professorship holders is intended to be indicative of the administration’s continuing support for and dedication to undergraduate education,” Watson said in a memorandum informing Quick of the appointment.
Quick was nominated for the honor by Dr. Eleanor Green, the Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine; recommended by an ad hoc committee and the Texas A&M Dean of Faculties; and ultimately endorsed by the provost.
“Receiving an UPUTE is particularly meaningful to me, because other recipients have set such a high bar for teaching excellence. I have so much yet to learn,” Quick said. “Texas A&M has cultivated an excellent environment to foster innovation—both in research and in education. I love working with students and faculty to devise new ways to integrate the two.”
Professors are selected for having provided evidence of engaging and innovative instruction and course design; rigorous expectations for undergraduates, coupled with offering support to achieve those expectations; making an impact beyond their classrooms, via areas such as mentorship; and making a broader impact on disciplinary pedagogy through their undergraduate teaching. Colleges are allowed to submit only one nomination each year.
“Great teachers can structure an environment that lends itself to the best possible learning experience for every student. Dr. Quick transforms the educational environment with ease, finding the best way to reach his students and remodeling the experience based on needs that change from year to year,” Green said. “Dr. Quick’s formal academic training in biomedical engineering also has prepared him to bring quantitative techniques to solve biomedical problems into the teaching arena. His ability to communicate, integrate and immerse undergraduate and graduate students in a research and educational environment is outstanding.”
Receiving the professorship also comes with a commitment to contribute to colleagues’ ongoing professional development in teaching at Texas A&M.
“These professors are not only exceptional classroom teachers, but are also innovators in pedagogy, exploring new teaching methods and seeking engagement with other educators in pursuit of excellence,” Watson said.
Quick earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania and his doctorate in biomedical engineering at Rutgers University. He joined the CVM faculty in 2002 and was promoted to full professor in 2015.
While in his first few years as an assistant professor, he worked with colleagues to develop a team-based approach to undergraduate research that greatly expanded those opportunities, which became the basis of a novel research-based undergraduate class, as well as the DeBakey Undergraduate Research Program, a summer program funded by four concurrent grants from the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation
Partnering with students, faculty, and administrators, Quick more recently launched university-wide programs such as an undergraduate certificate program in biomedical research and the Aggie Research Scholars Program.
He has received several teaching awards, including the Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching, the Betty M. Unterberger Award for Outstanding Service to Honors Education, and the Sigma Xi Outstanding Texas A&M Science Communicator Award for Faculty.
The other 2017 UPUTE recipient is Ben Wu, professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences.
Contact Information: Megan Palsa, Executive Director of Communications, Media & Public Relations, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Science; email@example.com ; 979-862-4216; 979-421-3121 (cell)