Dr. Annie Newell-Fugate, an assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology (VTPP) at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM), has been named a 2018-19 Montague-Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) Scholar.
Montague-CTE Scholar awards are given annually to one tenure-track faculty member from each college based on their ability and interest in teaching.
“I am proud and honored to present the Montague-CTE award to Dr. Newell-Fugate for excellence in teaching,” said Dr. Eleanor M. Green, the Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine. “Her commitment and interest in teaching speaks to her unwavering dedication to students in the classroom. We commend her as she joins the elite few who have earned this prestigious award.”
Newell-Fugate, who calls teaching a privilege, said receiving the award is the highlight of her young teaching career at Texas A&M.
“I am humbled and honored to have been selected to be in the esteemed company of so many current and former Montague-CTE Scholars whose approaches to teaching scholarship I greatly admire,” she said.
“As one who has taught undergraduate students in my research laboratory and with large animal models of human disease for 10 years and in the classroom for eight years, I have an intense passion for undergraduate education,” she said. “Undergraduate students are enthusiastic, driven, and open-minded learners. Their dedication to the mastery of knowledge in their chosen discipline mirrors their commitment to their career goals. It is a privilege to positively impact this group of students on a daily basis in my classroom and research laboratory.”
Newell-Fugate joined the VTPP faculty in 2014 and recently began teaching VTPP 427, “Physiology II,” having previously taught the biomedical sciences program core course VTPP 423, “Physiology I.”
After teaching the same course for a few years, Newell-Fugate said the challenge of developing a new course design for VTPP 427 has been a welcome one that has allowed her to extend her creativity.
“What I love most about teaching is the ability to develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills while fostering a passion and enthusiasm for integrative physiology in my students. In the instruction of my students in both a didactic setting and research laboratory activities, I dovetail basic science within the context of clinical cases,” she said. “The integration of these disciplines instills a greater understanding and appreciation of physiology. Additionally, it is a joy to witness them grow as students and individuals throughout their time in my course(s) or research laboratory.”
As part of her recognition, Newell-Fugate will receive a $6,500 grant to further develop innovative teaching techniques that can be made available to other faculty members.
With those funds, she plans to create short video tutorials for each Physiology II class that will highlight each lecture and be available to students both before and after class; develop round-table discussions of cases with both medical and veterinary practitioners that will cover fluid balance in critical patients, as well as the diagnosis and management of female reproductive disease(s) and of diabetes mellitus (types I and II); and design and implement a hands-on laboratory that covers techniques related to reproductive biology and endocrinology, including an introduction to the methods utilized to measure hormones in the discipline of endocrinology.
She believes that innovative teaching is critical to impactful instruction and begins with communication and passion.
“The classroom is a two-way road with exchange of information and engagement on the part of the faculty member and the students,” Newell-Fugate said. “A passion for teaching, the scholarship of teaching, and for one’s own discipline is essential to the successful implementation of innovative teaching techniques.
“Students learn more, integrate concepts better, and retain information longer in classes where innovative and engaging teaching practices are employed,” she continued. “Several former undergraduate students in my ‘Physiology I’ course have contacted me as health professional students to tell me how helpful my course was as preparation for their professional curriculum. Innovative teaching better prepares the nation’s next generation of scientists and health professionals.”
Newell-Fugate earned her bachelor’s degree with honors in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine; master’s degree in wildlife reproduction from the University of Pretoria, in the Republic of South Africa; and doctorate in reproductive physiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
She said she is thankful for the support she has received as a young faculty member within the CVM—and especially for the support she has received from Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine Eleanor Green, VTPP department head Larry Suva, and the CVM executive committee.
The Montague-CTE Scholars awards are named in honor of Kenneth Montague ’37, a distinguished alumnus and outstanding trustee of the Texas A&M Foundation.
Contact Information: Megan Palsa, Executive Director of Communications, Media & Public Relations, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Science; firstname.lastname@example.org; 979-862-4216; 979-421-3121 (cell)