VMBS Professor Receives 2023 University Professorship For Teaching Excellence

Story by Rachel Knight, VMBS Communications

Dr. James Herman in front of a classroom full of students
Dr. James D. Herman

Dr. James D. Herman, a clinical professor in the Department of Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology (VTPP) at the School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (VMBS), is a recipient of a 2023 University Professorship for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence (UPUTE). He will be recognized at the university’s awards luncheon on April 24.

The most distinguished teachers of undergraduates at Texas A&M University, UPUTE professors are both exceptional classroom teachers and innovators who explore new teaching methods and seek engagement with other educators in pursuit of excellence.

“Dr. Herman is an outstanding educator who is more than deserving of the consistent recognition he receives in his dedication to helping students bridge the gap between their undergraduate and graduate studies,” said Dr. John R. August, the Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine. “He provides tremendous support to both pre-veterinary and pre-medical students in learning critical skills that will ensure their success in their professional or graduate programs. We all owe a big thanks to Dr. Herman for his role in educating some of the finest future professionals in veterinary and human medicine.”

Herman’s nominator said his passion for teaching and encouraging life-long learning, his depth of knowledge, his ability to engage all students in a way that is both challenging and enjoyable, and his commitment to connecting clinical medicine and research to education with an infectious enthusiasm and dedication to student success are what prompted him to nominate Herman.

“Dr. Herman is a major advocate for student success, but this is not accomplished with a diminished rigor. Rather, Dr. Herman sets rigorous expectations that inspire students to achieve more than they themselves believe,” Herman’s nominator said. “In addition, the creative use of course engagement via variable sets, visual physiology projects, and clinical case reviews provides students of all learning types with multiple opportunities for assessment.”

Herman teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in physiology and pharmacology. He also created the Animals in Society course, which is part of Aggie ACHIEVE, a program at Texas A&M for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“Dr. Herman is an outstanding educator who is more than deserving of the consistent recognition he receives in his dedication to helping students bridge the gap between their undergraduate and graduate studies.”

Dr. John R. August

His primary areas of interest in teaching include problem-based learning, the development of creative-thinking and problem-solving capabilities, and the production of interactive multimedia programs. These focus areas are appreciated by his students and regularly result in high student evaluations.

“Dr. Herman taught me the importance of objectivity, thoroughness, and the artful balance of paying attention to detail while not losing sight of the big picture,” a former student shared in a letter supporting Herman’s UPUTE nomination. “He supported my curiosity and fueled my passions as he helped me navigate the physiology of the human body.”

Students and former students have continually recognized Herman throughout his career for his outstanding achievements in the classroom and for his substantial contributions to their education and their lives.

In 1998, grateful students named Herman a Fish Camp Namesake. He was named a Montague Scholar in 2004 by the Center for Teaching Excellence. He received the prestigious Association of Former Students Distinguished Teaching Award at the school level in 2006 and at the university level in 2008. And in 2016 Herman was named a Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence at Texas A&M. The UPUTE professorship is the latest recognition of his outstanding teaching efforts.

“This well-deserved recognition of Dr. Herman is another important example of the outstanding educational experience VTPP faculty provide to our students,” said Dr. Larry Suva, VTPP department head. “Dr. Herman continues to be a role model for all instructors, and we are very fortunate to have such a remarkable faculty member in the VTPP department and in the VMBS.”

Herman’s UPUTE professorship is a three-year award, which will include a salary supplement beginning in the fall. The professorship term also includes an annual discretionary bursary to support UPUTE professors’ teaching and to extend their professional development opportunities. Herman will provide professional development programs for teaching during the three-year term of his award.

“In my opinion, all students and faculty who have the good fortune to interact with Dr. Herman are driven to do more and do better, based on outstanding efforts serving as colleague, mentor, teacher, and collaborator,” his nominator said. “It is important that such gifted, productive, and generous members of the faculty dedicated to the teaching of undergraduate physiology and pharmacology that inspires and transforms students are rewarded.”


For more information about the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, please visit our website at vetmed.tamu.edu or join us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Contact Information: Jennifer Gauntt, Director of VMBS Communications, Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, jgauntt@cvm.tamu.edu, 979-862-4216

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons