Heseltine Receives Provost Faculty Teaching Excellence Award

Story by Rachel Knight, VMBS Communications

Heseltine holding her award with two Provost Office representatives
Michael Johnson, interim associate provost for faculty success and interim associate vice president for faculty affairs; Dr. Johanna Heseltine; and Timothy P. Scott, vice provost for student success
Photo by James Blevins, Texas A&M Academic Success Center & University Writing Center

Dr. Johanna Heseltine, clinical assistant professor of internal medicine in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences (VSCS), has been named a 2023 recipient of the Provost Academic Professional Track Faculty Teaching Excellence Award.

The award encourages, recognizes, and rewards faculty who provide students with meaningful learning experiences, who embrace effective teaching approaches, and who value student-centered learning. Heseltine contributes to seven pre-clinical courses for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) students and teaches in the clinical environment in the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (VMBS). 

Her outstanding teaching efforts yield outstanding veterinary work performed by Aggie veterinarians across the country. 

Heseltine was nominated by Dr. Jonathan Levine, VSCS department head, professor, and Helen McWhorter Chair.

“Much of Dr. Heseltine’s teaching occurs in the clinical environment, where she directly instructs DVM students in the art of medicine,” Levine explained. “That instruction involves modeling clinical excellence, actively discussing medical reasoning and decision-making, and providing students with feedback on often-subtle clinical skills such as palpation and auscultation. These interactions are essential to generating practice-ready veterinarians.”

Heseltine’s teaching includes lectures, hands-on skills labs, critical-thinking sessions, and small-group discussions. 

“Dr. Heseltine is a wonderful clinician,” one of Heseltine’s students said in a recent course evaluation. “She encourages independent thought and critical thinking during rounds. She respects students’ time. She gives students professional advice and recognizes the goals of each student and tailors feedback appropriately.”

Associate Dean for Professional Programs Dr. Karen Cornell said Heseltine’s commitment to supporting Aggies in their veterinary education extends beyond the classroom.  

“She also serves as a one-on-one mentor for eight veterinary students who wish to focus on small animal practice,” Cornell explained. “She is well-respected by the students and sought after for advice and mentorship. Dr. Heseltine also mentors graduate veterinarians who are in a clinical residency training program. She has also presented her pedagogical research at national meetings, including the Veterinary Educators Collaborative.”

Group of award winners with their plaques
The 2023 Provost Academic Professional Track Faculty Teaching Excellence Award winners
Photo by James Blevins, Texas A&M Academic Success Center & University Writing Center

Heseltine sets a high bar for clinical teaching in the Texas A&M Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital, according to Dr. Katie McCool, who met Heseltine when she served on the VMBS faculty from 2018-2022. 

“In the teaching hospital, Dr. Heseltine’s daily student rounds, frequently cited as the most impactful portion of their clinical rotation, use case-based material generated from authentic, real-world patients,” McCool said. “Using these cases, Dr. Heseltine empowers students to apply their knowledge of medicine to real-life scenarios. During these discussions, Dr. Heseltine also guides students in navigating the unique career challenges associated with veterinary practice, including challenges related to hospital staffing, the role of owner finances in case management, and client communication.”

Heseltine is one of 10 faculty members at Texas A&M to receive the Provost Academic Professional Track Faculty Teaching Excellence Award in 2023. Each recipient receives $5,000, thanks to the generosity of the Marie M. and James H. Galloway Foundation, to support teaching innovations and teaching-related projects and activities. Recipients hold this award title for life.


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

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