Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences’ Names Banu Montague-Center for Teaching Excellence Scholar

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Dr. Sakhila Banu, assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences (VIBS) at the Texas A&M; College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) was named a 2016-17 Montague-Center for Teaching Excellence Scholar.

Dr. Sakhila Banu

The Montague-Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) Scholar award has been given annually since 1991 to one tenure-track faculty member from each college, based on their early ability and interest in teaching. Awardees receive a $6,500 grant to encourage further development of undergraduate teaching excellence.

Each spring semester, Banu teaches a course in endocrine toxicology to undergraduate and graduate students. The course examines the mechanisms behind endocrine disrupting chemicals and their role in environmental contamination and development of some diseases, such as cancer.

“I teach because it energizes me and gives me an opportunity to influence and motivate students’ life in a positive way,” Banu said. “I treat my students with care and compassion, and I appreciate them for their confidence in me and their eagerness to learn.”

With the grant provided by the Montague-CTE Scholars program, Banu intends to develop a lab module for the endocrine toxicology course she currently teaches. She also plans on facilitating field trips related to the endocrine toxicology course for students. Further, the funds from this program will also allow Banu to promote research experiences for undergraduates, through purchasing materials and supplies for training and by sponsoring students to present posters in local scientific meetings.

“I would like to thank the awards committee for honoring me with this nomination for a Montague­–Center for Teaching Excellence Award,” Banu said. “I am extremely proud to be a teacher, and I consider it one of the most important and responsible professions.”

“Dr. Banu is truly dedicated to her students, and her enthusiasm for teaching is inspiring,” said Dr. Eleanor M. Green, the Carl B. King dean of veterinary medicine. “We congratulate Dr. Banu on this well-deserved honor and believe that her teaching efforts help facilitate an engaging and active learning environment at the CVM.”

“Dr. Banu is a lifelong learner herself and strives to nurture this habit and mindset in her students,” said Dr. Evelyn Tiffany-Castiglioni, department head in Veterinary Integrative Biosciences at the CVM. “She is also a highly accomplished researcher who conveys the immediacy of science to her students in their everyday lives and future careers. Whether they pursue jobs, research, or professional school after graduation, Dr. Banu’s students are inspired by her teaching.”

The Montague-CTE Scholars awards are named in honor of Kenneth Montague, Texas A&M; class of ’37, a distinguished alumnus and outstanding trustee of the Texas A&M; Foundation, who had a long and storied career in the Texas oil industry. The award is designed to benefit Aggies who are life-long learners and contributors to their communities.

The goal of the CTE is to stimulate the development of innovative teaching strategies and technologies at Texas A&M University and to recognize excellence in teaching early in a faculty member’s career.