Three faculty members at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences are among the 24 university faculty and staff to be recognized with a 2018 Distinguished Achievement Award by Texas A&M University and The Association of Former Students (AFS).
University-level Distinguished Achievement Awards were presented to Joanne Hardy and Michelle Pine for teaching and to Noah Cohen for graduate mentoring during a ceremony on April 27 in Rudder Theatre, on the Texas A&M University campus.
Hardy, a clinical associate professor in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences (VLCS), has a record of teaching excellence that has been recognized both by students and her peers.
During her 15 years with Texas A&M, she has received the Richard H. Davis award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching and the Clinical Service Award and also was nominated for the International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society T. Douglas Byars Educator of the Year Award.
Previously, at The Ohio State University, where she taught for 13 years, she was recognized with the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Faculty Clinical Teaching Award and was nominated for both the Norden Distinguished Teaching Award and the Dean’s Award for Creativity in Teaching.
In addition, Hardy has worked to integrate her patient-care responsibilities in the VLCS into the clinical instruction she provides; she has coordinated a foal care elective and developed two other hands-on elective educational opportunities, the trauma team and the colic team.
“These electives are the embodiment of high-impact learning: they combine a small amount of didactic material to provide fundamental and essential background information and then allow students to have first-hand experience with events like birth of foals, traumatic injuries to horses, disaster relief experiences as occurred with Hurricane Harvey, and medical emergencies like colic,” a nominator said. “These events are rare and cannot be substituted by simulation or reenactment. At the time Dr. Hardy implemented these electives, they represented an innovation in our large animal curriculum.”
Because of her dedication, Hardy has enjoyed overwhelmingly positive teaching evaluations in both didactic and clinical instruction.
“Her dedication and passion for teaching are unparalleled in the large animal department, as she takes what is taught in lecture and exposes students to real scenarios on the clinic floor,” a nominator said. “She carries her passion for teaching on to the clinic floor as an emergency clinician after hours. She is encouraging, instructive, and helps each resident develop advanced surgical skills throughout the three-year program. She is truly the rock of the residency program and continues to inspire each of us daily.”
A clinical associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences (VIBS), Michelle Pine, came to Texas A&M as a postdoctoral research fellow, but it didn’t take long for her to find her calling in teaching.
Over the course of her 15 years in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Pine’s passion for educating undergraduate, graduate, and veterinary students has resulted in high evaluation scores and a score of teaching awards and recognitions, including the TAMU Teaching Excellence Award; selection to participate in the national Bayer Animal Health Communication Project Faculty Program; and being honored as a Fish Camp Namesake.
In addition to her enthusiasm, Pine is noted for incorporating innovative teaching techniques and state-of-the-art technology. In 2012, she was awarded an TAMU Instructional Technology Services grant, “Flipping Your Course,” as well as a TAMU Classroom Instructional Technology Matching Grant to improve Gross Anatomy educational instruction in the college.
“Because Dr. Pine is a gracious, ‘team player’ in our department, Dr. Pine has made (the technology) available to other instructors who use the gross anatomy lab,” a nominator said.
In the classroom, Pine is described as meticulous, clear, and well-organized; in her efforts to maximize student learning, she also is creative, illustrating anatomy in motion using art and dance; developing an “anatomy in clay” activity that allows students to mold and shape muscles out of clay and then attach them to plastic skeletons; and creating a virtual reality bone box for undergraduate and graduate students—“proving that she will go to great lengths to facilitate a successful and creative environment for student learning,” a nominator said.
“Even in the rigorous veterinary program, she always communicated to us how she wanted our experience in her class to be informative, clinically relevant, and relatively low-stress,” a student said. “She expected us to know the material so that we were competent in day-to-day applications, and her activities and tests always reflected that expectation. I can say with the utmost confidence that Dr. Pine has had a hand in shaping who I am as a student and as a future veterinarian.”
During the course of his 29-year career at Texas A&M, Cohen, VLCS professor and associate department head for Research and Graduate Studies, Cohen has made a substantial commitment to his research, as well as the success of the students whom he trains.
A leading expert in the epidemiology of equine infectious disease, Cohen has made significant contributions to strategies for prevention and management of Rhodococcus equi, including co-developing a vaccine that has been effective in initial challenge studies. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, has been the principal or co-principal investigator for nearly $2.5 million in funding to research on animal disease, and was among the first to influence our knowledge of the epidemiology of many equine diseases.
But it is his devotion to the VLCS’s students that has ultimately led to the growth and refinement of the department’s graduate program.
Among his efforts have been serving on the graduate committee for 24 master’s students—chairing eight of those—and 28 doctoral students—chairing seven of those, as well as supervising four post-doctoral students and the research program for eight clinical residents.
Since 2011, Cohen’s mentees have published 23 articles in peer-reviewed journals, seven hold or have held faculty positions at veterinary schools in the U.S. or Canada, five have received grant funding as principal investigators
“Although Dr. Cohen is internationally recognized for his success as a specialist in equine veterinary medicine and groundbreaking research of equine infectious diseases, I believe Dr. Cohen’s most impactful contribution to the profession is his mentoring to others,” a nominator said. “Dr. Cohen is an extraordinarily effective, unconditionally committed, positively passionate, and universally admired mentor to young veterinarians and research scientists.
“Dr. Cohen always puts the needs of his mentees above his own, giving them the time, encouragement, resources, and confidence they need to succeed. He has provided countless veterinary residents, interns, graduate students, veterinary students, and undergraduates with the tools necessary to succeed,” the nominator continued. “As a result, Dr. Cohen’s impact on the veterinary profession and the lives of many students is sustaining and immeasurable.”
University-level Distinguished Achievement Awards were first presented in 1955 and have since been awarded to more than 1,000 professionals who have exhibited the highest standards of excellence at Texas A&M.
Each recipient receives a cash gift, an engraved watch, and a commemorative plaque.
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)