The Texas A&M Association of Former Students (AFS) honored three members of the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) faculty with university-level Distinguished Achievement Awards, which are among the highest honors presented by the AFS.
This year’s honorees from the CVM are Dr. Audrey K. Cook, associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Small Animal Clinical Sciences; Larry Johnson, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences; and Elizabeth Crouch ’91, Ph.D., assistant dean for undergraduate education in the biomedical sciences program.
The three faculty members were recognized for their commitment, performance, and positive impact on Aggie students, Texas citizens, and the world around them. Specifically, Cook and Johnson were recognized for their teaching skills, while Crouch was recognized for excellent student relations.
Cook was selected for her reputation as an outstanding educator within Texas A&M University. Her “flipped classroom” approach to teaching has earned her approval ratings from her students. In fact, Cook’s teaching excellence previously was recognized with an AFS Teaching Award in 2015.
“Dr. Cook is truly an innovative educator who excels at teaching professional students, post-graduate trainees, and veterinarians in clinical practice,” said Dr. Jonathan Levine, department head, professor, and Helen McWhorter Chair in Small Animal Clinical Sciences.
Johnson also is recognized for his teaching skills by both students and the public. According to Evelyn Tiffany-Castiglioni, associate dean for undergraduate education, professor and department head of veterinary integrative biomedical sciences, Johnson is “a unique, tireless, and inspiring teacher,” but his teaching is not limited to the classroom. Johnson also teaches science outreach programs for middle school students, teachers, and the public.
Johnson was nominated by his students for his ability to truly make a positive impact in education.
“The students nominated him for this award, which underscores how much they value and appreciate his commitment to high quality teaching and student success,” Castiglioni said. “I believe Dr. Johnson’s excellence and effectiveness as a teacher spring from his abiding commitment to awakening and nurturing a love of science in young people.”
Nominated for her unflagging, selfless support of undergraduate students, Crouch makes each student feel important by ensuring every interaction she has with students is impactful. Crouch also was selected for her commitment to each student’s wellbeing and the personalized guidance she offers in meeting students’ goals.
Castiglioni said Crouch’s extensive store of knowledge, empathy, and interpersonal skills make her a great mentor for students.
“Dr. Crouch gives students sustained, individualized, compassionate help-whether the student is seeking academic guidance or facing personal challenges,” Castiglioni said. “She is the best, and we are lucky to have her for our students.”
Dr. Eleanor Green, the Carl B. King dean of veterinary medicine, said it is an honor to work with such impactful CVM faculty.
“These honorees are not only making a positive difference for our students, they are impacting Texas communities and the world,” Dean Green said. “The CVM is proud to house such distinguished faculty who work hard every day to improve education and student relations within the field of veterinary medicine.”
Each honoree will receive a cash gift, an engraved watch, and a commemorative plaque for their achievements. The awards were presented on Monday, April 24, during ceremonies in Rudder Theatre on the A&M campus.