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Two Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Faculty Recognized for Teaching Excellence

Posted October 13, 2014

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Two outstanding faculty members at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM), Dr. Jeffrey Musser, clinical associate professor in veterinary pathobiology and Dr. James Barr, assistant professor in small animal emergency and critical care, were recognized with the prestigious Association of Former Students College-Level Teaching Award for their talent, expertise, and devotion to students. The awards were presented at the CVM College Hour on October 10.

“This award recognizes the important contribution Dr. Musser and Dr. Barr make to the lives of so many here at Texas A&M University,” said Kathryn Greenwade ’88, Vice President for Communications and Human Resources at The Association of Former Students.  “Loyal and dedicated former students, like Class of  '59 CVM graduate Dr. Charlie Wiseman whom we honor tonight as a Distinguished Alumnus, make these awards possible through their annual gifts and help us recognize the people who make a difference at Texas A&M.”

This award is chosen by faculty members and students every year. The honorees are presented with a plaque and a stipend.

"We’d like to thank them for the work that they do to provide our students with high impact learning experiences,” said Dr. Blanca Lupiani, associate dean of faculties at Texas A&M.

Musser has been with the CVM since joining the faculty as a lecturer in 2000. While serving on the faculty at the CVM, he has won several awards including the 2003 Montague Teaching Excellence Award, the 2005 Texas Veterinary Medical Association Research Award, and the 2007 Texas A&M University International Excellence Award. Musser has also been nominated twice by the CVM for the Bush Excellence Award for Faculty in International Teaching. With an interest in global veterinary medicine and emerging infectious diseases, Musser has worked diligently to provide opportunities for Texas A&M students to have internships overseas in Zambia, Malawi, Norway, Australia, Ghana, and Ecuador, in addition to teaching several study-abroad courses.

Musser's award was presented by Dr. Linda Logan, professor and department head for veterinary pathobiology at the CVM.

"Dr. Musser is an exceptional choice for this award," Logan said. "His commitment to the students, his innovative teaching style, his communication skills, and his challenge to students to broaden their horizons exemplify the intent of this award. His contributions to international understanding of veterinary medicine are outstanding and bring a global perspective to the learning environment within the college."

"The world and how animals and people interact with it is changing rapidly," said Musser. “Our students, whether in the laboratory or in the field, will one day play an important role in not only identifying new emerging zoonotic diseases, but also in making our world healthier for everyone. To me, it is critical that we prepare them well for that responsibility. I would like to thank The Association of Former Students and the people in my department and the college who spent the extra time and effort to make this happen. I feel so honored to be chosen."

"Congratulations to Dr. Musser,” said Dr. Eleanor M. Green, the Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine. “His enthusiasm for the subject matter is contagious, as is his deep devotion to the students and their education.  He is not only a knowledgeable academician, but he is an approachable teacher and mentor.”

Barr has been with the CVM since 2009 and currently serves in the emergency and critical care department of the Small Animal Hospital at the CVM. In his role, Barr is involved in the diagnosis and treatment of the most critical cases brought into the hospital. He works closely with third- and fourth-year veterinary medical students in the hospital to prepare them for difficult and complex cases. This is his first teaching award while serving on the faculty at the CVM.

Dr. Sharon Kerwin, professor and interim head of the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at the CVM, presented Barr with his award.

"Dr. Barr has been an incredible asset in the emergency room and the critical care unit," notes Kerwin. "It is a very challenging job, and he makes it looks easy. He is an incredibly talented and natural teacher, both in the clinic and in the classroom. In addition to a busy clinic and research schedule, Dr. Barr gives his time to our students as faculty advisor to both the student chapters of the American Veterinary Medical Association (SCAVMA) and the student chapter of the Emergency and Critical Care Club. He is a tremendous asset to Texas A&M and we are lucky to have him on faculty."

"I appreciate the challenge of complex and critical cases," Barr said. "One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is finding a solution that will save a life. Working through a difficult case with my students not only gives them an opportunity to use their exceptional problem-solving skills but also often gives me a new perspective—one that I may not have considered earlier. The two-way dynamic between instructor and student is an important part of preparing the next generation of veterinary practitioners, and it is an honor to be recognized for that work. I want to thank the association, the committee that selected me, and the students who took their time to show their support.”

“Dr. Barr teaches by example, whether it is the highest quality of patient care or the deepest level of compassion for the patient.  Add to that his sense of humor and his devotion to students, and it is clear why he is so deserving of this award.” Green said.

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Photo caption:  Dr. Jeffrey Musser and Dr. James Barr were recognized with the prestigious Association of Former Students College-Level Teaching Award

For more information about the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, please visit our website at or join us on Facebook.

Contact Information:
Megan Palsa, Ph.D.
Executive Director of Communications, Media and Public Relations
College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
979-862-4216 (w)
979-421-3121 (c)

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