August 2, 2010—Basseterre, St. Kitts—Mark D. Freeman, D.V.M., assistant professor of small animal surgery at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM), received the Student American Veterinary Medical Association’s (SAVMA) 2010 Teaching Excellence Award at the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Conference in Atlanta, Ga. Freeman is the first faculty member from a veterinary school outside the United States to receive this award.
“I am humbled to be honored by SAVMA. Student learning is my number one teaching priority,” said Freeman. “I believe as educators, we have a commitment to our students to guide them in their mission of becoming veterinarians. Learning goes far beyond a textbook—it is about empowering the student to think through the process of finding solutions.”
Every year, SAVMA honors one faculty member in the areas of basic and clinical veterinary sciences with the Teaching Excellence Award. The recipient is chosen based on excellence, innovation, and enthusiasm in the field of veterinary medical education. The award is entirely administered by students throughout the nomination and selection process.
“We are excited that our university is the first outside of the U.S. to have a faculty member receive the SAVMA award. This is affirmation to the commitment of our faculty in the advancement of our teaching program,” said David J. DeYoung, D.V.M., dean of RUSVM. “Dr. Freeman joined our team in 2009, and immediately began sharing his passion for teaching. He doesn’t simply educate, he inspires students to become better, more compassionate practitioners—our students recognized this dedication by nominating Dr. Freeman for the award.”
Veterinary students Corey McCann, Natalie Hoepp, Richard Skalos, and Elizabeth Kozakiewicz nominated Freeman for the award. All students who wish to participate in the nomination process must be SAVMA members, and complete a nomination form, which includes an explanation of the instructor’s use of inventive teaching methods, and how he/she demonstrates enthusiasm for the subject taught. Nominations are brought before a student committee for final selection.
“Dr. Freeman sets a comfortable, calm tone during surgery. He believes in our abilities, and allows us to suggest our next action while providing appropriate guidance to assist in determining diagnosis and treatment,” said Hoepp, a seventh semester student. “Dr. Freeman is a veterinary student’s greatest advocate. He has not forgotten the challenges of being a student and can often be found in the trenches.”
SAVMA’s key objectives, derived from its parent organization AVMA, are to “advance the science and art of veterinary medicine, including its relationship to agriculture and public health.” There are more than 10,000 student members of the association.
About Mark Freeman, D.V.M.
Mark Freeman, D.V.M., joined Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in June 2009, as an assistant professor of small animal surgery. He is responsible for the seventh semester spay clinics and is course coordinator for a surgery lab. Freeman has eight years of experience in private practice focusing on mixed, small animal, emergency and critical care. He has been involved with research in molecular microbiology, taught small animal medicine and surgery, and helped train nine interns in small animal medicine and surgery. He has authored 12 scientific journal articles, poster presentations, and abstracts. In addition, he received the 2007 Pfizer Outstanding Teacher Award during his academic assignment at Tuskegee University, School of Veterinary Medicine where he served as assistant professor of small animal internal medicine, and a clinical instructor in the Clinical Sciences Department. Freeman received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2001.