Outstanding Faculty Recognized by Auburn College of Veterinary Medicine

The College of Veterinary Medicine recently honored four faculty with top teaching awards, recognizing the work of exceptional teachers in the college’s mission of educating future veterinarians and biomedical scientists.

“The faculty honored are truly outstanding clinicians, researchers and educators and are exemplars of the numerous dedicated faculty at the College of Veterinary Medicine,” said Dr. Dan Givens, associate dean for Academic Affairs.

“The College is fortunate to have many outstanding faculty who have a commitment to teaching excellence, and we are proud to recognize the best of the best with these awards.”

The following 2015-16 Teaching Awards were made:

Zoetis Distinguished Teaching Award

The Zoetis Distinguished Teaching Award was presented to Dr. SeungWoo Jung, an assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences and a cardiology clinician in the Wilford and Kate Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital at the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Jung is board certified in veterinary cardiology and in addition to his teaching and clinical responsibilities, investigates mechanisms of heart failure and is developing novel diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.

“Dr. Jung’s academic talents are remarkable and his enthusiasm and dedication toward educating veterinary students is truly a gift,” said Dr. Jamie Bellah, head of the Department of Clinical Sciences. “His positive attitude and teaching style encourages students to learn in the classroom and in clinical rotations, and is he a wonderful mentor and example for veterinary students and also for interns and residents in training.   Dr. Jung, simply described by many students as, awesome, exemplifies what the Zoetis Distinguished Teaching Award represents.”

The Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award was established to improve veterinary medical education by recognizing outstanding teachers, who, through their ability, dedication, character and leadership, contribute significantly to the advancement of the profession.

First presented in 1963 by Norden Laboratories, and following reorganization of various companies, Zoetis continues to honor outstanding veterinary educators.

The Dr. Lauren G. Wolfe Graduate Teaching Award

The Dr. Lauren G. Wolfe Graduate Teaching Award was presented to Dr. R. Curtis Bird, professor of molecular biology and cancer genetics. Named for and sponsored by retired faculty member Dr. Lauren Wolfe, the award recognizes a faculty member for excellence in educating and mentoring MS and PhD degree candidates in the Biomedical Sciences graduate program.

“Dr. Bird is recognized campus-wide as an outstanding graduate mentor, and an important intellectual and technical resource for all who work in the life sciences.  He has served in leadership positions that have advanced the cellular and molecular biosciences at Auburn University over many years.  His door is always open, and his willingness to provide guidance as a scientist and educator are deeply appreciated,” said Dr. Frank Bartol, associate dean for Research and Graduate Studies.

A faculty member at Auburn since 1985, Dr. Bird investigates mechanisms that regulate the expression and function of genes that control a cell’s ability to proliferate. “We are applying the knowledge gained from these investigations to better understand the mechanisms by which cancer cells evade the normal restrictions on proliferation that limit the growth of normal cells,” Bird said.

The Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching

The Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching was presented to Dr. Joe Rowe, an anatomy lecturer in the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology.  The award, given since 2000, recognizes an outstanding teacher, and the selection is based on student nominations.

Rowe, who began teaching at Auburn in 2012, teaches veterinary gross anatomy and applied surgical anatomy, which are foundational subjects in an aspiring veterinarian’s education.

“Dr. Rowe is consistently one of the highest rated teachers by students and peers,” said Dr. Edward Morrison, head of the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology.

Dr. Rowe graduated from the AUCVM in 1987 and ran a private practice clinic until he joined AU in 2012.

In nominating Dr. Rowe, students wrote: “He is great at explaining the material in a clear and patient way so that every student can understand the material. I am grateful for his patience and excellent teaching methods.”

“I love how he can tie the anatomy that we are learning to stories he has formed from his own practice. Dr. Rowe is awesome.”

“Not only is Dr. Rowe extremely knowledgeable in anatomy; he brings a clinical aspect to the table that is so helpful and useful.”

The SGA Teacher of the Year Award

The SGA Teacher of the Year Award was presented to Dr. Amanda Taylor, assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences and a neurology/neurosurgery clinician in the Wilford and Kate Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital at the College of Veterinary Medicine

Board certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Neurology), Dr. Taylor, in addition to her classroom and clinical teaching, conducts research toward understanding and treating inflammatory brain disease and intracranial neoplasia.

“Dr. Amanda Taylor is a gifted neurologist and neurosurgeon in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and her dedication to instructing veterinary students in the classroom and within the neurology service and rotation are exemplary,” Dr. Bellah said. “As one student wrote about Dr. Taylor … ‘she radiates excitement for her profession and in turn, makes you excited to learn’ … the caring and compassion Dr. Taylor demonstrates for her patients and their owners, her ability to communicate at all levels in the hospital, and the positive atmosphere she radiates during long clinic days describe the wonderful role model she is to our veterinary students’.”

This award is made to an outstanding teacher based on evaluations and selection by the student body of the College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Taylor will also be recognized at a spring banquet where outstanding faculty who received the SGA Teaching Award from each college will be recognized.

The SCAVMA Teacher of the Year Award

The SCAVMA Teacher of the Year Award was also presented to Dr. SeungWoo Jung. Auburn’s Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association selects the recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award, which recognizes an outstanding educator involved in the DVM curriculum.

“Dr. Jung, as many students comment in classroom evaluations, has the ability to simplify complex concepts in cardiology so the veterinary students can remember the information,” Dr. Bellah said. “He takes the time to assure they clearly understand.

“A student from Dr. Jung’s cardiology rotation commented: ‘an amazing teacher and goes the extra mile to help his students get the most out of the rotation’.”

We are very fortunate to have Dr. Jung’s clinical expertise, work ethic and dedication toward instruction at the College of Veterinary Medicine.  The veterinary students have given him well deserved recognition.”