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Friday, 13 January, 2012

Anton Hoffman of Texas A&M Receives 2011 Pfizer Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award


Washington, D.C
. – Professor and veterinarian Anton Hoffman of Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has been chosen by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) to receive the 2011 national Pfizer Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award, the most prestigious teaching award in veterinary medicine in the United States. The award will be presented at the AAVMC annual conference in Alexandria, Virginia, on Friday, March 9, 2012.

Dr. Hoffman received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree in 1986 and a doctorate in veterinary anatomy in 1992, both from Texas A&M University. He has taught professional and undergraduate anatomy courses for 19 years and is the recipient of numerous teaching awards from Texas A&M, including the AFS University Level Award in Teaching in 2007, the student-selected Chancellor’s SLATE (Student Led Award for Teaching Excellence) in 2009, and the Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence Award in 2011. Hoffman has also won the Texas A&M Carl J. Norden/Pfizer Distinguished Teacher Award three times—in 1996, 2007, and 2011.

In nominating Dr. Hoffman for the award, Evelyn Tiffany-Castiglioni, professor and associate dean for undergraduate education at Texas A&M, wrote that, “In Dr. Hoffman’s hands, the static subject of gross anatomy comes alive. He teaches not only the basics that can be found in textbooks but also the real-world relevance of the topics covered.” Cheryl Herman, instructor of anatomy at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, wrote that Hoffman “is a very dynamic and motivating speaker, and approaches the teaching of veterinary anatomy with a passion, energy, and enthusiasm I have witnessed in very few educators. His energy keeps his students attentive and actively involved.”

Dr. Hoffman says that he finds teaching to be “intrinsically rewarding” and that five characteristics form the cornerstones of his teaching philosophy: “First, I have a genuine love and enthusiasm for the subject I teach. Second, I possess a heartfelt sense of responsibility not only to my students and their future careers, but also to the future of the veterinary and human health professions. Third, I believe that it is my responsibility to develop and foster the professional behaviors of my students both by teaching and by example. Fourth, I am honest with my students and strive to establish trust with them. Last, I genuinely care about my students and try to empathize with their problems and struggles.”

Beyond conveying information, Hoffman believes that good teachers also teach their students how to use and find information, learn on their own, and ask questions. His philosophy is summed up by one of his favorite quotes about teaching, by Thomas Carruthers: “A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.”

Dr. Hoffman is a true national leader in distinguished teaching and optimizing the learning experience, and AAVMC, in collaboration with Pfizer, is pleased to honor him with this award.

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The national Pfizer Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award (formerly the Carl J. Norden-Pfizer Distinguished Teacher Award) is presented annually to a faculty member at a college or school of veterinary medicine in the United States. It is the most prestigious teaching award in veterinary medicine. Since 1963, the award has been sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health. The company contributes over $15 million each year to support the veterinary profession, in the form of scholarships to students at veterinary colleges, research grants, philanthropy, and products as part of its commitment to the future of the veterinary profession and the educational mission of veterinary colleges. Award nominees are selected by their individual colleges, while a selection committee at the AAVMC chooses the national honoree.

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people, and the environment by advancing academic veterinary medicine. Its members include all 33 veterinary medical colleges in the United States and Canada, nine departments of veterinary science, eight departments of comparative medicine, two veterinary medical education institutions, nine international colleges of veterinary medicine, and five affiliate international colleges of veterinary medicine:

Jeanne Johnson
AAVMC Communications
Phone:  202/371-9195, x144

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