AVC bacteriology professor wins SAVMA award

Dr. Anne Muckle praised for dedication to teaching
Friday, January 22, 2016
Dr. Anne Muckle and Veronique Savoie-Dufour

Dr. Anne Muckle is fascinated by bugs, but not the kind that we see crawling on the ground or flying around our heads. She is interested in bacteria, those “tiny but mighty” bugs—good and bad—that live in our external and internal environments.

An associate professor at the Atlantic Veterinary College at UPEI, the quiet-spoken Muckle has guided hundreds of veterinary students through the intricacies of bacteriology. For her dedication to teaching and to her students, she has been awarded the Student American Veterinary Medical Association’s (SAVMA) 2016 Community Outreach and Education Award.

Through this award, students at veterinary colleges in Canada and the United States publicly acknowledge how faculty members, clinicians, and other people in the veterinary profession have gone above and beyond their professional responsibilities and duties to interact with, and make a difference in, the community—from local to global.

Muckle was nominated for the award by SAVMA member Veronique Savoie-Dufour, a student in AVC’s Class of 2018.

"Dr. Muckle is the sort of professor you dream of as a kid,” says Savoie-Dufour. “She is not only incredibly knowledgeable in bacteriology, but she has an ease of explaining key concepts and their importance. Her upbeat personality makes it a joy to attend each of her classes, and she encourages active learning, requesting students to participate and ask questions.”

Muckle’s presentations are concise and easy to understand, Savoie-Dufour says, and she adds an element of fun to her classes, using humour to help students learn and retain the material she is teaching. As well, Muckle expresses genuine concern for her students.

“Whether it is in class or in the lab, her openness is engaging, and every student feels very comfortable approaching her for help.”

Savoie-Dufour, who also works in Muckle’s lab, considers her professor to be a role model.

“I have learned so much from her, both in class and my time working in her lab.… I am forever grateful to her for not only imparting important information for my veterinary career but also inspiring me, giving me a glimpse of what I aspire to be one day … a veterinary professor.”

Muckle says her goal as a teacher is to optimise her students’ learning and to make a difference in their education—to give them a basic understanding of bacterial and fungal disease relevant to veterinary medicine. She credits three people with helping her to improve her presentations and teaching style: Dr. Mike Collins, University of Wisconsin’s School of Veterinary Medicine; Dr. Alfonso Lopez, now professor emeritus at AVC; and Dr. Susan Dawson, AVC Dept. Biomedical Sciences. In particular, she is indebted to Sally Goddard, educational consultant, AVC Office of Academic and Student Affairs, for her advice and support in developing "The Bare Bones Lecture."

Muckle will accept her award at the 2016 SAVMA Symposium in March at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Ames, Iowa.

Anna MacDonald
AVC External Relations Officer
Atlantic Veterinary College
(902) 566-6786
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