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Dr. Matthew Mellema honored as 2013 Zoetis Distinguished Veterinary Teacher

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Dean Lairmore congratulates Dr. Matt Mellema on his award.

Dr. Matthew Mellema received the 2013 Zoetis Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award at a faculty reception on Oct. 30th for exceptional, sustained, and significant accomplishments in teaching DVM students.  

As assistant professor of small animal emergency and critical care, Dr. Mellema received his DVM from UC Davis in 1994 and his PhD from Harvard University in 2009. He joined our faculty in 2007 and is also a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.

In accepting the award, Mellema acknowledged that nobody teaches in isolation and thanked the team of faculty at the school.

Dr. Mellema is an outstanding small animal emergency and critical care specialist who provides efficient, high quality patient care. Professional students highly appreciate the comfortable yet challenging clinical learning environment he creates, and residents appreciate strong mentorship and preparation for specialty certification.

Dr. Mellema is known for his enthusiasm, effectiveness, wonderful sense of humor, and overall investment in didactic teaching and curriculum development. A Curriculum Committee member since 2012, he plays an active role in development, design, and implementation of the new DVM curriculum. Colleagues appreciate his “no nonsense” approach and ability to bring clarity to most discussions. He is a block leader for Basic Foundations and Cardiovascular Respiratory. 

Dr. Mellema is also interested in adult education. He states that his primary goals are “to create, evaluate, validate, and translate effective teaching models and materials that promote interactive learning and long-term retention of both basic and translational veterinary educational content.” Within the new curriculum, examples include: authoring and organizing problem-based learning cases, including case materials for students, and detailed case notes for facilitators; designing an on-line module for use in histology where students are assigned the task of "building" tissues, making histology learning interactive and fun; creating Cardiovascular Olympics, an interactive method of testing students’ preparation in cardiovascular physiology using the audience response system and designed to commemorate the London Olympics that were being held concurrently.  

His educational research interest is in psychologic and psychosocial aspects of learning and teaching. He is exploring the impact of two psychologic maladies (burnout and imposterism) on learning and teaching effectiveness. 

About the School of Veterinary Medicine 

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Trina Wood

SVM Communications Officer