Dr. Linda A. Mizer of the Department of Biomedical Sciences received the 2011 American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) National Teaching Excellence Award for achievements as an educator and inspiration to her students. The annual award draws from student nominations, aiming to recognize excellence, innovation, and enthusiasm in the field of clinical veterinary science and education. Mizer was selected from a pool of several faculty members from other veterinary schools across the country. Students Melessa Andritz ’14 and Joy Tseng ’14 co-wrote a glowing nomination, peppered with illustrative examples of Mizer’s effective teaching style.
“During our very last anatomy lecture, Dr. Mizer delivered a talk on the equine stay apparatus,” wrote Tseng. “Knowing that not every student was familiar with the general equine anatomy, she had prepared a fresh specimen of an equine pelvic limb. She was dressed in scrubs and stood on top of the first row of lecture table with a pelvic limb in her arm, nearly as tall as her.
“Aside from the levity that ensued, her use of this teaching aid had a tremendous impact on how my colleagues and I have learned the equine stay apparatus. We could all remember Dr. Mizer holding the limb, simulating the scenario of a horse during some basic slow gaits while physically manipulating the joints. Seeing is believing, and on that day we all believed that the stay apparatus actually does work in the horse. We learned this material while having fun.”
Mizer joined the faculty in 1991, and has been active in educational activities ranging from teaching to editing cases for study, arranging anatomy laboratories, and helping design the curriculum for Foundation Course I: The Animal Body. In recent years she has taught VTMED 5100 – The Animal Body, VTMED 6102 – Anatomy of the Ruminant, and BIOAP 4130 – Histology: The Biology of Tissues. Mizer received prior Teaching Excellence Awards from Cornell’s Student Chapter of the AVMA in 1993, 1994, 2003, and 2004
“Part of Dr. Mizer’s success as an instructor and mentor is her wonderful personality,” wrote Tseng. “As a first-year student, I was extremely relieved to have such an approachable and personable faculty member to encourage me along the way. She always welcomes questions and is always willing to meet with students outside of classrooms in order to clarify any confusion.”
As the winner, Mizer has been invited to attend the 2011 AVMA convention in St. Louis Missouri for a reception. She will receive a complimentary registration along with all travel and lodging expenses, as well as an engraved glass plaque awarded at the reception. A smaller internal reception at Cornell commemorated Mizer’s award on Monday, May 2 in the Veterinary Education Center Atrium.