Among the 10 recipients of MU’s Excellence in Education Awards for 2014 was College of Veterinary Medicine faculty member Dr. Chris Baines. Baines is an assistant professor of biomedical sciences at the college and an investigator at the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center.
Co-sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs and the MU Parents Leadership Council, the award recognizes faculty members, advisers and academic administrators who have made significant contributions to the out-of-class learning experiences of MU students and who have demonstrated a long-standing commitment to student learning and personal development.
“These individuals have created an environment where the students take the knowledge and skills that they’ve learned in the classroom and apply them outside the classroom,” said Interim Provost Ken Dean at the April 29 awards ceremony. “They are role models, they are mentors, and they often lend a willing ear when they need to.”
Thanks to this faculty support, “we know that when our students leave here they are going to be successful,” said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Cathy Scroggs.
Baines earned his bachelor’s degree in pharmacology from the University of Bath in Avon, Great Britain, and his PhD in basic medical sciences at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. He came to MU in 2008.
“I am genuinely honored, flattered and humbled that folks thought I was worthy to be even considered for nomination,” Baines said. “I could not do any of this without the unbelievable mentors and role models I have here at the College of Veterinary of Medicine. They have taken the time to teach me and have given me the opportunities to be a greater part of our students’ education.”
In addition to his role as course director for Veterinary Cell and Molecular Biology, Baines is involved in activities outside of the classroom. He is co-director and a mentor for the Veterinary Research Scholar Program, which allows students to explore different facets of biomedical research to expose them to potential career choices they may not have considered. He also participates in the Veterinary Enrichment and Teambuilding orientation program, a three-day, overnight teambuilding event for incoming first-year veterinary students.
“I’m proud to be part of the VET orientation program as this provides the incoming students the opportunity to team build, to learn to tackle and overcome problems together, and to learn how to communicate better with their peers,” Baines said. “These are all things that will aid the students not just through school but also through their entire veterinary careers.”
Dr. Doug Bowles, professor of biomedical sciences, nominated Baines. He said his rapport with students is enviable.
“In the classroom, Chris is an outstanding teacher who presents course material in a clear and concise manner and generates enthusiasm for the subjects covered,” Bowles wrote. “His rapport with the students, despite the complexity of the subject material he covers, is a testament to his ability as an effective instructor.”