Melanie Boileau, DVM, MS, DACVIM, received the 2018 Regents Distinguished Teaching Award for OSU’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences.
“I came to Oklahoma State in 2001 helping to teach students throughout my food animal medicine residency program, which was a three-year program,” said Dr. Boileau, associate professor and section chief of Food Animal Medicine and Surgery. “I left for a year when I went to Kansas State University to teach and came back as faculty in 2005. So it’s been 16 years or so altogether at OSU! Yes, I just bleed orange.”
When asked what receiving this prestigious award meant to her, Boileau had this to say:
“I feel very honored and extremely privileged to have received the Regents Distinguished Teaching Award. I am delighted to see my dedication and commitment to teaching being recognized. This is just humbling.”
While she has been teaching for many years, she knew she wanted to be a veterinarian at a much younger age.
“I decided to become a veterinarian when I was about 10 years old,” she recalled. “I grew up on a dairy farm near Ste-Cecile de Milton, a small town about an hour east of Montreal in Quebec, Canada. We had a small Holstein herd of about 60 head. I remember seeing one of my newborn heifer calves bleeding profusely from her umbilical cord. I ran to the house frantically trying to find a little rope to tie and stop the bleeding, which I did. The calf did well and that made me so happy! And that was pretty much the beginning of my journey.”
Boileau earned her DVM degree from Montreal University in Quebec. She also earned a Master of Science degree in Veterinary Biomedical Sciences from Oklahoma State University during her residency program. She then became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
“I hope to be remembered for my passion, enthusiasm and commitment for teaching food animal medicine. Also, I hope to be remembered for my teamwork mentality, and for promoting student involvement in patient care and management.”“Over the last several years, I feel that my greatest accomplishment has been my growth as a veterinary educator,” she continued. “I’ve really tried to broaden my teaching toolbox every year in various ways and I think it has paid off. What I like most about teaching is when I see either a student, intern, or resident who is able to do a procedure or to apply a concept to a case from what I have taught them. When I see that, that’s just a treat for me. Every time.
And what advice does this Regent’s Distinguished Teacher have to offer up and coming faculty members?
“My advice to any young faculty member would be to find a mentor that they can run things by. I would also suggest to engage in teaching related activities, conferences or courses to invest and broaden their respective teaching toolbox.”
While Dr. Boileau has witnessed many successes and helped many students and developing veterinarians grow, one particular case comes to mind when asked if she has a favorite memory.
“Probably my favorite memory was a student interested in mixed animal practice who was very shy and very intimidated by the size of the cattle, the gate system and chutes she had to work with. With some teaching and guidance, by the time the third week of the rotation was over, she was like, ‘yeah, let’s do this.’ She gained so much confidence that she blossomed into a skilled, go-getter student!”
To be eligible for the Regents Distinguished Teaching Award, a full-time faculty member must have shown unusually significant and meritorious achievement in the instruction of students (graduate and/or undergraduate) for a significant number of years. One annual award is given per college (except for Arts and Sciences where two awards are given) at $2,000 each plus appropriate fringe benefits. All applications are reviewed and selected by a committee and approved by the OSU Board of Regents.