2021 Dean’s Award | Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine

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Bonnie Brenseke, DVM, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Pathology

It is a great honor and pleasure to recognize Dr. Bonnie Brenseke with CUSOM’s 2021 Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence.

Dr. Brenseke graduated from North Carolina State University where she earned both a BS degree in Animal Science and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the College of Veterinary Medicine. She then completed an Anatomic Pathology Residency at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Virginia Tech where she served as Chief Pathology Resident, attained board certification and Diplomate status by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, and earned her PhD in Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences.

Dr. Brenseke joined CUSOM in 2013 as an Assistant Professor and Interim Chair of Pathology. Her outstanding performance in the role was quickly recognized, leading to her appointment as Biomedical Chair of Pathology in 2014, followed by promotion to Associate Professor of Biomedical Pathology in 2019.

Dr. Brenseke is a gifted, passionate, and inspiring teacher who has firmly established herself as an exemplar for medical educators. Since arriving, she has consistently earned among the highest scores on all domains evaluated by students on post-course assessments. Her teaching has been recognized with numerous accolades including being named winner of CUSOM’s Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence in 2016.

Dr. Brenseke’s outstanding teaching consistently positions her as a top contender for this award but during this incredibly challenging year of virtual education, her contribution and impact on student learning has been truly remarkable. In the physical disconnect imposed by the virtual world, Dr. Brenseke found creative ways to engage students in fun and meaningful ways to not only enhance their learning, but to help create a strong sense of connection, community, encouragement and support.

Whether it was through the use of Blackboard tools, chats during live lectures, or her infamous Kahoot exercises, Dr. Brenseke always kept students involved, engaged, and actively learning. This sentiment was captured in several student comments on post-course evaluations including one from a second-year student who noted “Dr. Brenseke has adapted perfectly to virtual teaching and is still interactive even with pre-recordings.”

Additionally, a first-year student shared the positive impact Dr. Brenseke had on him with his comment “Online learning has been really challenging, but [Dr. Brenseke’s] lectures were something that I actively look forward to and she really helped me get through the block when times were tough…”. 

In closing, I am so excited to name Dr. Bonnie Brenseke as the recipient of CUSOM’s 2021 Faculty Award for Teaching. Her passion for medical education, creativity and innovation, genuine care and concern for student wellbeing, and her engaging and supportive approach to encouraging and facilitating student learning make her the perfect choice for this year’s award.

Thank you Dr. Brenseke, and congratulations!

Jim Powers, DO, FACEP, FAAEM
Interim Dean and Chief Academic Officer
Professor of Emergency Medicine