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Health Professions E-NEWS

Vicki Freeman

A Message from the Interim Executive Vice President and Provost

Vicki Freeman, professor and chair of the SHP Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences and Professor in the SOM Department of Pathology, has been appointed as holder of the Dr. and Mrs. AH Potthast Distinguished Professorship in Teaching Excellence. The Potthast Professorship was established in 2003 by Dallas-based financier, John H. Massey and his wife, Elizabeth, to recognize teaching excellence and to honor the memory of Mr. Massey's grandparents.

An internationally renowned advocate for excellence in health professional education, Dr. Freeman's work has focused on providing quality educational opportunities to all students, especially those from underserved areas and resource limited countries. She has been involved in developing multiple educational avenues in clinical laboratory sciences (CLS) education, and has expanded CLS education opportunities through the use of special delivery methods such as interactive video teleconferencing and web-based courses for students in rural and underserved areas, as well as those on the UTMB campus.

Dr. Freeman has garnered numerous awards and recognition for her teaching and professional achievements, including a number of honors from the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), such as the Excellence in Education Associate Member Award, the Kendall Professional Achievement Award, and ASCP Mastership Designation. A Mastership recognizes exceptional members who have made significant contributions to the field of pathology, laboratory medicine as well as the ASCP organization. Dr. Freeman has also been recognized with the Texas Educator of the Year Award presented by the Texas Society for Clinical Laboratory Science, the Outstanding Teacher Award from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and was elected a fellow by the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry. She was awarded the honorific title of Distinguished Teaching Professor by the University of Texas System and was inducted into the University of Texas Academy of Health Science Education, an organization of distinguished scholars recognized for contributions to the advancement of knowledge and for innovation in the field of education. Dr. Freeman was selected by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation as a 2008 Piper Professor, one of 15 recipients of the prestigious award which recognizes outstanding college educators. She has been honored at UTMB with the Outstanding Leader and the Outstanding Contributions to Continuing Education Awards in the School of Health Professions and is an inaugural inductee into the Academy of Master Teachers (AMT). She served as Director-elect of the Academy, prior to taking the helm as Director in September 2011. In addition, she was named a Marie Hall Scholar and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the AMT.

Dr. Freeman has obtained a number of grants from the Health Resources Service Administration and the Department of Education for the improvement of postsecondary education to develop distance and web-based curriculum and serves as a grant reviewer for both of these agencies. She participates in the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) project, developing curriculum and continuing education programs for laboratorians traveling to Ethiopia, Malawi, Lesotho and Tanzania. Additionally, she has participated in three mission trips to Kenya and one to Tanzania. Dr. Freeman is Principal Investigator on a $4.9 million grant awarded in October, 2011 by the U.S. Department of Labor for a new four-year program entitled, Clinical Laboratory Initiative to Mentor Baccalaureate Students (CLIMBS). The goal of the grant is to educate individuals to obtain certification or upgrade employment in the clinical laboratory profession workforce. The target participants are long term unemployed individuals with associate and bachelor degrees in the sciences.

Dr. Freeman earned a PhD degree in Community and Human Resources and an MA in Adult and Continuing Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, as well as a BS in Medical Technology and a BA in Biochemistry from the University of Texas at Austin. She holds national certifications as a medical technologist with a specialty in chemistry from the ASCP and as a clinical laboratory scientist with the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Professionals.

Dr. Freeman's appointment to this professorship is most deserved. Please join me in congratulating her on receiving this honor.