Beloved MMG Faculty
Brenda Tessmann Retires
Brenda Tessmann joined the Department of Microbiology in 1987 and has been an Assistant Professor in MMG since 2011. For the last 34 years, she has been the stalwart foundation and leader of the MMG teaching mission. Her incredible passion, dedication, empathy, and integrity have positively impacted her colleagues and generations of MMG alumni.
Brenda has taught over 5000 students, mentored over 300 Teaching Assistants, and introduced thousands of medical students to medical microbiology. As Co-Director of the MMG Undergraduate Program and founding Director of the CALS Honors College Program, she has advised over 300 Microbiology, Molecular Genetics, and Biological Sciences majors. She has given generously of her time in departmental and institutional service, including the Provost Diversity Committee and three different terms on the CALS Curriculum Committee.
Brenda was twice awarded the Teaching Award of Merit from the National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (2001, 2002). In 2019, the MMG Department established the Brenda V. Tessmann Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to teaching and advising. Her students said it best: “Brenda is such a gem and goes out of her way to help students. She is approachable and a total genius!” and “Brenda is such an inspiration, especially for me as a female interested in the sciences." Her colleagues and thousands of alumni are immensely grateful for her passion and commitment to microbiology teaching at UVM. She will be greatly missed.