February 2018

Noted Educator Freeman Hrabowski to Address Conference

Dr Hrabowski
One of the most dynamic leaders in contemporary higher education will be featured during the AAVMC’s Annual Conference March 2-4, 2018 in Washington, D.C. University of Maryland – Baltimore County (UMBC) President Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski will address conference attendees on Friday, March 2 during the 1:30 p.m. session.

Dr. Hrabowski has served as UMBC’s president since 1992. His leadership in education administration, innovation and Science, Technology Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M) promotion for African Americans and others has garnered international recognition.

He was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME (2012) and one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report (2008).

A child-leader in the Civil Rights Movement, Hrabowski was prominently featured in Spike Lee’s 1997 documentary, Four Little Girls, on the racially motivated bombing in 1963 of Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church.

Hrabowski and UMBC have been featured on CBS’s “60 Minutes” and many other international media, and he has received numerous awards and commendations for his leadership and innovation.

He holds honorary degrees from more than 20 institutions, including Harvard, Princeton, Duke, University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, Haverford College and Harvey Mudd College.

2017-18 Annual Data Report Published

The 2017-2018 Annual Data Report has been published. For the first time, the report has been produced on a dynamic, interactive software platform that enables users to view data based upon specific parameters they wish to investigate. Previously, the report featured static infographics presented on a pdf.

In addition to the new data visualization format, the report is the most extensive report the AAVMC has ever produced. It includes:
  • Data on dual degree enrollment that provides a glimpse into the future population of veterinary researchers
  • Applicant to seat ratios by institution and by residency pools
  • Demographic data about applicants to the Class of 2022
  • Data on total research award money going to the CVMs
Published annually, the ADR is designed to serve as a statistical portrait of academic veterinary medicine for a variety of audiences.

Comprehensive data is available on enrollment trends and graduation rates, veterinary economics, as well as demographic information about faculty, staff, residents, interns and DVM students.

The empirical data supports research studies, inquiries and scholarly examinations and presents useful information for the media and the public.

The AAVMC's 30 U.S., five Canadian, and 14 international members are surveyed annually as part of the massive data gathering effort that supports the project.

Veterinary Wellbeing Summit April 15-17, 2018 in Chicago

Health and wellness issues remain a vital concern for all members of the veterinary medical community, from students to practitioners, and leading organizations in the profession are taking action to address the problem.

AVMA, AAVMC and Zoetis will join forces to present the “Veterinary Wellbeing Summit 2018” April 15-17 at the Chicago Marriott Schaumburg. This year’s summit will convene a variety of leaders within the veterinary medical community and other health professionals to focus on strategies and resources for establishing a culture of wellbeing throughout the profession.

“The health and wellness challenges we face in veterinary medicine are real, they are serious, and they require a united and decisive response,” said AAVMC CEO Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe. “We’re gratified to see so many people and organizations working together to address this threat to our profession and the people and animals it serves.”

Mental health and wellness issues are a recognized challenge in several medical and helping professions, for reasons that range from stress to economic concerns and burn-out. But experts agree the detrimental effect they have on personal wellbeing can also compromise professional performance.

This is the fifth major symposium focused on mental health and wellness that the AAVMC and Zoetis have presented. The AAVMC has led efforts to recognize and address health and wellness issues on campus, as the challenges and stresses rooted in student life often follow them into professional life.

Registration for the conference is limited. For more information, please contact mkirk@avma.org.

AAVMC Hosts Webinars on Preparing for Veterinary Medical School

The AAVMC recently kicked off a new round of webinars designed to inform prospective veterinary medical students about what they need to do to prepare for veterinary school.

“The Road the Veterinary School” webinars are designed for freshman and sophomore undergraduate (pre-vet) students. They help prepare them for the Veterinary Medical School Application Service (VMCAS) application and learn more about what they should be doing during their early undergraduate careers leading up to professional school.

AAVMC Director of Admissions & Recruitment Affairs Tony Wynne started organizing and hosting the webinars about two years ago. “I felt there was a need to educate pre-veterinary students, even in the first year, about how to prepare for the rest of their undergraduate years," he said.

The webinar series is now in its fourth cycle.

Topics include:
  • Knowing where to apply, which includes guidance on how to evaluate location, culture/climate and cost
  • Understanding what schools are looking for, which includes pre-requisites and other attributes
  • A glimpse into the VMCAS application
The webinars are designed to help students avoid the two main pitfalls that cause rejected veterinary medical school applications, said Wynne—applying to schools for which they are not qualified and not following directions.

The series began in January and will continue through April before switching to webinars that focus more on the logistics of filling out a VMCAS application. There are also webinars geared specifically towards pre-vet/pre-health advisors.

They have proven immensely popular. The January 17 webinar sold out and Wynne is looking into increasing capacity for the February 21, March 14 and April 18 webinars.

High school students, admissions officers and college students of all levels have also signed up for the webinars.

Learn more and register.

Grant Cycle Open for NIH-Funded “This is How We Role” Diversity and Inclusion Program

The Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine has announced the 2018 funding opportunity for U.S. colleges of veterinary medicine to participate in their innovative “This Is How We “Role” nationwide pipeline program. The after-school role modeling program is supported by the National Institutes of Health’s Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) program.

The program focuses on students in grades K-4 who are educationally disadvantaged because of socioeconomic status, race, or ethnicity and is designed to address the challenge of diversifying the veterinarian-scientist workforce.

Six grants of $5,000 each will be awarded during the cycle, and applications are due on April 16, 2018. For additional information about the program, please visit: WeRoleLikeThis.org. Questions regarding the program and submission process should be addressed to: pvmengaged@purdue.edu

The program was established in 2015 with a $1.26 million NIH grant awarded to Purdue, with the goal of expanding the program throughout U.S. academic veterinary medicine. The program is designed to provide interactive science and math experiences to students in kindergarten through fourth grade and encourage awareness and interest in the profession, according to Dr. Sandy San Miguel, the principal investigator, program founder and associate dean for engagement in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Veterinarians, veterinary students and technicians at participating institutions are trained to show young children how veterinarian-scientists develop methods to prevent and treat human health conditions as they help cows with diabetes, dogs with cancer, and horses with asthma.

AAVMC member institutions awarded participation grants during the 2017 grant cycle include the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biological Sciences , the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Ohio Economic Impact Study Demonstrates Value of Profession, Academic Veterinary Medicine

A new economic impact study demonstrates that the veterinary medical profession and the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine combine to account for more than 23,000 Ohio jobs, which generate more than $800 million in wages. It also shows that the total contribution of veterinary medicine in Ohio exceeds $2.4 billion. When the models are extended to include agriculture and broader animal related industries, those figures soar to 93,000 jobs, $3.7 billion in total wages and $13 billion in economic impact.

Economic and Social Impacts of Veterinary Medicine in Ohio” was a study commissioned in partnership between the OSUCVM and the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association and conducted by Regionomics, LLC. One of the unique features of the study is that it takes a conjoint approach to assessing the collective impact of private practitioners and the academic institution that supports the profession in the state.

Economic impact studies provide a powerful opportunity to demonstrate the value veterinary medicine and academic veterinary medicine bring to the states they serve.  A number of AAVMC members have taken measures to develop infographics and other materials that demonstrate the value that academic veterinary medicine brings to the states they serve. Those are available on the government relations website.

Any other member institutions that have developed materials that demonstrate the economic contributions made by their schools and colleges are invited to share them with Kevin Cain (kcain@aavmc.org) or Jeff Douglas (jdouglas@aavmc.org).

USDA NIFA Teaching Excellence Awards Deadline March 15, 2018

Nominations for the National Awards for Excellence in College and University Teaching in the Food and Agricultural Sciences Program are being accepted by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The nomination period closes March 15, 2018.

Launched in 1992, this program recognizes outstanding college professors of agriculture, natural resources, veterinary and human sciences. A selection committee of nationally recognized teachers and scholars choose two national recipients and two early career awardees. Six regional awards are also presented. Nominees are evaluated based on their ability as instructors, educational innovation, service to students, professionalism and scholarship.

This year, a new category of awards will be presented, according to Association of Public and Land-grant University (APLU) Director of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Wendy Fink.  The “Teaching and Student Engagement” awards will honor faculty with very high teaching and advising responsibilities and minimal research requirements.

This is a partnership among NIFA, the University of Florida, and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).

For more information, contact fink at wfink@aplu.org

Dog Lover Bestows $50 Million Transformational Gift Upon Oregon State University CVM

A $50 million gift to Oregon State University will create The Gary R. Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine and lead to transformational change at the 43 year-old college of veterinary medicine in Corvallis.

Carlson is a Portland native and 1974 OSU alumnus who built a distinguished career as a physician and partner in Dermatology Associates of Westlake Village, California. He said the gift was inspired by his love for dogs.

“As I began thinking about how I might make a difference in this world, I thought about those things that matter most to me,” Carlson said, “High on the list was the joy that our pets so often give us – a special comfort and support that allows us to embrace life more fully. I wanted to do something that would enrich that experience and help us better understand and care for our ‘best friends.’”

The Carlson College becomes the first named college at Oregon State and is only the second named veterinary school of the 30 accredited colleges and schools in the United States. 

The gift will dramatically increase the college’s ability to provide life-saving clinical care, professional education for future veterinarians, and research critical to animal and human health, university officials said. Specific plans include doubling the size of the OSU Small Animal Hospital, establishing an endowed fund to attract and retain top-tier veterinary faculty and supporting college strategic priorities.

“This is a game-changing investment in our college,” said Dr. Susan J. Tornquist, the Lois Bates Acheson Dean of the Carlson College. “We are very honored and excited about Dr. Carlson’s partnership. The hospital expansion is a pressing need for us now, but this is just the beginning of what Dr. Carlson’s generosity will make possible as the college adapts and grows to meet the needs of future generations.”

Plans are being formulated to build two new hospital wings, one of which will house a linear accelerator for radiation oncology. Adding this new service to the hospital’s existing chemotherapy services means OSU will be able to provide comprehensive cancer care to patients in one location for the first time.

“The college of veterinary medicine is a vital way that OSU lives out its mission of service,” said OSU President Ed Ray. “Thousands of people who have no other connection to this university seek help from our veterinary hospital.”

Perkins Replaces Whittem as Region III Director on AAVMC Board of Directors

Dr. Perkins
Dr. Nigel Perkins, Head of the University of Queensland School of Veterinary Science, has been appointed to serve as the At-Large Director, Region III (Australia, New Zealand, Asia) of the AAVMC Board of Directors. Perkins replaces Dr. Ted Whittem, whose term was truncated following his departure as Head of the Melbourne Veterinary School at the University of Melbourne (AAVMC board members are required to be serving as a member institution head during their tenure of service on the board).

Perkins, a noted veterinary epidemiologist, earned his veterinary degree from the University of Queensland, an MS degree from The Ohio State University and a PhD in veterinary epidemiology from Massey University, New Zealand. He has practiced as a veterinarian in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria and has worked as a veterinary academic clinician at university veterinary schools in Australia, the USA and New Zealand.

Perkins formerly served as Group Leader of the EpiCentre, an internationally acclaimed epidemiology research and consultancy center based within the Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Science at Massey University. He joined AusVet, a private epidemiology consultancy company, in 2004, and became a Director of AusVet in 2007. Nigel joined the University of Queensland in February 2016 as Professor of One Health and Academic Superintendent within the School of Veterinary Science. In October 2017 Nigel was appointed as the Head of School of Veterinary Science.

Nigel has held leadership roles in numerous organizations, including research program manager for the Horse R&D Program within the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), surveillance program coordinator for the Australian Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre (AB-CRC), and Chief Examiner of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists. He is the current Chair of the Thoroughbred Advisory Panel for Agrifutures Australia.

University of Melbourne Joins VMCAS

The Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Melbourne in Australia is the newest veterinary medical school to join the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS).

That makes the University of Melbourne the third Australian veterinary school to join VMCAS.

A total of 29 national schools and 10 international schools currently participate in the application service.

VMCAS allows prospective students to use one portal to see school-specific requirements, upload all their necessary application information, and apply to multiple schools. Students typically apply to an average of five schools.

Tony Wynne, the AAVMC’s Director of Admissions & Recruitment Affairs, said VMCAS participation increases a school’s visibility and that schools using VMCAS typically see an increased applicant pool. “Having applicants see the international schools listed on the VMCAS list opens the door for applicants to consider studying internationally,” said Wynne, who would like to see more international schools benefit from using the service. 

Wynne adds that all VMCAS members receive global applicant reports and that there are “systemic advantages for processing and working with applications and applicants, including use of the WebAdMIT system.”

VMCAS membership also provides opportunities for helping determine the application’s content and format.

Melbourne will begin participating during the VMCAS 2019 cycle.

AAVMC data show that DVM students studying abroad pay tuition rates similar to those in the U.S., although international study may incur additional expenses for housing and travel.

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