June 2018

AAVMC Selects Pilot Institutions for Holistic Admissions Development Program

Three member institutions have been selected to participate in a new AAVMC pilot program designed to help veterinary colleges and schools develop holistic admissions programs.

The three colleges, chosen by a selection committee, are the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine and the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Holistic admissions is a rapidly developing program in the health professions designed to foster greater diversity and inclusion among student cohorts, thereby enriching health professions with a base of practitioners that better represent the patients and clients they serve. Veterinary medicine’s struggles with diversity and inclusion are well documented in professional and popular literature.

Holistic admissions processes evaluate academic performance and aptitude, but also consider qualitative factors known to contribute to a candidate’s ultimate success as a student and career professional. Those factors include more intangible attributes such as intrinsic motivation, leadership, grit, resilience, communications skills, empathy, tenacity in the face of poor grades or adversity, demonstrated success in a working environment, and high ethical standards.

Under the leadership of Dr. Lisa Greenhill, senior executive director for institutional research and diversity, the AAVMC has  been working on strategies for developing an enterprise-wide approach to helping member institutions develop holistic admissions programs. “We will be supporting these colleges as they pursue admissions reviews that are flexible, consider the applicants' capabilities, provide balanced consideration to academic performance, life experience and attributes, and assess how the applicants will contribute to the learning environment and the veterinary profession,” said Dr. Greenhill. “These things are the core pillars of holistic review.”

The school’s selection was based upon: 1) a clear commitment by college leadership to pursue more holistic admissions practices and create greater diversity and inclusion in their college climate and curriculum, 2) a demonstrated willingness to critically examine their admissions program and identify areas that can be leveraged to look at applicants more holistically, and 3) a sincere desire to pursue change.

The AAVMC will be working closely with these schools over the next 12-18 months to offer support in committee training, policy and practice development, research and data analysis and program review.

AAVMC Community Mourns Passing of Dr. Billy E. Hooper

The AAVMC mourns the passing of Dr. Billy E. Hooper, the first Executive Director of the AAVMC. “Dr. Hooper helped lay the foundation for all that AAVMC is today,” said AAVMC CEO Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe. “He was a wonderful person who was devoted to helping people and animals through the profession he loved. His legacy of kindness and generosity will continue to shine brightly throughout all of academic veterinary medicine for many years to come.” The AAVMC honored Dr. Hooper during the 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2016 by creating the Billy E. Hooper Award for Distinguished Service.

The AAVMC honored its founding Executive Director Dr. Billy Hooper during the 50th Anniversary Celebration by creating the Billy E. Hooper Award for Distinguished Service.

AAVMC Senior Director for Institutional Research and Diversity Dr. Lisa Greenhill also remembers Dr. Hooper with tremendous respect. “Dr. Hooper was a champion of D&I in veterinary medicine, and one of my personal heroes who used his position and voice to affect change long before it was popular,” she said.

Greenhill shared this excerpt of comments Dr. Hooper made concerning the history of diversity and inclusion efforts in veterinary medicine at a meeting of the Diversity Committee held in conjunction with the AAVMC’s 50th Anniversary meeting in 2016.

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Dr. Willie Reed worked closely with Dr. Hooper for decades. To learn more details, please read this letter he wrote to the Purdue community upon learning of Dr. Hooper’s passing.

Letter from Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Dr. Willie Reed

Dear PVM Family,

It is with a very heavy heart that I share the sad news that Dr. Billy Hooper, former Purdue Veterinary Medicine faculty member and administrator, passed away yesterday at IU Health Arnett Hospital.  He was 86.
Dr. Hooper was an accomplished and beloved educator and leader in the veterinary medical profession. He dedicated his professional life to academic veterinary medicine, and had a particular passion for expanding diversity in veterinary medical schools and colleges. A United States Marine Corps veteran who served in the Korean War, Dr. Hooper earned his DVM degree at the University of Missouri before pursuing graduate studies at Purdue University. He earned his Master’s and PhD degrees in veterinary pathology at Purdue in 1963 and 1965, respectively, and became board certified by the America College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP). He went on to join the PVM faculty and served as associate dean for academic affairs from 1973-1986. His distinguished career also included faculty appointments at the University of Missouri, University of Georgia, Oklahoma State University and Western University of Health Sciences. In 1986, he assumed a national leadership role, serving as the first executive director of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) in Washington, D.C. In addition, he served on the AVMA Council on Education, the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education, and the National Board Examination Committee. A champion for the cause of expanding diversity in the veterinary medical profession, Dr. Hooper also was instrumental in supporting the Iverson Bell Symposium, which was first held at Purdue University in 1972 and is the oldest and longest running symposium in veterinary medicine devoted to exploring issues of diversity. Dr. Hooper received numerous awards in recognition of his accomplishments, including a listing in Purdue University’s “Book of Great Teachers,” and the Iverson Bell Award for his contributions to advancing diversity in veterinary medicine.
Upon retirement Dr. Hooper and his wife, Janice, returned to Lafayette where Dr. Hooper’s volunteer activities included serving as president of the Lafayette Citizen’s band and chairing the Youth Services Committee of the Lafayette Kiwanis Club. In recognition of his community contributions he received the Crystal Bison Award as the outstanding volunteer in 2011.
It is hard to put into words the sense of loss associated with the passing of this gentle, caring, capable and accomplished veterinarian, educator and humanitarian. I am forever grateful for his kindness, encouragement, and mentorship. Anyone who met Dr. Hooper certainly remembers his amiable disposition, disarming smile, and great intellect. Because of his talent, expertise and leadership skills, he was sought after as an educator and administrator and traveled far and wide during his professional career. I am especially touched, though, to know that our College and the Purdue University community was the home he returned to, and the location where he finished his life’s work. He will be dearly missed not only by the Purdue Veterinary Medicine family, but by the entire veterinary medical profession.
A Celebration of Life ceremony is scheduled at the Soller-Baker Funeral Home, 400 Twyckenham Boulevard, Lafayette, Indiana 47909 on June 22, 2018, with visitation at 9:30 a.m., and the service to follow at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the Purdue Foundation for scholarships to be used in support of students of Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Technology.
Willie Reed

Colorado State University CVMBS Wins 2018 AAVMC Communications Excellence Award

The communications program at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (CVMBS), led by Director of Communications Kristen Browning-Blas, has been recognized with the AAVMC’s 2018 Communications Excellence Award.

Colorado’s communication program was praised by judges for the portfolio of fresh and engaging communication products and content it has created to advance the college’s strategic plan and institutional advancement goals. Judges were also impressed by the college’s creation of compelling video products for use in conventional and social media channels, the image-rich, online newsroom component of a new website, new publications, and various community engagement programs.

“Communications excellence is fundamental to institutional advancement,” said AAVMC Chief Executive Officer Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe. “We congratulate our colleagues at Colorado State University for earning this distinction, and appreciate the role their work is playing in advancing the overall interests of academic veterinary medicine.”

A recently redesigned website includes a continuously updated online news room called “CVMBS Source” that has resulted in millions of page views. Introduced in September 2017, Source features a variety of content that portrays the modern profession’s breadth of impact.  A story on Lyme Disease research elicited global coverage through 300 media outlets, with an estimated readership of 407 million. Another on cross-species viral transmission, which examined lentiviruses in mountain lions, reached 325 million readers and viewers.

National media hits have included Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, ABC News, the Associated Press, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, Wired, U.S. News and World Report, and numerous others.

Stepped-up social media programming through 11 different accounts helped grow the Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s social media audience by 132 percent year-over-year. Their engagement with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science’s “Girls and Science” program helped introduce an estimated 15,000 girls to opportunities in veterinary medicine and their lead sponsorship of the City of Fort Collins’ annual “Pooch Plunge” program attracted 1,250 participants and media coverage.

A new college magazine called “Impact” has been created to support institutional advancement goals of raising $300 million by 2020. The magazine, which is being enhanced to serve as an overall college magazine, has earned honors from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and constituents alike: college staffers were recently stunned to discover a check for $25,000 returned in one of the giving envelopes routinely distributed with the magazine.

A compelling video called “Make a Difference,” as well as a portfolio of new admissions and recruiting materials, has helped elicit record numbers of applicants. Judges also noted the college’s efforts with intra-organizational communication products to support “town-hall” meetings.

“Kristen has refined our communications goals to correspond with strategic priorities, fostered supportive relationships with central and college units, and maintained ongoing projects upholding the excellent communications standards established by the college,” said CVMBS Dean Mark D. Stetter, who stressed the overall group effort provided by the communications team, nick-named ‘CommSquad.’ “This college dedicates resources and support to communications, and it pays off in publicity, recruiting, research, legislative efforts, international collaborations, and overall advancement of the field of veterinary medicine and education.”

Communications and advertising initiatives have helped contribute to substantial progress in several areas at CSU since 2013: The number of hospital patient visits at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital was 40,462 in 2017, up 45 percent. Sample submissions at the Veterinary Diagnostic laboratories were 229,000 during that same year, representing an increase of 20 percent. And laboratory procedures at the Bud and Jo Adams Equine Reproduction Laboratory were 19,000 in 2017, up 46 percent.

The six-member team of judges consisted of communication professionals representing member organizations of the Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions (FASHP) in Washington, D.C. Judges scored nominations from four competing schools using an empirical process that assessed criteria such as quality and scope of the program, leadership and innovation in program development, strategic orientation and other factors.

The award includes a $1,000 honorarium, a commemorative, and public recognition. It will be formally presented during the annual meeting of the Association of Veterinary Advancement Professionals (AVAP) on Thursday, July 12 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Denver Downtown Convention Center.

The AAVMC Board of Directors established the Communications Excellence Award in 2013 to recognize the important role of communications in advancing academic veterinary medicine and the profession, inspire higher level of performance and foster collaboration among member institutions.


AAVMC’s Cost Comparison Tool Updated for 2018

The AAVMC’s Cost Comparison Tool (CCT) has been updated and enhanced for 2018. The CCT’s interactive dashboards now contain updated data and features that allow users to compare data related to tuition, projected cost-of-living, and debt financing.

The CCT is a powerful web-based tool introduced in 2016 to help applicants and students more precisely estimate the cost of earning a DVM degree. The third edition contains several improvements, according to AAVMC Senior Director for Institutional Research and Diversity Dr. Lisa Greenhill.

  • The tool still features information on all 30 U.S. schools, but 13 international members are now included in the visualization, up from 11.
  • Five year international programs are designated, and calculations have been adjusted for the differential.
  • The tool demonstrates three levels of cost: tuition, tuition & living expenses, and total cost of attendance (TCA). The TCA includes the previous two categories as well as the cost of loan interest accruals on an assumed fully financed DVM education (the current interest rate for graduate students using the Federal Stafford Loan is 6%).
  • The sorting feature has been enhanced so that programs are generally shown from higher costs to lower cost.

The map includes resident, non-resident and international total tuition (adjusted for colleges where residency may be established after the first year) charged to the class of 2018, the average amount of institutional scholarship aid awarded to first year professional students, the percentage of students to whom it was awarded, the cost of living for each of the participating colleges and estimated loan interest accrued on a fully financed education.

The CCT was originally developed as part of a series of AAVMC initiatives undertaken to address the educational debt issue in academic veterinary medicine. The CCT enables prospective veterinary students to research schools based upon a variety of financial criteria. Interactive filters allow students to select and compare schools on different criteria.

The data in the CCT has been mined from a variety of sources, including the last six years of the Comparative Data Report, surveys of AAVMC member institutions, and internal calculations. 

Johnson and Lairmore Conduct Leadership Orientation in Washington

Johnson (left) and Lairmore (right) with AAVMC staff.

AAVMC President Dr. Calvin Johnson, dean of the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, and President-Elect Dr. Michael Lairmore, dean of the University of California – Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, devoted a day in May to learning more about the people and programs at the AAVMC.
Johnson and Lairmore spent a day at AAVMC international headquarters in Washington as part of a comprehensive leadership orientation program. While broadly familiar with the organization as part of their prior leadership service, the orientation was specifically designed to help them get to know the staff better and learn more about the nuts and bolts of many programs.


“The AAVMC is extremely active in its support of academic veterinary medicine and it’s an exciting time to serve,” said Johnson. “Spending this time in the office helped me to work closely with the staff on the details of our programming and operations. It was certainly time well spent.”

Lairmore, who also spent time on Capitol Hill and at the NIH while in Washington, concurred.

“As President-elect, visiting AAVMC Headquarters and meeting the staff allowed me to understand directly how people and programs are coordinated to serve our member institutions,” said Dr. Lairmore. “It is clear from my visit that it takes a talented village to accomplish the AAVMC mission.”

Most of the series of scheduled meetings lasted 45 minutes and included detailed program briefings and time for questions and discussion.

The deans began the day meeting with CEO Andy Maccabe and COO Dotty Gray, then met with the Operations Team, which consists of Accounting Manager Mark Stodter, (former) Program Manager Andrew Zoeller, and Program Assistant Lawann Smith.

Following that, they met with Director of Governmental Affairs Kevin Cain, Senior Director for Academic Affairs and Research Dr. Ted Mashima, Senior Director for Institutional Research and Diversity Dr. Lisa Greenhill, and Data Analyst Kendall Young.

Following a group luncheon, they met with Director of Communications Jeff Douglas and Director of Admissions and Recruitment Tony Wynne.

RVC’s Stuart Reid Appointed Commander of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire

Reid addresses the audience during the AAVMC’s 50th Anniversary Black Tie Gala in Washington, D.C. in 2016.

Professor Stuart Reid, Principal of the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), University of London, has been appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his contributions to the veterinary profession and higher education.

A graduate of the University of Glasgow, Reid has led the RVC since 2011. He is a leading veterinarian in the United Kingdom who is recognized by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) as a specialist in veterinary epidemiology, as well as an expert in veterinary public health by the European Board of Veterinary Specialists. He is also an active member and former officer of the AAVMC.

“I am delighted and humbled,” said Reid upon learning of the honor. “It is truly a privilege to have had the opportunity to be part of both the veterinary profession and the university community, and to have worked with colleagues throughout my career who have a huge commitment to the common good. I am very grateful that the importance of animal health, education and science is being acknowledged in this way.”

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire was chartered in 1917 by King George V to reward both civilian and military wartime service. Presented by the Royal Family, the honor has evolved into a prestigious recognition that is generally presented for meritorious service and outstanding contributions in the arts and sciences and public service.

Stuart has been a vocal champion for One Health, an approach which recognizes the interrelationships of human, animal and ecosystem health, in the quest to protect public health.

His research has focused on zoonotic disease and antimicrobial resistance, and he has published over 160 scientific papers, most recently in the journals Science and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). He has secured over £15 million in competitive funding during his career.

Reid is a former President of the RCVS, and he led major governance changes and an initiative to implement the honorary ‘Doctor’ title for UK veterinarians. He served as Secretary of the Board of Directors of the AAVMC from 2011-13, and has held senior offices in the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education.

He has also been a champion for mental health and wellness in academic and professional veterinary medicine, and currently chairs the Mind Matters initiative of the RCVS. He recently ran the London marathon and raised over £14,000 for mental health awareness.

Purdue Hosts 2018 Iverson Bell Regional Diversity Workshop

About 120 people from 11 different institutions gathered for the 2018 Midwest Iverson Bell Regional Diversity Summit held at Purdue University May 18-20, 2018.

Following welcoming remarks during the opening luncheon from Purdue University CVM Associate Dean for Engagement Sandra San Miguel and Dean Willie Reed, the event kicked off with a keynote presentation by Glenn E. Singleton on Courageous Conversation.

Singleton’s San Francisco-based Pacific Educational Group operates Courageous Conversation as a societal enrichment program that focuses on working with education institutions to develop diversity and inclusion strategies and programs.

The three-day symposium included more than a dozen workshops and programs focused on three separate program areas: “Diversity Curriculum Infusion – In the Classroom,” “Student Affairs for a Multicultural Environment – Institutional Framework,” and “Putting Inclusion into Institutional Culture.”

Participating partners in the Midwest Regional Diversity Summit include schools and colleges of veterinary medicine at Purdue University, Michigan State University, The Ohio State University, the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin.

During the Zoetis Awards Reception, Zoetis Chief Veterinary Medical Officer and Group Director for Veterinary medical Services Dr. Christine Jenkins presented two Zoetis Diversity and Inclusion Awards to faculty and staff working with the participating member institutions.

2018 Honorees included April Pugh, director of admissions, recruitment and special events at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and Dr. Henry W. Green, III, an associate professor at the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine.

The award consists of a crystal plaque and a $500 monetary prize. The recipients are chosen for their contributions towards supporting progress in achieving diversity and inclusion in their respective institutions.

Project Manager Andrew “The Mayor” Zoeller Leaves AAVMC for Richmond, Virginia

Andrew Zoeller
AAVMC Project Manager Andrew Zoeller has left the AAVMC and moved to Richmond, Virginia, where he has accepted a position as a Program Manager with Purefy, a firm that helps arrange best-value financing for student loans.
Andrew, his wife and two young children have already relocated and are happily getting settled in the Virginia capital, where they’ll be closer to extended family.

“It has been an honor to work at AAVMC, both with our staff, and with the wonderful people at all of our member schools,” said Zoeller. "I have learned so much, and have been inspired by the dedication of our members to our cause.”

Known for his unflappable, focused, low-key approach to problem-solving and attention to detail, Andrew was affectionately known as “The Mayor” around the office for the way he presided over the planning, organization and presentation of many AAVMC meetings and events. He was also a well-respected resource for board members, committee members, and other member institution representatives.

“Andrew has really made a mark here during his six-year career and we’re a better organization as a result of his contributions,” said AAVMC CEO Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe. “His unique blend of personal and professional qualities has made him a very fundamental part of our team. We’re all going to miss him a great deal, but we wish him continued happiness and success as he embarks upon this new phase of his life and career.”

Andrew joined the AAVMC in 2011 to work with the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS). After one year, he moved into administrative work and was named Project Manager in July 2012.

In addition to meeting and event planning and administration, he provided logistical support for AAVMC Board of Directors’ and Assembly meetings, coordinated the AAVMC leadership and awards programs, maintained the organization’s comprehensive project management software, and performed countless other duties.

Zoeller recalled CEO Andy Maccabe once joking during a board meeting that “we keep giving him more work, and he hasn’t complained yet.”
Prior to working with the AAVMC, he worked with Educational Services, Inc., as a program coordinator supporting meetings and grant reviews within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He also managed the Presidential Freedom Scholarship, in partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
Zoeller says he’s pleased that his new position will enable him to work in an area that’s important to the AAVMC. “Given my experience with AAVMC and what the association is doing in the student debt area,” he said, “it’s certainly not lost on me that my new organization will be helping graduates ease their debt burden, and help provide access to education for those in school.”


AAVMC CEO Participates in Two Member Institution Graduation Ceremonies

Maccabe and Penn’s retiring Dean Dr. Joan Hendricks pose before her official portrait.
About 3,000 new veterinarians took the oath and emerged from dozens of graduation ceremonies at AAVMC member institutions during recent weeks. Graduates, families and friends heard from a variety of classmates, faculty and dignitaries during the poignant and colorful rituals that symbolize professional passage and celebrate a job well done.

Those attending ceremonies at the University of Pennsylvania and Ross University heard remarks from AAVMC CEO Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe, who congratulated the graduates and helped welcome them to a profession he’s served in various ways for more than 30 years.

Maccabe’s message to graduates was two-fold. He urged them to focus on their own personal wellbeing and resiliency as a prerequisite for being able to effectively serve others and professional success. He also advised them to be true their own core values and convictions.

“Integrity is something that nobody can take away from you,” he said. “Only you can give it away.”

In his own case, Maccabe told graduates, his personal and core values of integrity, service and excellence were shaped earning Eagle Scout status during his Boy Scout years, his early professional experiences, and his 24-year career as an active and reserve Air Force officer.

Maccabe said he truly enjoys being able to participate in the ceremonies when he can, but business obligations and the concentrated nature of graduation season make it impossible to experience many.


In the News

An Experimental Cancer Treatment Cured this Dog. Could it Work for People?
Boston Globe

Neutering Causes Behavior Problems in Male Dogs
Psychology Today

Grit vs. Grades: Veterinary Schools Face Potential Flaws in Admissions System
Core Competencies in One Health Education: What Are We Missing?
National Academy of Medicine

Colorado Researchers Studying CBD Oil In Dogs
CBS Denver

Texas Tech University Receives $69 Million For New Veterinary School
Veterinarian's Money Digest

How Do You Eat an Elephant Like Veterinary Student Debt?

Study Weighs the Trade-offs for Decreasing Antibiotics in Dairy

UI Vet Med Creating Database of Police Dog Overdoses

Body Clock Gene May Protect Against Breast Cancer
Medicine News Line

Websites Sell Unneeded Service Animal Certifications


Donkey Receives First of his Kind Amputation and Prosthetic Limb at UW School of Veterinary Medicine

Research Shows Dogs Prefer to Eat Fat, and Cats Surprisingly Tend Toward Carbs

America’s Veterinarian Shortage Is Bad for Animals and Humans Alike

From Our Members

Canine Researchers Team up for DOGBONe  University of Guelph

Texas A&M, Cornell Collaborate to Advance Education Research, Expand Pipeline for Underrepresented Students

Michael Lairmore Joins NIH Council of Councils

People in Motion

Professor Anna Meredith will become the new Head of the University of Melbourne Veterinary School on 2 July 2018.

Dr. Christine Theoret has been named Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Montreal.

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