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Catalyze 2024 Recap

The AAVMC’s annual conference, Catalyze 2024, was held from April 11 to 13, 2024, at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C.

The event attracted 400+ attendees enthusiastic about academic veterinary medicine and featured cutting-edge programming. Session topics included Artificial Intelligence, Wellbeing, Admissions, Enrollment, DEI, and more.

Attendees also had the opportunity to view the newly unveiled CBVE 2.0 model and participate in the spectrum of care town hall. The Competency-Based Veterinary Technician Education framework and the Team-Based Veterinary Healthcare competencies were both introduced at the 2024 AAVMC Catalyze Conference. The public release of these materials, which are currently being revised and reviewed, is forthcoming.

Catalyze provided an arena for discovery, dialogue, and innovation while addressing the multifaceted challenges within academic veterinary medicine.

Presenting CBVE 2.0. (Imagine Photography DC)

Catalyze 2024 also featured keynote addresses from three esteemed speakers. Mary Churchill, PhD, MA, kicked off the conference with a deep dive on the opportunities and challenges ahead in higher education trends, while Richard Thompson Ford, JD, delved into desegregation, affirmative action, and the ruse of colorblindness. On Saturday, Cecilia Sorensen, MD, discussed training for a sustainable future to wrap up the weekend.

Keynote speaker Richard Thompson Ford, JD. (Imagine Photography DC)

The award presentations are always a distinctive feature of the event, recognizing established leaders in academic veterinary medicine who have excelled in their respective areas. This year’s awardees were:   

Billy E. Hooper Award for Distinguished Service:

Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award, Presented by Zoetis:

Excellence in Research Award:

Iverson Bell Award:

Dr. Monica Howard was presented with the Iverson Bell Award. (Imagine Photography DC)

Each award was presented on stage at Catalyze 2024, and a tribute video was shown live at the conference. Please click the recipient’s name above to view their video and learn more about their important contributions to veterinary medicine.

Naomi Esquivel, a student at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, was also presented with the AAVMC Patricia M. Lowrie Diversity Leadership Scholarship.

Naomi Esquivel was awarded a total of $14,000 in scholarships. (Imagine Photography DC)

In addition to the conference days, which were loaded with programming and networking, attendees attended several pre- and post-conference events, including Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, Leadership Academy, committee meetings, and more.

Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. (Imagine Photography DC)

The AAVMC Pre-Vet Career Fair returned in person on Sunday, April 13th, to close out Catalyze 2024. Prospective veterinary students from around the DC Metro area and beyond met with AAVMC member institutions and heard from celebrity keynote speaker Dr. Kwane Stewart, 2023 CNN Hero of the Year and Founder of Project Street Vet.

Dr. Kwane Stewart speaks with a student at the AAVMC Pre-Vet Career Fair. (Imagine Photography DC)

Catalyze 2024 embodied the AAVMC’s mission of inspiring innovation and promoting excellence in academic veterinary medicine worldwide. The conference provided a strong platform for collaboration and learning, leaving a lasting impact on all attendees.

Join us next year—Mark your calendars for Catalyze 2025 in Washington, D.C., from April 10 to 12, 2025!

Catalyze 2024. (Imagine Photography DC)