AAVMC Announces 2020 Professional Excellence Award Honorees

Washington, D.C., December 9,2019 – The AAVMC has announced the recipients of five awards that recognize professional excellence, achievement and service in academic veterinary medicine. The awards will be presented during the AAVMC’s 2020 Annual Conference and Iverson Bell Symposium, which will be held March 6-8, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

“Every day, educators and researchers at our member institutions make outstanding contributions to academic veterinary medicine that inspire others, contribute to medical breakthroughs and work to educate upcoming generations of veterinarians,” said AAVMC Chief Executive Officer Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe. “We are pleased to honor these extraordinary individuals through our awards program and look forward to recognizing their achievements during our 2020 annual conference.”

The AAVMC Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award, presented by Zoetis, is considered one of the most prestigious teaching awards in international academic veterinary medicine. It recognizes excellence in professional veterinary medical education and is presented to an educator whose sustained record of teaching excellence and ability, dedication, character and leadership has contributed significantly to the advancement of the profession.Dr. Masty is an associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Biosciences at Ohio State, where he is a popular and innovative instructor who consistently wins teaching awards and receives high ratings from students who appreciate his responsiveness, immersive teaching approach, and ability to adapt to different learning styles. He teaches first-year gross anatomy, second-year neuroanatomy of the nervous system and three second-year elective classes in surgical anatomy, feline anatomy and neuroanatomy. Dr. Masty describes his teaching approach as one that goes beyond passive listening by engaging students through interactive notes and illustrative diagrams that help students to visualize and remember how different parts of the body work together. He continuously solicits and responds to student feedback and has demonstrated a commitment to teaching excellence as a mentor to numerous instructors and graduate teaching associates across various disciplines.   

The AAVMC Excellence in Research Award designates the outstanding veterinary medical researcher of the year, as selected by a committee of peers. The AAVMC Board of Directors established the annual research award in 2010 to recognize outstanding research and scholarly achievements in the field of veterinary medicine. It recognizes an individual who, over the course of his or her career, has demonstrated excellence in original research, leadership in the scientific community, and mentoring of trainees and colleagues in any discipline of veterinary medicine.

Dr. Havel is a professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Nutrition at the University of California, Davis, where his endocrinology and metabolism research investigates the causes and consequences of obesity, type 2 diabetes and related metabolic diseases. He has also studied the impact of bariatric surgery and consumption of high sugar (fructose) containing diets in both humans and animal models. This work laid the foundation to identify new interventions to manage obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Dr. Havel’s research has tackled issues important to both human and animal health and played an important role in understanding the role of sugar-sweetened beverages in obesity, metabolic dysregulation and cardiovascular disease. He also serves as director of the Endocrinology and Metabolism Core for the UC Davis Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Center.

The Senator John Melcher, DVM Leadership in Public Policy Award, established in 2007, is presented to current or former faculty, staff, or students at an AAVMC member institution to recognize leadership in public policy that advances veterinary medical education and success in advocating for veterinary medical education on a national or international scale.
 Dr. Hoffsis’ many years of leadership within academic veterinary medicine include more than 20 years of experience as the dean of three veterinary medical colleges. He was founding dean of the Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) College of Veterinary Medicine, where he currently serves as special assistant to LMU’s president. Previously, he served as dean of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine and of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM), recipient of the AVMA’s 2018 Meritorious Service Award, and a past president of the AAVMC and the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP). He is the former chair of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) College Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee and served on the board of directors of Banfield Pet Hospitals. He currently is a member of the Board of Trustees of Ross University.

The Iverson Bell Award recognizes outstanding leadership and contributions in promoting opportunities for under-represented minorities in veterinary medical education.

Dr. Gongora is an associate professor in animal and wildlife genetics and genomics at SSVS. Initiatives implemented by Dr Gongora span the areas of cultural competence, curriculum development, student support and fostering collaborative research with Australia’s historically disadvantaged Indigenous population. Dr. Gongora’s leadership in advancing diversity and inclusion in the field of veterinary medicine at SSVS has led a shift that embraces cultural competence by staff and students, celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and supports Australian Indigenous students.

Dr. San Miguel is associate dean for engagement and a faculty member in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Purdue. Dr. San Miguel developed a program for K-12 students, parents, teachers and the public about the science involved in keeping people healthy. That led to the development of “This is How we ‘Role’,” an innovative after-school role-modeling program that 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. She also co-edited Navigating Diversity and Inclusion in Veterinary Medicine, the first book of its kind in veterinary medicine, and helped establish the Center of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion in Veterinary Medicine certificate program in partnership with the AAVMC and AVMA.

The AAVMC Billy E. Hooper Award for Distinguished Service is presented by the AAVMC to an individual whose leadership and vision has made a significant contribution to academic veterinary medicine and the veterinary profession.

Dr. Green became dean of the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in 2009 and oversaw many ambitious projects at the college, including construction of the Veterinary & Biomedical Education Complex,  establishment of the Center for Educational Technologies, Office of Innovation  and Entrepreneurship, Global One Health, and Equine Initiatives. She also developed inter-university partnerships designed to increase the number of DVM graduates and graduate students, and address issues facing food animal and rural practice veterinary medicine in Texas. Dr. Green has a special interest in the future of veterinary medicine and the innovations that will help ensure a thriving profession. She was recently named a senior advisor and consultant for the Animal Policy Group in Washington, D.C. and will complete her tenure as dean in June 2020.

The American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment around the world by advancing academic veterinary medicine. Members include 52 accredited veterinary medical colleges in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, Australia, Asia and New Zealand.– 30 –

Award Winner Photos:                                                                                                  

Dr. Masty
Dr. Hoffsis
Dr. San Miguel
Dr. Gongora
Dr. Havel
Dr. Green

Jeff Douglas or Jeanne Johnson
Phone: 202/371-9195, x144
Email: jdouglas@aavmc.org or jjohnson@aavmc.org