Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) Names Recipient of Prestigious Veterinary Teaching Award

Washington, D.C., January 12, 2021 – Dr. Stephen Hines, the Berger Keatts Distinguished Professor for Excellence in Teaching in the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine (WSU-CVM), is the recipient of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) 2020 AAVMC Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award, presented by Zoetis.

Dr. Hines

“The AAVMC’s annual series of professional awards recognize outstanding veterinary medical educators who excel in various areas of academic veterinary medicine,” said AAVMC Chief Executive Officer Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe. “Their dedication, achievements and contributions serve as a model of excellence for their colleagues and inspire new generations of veterinarians. We look forward to honoring Dr. Hines during our 2021 annual conference.”

The award, which is considered one of the most prestigious teaching awards in international academic veterinary medicine, 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. Hines has won numerous teaching awards and grants and is the only two-time winner of the AAVMC’s Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award, having won previously in 1996.

“Zoetis is proud to sponsor the AAVMC Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award and we’re honored to recognize this most important example of professional excellence in academic veterinary medicine,” said Dr. Christine Jenkins, Chief Medical Officer & Vice President, Veterinary Medical Services & Outcomes Research at Zoetis. “We’re especially pleased to note that Dr. Hines is the first person in the history of this national award to earn it for the second time in his career, having earned it for the first time 24 years ago. We applaud this career-long commitment to teaching excellence and the profound contributions he has made in the lives of thousands of students over the course of his career.”

Dr. Hines describes his teaching approach as that of a coach. “My students know I am going to push them. I tell them this very clearly on Day 1 – but I think they also know why, and that they understand I have their best interests in my heart and mind.”

As a coach, he encourages critical thinking, clinical communications, collaboration, and clinical reasoning skills. At WSU CVM, he pioneered the Diagnostic Challenge (DC) exercises, which are high-fidelity clinical simulations that involve simulated clients and WSU alumni, who serve as case facilitators and mentors.

Dr. Hines also helped spearhead the development of teaching academies, both at WSU and as a movement to improve veterinary medical education overall. Teaching academies promote excellence in teaching and learning by supporting educators and providing focused programs that improve and enrich teaching in every department.

WSU-CVM Dean Emeritus Bryan Slinker described the teaching academy movement as a “game changer” and referred to Hines as the “godfather” of the movement in academic veterinary medicine. “He did not do it alone, but I do not believe it would have developed and spread as it has over the past decade without him … He does nothing that is not driven by an intense scholarly mindset and approach to understanding the evidence for the best approaches to education.”

Former student Minas Mkhitarian wrote that, “There are many professors who do what students ask of them – it is the rare one who listens to students as if they were the most important voice in the world and yet maintains the courage and wisdom to lead them, coach them, and inspire them.”

In the realm of research, Dr. Hine’s work in recent years has focused on Rhodococcus equi, a gram-positive bacteria that is an important pathogen in horses, with the long-term goal of contributing to the development of novel vaccines in animals, especially a vaccine that will prevent rhodococcal pneumonia.

Dr. Hines is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. He earned a BA from Miami University of Ohio, a PhD from the University of Florida and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from The Ohio State University.

His award will be presented during the AAVMC’s 2021 Annual Conference and Iverson Bell Symposium, which will be held virtually March 3-5, 2021.
About the AAVMC

The member institutions of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) promote and protect the health and wellbeing of people, animals and the environment by advancing the profession of veterinary medicine and preparing new generations of veterinarians to meet the evolving needs of a changing world. Founded in 1966, the AAVMC represents more than 40,000 faculty, staff and students across the global academic veterinary medical community. Our member institutions include Council on Education (COE) accredited veterinary medical colleges and schools in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand as well as departments of veterinary science and departments of comparative medicine in the U.S.

Download a photo of Dr. Hines here.


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