University of Minnesota Professor Earns Prestigious Veterinary Medical Teaching Award

Susan Leigh or Jeanne Johnson
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Dr. Malone

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 26, 2022 – The American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) has named Dr. Erin Malone from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine (MSU-CVM), as the recipient of the 2021 AAVMC Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award, presented by Zoetis.

“The AAVMC is proud to recognize outstanding individuals like Dr. Malone,” said AAVMC Chief Executive Officer Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe. “Their contributions inspire colleagues, provide a model for future generations of veterinarians and elevate the overall excellence of our member institutions. We look forward to honoring them during our 2022 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.

“Zoetis congratulates Dr. Malone on her many outstanding achievements and her strong commitment to student learning,” said Zoetis’ U. S. Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Christine Jenkins. “Each year Zoetis is honored to present the AAVMC Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award, which recognizes educators like Dr. Malone for their innovative approaches to developing the future leaders of our profession.”

Dr. Malone is a professor in the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, interim associate dean of academic and student affairs and the assistant dean of curriculum at the UMN-CVM. A board-certified large animal surgeon and researcher, she has taught at UMN-CVM since the 1990s, where she champions interactive, team-based learning to better equip students to transition from the classroom to clinical practice.

Her teaching areas include gastrointestinal, respiratory and urogenital l surgery in large animals, with research interests that include the impacts of surgery and pregnancy on large animal intestinal motility, equine carpal arthritis, the treatment of aural plaques and sarcoids, as well as the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Dr. Malone is the winner of numerous teaching and faculty awards and grants. She takes an evidence-based approach to teaching and learning, using proven techniques drawn from brain science to make learning more memorable and fun, as well as more effective. She has particular interest in how the brain learns the psychomotor skills required for successful clinical practice. Dr. Malone also worked closely with both the student and national American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to increase awareness of the importance of student and mental health wellbeing resources.

“My passion is not so much about teaching but about facilitating and energizing learning for veterinary students, graduate students and colleagues,” she wrote in a teaching statement. “My goals are not pass rates in my courses but retention and application of knowledge and skills, enthusiasm, wellbeing, and success in life and career.” In trying different approaches, “I have learned to put my ego and anxiety aside and structure my classes as the evidence suggests rather than as my comfort level and the comfort level of my students might dictate.”

A colleague described her as “a fierce proponent of education,” who “always has the students’ needs in mind,” and a former student praised her enthusiasm for teaching and excellence as a clinician, as well as her compassion for student mental health and wellbeing.

Dr. Malone is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. She received her undergraduate degree in zoology and physics from Duke University, her DVM from North Carolina State University and a PhD in veterinary surgery, radiology and anesthesiology from the University of Minnesota.

The award will be presented during the AAVMC’s 2022 Annual Conference and Iverson Bell Symposium, which will be held both in-person and virtually March 3-5, 2022.

Download a photo of Dr. Malone here.

About the AAVMC:

The member institutions of the American Association of 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 United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand as well as departments of veterinary science and departments of comparative medicine in the U.S.

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