Phone: 202/371-9195, x144
Washington, D.C., February 20, 2013 – Professor and veterinarian Mary Anna Thrall from the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) has been chosen by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) to receive the 2012 AAVMC Distinguished Teacher Award, presented by Zoetis (formerly the animal health business of Pfizer), the most prestigious national teaching award in veterinary medicine.
Thrall, a veterinary clinical pathologist, will receive the award at the AAVMC’s 2013 Annual Conference in Alexandria, Virginia, on Friday, March 8, where she will also address conference attendees on what makes a successful teacher within the context of her own experiences.
This long-standing award is presented to an educator in veterinary medicine whose sustained record of teaching excellence and ability, dedication, character and leadership has contributed significantly to the advancement of the profession.
"The goal of the AAVMC Distinguished Teacher Award is to recognize excellence in veterinary professional education and Dr. Thrall is an exceptional honoree," said Dr. Deborah Kochevar, dean of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and president of the AAVMC. "Dr. Thrall joins an elite group of prior recipients whose passion for education and dedication in the classroom and laboratory are an inspiration for their students and their colleagues. I would also like to express our sincere gratitude to Zoetis for their generous sponsorship of this wonderful program."
Dr. Thrall has been dedicated to teaching and began her career student teaching high school biology as an undergraduate. She has maintained her commitment to teaching excellence ever since. She taught at Colorado State University before moving to Ross where she now serves as a professor of clinical pathology and section head of pathobiology.
“Dr. Thrall’s commitment to Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, her students and the profession is evident in her mentorship to junior faculty, the collegiality she displays among her team, and her genuine commitment to providing the best educational experience to our students in the classroom,” said RUSVM Dean Dr. Elaine Watson. “We are very proud that we can attract top quality faculty, such as Dr. Thrall to our school, and we congratulate her on receipt of this award, one of the highest distinctions presented to a veterinary educator.”
Dr. Thrall has participated in the training of more than 40 veterinary clinical pathologists and more than 20 graduate students. In addition, she co-authored Veterinary Hematology and Clinical Chemistry, one of the most widely used textbooks in training veterinary students in clinical pathology and as a reference text in veterinary practices.
Through her teaching experiences, Thrall has learned the value of humility, honesty and the importance of teaching skills that students can apply to the development of lifelong learning. “I have learned that it is not a weakness to say, ‘I don’t know.’ Students not only respect you for this honesty, they will immediately search the topic and let you know what may be the correct answer,” said Thrall. “One must emphasize the need for life-long learning, as some of what I tell my students today will not hold true in the future.”
Thrall has received numerous other awards and honors that recognize professional excellence, including the Association for Women Veterinarians Distinguished Service Award, a Colorado State University Distinguished Faculty Award, the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine Distinguished Alumna Award, the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology Lifetime Achievement Award, and was recently named a “Pillar of Pathology” by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists .
Her research, supported by a long-term National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant, was focused on bone marrow transplantation for management of lysosomal storage disorders. She has also taught more than 280 national and international continuing education courses.
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The national AAVMC Distinguished Teacher Award, presented by Zoetis (formerly the Pfizer Distinguished Teacher Award) is presented annually to a faculty member at a college or school of veterinary medicine in the United States and the Caribbean. It is the most prestigious teaching award in veterinary medicine. Since 1963, the award has been sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health. The company contributes over $15 million in the U.S. each year to support the veterinary profession, in the form of scholarships to students at veterinary colleges, research grants, philanthropy, and products as part of its commitment to the future of the veterinary profession and the educational mission of veterinary colleges. Award nominees are selected by their individual colleges, while a selection committee at the AAVMC chooses the final honoree.
The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people, and the environment by advancing academic veterinary medicine. Its members include all 33 veterinary medical colleges in the United States and Canada, eight departments of veterinary science, eight departments of comparative medicine, 12 international schools or colleges of veterinary medicine, and four affiliate international colleges of veterinary medicine: www.aavmc.org