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Thursday, December 21, 2017

AAVMC Announces 2018 Professional Excellence Award Honorees


WASHINGTON, D.C., December 21, 2017
– The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) has announced the recipients of four awards that recognize professional excellence, achievement and service in academic veterinary medicine. The awards will be officially presented during the AAVMC's 2018 Annual Conference and Assembly, which will be held March 2-4, 2018 at the Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, D.C.

"These individuals represent the very best of what thousands of outstanding educators and researchers bring to their work every day in our member institutions,” said AAVMC Chief Executive Officer Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe. “We’re pleased to be able to recognize them for their outstanding achievements and contributions through our awards program and look forward to honoring them publicly during our 2018 annual conference.”

Dr. Jennifer Hodgson from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine is the recipient of the 2017 AAVMC Distinguished Teacher Award, presented by Zoetis. 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.

In her role as associate dean for professional programs, Dr. Hodgson is responsible for all academic and student affairs relating to Virginia-Maryland’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program. She teaches bacteriology and mycology in the DVM curriculum and is a leader in advancing veterinary medical education nationally and internationally. Her competency-based approach to teaching involves using proven techniques that equip students to learn for themselves by finding, analyzing and interpreting information in the context of real-life clinical cases.

Dr. Colin Parrish, the John M. Olin Professor of Virology at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, is the recipient of the 2018 AAVMC Excellence in Research Award. Selected by a committee of peers, the honor designates Dr. Parrish as the outstanding veterinary medical researcher of the year. 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. Parrish is an internationally renowned virologist and a leading expert in the details of virus-host interaction. His studies into the properties that allow viruses to cross species and produce new outbreaks have demonstrated the importance of understanding animal viruses and their role in disease emergence. His work has resulted in several notable discoveries and advances, including elucidating how parvovirus capsids interact with host cells and tissues and how naturally occurring variant viruses gain the ability to infect new host cells.

Dr. James A. Roth, the Clarence Hartley Covault Distinguished Professor in Iowa State University's (ISU) College of Veterinary Medicine, is the recipient of the 2018 Senator John Melcher, DVM Leadership in Public Policy Award. The 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. Roth’s career has focused on improving veterinary medical education and public health related to animal health, public health and food security. He directs the Institute for International Cooperation in Animal Biologics, working with the veterinary biologics industry, government regulatory and research agencies, universities, veterinarians, and producers to improve the availability and use of biologics for animals worldwide. He also developed a nationally and internationally recognized Veterinary Biologics Training Program that trains employees and government officials on the United States Department of Agriculture’s regulatory process. Under Dr. Roth's leadership, the Center for Food Security and Public Health was established at ISU with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The center works to increase national preparedness for accidental or intentional introduction of disease agents that threaten food production and/or public health.

Dr. Norman B. Williamson from the Massey University in New Zealand is the recipient of the AAVMC’s Billy E. Hooper Award for Distinguished Service, 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. Williamson was a pioneer in the development and implementation of computationally-based herd health programs in dairy cattle and has made major contributions throughout his career in academic administration. He served for eleven years as Program Director in Veterinary Sciences of the College of Science at Massey University (senior leadership position). He has also served as chair of the Veterinary Schools’ Accreditation Advisory Committee of the Australasian Veterinary Boards’ Council since 2012, where he has made important contributions in the quality of accreditation programs, in both Australia and New Zealand as well as in developing nations such as Bangladesh. He is also heralded as a mentor for many colleagues whose own careers have exerted a major influence on the quality of academic veterinary medicine around the world.

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 around the world by advancing academic veterinary medicine. Members include 49 accredited veterinary medical colleges in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico.

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AAVMC MEDIA CONTACTS:
 Jeff Douglas or Jeanne Johnson
Phone: 202/371-9195, x144