American Affiliation of Veterinary Medical Faculties


Annual conference and Iverson Bell Symposium, virtual March 3-5


A record 365 attendees from 57 U.S. and overseas veterinary schools and a dozen companies and associations gathered for the AAVMC’s first annual virtual conference and Iverson Bell Symposium. The theme was “Catalyze 2021: Connect and Innovation in the Face of Global Challenges”. More than 20 sessions focused on improving diversity, strategically communicating to increase reach, and building a pipeline for executives. Robin DiAngelo, PhD, the author of “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Rassism,” discussed systemic racism during a keynote session. A keynote from Jay Dolmage, PhD included a discussion of Ableism, or discrimination against people with disabilities. During another keynote speech, Dr. Hal Gregersen on creativity and change.


Dr. Ruby L. Perry

Iverson Bell Prize, sponsored by Banfield Pet Hospital
Dr. Ruby L. Perry (Tuskegee ’77), Dean of Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. The award recognizes leadership skills and contributions to promoting opportunities for underrepresented students in veterinary education. Dr. Perry is the first African American woman to serve as dean of the Tuskegee Veterinary College. She formed the first committee on Diversity and Inclusion College at the Veterinary College and signed a letter of intent with Auburn University and the University of North Carolina-Pembroke to promote veterinary education and increase racial diversity. Dr. Perry also serves as the AAVMC secretary. She is a diplomat from the American College of Veterinary Radiology.

Dr.  BrownDr. Corrie Brown

Billy E. Hooper Award
Dr. Corrie Brown (Guelph ’81), professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. The award is given to a person whose vision has significantly influenced veterinary training and the veterinary profession. Dr. Brown has developed an elective in international veterinary medicine and mentors veterinary students interested in global animal health. She is involved in an educational research program on cross-border diseases funded by the US Department of Agriculture and the National Institutes of Health.

Dr.  RightDR. Jürgen A. Richt

Research award for excellence
Dr. Jürgen A. Richt, 1985 graduate of veterinary medicine from Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, and professor at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He is also director of the Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases and the Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, a National Institutes of Health Center of Biomedical Research Excellence. The research award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in original research and leadership roles in the scientific community throughout their careers. Dr. Richt examines zoonotic and cross-border diseases in farm animals. His work has impacted veterinary medicine, human health, and food security by identifying, controlling, and eradicating pathogens. Recently, Dr. Richt focused on establishing preclinical animal models for SARS-CoV-2 infection to evaluate the effectiveness of vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19.

Dr.  HinesDr. Stephen A. Hines

Award for excellent veterinary teachers
Dr. Stephen A. Hines (Ohio ’81), Professor at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. The teaching award recognizes outstanding achievements in veterinary training and is awarded to people who are committed to the further development of the profession. Dr. Hines describes his teaching style as that of a trainer. It encourages critical thinking and collaboration. Dr. Hines pioneered the WSU Diagnostic Challenge, a clinical simulation with simulated clients. Dr. Hines was also instrumental in developing teaching academies to improve veterinary education. He is a diplomat from the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. Dr. Hines is the only person to have won the award twice, having previously won in 1996.

Dr.  BlackwellDr. Michael J. Blackwell

Senator John Melcher, DVM Leadership in Public Policy Award, sponsored by The Animal Policy Group
Dr. Michael J. Blackwell (Tuskegee ’75), director of the University of Tennessee’s Animal Health Justice Program, a program to improve access to veterinary care. Established in 2007, the award is given to a current or former faculty member, staff member or student of an AAVMC member institution whose public policy leadership promotes veterinary education and advocates veterinary education. Dr. Blackwell was previously the Dean of the UT College of Veterinary Medicine. He also served as Chief of Staff of the Office of the Surgeon General of the United States and achieved the rank of Assistant Surgeon General of the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps during his 23 years of active service.

Melissa ShethMelissa Sheth

The Patricia M. Lowrie Diversity Leadership Scholarship
Melissa Sheth, a 2021 student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. The $ 6,000 scholarship is awarded to veterinary medicine students who hold promise as future leaders and have made contributions to improving diversity and inclusion in veterinary science. Sheth was the clinic administrator for Wisconsin Companion Animal Resources, Education, and Social Services, a community veterinary clinic that provides services to low-income and homeless families. She also served as Chapter President of the Veterinarians for One Inclusive Community for Empowerment at the Veterinary School.


Dr.  LunnDr. Paul LunnDR. MarkelDR. Mark MarkelDr.  TornquistDr. Susan Tornquist

Dr.  GnomeDr. Jeffrey WichtelDr.  HuxleyDr. Jonathan HuxleyDR. SigurdsonDr. Christina Sigurdson

Dr.  HurrellDr. James Hurrell

Dr. Paul Lunn, North Carolina State University, president; Dr. Mark Markel, University of Wisconsin, immediate past president; Dr. Susan Tornquist, Oregon State University, President-Elect; and Directors-at-Large-Drs. Jeffrey Wichtel, University of Guelph, director representing Canada; Jonathan Huxley, Massey University, representing Australia, New Zealand and Asia; Christina Sigurdson, University of California-Davis, representing the comparative medicine departments; and James Hurrell, Penn Foster College, representing the Association of Veterinary Technician Educators

Note: The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges announced that it has changed its name to the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges effective April 9.

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