AMARILO and LUBBOCK, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) – The following is a press release from Texas Tech University:
Nichole Chapel Anderson knew during her college days that she wanted to somehow forge a career in which she worked with and helped animals. Nothing she tried, however, seemed quite right.
She grew up outside of agriculture and was unaware of myriad careers in animal science. It was only when she had the opportunity to do a master’s degree with a focus on lameness in dairy cattle that she finally found the path she had been looking for for so long.
This revelation led Anderson to become an “animal welfare scientist,” and she has sought to incorporate that mindset into every student’s education, even though her own career path may not lead her in a direction directly related to animal welfare.
“If they can stop and think, how does that affect the general welfare of the animal? then I did my part, “said Anderson.
Anderson will have the opportunity to share this wisdom with future veterinarians as the newest faculty member of the new Veterinary Faculty at Texas Tech University in Amarillo, as Assistant Professor of Behavior and Wellbeing. She started work on Monday (January 18th).
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to do both research and teaching at Texas Tech,” said Anderson. “The chance to be part of this program and see how it grows over the years to come is definitely something special.”
“We depend on animals for so many things,” said Guy Loneragan, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine. “From eating to camaraderie, we benefit from animals, even if we don’t connect the dots, so to speak. If we depend on animals as much as we do, we owe them a decent life. Dr. Anderson thinks deeply about how we will address this. Your commitment in our school benefits those who take care of animals. Animal welfare is in our interest and I am thrilled that Dr. Anderson is part of the school. “
Prior to joining Texas Tech University, Anderson was an assistant professor at the University of Missouri at Columbia for the past two years. In Missouri, she taught courses in stress physiology, animal behavior, animal production biology, and animal welfare. Much of her research is into issues related to pigs and other farm animals.
While in Missouri, Anderson served on the College of Agriculture’s curriculum committee, where she helped evaluate course proposals for approval and consider curriculum changes for all majors, minors, and certificates. She was also a member of the Animal Science Department’s Academic Affairs Committee and helped ensure student academic success by approving coursework and transferring credits, scholarships and coursework.
Prior to her time in Missouri, Anderson was a research fellow at Purdue University while doing her PhD. In Purdue, she taught courses in animal and food safety, animal behavior and travel in the animal industry. She also conducted workshops and lectures on animal welfare, farm animal welfare and its importance for the general health of the animal industry.
During her master’s degree, she was a research fellow at North Dakota State University, teaching courses in veterinary pharmacology and equine anatomy and physiology. During this time she worked closely with another faculty member in the Veterinary Faculty, Sarah Wagner.
“I look forward to bringing Dr. Anderson to the faculty at the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine,” said Wagner. “She brings a wide range of knowledge in her field and can use different approaches to assess, maintain and improve animal welfare. This expertise, combined with her skills as a teacher and researcher and her commitment to the community, make her a valuable addition to the team. “
Anderson was a member of the University of Missouri’s THRIVE faculty community, which focuses on nurturing and delivering leadership skills for inclusive excellence on campus. She was also involved in efforts to improve the mental health of students on campus through the University of Missouri Advisory Service.
Anderson received her bachelor’s degree in animal and equine science from North Dakota State University in 2012 and her master’s degree in animal science with a focus on animal welfare from North Dakota State in 2014. She received her PhD in Animal Science with an emphasis on Animal Welfare Science from Purdue in 2018.
Anderson is a certified pig industry auditor from the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization and holds PQA plus certification from the Pork Quality Assurance Organization.
“Understanding normal and abnormal behavior is critical to understanding animal health-related problems,” said John Dascanio, senior associate dean for academic and student affairs. “DR. Anderson has a great background in teaching animal behavior and welfare so she can teach our students and help the industry maximize their productivity by effectively increasing animal welfare. The veterinarian’s oath is the protection of animal welfare, for that Dr. Anderson will be a beacon for the school. “
Anderson joins a growing and dynamic team of faculties and staff at the School of Veterinary Medicine. More team members will be added over the next few months as the school prepares to welcome its opening class in fall 2021.
About the School of Veterinary Medicine
Thanks to the generosity of Amarillo and communities across Texas, as well as the dedication of lawmakers from across the state, Texas Tech University founded the School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo in 2018. In September 2020 the school received a letter with reasonable assurance. from the Education Council of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and began the pre-class admissions process in August.
The School of Veterinary Medicine will recruit and select students with a passion for rural and regional communities. The curriculum focuses on the competencies and skills required to succeed in types of practice that support these communities. Texas Tech’s innovative and affordable model works with the wider community of veterinary practices across the state to enable clinical, real-world learning.
(Texas Tech University press release)