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American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges Annual Conference – April 11-13, 2024

Event Overview: The American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) hosted its annual conference and Iverson Bell Symposium from April 11-13, 2024, in Washington, D.C. This premier event attracted over 400 attendees and featured a diverse range of topics, including artificial intelligence, wellbeing, admissions, enrollment, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

Program Highlights: The conference boasted three distinguished keynote speakers:

  1. Mary Churchill, PhD – Associate Dean of Strategic Initiatives and Community Engagement at Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. Her keynote address, “Future Trends in Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities,” provided valuable insights into the evolving landscape of higher education.
  2. Richard Thompson, JD – Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, delivered a compelling session on “Desegregation, Affirmative Action, and the Ruse of Colorblindness.”
  3. Cecilia Sorensen, MD – Director of the Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education at Columbia University, focused on “Training for a Sustainable Future,” emphasizing the importance of sustainability in veterinary education.

Attendees were introduced to the updated Competency-Based Veterinary Education 2.0 model and participated in a spectrum of care town hall. The event also unveiled the Competency-Based Veterinary Technician Education framework and Team-Based Veterinary Healthcare competencies, set to be publicly released after further revision.

Pre- and post-conference activities included Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill and various committee meetings. The AAVMC Pre-Vet Career Fair offered prospective veterinary students a chance to engage with AAVMC member institutions and hear from Dr. Kwane Stewart, founder of Project Street Vet, which provides free veterinary care to pets owned by homeless individuals.


  • AAVMC Billy E. Hooper Award for Distinguished Service: Dr. India Lane, Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, was honored for her significant contributions to integrating professional and nontechnical skills into veterinary curricula.
  • AAVMC Iverson Bell Award: Dr. Monica Howard and Dr. Hilda Mejia Abreu were recognized for their dedication to promoting DEI in the veterinary community. Dr. Howard serves as Assistant Dean of Veterinary Student Success at Iowa State University, while Dr. Abreu is the Associate Dean for Admissions, Student Life, and Inclusivity at Michigan State University.
  • AAVMC Excellence in Research Award: Dr. Qijing Zhang, Professor at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, was acknowledged for his groundbreaking research on antibiotic resistance and food safety, which has influenced FDA policymaking.
  • AAVMC Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award: Dr. Rance Sellon, Associate Professor at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, was commended for his innovative teaching methods that enhance critical thinking and clinical reasoning.
  • AAVMC Patricia M. Lowrie Diversity Leadership Scholarship: Naomi Esquivel, a fourth-year student at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, was awarded for her efforts in enhancing diversity and inclusion in academic veterinary medicine.
  • Merck Animal Health Diversity Leadership Scholarship: Twenty-two students from AAVMC member institutions received scholarships for their outstanding contributions to DEI through various academic and community activities.

New Officials: The newly elected AAVMC officials include:

  • Dr. Rustin Moore – President and Board Chair, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Dr. Stuart Reid – President-Elect, University of London Royal Veterinary College
  • Dr. Carlos Risco – Secretary, Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Dr. Lorin Warnick – Treasurer, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Dr. Ruby Perry – Immediate Past President, Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine

This comprehensive event showcased the AAVMC’s commitment to advancing veterinary education, promoting DEI, and fostering a sustainable future in veterinary medicine.

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