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2023 Pre-Conference Facilitator Profiles


Veterinary medical education relies on faculty members that have varying degrees of training (formal and informal) in student teaching and learning. The goal of the VETS program is to foster a culture of evidence-based best practices in student teaching by providing faculty training.

Enhancing Clinical Teaching: Focus on Wellness, Active Learning, and Feedback Facilitators

Kristy Dowers, DVM, MS
Kristy Dowers is a board-certified small animal internist at Colorado State University. She teaches in both the pre-clinical and clinical years of the veterinary program. Areas of instruction include lower and upper urinary system, endocrinology, clinical reasoning, veterinary ethics, and client communications. She is keenly interested in innovative teaching methodologies that require active student participation. Dr. Dowers is also involved in course and curricular development. She has been an active member of the Regional Teaching Academy since 2013.

Sarah Guess
Sarah Guess, DVM, MS, DACVIM (SAIM)
Sarah Guess is a board-certified small animal internal medicine specialist on faculty at Washington State University. While she primarily works in the clinics, her research involves topics surrounding resilience and wellbeing and elements of clinical supervision and resident training that contribute to these topics. She is the recipient of the 2021 Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award and uses her research to foster improved outcomes in teaching and resident training. Dr. Guess has presented her research on resilience at the national level and is known for her mixed-methods approach to research. To build resilience, in addition to her work and research, she enjoys distance running and spending time with her family.

Paul Gordon-Ross, MS, DVM
Paul Gordon-Ross is the Director of Year 4 Curriculum and an Associate Professor of Small Animal and Equine Practice at Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Veterinary Medicine (WesternU). He completed his Masters of Science degree in 1995 and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1999, both at the University of California Davis. He began his career as an equine practitioner until 2005 and then transitioned to small animal practice, where he enjoyed working as a clinical preceptor, training veterinary students. He joined WesternU in 2007 and was promoted to the Director of Clinical Relations in 2009 and then to the Director of Year 4 Curriculum in 2018. He completed the Harvard Macy Institute (HMI) Program for Educators in Health Professions in 2012 and the HMI Program for Leading Innovations in Health Professions in 2013. These sparked his desire to pursue a PhD, and he is currently a PhD candidate and completing his research in faculty development. Additionally, he is active in the Teaching Academy of the Consortium of West Region Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and has been a fellow and a founding member of the Faculty Development Initiative since 2013.

Ohad Levi
Ohad Levi, DVM
Ohad Levi a Professor of Surgery at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, since his appointment in 2010. He has been the WesternU Director of the Year 3 Curriculum since 2020 and led the 3rd year’s Surgery/Anesthesia course between 2010 and 2020. Dr. Levi has been an active member of the Regional Teaching Academy since 2013, contributing to different “Initiative Groups” and committees. His extensive education includes a DVM from the University of Turin, Italy, an Equine Surgery Residency at UC Davis, and an Equine Medicine and Surgery Specialty from Koret Veterinary Medicine School in Israel, where he headed the Large Animal department for a decade. Since 2013, Dr. Levi has led the implementation and training of Minimal Invasive Surgery (MIS) in WesternU’s curriculum and is responsible for MIS continuing education courses for veterinary practitioners. His research in the past decade, focusing on surgical education with an emphasis on MIS, has led to numerous publications and presentations in professional meetings.

Elizabeth Montgomery
Elizabeth Montgomery, DVM, MPH
Elizabeth Montgomery Chief of Service, Community Surgery, Access to Care at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

Tandi Ngwenyama
Tandi Ngwenyama, DVM, DACVECC
Tandi Ngwenyama

How to get Started with Team-Based Learning (TBL) Facilitators

Holly Bender
Holly Bender, DVM, PhD, DACVP
Holly Bender leads a team of faculty developers who train and coach faculty and academic staff at the UA CVM and many other North American and European institutions in evidence-based teaching practices and educational research and scholarship to create engaging and effective learning and expertise development. Before coming to the UA CVM, Holly held faculty positions at the Virginia Maryland and Iowa State University’s Colleges of Veterinary Medicine, teaching clinical pathology and a wide range of subjects using active learning methods, most notably Team-Based Learning and Case Based Learning. There she gained a passion for teaching complex diagnostic reasoning and developing, with a multidisciplinary team, open-source software that supports expertise development (the Diagnostic Pathfinder, ThinkSpace, and now Allele) which have been shared widely with the veterinary community and many other fields and demonstrated highly significant learning gains over previous methods. For ten years before coming to the UA CVM, she led faculty, postdoc, and graduate student development at ISU’s central teaching center, where she gained a passion for helping faculty become great teachers. She is a member of the RTA’s Steering and Membership Committees and was recently selected as a founding Distinguished Expert of the AAVMC’s Academy of Veterinary Educators.
Zach Boeder
Zach Boeder, M.Ed.
Zach Boeder received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and master’s degree in education from the University of Arizona. He spent five years as a high school math teacher before transitioning into his current role as an instructional designer for the University of Arizona’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Zach enjoys leveraging data for informed decision making and collaborating with faculty members to create high-quality educational experiences. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in education from Arizona State University, where he will be researching the construction of online learning materials at the University of Arizona’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Sarah Carotenuto
Sarah Carotenuto, DVM, DABVP (CF)
Sarah Carotenuto is a practicing emergency and critical care veterinarian who enjoys treating canine, feline, and exotic companion animals and is passionate about training day-one-ready veterinarians. She is a founding faculty member at the University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine which employs a flipped classroom and team-based learning model. Dr Carotenuto directs the Gastrointestinal System and Small Animal Clinical Toxicology courses, as well as teaches ultrasound and soft tissue surgery across body systems. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of American Practitioners (Canine & Feline). Dr Carotenuto has called Arizona home since her graduation from North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007 and practices with the Veterinary Emergency Group (VEG). Her favorite phrase to hear is “Would you be willing to cut….fill in the blank with anything interesting….” She has a particular interest in rattlesnake envenomation, but tries to avoid this herself when hiking, biking, and gallivanting in the Sonoran desert. When she isn’t busy teaching, working, speaking, mentoring, publishing, volunteering, parenting, or completing triathlons, she prefers to lie on a beach with a fruity drink, doing absolutely nothing.
Johnathan Cox
Jonathan Cox, PhD
Jonathan Cox serves as the Director of Faculty Development in Pedagogy in the Office of Education Research and Development at the University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine (UA-CVM). Before joining UA-CVM, he supported faculty across STEM (and a few non-STEM) departments at UA in implementing student-centered teaching strategies in small and large (500+ students) classrooms, many of which were being transformed into collaborative learning spaces. During this time, he also trained faculty and students to work and communicate as cohesive Instructional Teams to support student learning using formative assessment.
Sharon Dial, DVM, PhD, DACVP
Sharon Dial, DVM, Ph.D., DACVP (Clinical and Anatomic Pathology) received her DVM in 1982 from Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine. After practicing in a small rural community in Colorado for one year, she returned to Colorado State University for a combined Ph.D. and residency in clinical pathology. Her Ph.D. research focused on using 4-methylpyrazole to treat ethylene glycol poisoning in dogs and cats. She remained at CSU and completed a National Institute of Health National Research Service Award (NRSA) to investigate bone marrow transplantation for mucopolysaccharidosis VI in cats. Following the completion of the NRSA, she spent one year at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine as an instructor in clinical pathology. In 1990, she joined the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology. While at LSU, she developed a passion for diagnostic pathology and teaching. It was at LSU that her interest in incorporating active, self-directed learning into the pedagogy of clinical pathology. She left academia in 1994 to pursue diagnostic pathology in a large private veterinary diagnostic laboratory. Here she realized the importance of communication and “teaching in the moment” in case consultations with submitting veterinarians. After twenty-five years in the diagnostic world, she is excited to have returned to academia at the University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine (UAzCVM).
Christopher Hausera
Christopher Hauser, M.Ed.
Christopher Hauser received his master’s in educational technology with an emphasis in adult learning from Northern Arizona University in 2018. For over 15 years, he has worked in different areas of instructional design, including training and development for staff and faculty, credit courses across universities and community colleges, faculty development, curriculum development, and now directing instructional design teams. He uses these skills and experiences with a desire to collaborate with professionals in and across various educational institutions to support and strengthen learning for all.
Brisa Hsieh
Brisa Hsieh, DVM, DACVIM
Brisa Hsieh received her DVM from Kansas State University in 2009. After a one-year small animal rotating internship at Veterinary Emergency and Referral Group in Brooklyn, NY, she completed a three-year small animal internal medicine residency at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists in Houston, TX. She became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and was a small animal internist in private practice for several years before joining the UA-CVM. Dr. Hsieh teaches the fundamental and clinical aspects of the internal organ systems of the veterinary species with emphasis on dogs and cats. She has a special interest in active teaching methods, including Peer Instruction and Team-Based Learning techniques.
Daniel Johnson
Daniel Johnson, M.A.
Daniel Johnson is an instructional designer at the University of Arizona CVM. He earned his M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In a previous life, he spent eight years teaching university-level English as a second language both in the US and abroad, most recently at the University of the Pacific (Stockton, California). His primary interests in instructional design are written communication, process development, collaboration with faculty, curriculum coordination, and faculty development.
Sallianne Schlacks
Sallianne Schlacks, DVM, DACVIM
Sallianne Schlacks received her veterinary degree in 2009 and completed her residency training in 2013, at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Arizona in 2020, Dr. Schlacks practiced at a large specialty hospital in Tucson, Arizona. As a faculty member with a primary teaching focus, she has been immersed in the instruction of adult learners through faculty development programs, workshops, and collaboration with other education experts such as Instructional Designers and educationalists. Her teaching projects encompass the development and implementation of internal organ system courses in the preclinical years of the UA-CVM curriculum. Her teaching interests include creation of effective asynchronous learning resource content for flipped learning, development of open-educational resources, and utilization of active learning methods including Team-Based Learning, Peer Instruction, and immersive simulation models.
Lisa Viesselmann
Lisa Viesselmann, DVM, MS, DACVP
Lisa Viesselmann is a board-certified veterinary clinical pathologist currently on faculty as an Assistant Professor of Practice at the University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine in 2010, and served on active duty in the United States Army Veterinary Corps before going on to complete a clinical pathology residency and Master of Science program at the University of Tennessee in 2018. Prior to her current role at the UA-CVM, Lisa worked as a diagnostic pathologist and interim director of the Arizona Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Tucson, AZ. Her professional interests include hematology, cytology, clinical chemistry, and active teaching methodologies. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, and learning to play piano.
Jennifer Wishnie
Jennifer Wishnie, DVM, MSc, MPH, DACVPMP

Jennifer Wishnie is an associate professor of practice at University of Arizona, College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) where she leads the One Health course and is working on One Health programming for the CVM. Jennifer is public health veterinarian with global experience in food production, food safety, veterinary public health and One Health. Jennifer was previously animal science faculty at California Polytechnic University and prior to that held the position of director of producer and public health for the National Pork Board where she was responsible for the development and implementation of public health and producer health programs including antibiotic use in livestock production, antibiotic resistance, zoonotic disease transmission, effect of production on public and environmental health, and workplace safety.

Jennifer received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Saskatchewan, Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 2004, after which she completed an internship with the World Organization for Animal Health in Paris, France. Jennifer earned her master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Minnesota in 2010 and is board certified in the American College of Veterinary Preventative Medicine.