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2021 VETS Facilitator Profiles

Veterinary Educator Teaching and Scholarship (VETS) 

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.

Beth Boynton, DVM
Beth Boynton graduated from University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine. After working in private practice, she started the primary care service at the University’s teaching hospital and taught pediatrics, geriatrics, vaccinations, communication, human-animal bond, preventive behavior, interview skills, pet selection, and pet loss. She started at WesternU CVM in 2003 for clinical teaching, preventive care, and facilitation. She has extensive training in communication and directs the veterinary communication curriculum. She completed AMEE Essential Skills in Medical Education Certificate in 2017. She is a founding leader of Primary Care Veterinary Educators since 2008, joining the RTA in 2015.
Kristy Dowers, DVM, MS
Kristy Dowers is an Associate Professor and board-certified veterinary internist at Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. She teaches throughout all four years of the veterinary medicine program in a variety of settings, including large didactic classes, small group discussions, experiential communications skills laboratories, and clinics. Her primary interest is teaching clinical reasoning within a knowledge-heavy curriculum. She received her undergraduate degree in Cognitive Science from MIT and worked as a software engineer for several years before returning to receive her DVM and advanced specialization training from Colorado State University.
Briedi Gillespie
Briedi Gillespie, PhD
Briedi Gillespie has been a member of the Regional Teaching Academy since 2019. She received her PhD in Neuroscience in 2005 from Washington State University and has over 20 years teaching experience in multiple DVM programs. She is currently a Scholarly Associate Professor with teaching responsibilities in Clinical Neuroanatomy, Histology and Gross Anatomy in the DVM program at Washington State University. She is also the Associate Chair for DVM education for the Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience, and in this capacity helps to coordinate many aspects of the Year 1 curriculum at the CVM. Her primary interest in teaching is in student assessment and novel teaching techniques and she is the Chair of the Student Assessment Subcommittee within the Faculty Development Initiative Committee in the RTA. She also has an interest in supporting/mentoring younger faculty as they strive to become effective educators in a DVM program.
Samantha Gizerian, PhD
Samantha Gizerian is an Associate Professor and the Associate Director for Undergraduate Studies in the Program in Neuroscience and the Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience at Washington State University. Her role includes curriculum development and program assessment, teaching first-year and senior Neuroscience students, and academic advising. As co-Director of WSU’s MIRA (Motivating Innovation and Research Achievement) program, she is working to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in biomedicine. Her research interests are focused on faculty development and the implementation of innovative practices in program assessment. Samantha holds a PhD in Neurobiology from the University Of North Carolina School Of Medicine and a BS in Biology from the California Institute of Technology.
Paul Gordon-Ross, MS, DVM
Paul Gordon-Ross is the Director of Year 4 Curriculum at Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine in Pomona, California. He completed his Masters of Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. In his current position, he oversees the fourth-year curriculum and the clinical learning of the fourth-year student. In pursuing his interest in teaching and learning, he has completed two programs for medical educators at the Harvard Macy Institute and is a Ph.D. candidate in Education and Higher Education Leadership at Colorado State University. His research focus is on how training in teaching and learning affects the clinical veterinary educators teaching and subsequent student learning.
Rachel Halsey, DVM
Rachel Halsey graduated from Oregon State University with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2006. As Academic Coordinator at Washington State University she is actively involved with the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Teaching Academy, whose mission is to “Make Teaching Matter.” She has had an active role in the RTA since 2012, and serves as the Executive Coordinator for the Academy’s programs. Rachel is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Mathematics and Science Education with an emphasis on teaching and learning particularly in the area of veterinary medical education. Her research interests are professional development in this veterinary medical education, specifically how an individual’s teaching behaviors can influence the learning environment and educational culture of the college community.
Suzie Kovacs, MSc, PhD
Suzie Kovacs graduated from the University of Guelph with a Master of Science in Epidemiology in 2004. Shortly afterward she moved to California and began teaching at WesternU’s College of Veterinary Medicine when the college’s charter class was in the 2nd year of their program. Suzie has since received a PhD in Higher Education from Claremont Graduate University. At WesternU she teaches epidemiology within the problem-based learning curriculum as well as a course in public policy for veterinary students. Suzie has been an active member of the Regional Teaching Academy since 2013 and helped to create and deliver the RTA’s inaugural VETS 1.0 program.
Steve Lampa, PhD
Steve Lampa received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Washington State University in 2004. He is an experienced anatomy teacher in both the lecture and laboratory setting for human and veterinary medical students at Washington State University (WSU); as well as a neuroanatomy instructor to undergraduate and medical students. He is an active participant in the WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine’s Teaching Academy helping organize an annual summer series related to faculty development. His involvement with the Regional Teaching Academy Faculty Development group began in 2015 and has helped develop, support, and facilitating modules presented during the VETS programs.(/td>
Susan Matthew, PhD BVSc(Hons), BSc(Vet)(Hons), GradCertEdStud(HigherEd)
Susan Matthew is Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Veterinary Medical Education in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University, USA. In this role she works with her colleagues to enhance the curriculum and teaching of the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree program. Susan’s teaching focuses on veterinary clinical communication and leadership. Her research portfolio includes investigating veterinary resilience, competency-based veterinary education and clinic-based learning. Susan’s overarching goal in her work is to help members of the veterinary profession thrive in their chosen career.
Heloisa Rutigliano
Heloisa Rutiglano, DVM, PhD
Heloisa Rutigliano was born and raised in the state of São Paulo, Brazil where she went to veterinary school at São Paulo State University. Shen moved to the United States to get her MSc and PhD degrees at the University of California Davis in Animal Biology. She conducted her post-doctoral studies in reproductive immunology at Utah State University. Heloisa currently teaches Animal Physiology, Immunology, Endocrinology and Veterinary Ethics and Professionalism. Her research focuses on understanding the mechanisms involved in the fetal-maternal communication particularly in cases of pregnancy loss and complications in cattle and other domestic species. Heloisa is also interested in learning about how people learn and in finding ways to apply it to her teaching. Heloisa enjoys mountain biking, running, cooking and reading.
Andrew West, PhD
Andrew West is the Director of the Academy for Teaching and Learning in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University. His role includes working with faculty to develop innovative approaches to sustain and promote excellence in educational programs and to make improvements in areas identified by faculty, students, alumni, employers and the veterinary profession. Prior to joining CSU, Andrew was an Assistant Professor of Teacher Education at Western Kentucky University. Andrew holds an MEd and PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Missouri and a BS in Biological Sciences from Montana State University.