About the Conference

The AAVMC’s annual conference is considered one of the leading professional development events in international academic veterinary medicine. Hundreds of educators and other leaders from the veterinary medical profession gather every year for a three day-symposium that features respected thought-leaders from around the world, explores issues and opportunities, shares best practices, and focuses on diversity, equity and inclusion. The conference also features the AAVMC’s annual Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill.

Dr. Susan Tornquist – President
Dr. Ruby Perry – President-Elect
Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe – CEO, AAVMC

Congratulations to our 2023 Award Honorees!

Congratulations to the recipients of our 2023 series of professional achievement and service awards! Their dedication, achievements and contributions serve as a model of excellence and inspiration for us all.

View the Nominees

Iverson Bell

The late Iverson Bell was the quintessential champion of diversity and inclusiveness.

For decades, the AAVMC has celebrated his legacy through the biennial Iverson Bell Symposium. Because the pioneering work he did in this area has become so fundamental for 21st century success, the symposium has now become a part of our annual conference programming. All of our programming, every year, will now be infused with the principles he fought for.

Who was Iverson Bell? Born in Texas in 1916, Dr. Bell overcame the era’s segregation and pervasive racial discrimination to forge a thriving private veterinary medical practice while demonstrating ground-breaking leadership in veterinary medicine, education, civic affairs and civil liberties. Among Dr. Bell’s many achievements, he rose to serve as the first African-American vice president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) from 1971-73.

After service in the U.S. Army during World War II, Bell earned his DVM degree from Michigan State University and taught small animal medicine as part of the founding faculty at the Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine in Tuskegee, Alabama. Dr. Bell and his family eventually settled in Indiana, where he established the Bell Animal Hospital and practiced veterinary medicine for 35 years.

Throughout his career, Dr. Bell demonstrated a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion in public education. He served on his local school board for 20 years and, together with another member, co-founded the Foundation for Public Education. He also helped establish the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine and served as a mentor and leader for many students.

Annual Conference Planning Committee

The Annual Conference Planning Committee (ACPC) is an ad hoc committee constituted each year in April and discharged at the conclusion of the following Annual Conference. The ACPC is responsible for selecting the Annual Conference theme, developing the call for proposals, reviewing proposals, and selecting session and poster presentations. 

The chair of the ACPC is the AAVMC president. The AAVMC past president also holds an ex-officio seat.  Five other representatives from AAVMC committees will be designated by the committee chairs. It is recommended that the chair or a past chair from each respective committee serve on the ACPC. The represented committees are: Advocacy, Academic Affairs, Research, Admissions and Recruitment, Leadership and Diversity. There will also be one representative for international colleges, who will be the Board of Directors’ at-large director representing international colleges, or that person’s designee.  

The Annual Conference Planning Committee (ACPC) is responsible for selecting the annual conference theme, developing the call for proposals and reviewing proposals. The ACPC is composed of individuals who represent various components of the AAVMC, and we are grateful for their exceptional work and dedication to excellence.

2022-2023 Annual Conference Planning Committee Roster

Representing International Membership

Dr. Sean Callanan

Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine

Staff Liaison

Dr. Caroline Cantner

American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges

Representing Professional Development

Dr. Karen Cornell

Texas A & M University, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Representing Academic Affairs Committee

Nicholas Frank

Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University

Representing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Roderick J Gilbert

University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine

Representing the Research Committee

Dominique Griffon

Western University of Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine


Dr. Ruby Perry

Tuskegee University, College of Veterinary Medicine

Representing Admissions and Recruitment Committee

Caroline Rost

Kansas State University, College of Veterinary Medicine


Dr. Susan Tornquist

Oregon State University, Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine