2023 Award Honorees

AAVMC grants various awards to inspire and recognize professional excellence in academic veterinary medicine.

Patricia M. Lowrie Diversity Leadership Scholarship and Merck Animal Health Diversity Leadership Scholarship

Alexandra Awad

Alexandra Awad is a 3rd year DVM student at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. She is a first-generation Puerto Rican-Egyptian and one of the few in her extended family to become a doctor. She grew up wanting to become a veterinarian, and minority underrepresentation in veterinary medicine inspired her to be an element of change for future generations. During her first semester of veterinary school, she co-founded the Tufts Cummings Student Chapter of the Latinx Veterinary Medical Association. In the spring 2021 semester, she developed the inaugural Spanish for Veterinarians Selective for pre-clinical students, where students participated in a language learning course and experiential learning opportunities for communication practice with Spanish-speaking clients. After word spread through the campus, she created the Veterinary Spanish Clinical Elective for fourth-year students on clinical rotations. After graduation, she aspires to become a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners and own a small animal general practice with goals to reduce barriers to accessing veterinary care.

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AAVMC Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award Presented by Zoetis

Dr. Elizabeth Alvarez

Dr. Elizabeth “Liddy” Alvarez, Assistant Professor-Clinical Track Section Head Primary Care, Ruth M. Skaar Chair in Veterinary Medicine Endowed Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine is the recipient of the 2022 AAVMC Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award, Presented by Zoetis. This award is one of the most prestigious teaching awards in the academic veterinary medicine community.  Nominated by both students and faculty, this highly regarded educator brings a passionate mix to teaching, clinical service, community service and scholarship. In July of 2022, Dr. Alvarez was named inaugural recipient of the Ruth M. Skaar Chair in Veterinary Medicine Professorship. The Wisconsin Companion Animal Resources, Education, and Social Services (WisCARES) program curriculum was co-developed by Dr. Alvarez to support students in managing interactions with the community it serves.  Dr. Alvarez was also successful in securing close to $700,000 in grant funding to expand WisCARES’s community reach.

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Billy E. Hooper for Distinguished Service

Dr. John R. Pascoe

Dr. John R. Pascoe, Executive Associate Dean, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis is the recipient of the 2023 Billy E. Hooper Award for Distinguished Service. The Billy E. Hooper Award for Distinguished Service is presented to an individual whose leadership and vision has made a significant contribution to academic veterinary medicine and the veterinary profession. His efforts and contributions to the profession span over four decades. Dr. Pascoe’s record of scholarly work in veterinary surgery, and his mentorship of many prestigious veterinary faculty members and practitioners clearly serves as evidence of the impact he has had in advancing the art and science of clinical veterinary medicine. Additionally, his service in administrative roles with American College of Veterinary Surgeons, the AAVMC, and the AVMA Council on Education further demonstrates his commitment to elevating veterinary medical education.

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Excellence in Research

Dr. Pamela J. Lein

Dr. Pamela J. Lein, Department Chair and Professor of Molecular Biosciences, University of California Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine is the recipient of the 2023 AAVMC Excellence in Research Award. The AAVMC Excellence in Research Award designates the outstanding veterinary medical researcher of the year as selected by a committee of peers.  Dr. Lein is a distinguished neurotoxicologist who has demonstrated excellence in original research, strong leadership in the scientific community, and exceptional mentoring of trainees and colleagues in veterinary medicine. She is also a skilled educator, research scientist, and a scientific contributor to her discipline. In addition to securing major funding, Dr. Lein has assembled NIH teams investigating original and innovative hypotheses on how diverse chemical exposures affect complex diseases, including neurodevelopmental disorders, asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, and seizure disorders. Routinely sought out for her expertise, Dr. Lein has served or led numerous prestigious national panels in her discipline, including the Board of Scientific Counselors, National Toxicology Program; Committee for Systematic Review of Fluoride Exposure and Neurodevelopmental and Cognitive Health Effects; The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM); Standing Committee to Advise the U.S. Department of State on Unexplained Health Effects on US Government Employees and Their Families at Overseas Embassies, NASEM; Society of Toxicology, Education and Career Development Committee; and Scientific Advisory Board, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, National Center for Toxicological Research.

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Iverson Bell

Dr. Rustin Moore

Dr. Rustin Moore, Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ruth Stanton Chair in Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University is the recipient of the 2023 Iverson Bell Award. The Iverson Bell Award recognizes outstanding leadership and contributions for underrepresented minorities in veterinary medical education.  He embodies all that Dr. Bell stood for to move diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) forward in veterinary medicine and beyond. One of his first actions as Dean was to create a position for an Associate Dean for Faculty & Staff Affairs, Inclusive Diversity, and Planning who would also serve as the college’s Chief Diversity Officer. Dean Moore’s dedication to DEIB extends to his professional service outside the university as a member of the Advisory Group of the Commission for a Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Veterinary Profession and within his specialty college as a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, DEI Committee. He has established sustainable DEIB practices in all his activities and involvement: ingraining DEIB into the OSU veterinary curriculum (and other affiliated institutions), building pipelines for underrepresented groups in veterinary medicine (state and nationwide), and championing DEIB through his numerous elected positions in organized veterinary medicine, all like Dr. Bell’s accomplishments.

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