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Academic Programs Team Earns Distinguished Citation for Excellence

August 7, 2012

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Associate Dean Jan Ilkiw, left, celebrates the Distinguished Citation for Excellence Aug 2 with members of the Vet Med Curricular Support team Melinda Carlson, Robin Houston, Linda Royce, Mike Beech and Pat Hunter.

August 7, 2012

School of Veterinary Medicine staff spend their time with students: in offices, classrooms, laboratories and clinics. On August 2, however, several members of the academic support staff spent an evening at the residence of Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi to receive the UC Davis Distinguished Citation for Excellence.

Distinguished Citation for Excellence

The UC Davis Staff Assembly recognizes one staff employee and one employee team each year who have shown outstanding achievement in general contributions, campus service, or supervision. The Distinguished Citation for Excellence awardees are recognized throughout the university system by the Council of UC Staff Assemblies.

The Academic Programs Curricular Support Team was recognized among the campus' thousands of employees by receiving the 2012 Distinguished Citation for Excellence. They earned the distinction for efforts "above and beyond their duties" in support of two major events that occurred during this academic year. The first was the administration of two concurrent DVM curriculums as the new curriculum transitions from the quarter system to semesters. This effort took place at the same time that the unit had been restructured to provide centralized support for all teaching. Fall 201l was the first year that the school ran two concurrent curriculums, one on the quarter system for the sophomores and juniors and a new one on the semester system for the freshmen. This change resulted in double the work normally required: scheduling both course session (rooms, faculty schedules for lectures and laboratories), creating and reproducing exam materials and syllabi, processing exam grades, reserving books, ordering supplies, including animals and laboratory and medical supplies, and preparing for double the number of laboratory sessions. Creating the content of the new curriculum required many administrative staff hours to schedule numerous one-on-one meetings with the Associate Dean and the SVM faculty as well as scheduling Town Hall information sessions. These tasks and others required many additional staff hours.

The second accomplishment was the group's preparations for the Accreditation Site Visit of the American Veterinary Association Council on Education in November 2011, a comprehensive undertaking for the school. These same staff members prepared for the visit and worked many hours to help get the school ready for this “inspection.”   

"Having these two major school events happen simultaneously, it was nothing less than a miracle to achieve a successful outcome," says Jan Ilkiw, associate dean.

Congratulations and thanks to each team member: Linda Souza, Erin Seay, Teresa Suter, Ken Taylor, Melinda Carlson, Robin Houston, Mike Beech, and Linda Royce.

Academic Programs Gourley Center-Staff

During the same transition, the staff of the Ira M. Gourley Clinical Teaching Center, the Gourley Laboratory Staff, also overcame challenges of implementing the new curriculum and readying facilities for the accreditation site visit by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education in fall of 2011.Team members Katie Almand, Morgan Brooks, Jennifer Child, Meghan Culp, Robert Favorite, Sarahjane Logan, Tatiana Plitt, Lorrie Spring, and Nicole White received a Distinguished Nomination from the Staff Assembly for taking on new tasks related to the animal handling training experiences and surgical "wet labs" for the first- through third-year students. Team members worked extra hard to prepare for brand new offerings of wet labs for the first-year veterinary students. Creating the content of the new curriculum required many administrative staff hours to schedule numerous one-on-one meetings with the associate dean and faculty as well as scheduling Town Hall information sessions to keep everyone up-to-date.  

In the new curriculum, most of the labs have fewer students, but the labs are taught more frequently, which requires twice the effort for the administrative and laboratory staff. Many of the new wet labs were held off site at other animal facilities, which spread the staffing even thinner. The new curriculum offers wet labs involving multiple animal species, and the staff organized multi-room and multi-facilitiy sessions so that faculty could meet learning objectives. Increased staff labor occurred in animal husbandry, cleanup, and disinfection.  All the while, this team stayed on track to also host the wet labs of the existing quarter-based curriculum for the second and third year veterinary students. The staff demonstrated tremendous flexibility in their variable work schedules with the team averaging coverage on most days from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.

These staff members also helped with months of preparation for the School of Veterinary Medicine’s accreditation site visit, working many hours to perform a variety of tasks related this comprehensive inspection and review. The team therefore contributed significantly to the final outcome of the accreditation review: The school has earned full accreditation status for the next seven years.   

Congratulations to these outstanding employees who have once again demonstrated in a stellar manner their commitment to the school's administrative needs.