Strategic Initiatives to Drive School Forward

high school students in clinical skills
One of the strategic initiatives for the school focuses on greater outreach to underrepresented students from local middle and high schools.

Strategic Initiatives to Drive School Forward

Shortly after Mark Stetter joined the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine as its ninth dean, he spent six months meeting with faculty, staff, students and stakeholders to help inform the school’s top priorities.  

From those listening sessions and in consultation with the school’s Academic Council, four main areas of focus emerged: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; People First (employee engagement/satisfaction); Facilities; and Research. In each of these areas, working groups were formed and included over 150 volunteers from across the school.   

With the help of a consultant, these working groups developed a set of recommendations and priorities that have evolved into strategic initiatives for 2024, for which the school will invest nearly $1.5M in the coming year. The timing on this works well as the school’s current strategic plan is scheduled to sunset in 2024 and our accreditation will be in 2025. This will allow us to begin work now on these important initiatives and work toward a new strategic plan later this fall. (Read more on the Strategic Initiatives and Plan.)

“While our mission and vision remain constant, it was important for us to reassess some of our key priorities,” said Dean Mark Stetter. “The world as a whole has gone through a great deal of change in the past three years and like you hear on the airplane before gathering your luggage overhead...contents may have shifted. I wanted to hear from our entire community about the issues that have shifted and ensure we are putting our resources toward our most important opportunities.” 


Here are some of the strategic initiatives that we will be working on: 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI): Expansion and growth of diversity focused summer camps.  This includes growing our pre-vet summer enrichment programs for undergraduates and creating new outreach programs for middle and high school students. 

People First: Creation of local mental health resources for faculty and staff. Establish a Recognition and Awards Committee which will help develop new staff awards and look at ways to improve recognition efforts across the school.  Continue efforts with the faculty recruitment task force that works to improve effectiveness and efficiency of faculty hiring. 

Facilities: Renovate the Carlson library to support new SVM space for faculty, staff, and students. Establish better improved directional wayfinding and signage across the SVM portion of campus. Work with an external design firm to conduct an overall school space assessment and new facility masterplan.  

Research: Invest in two key areas include our data analytics capabilities and enhancing our research grant writing infrastructure. 


“There have been many, many people involved in moving this process forward and I’m thankful for their commitment. The people who work here have invested so much into the school and their careers, we must continually look at ways to invest in our people and programs,” Stetter said.

Our goal is to foster an environment that inspires excellence in everything we do. We must ensure we are providing a school environment where people enjoy their work and are thriving.”  

Four SVM leaders served as ambassadors for these initiatives: Danika Bannasch (research), Bruno Pypendop (people first), Mary McNally (facilities) and Monae Roberts (DEI). Special thanks to Joe Dinunzio for his leadership in facilitating all the SI work over the course of 2022-2023. 


Strategic Initiatives Committee Members
  • DEI Strategic Initiative Working Group
  • Co-Chairs: Woutrina Smith, Dean’s Ofc; Sara Garcia, VME

    Tom Hinds, Dean’s Ofc
    Michele Hawkins, VME
    Bill Culp, VME
    Karl Jandrey, Dean’s Ofc
    Akinyi Naoke, CAHFS, SB
    Jenessa Gjeltema, VME
    Lillian Cruz-Orengo, APC
    Sara Garcia, VME
    Sasha Hickman-Beoshanz, VMTH
    Kirsten Gilardi, OHI
    Laura Van Winkle, APC
    Ilana Halperin, VME
    Sina Marsilio, VME
    Joie Watson, Dean’s Ofc
    Woutrina Smith, Dean’s Ofc
    Clare Yellowley, APC
    Jim Clark, Dean’s Ofc
    Danika Bannasch, Dean’s Ofc
    Denise Imai-Leonard, VM
    Krisztina Forward, Dean’s Ofc
    Eunah Preston, OHI

  • People First Working Group
  • Co-Chairs: Melissa Bartholomew, CE; Yevgeniy Gnedash, VSR; Bruno Pypendop, VSR

    John Angelos, VME 
    Melissa Bain, VME 
    Lorraine Barbosa, WHC 
    Juliann Beingesser, CAHFS, SB 
    Matthew Blake, OHI 
    Julie Burges, VMTH 
    Melanie Burt-Schipke, VMDO 
    Simon Ehrlich, VMTH 
    Maura Ferrero, VMDO 
    Lynette Hart, PHR 
    Stephani Hilder, VMTH  
    Ashley Hill, CAHFS
    Kate Hopper, VSR
    Lauren Issvoran, VMTH
    Eric Johnson, VSR
    Dominique Laqui, VMDO 
    Harmony Lindberg, VMTH 
    Benjamin Moeller, CAHFS
    Maribel Morales, VMDO 
    Christine Munsterman, VMDO 
    Kimberly Olsen, PMI 
    Catherine Outerbridge, VME 
    Helen Raybould, APM
    Cessna Refsland, VMDO
    Megan Rott, VMDO
    Kristen Sears, VMTH
    Marissa Simpson, VMTH
    Katherine Skorupski, VSR
    Amanda Steidlmayer, VMDO
    Lorraine Thompson-Barbosa, WHC
    Betsy Vaughan, VSR 
    Jodi Westropp, VME
    Zachary Ward, CLaW
    Michael Ziccardi, OHI

  • Research Working Group
  • Sharif Aly, VMTRC/PHR
    Bart Weimer, PHR
    Alda Pires, PHR
    Krystle Reagan, VME 
    Jennie Lane, OHI 
    Kassidy Collins, PMI 
    Damian Genetos, APC  
    Crystal Rogers, APC 
    Chris Brandt, SVMIT 
    Carrie Finno, CEH/PHR 
    Michael Kent, CCAH/VSR 
    Terry Lehenbauer, VMTRC/PHR 
    Pouya Dini, PHR 
    Brian Bird, OHI 
    Sara Thomasy, VSR 
    Pamela Lein, VMB 
    Michelle Giuffrida, VSR
    Patty Pesavento, PMI 
    Isaac Pessah, ORGE/VMB
    Lisa Miller, APC 
    Amir Kol, PMI 
    Peter Ernst, UCSD/PMI 
    Winston Vickers, WHC/PMI 
    Ronald Li, VSR
  • Facilities Master Planning Working Group
  • Jon Ramsey, VMB 
    Ashley Carr, CAO, APC/VMBS
    Scott Cooling, Dean's Ofc 
    Tim Samartino, Prof Ed
    Stuart Meyers, APC
    Mary McNally, Dean's Ofc
    Mike Beech, Prof Ed
    Joshua Stern, VMTH 
    Robert Dean Collins 
    Sarah Blasczysnki, VMTH, LA 
    Tracy Bell, VMTH
    Steven Epstein, VSR
    Jonathan Dear, VVME 
    Bret McNabb, PHR/LAC 
    Paco Uzal, CAHFS, SB 
    Lane Johnson, Acd Prog
    Natalia Ocampo, VGL 
    Lee Ann Jansen, Advancement 
    Rebecca Bellone, PHR