Dr. John Pascoe Honored with 2023 AAVMC Billy E. Hooper Award for Distinguished Service
The American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) recently announced that Dr. John Pascoe, executive associate dean for the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, has been selected to receive the 2023 Billy E. Hooper Award for Distinguished Service. This award, established in 1990, recognizes an individual whose leadership and vision have made a significant contribution to academic veterinary medicine and the veterinary medical community at large.
In nominating him for this award, Dean Mark Stetter notes that: “Pascoe’s contributions to academic veterinary education are cumulative, remarkable, and evident at all levels—local, national, and international. He has been an instrumental leader in enhancing and shaping the world of academic veterinary medical education and has worked tirelessly for more than four decades to strengthen veterinary medical education and the profession.”
In 1983, Pascoe joined the UC Davis faculty as an equine surgeon and gifted teacher of surgery. He was co-leader of the large, laboratory-based, core third-year course, “Principles of Veterinary Anesthesia and Surgery” for several decades, as well as teaching in other large animal species-based surgical courses. Pascoe was instrumental in developing innovative ways for veterinary students to learn surgical principles, so they graduated with entry-level competencies. He reached out to local animal shelters, offering a solution to over-population by providing neutering services for their cats and dogs. UC Davis was the first U.S. school to eliminate terminal core surgeries and it proved to be a win-win for shelters, students, faculty and animals. Not only did this approach help shelters financially, but it increased adoption rates and enhanced the student learning experience by incorporating physical examination, blood collection and pre- and post-operative evaluation and care. Building on this, Pascoe worked with faculty to develop a core community surgical rotation for small-animal students in the clinical year.
Pascoe has led the planning for all new facilities within the school including teaching, faculty and research spaces. This resulted in four major buildings, the Veterinary Medical Laboratory Facility (now Gourley Clinical Teaching Center), the Veterinary Medical Instructional Facility (now Gladys Valley Hall), the Multi-Purpose Teaching Facility (MPTF), Veterinary Medicine 3A, a faculty office and research building, where pathology and anatomy teaching are co-located, and Veterinary Medicine 3B, a faculty office and research building. He has a natural talent for designing state-of-the-art veterinary facilities, which includes blending function with design such that all spaces are aesthetically pleasing.
Continued evidence of John’s impact on veterinary medical education is the major curricular review and reform of the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program in 2005. The change was driven by a desire to improve the curriculum and the learning environment of the students by aligning the delivery of information with current teaching methodologies and implementing adult learning strategies. It involved a move from a department- and discipline-based curriculum to a school-wide integrated block curriculum that emphasized student-centered, inquiry-based learning.
Pascoe’s altruistic contributions to veterinary medical education are evident through his unwavering mentorship of students, residents, clinicians, staff, and faculty and through service to the AAVMC. He is actively involved with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA)’s Council on Education (COE), where he represented veterinary post-graduate education, serving for six years including as Chair, and for the past six years on site teams involved in multiple national and international accreditation visits.
Along with an honorarium and engraved award, Pascoe will be featured in a 3-minute tribute video during the AAVMC Annual Conference in March 2023.
Congratulations, Dr. Pascoe!