Veterinary Educator Receives National Award

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Impacts Veterinary Education on a Global Scale

KNOXVILLE, TENN – The American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges has named India Lane the winner of the 2024 Billy E. Hooper Award for Distinguished Service. Lane, associate dean for academic and student affairs at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine (UTCVM), has helped transform academic veterinary medical education not only at the college but throughout the profession. The national award recognizes an individual whose leadership and vision have made a significant contribution to academic veterinary medicine.

Throughout her career, Lane has enjoyed clinical and research interests in small animal nephrology and urology but has increasingly focused on educational programs and teaching and learning. Her scholarly work now focuses on disseminating faculty development materials for veterinary education and improving the clinical training environment for veterinary students.

She was an early driver in developing and encouraging the integration of professional and non-technical skills, including client communication and professionalism within veterinary student curricula. Lane has long believed veterinary graduates should “not only be prepared as excellent biomedical scientists and veterinarians, but also as excellent communicators, talented problem-solvers and conflict navigators, and be committed to making a difference in their work, community and profession.” She guided the implementation of applied, problem-based courses and early clinical experiences at the college and contributed heavily to the early implementation of competency-based clinical performance assessment at UTCVM.

Lane is passionate about helping individuals from under-represented groups achieve their goals and overcome any hardships they may face. In doing so, she has worked to promote inclusion and placed more of an emphasis on communication skills, self-care and mental health issues within the veterinary curriculum.

She is an individual whose profound leadership and vision have made a significant contribution to academic veterinary medicine, said Dr. Bob DeNovo, interim dean. Lane co-founded the Master Teacher Program in 2008. “The impact of what India Lane has done at the college is most tangible in the development of the Master Teacher Program,” says DeNovo. “At Tennessee, we are teaching veterinarians to be teachers, merging our technical knowledge with the educational process. That’s what India has done, teaching young developing faculty how to excel as teachers. And who are the winners? The students. And it’s a game changer for the profession on a global scale.”

Since its inception, the Master Teacher Program has become a model for veterinary educator development and has led to presentations, seminars, and workshops at multiple North American universities, as well as internationally. Led by Lane, the program served as host of the first faculty-focused veterinary education conference in the country in 2010 and has since become a natural forum for educator collaboration through virtual opportunities. She was also an integral member of a UTCVM team that organized and taught a Master Teacher Workshop for faculty members of East African colleges of veterinary medicine in 2019. She and two others “taught the teachers” and focused on improving their teaching skills while sharing best practices in U.S. veterinary medical education; workshop content is available as an online certificate program completed by national and global veterinary educators.

“The veterinary educator network is small, but growing,” said Lane. “I’ve been lucky to be in the right places at the right times throughout my career, working with outstanding mentors who nurtured my passion for both medicine and education. It’s most rewarding today to see other individuals and groups jump in and really run with the idea that educational expertise and inquiry benefits veterinary programs.”

Her work has led to more than 100 publications and book chapters and prestigious editorial positions with the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education and in common veterinary textbooks and resources. Dr. Lane was named a Founding Distinguished Expert for the international Academy of Veterinary Educators (AVE) in 2023 and is currently involved with the AVE credentialing process, the AAVMC Spectrum of Care Initiative task force and the Southeast Veterinary Education Consortium.

Lane earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia and then completed an internship at Texas A&M University, as well as a residency in small animal medicine and a Master of Science degree at Colorado State University. Lane joined UTCVM faculty in 1997. She earned a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from UT Knoxville in 2008 and has served as Assistant, then Associate Vice President, and Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success for the UT statewide system. She returned to UTCVM in a faculty role in 2018 before being named Associate Dean in 2020.

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture is comprised of the Herbert College of Agriculture, UT College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch and UT Extension. Through its land-grant mission of teaching, research and outreach, the Institute touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. to Tennesseans and beyond.

Media Contact

Sandra Harbison

UT College of Veterinary Medicine