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Distinguished educators

  • Peggy Root and Perle Zhitnitskiy

    Distinguished educators

    Drs. Peggy Root and Perle Zhitnitskiy named founding members of new veterinary educator credential process

    Drs. Peggy Root (left) and Perle Zhitnitskiy.

College of Veterinary Medicine faculty members Drs. Peggy Root and Perle Zhitnitskiy have been named distinguished experts in Veterinary Education and founding members of a new credentialing process that will be offered to veterinarian education professionals.

The American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) in partnership with the Academy of Veterinary Educators announced in October that Root and Zhitnitskiy are among 32 veterinary educators chosen to oversee the Academy-Certified Expert Educator credential.

“This credentialing process will include both a written examination and a portfolio process for members to verify ongoing excellence in teaching,” Root says. “I have long been interested in a competency-based system for instructors to demonstrate the quality of their teaching and am a member of the portfolio committee that will be determining how that process will be built.”

Root, Zhitnitskiy, and their peers will serve to finalize and promote this credentialing process, develop a rigorous examination, and mentor future credentialed experts. It’s an avenue that provides opportunities for instructors to continue their education as teachers without requiring people to take on potentially costly master's programs or other widely recognized indicators of training.

Applications to become an Academy-Certified Educator are expected to open in 2024, with the first official class of credentialed experts being named in 2025.

“Being a good educator demands significant time and dedication. It requires rigorously evaluating the learning experiences we offer our students against evidenced-based methods and advances in the science of learning,” Zhitnitskiy says. “Creating and offering a credentialing process recognizes those efforts and provides a benchmark for people who want to explore this path in their career.”

Both Root and Zhitnitskiy say they are honored to be chosen to serve among the credential’s founding members, which features a wide array of experts, including academic veterinarians, veterinary technicians/nurses, and non-veterinarians involved in veterinary education. The group includes members from five countries outside of the United States.

The founding members were honored in a ceremony at the AAVMC Veterinary Educator Symposium hosted by Texas Tech College of Veterinary Medicine on Oct. 27 and 28. The complete list of founding members can be viewed here.

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