PVM Distinguished Alumna Receives National Teaching Honor

April 1, 2013

Purdue Distinguished Alumna Mary Anna Thrall (PU DVM ’70), a professor at the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, was chosen by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) to receive the 2012 AAVMC Distinguished Teacher Award, presented by Zoetis.  Considered the most prestigious national teaching honor in veterinary medicine, the award was presented to Dr. Thrall at the AAVMC’s 2013 Annual Conference in Alexandria, Va., in March.  As part of the award program, Dr. Thrall addressed the conference attendees on what makes a successful teacher within the context of her own experiences.

The AAMVC presents the award annually to an educator in veterinary medicine whose sustained record of teaching excellence and ability, dedication, character and leadership has contributed significantly to the advancement of the profession. Award nominees are selected by their individual colleges, while a selection committee at the AAVMC chooses the final honoree.

Dr. Thrall, a veterinary clinical pathologist, earned her Purdue DVM degree in 1970.  After working in private practice in Colorado, Dr. Thrall completed a clinical pathology residency at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in 1977 and became board certified in clinical pathology.  She joined the Colorado State University faculty and served 32 years before moving to Ross University in St. Kitts, where she is professor of clinical pathology and section head of pathobiology.  During her career, Dr. Thrall has participated in training more than 40 veterinary clinical pathologists and more than 20 graduate students. In addition, she co-authored "Veterinary Hematology and Clinical Chemistry", one of the most widely used textbooks in training veterinary students in clinical pathology.

A recipient of Purdue Veterinary Medicine’s Distinguished Alumna Award, Dr. Thrall also received the Association for Women Veterinarians Distinguished Service Award, the CSU Distinguished Faculty Award and the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology Lifetime Achievement Award.  She also was named a “Pillar of Pathology” by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists.

Through her experiences, Dr. Thrall has recognized the importance of teaching students lifelong learning skills.  “I have learned that it is not a weakness to say, ‘I don’t know.’  Students not only respect you for this honesty, they will immediately search the topic and let you know what may be the correct answer,” said Dr. Thrall.  “One must emphasize the need for life-long learning, as some of what I tell my students today will not hold true in the future.”

To view a complete news release about Dr. Thrall’s selection as the 2012 AAVMC Distinguished Teacher Award recipient, click here.

Writer: Kevin Doerr, pvmnews@purdue.edu

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