Jennifer Davis '94, '98, associate professor of clinical pharmacology, has won the 2021 Zoetis Excellence in Teaching Award.  

Given through the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Zoetis award is a nationally recognized honor for a faculty member at each veterinary school in the United States “in recognition of their character and leadership qualities as well as their outstanding teaching abilities.”

After earning her D.V.M. from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine (VMCVM) in 1998, Davis completed an internship at Mississippi State University in equine medicine and surgery as well as a residency in equine internal medicine at North Carolina State University (NCSU), where she received a master’s degree in specialized veterinary medicine. She then completed a residency in clinical pharmacology and a Ph.D. in comparative biomedical sciences. After teaching at NCSU for 10 years, she returned to the VMCVM.  

Davis wasn’t always interested in pharmacology, as she found research intimidating, but during her residency, a mentor suggested that Davis conduct a pharmacological study on the antibiotic azithromycin and foals.  

“It was very cool that this study had immediate, clinically applicable uses, and I’d like to think it saved some foals’ lives,” said Davis.  

The project got her interested in pharmacology, and now she imparts that enthusiasm to her students.  

The award committee observed that Davis uses a multimedia approach to teaching that accommodates different learning styles. Davis says that she uses real-life examples to underscore the importance of the subject matter, and she uses humor and alternative study guides like crossword puzzles to keep students thinking. Davis keeps students engaged in their clinical pharmacology studies, which, the committee said, can be a tall order.  

"Jen's skill and commitment to teaching are evident over her tenure teaching at NCSU and the college. The students can feel that Jen cares about their learning,” the committee wrote.  

“I came back to Virginia Tech as faculty, and I’ve worked with so many faculty who taught me. I owe where I am now to what they taught me,” said Davis. 

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