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Texas Tech Hires More Founding Faculty Members

Newly hired professors include an animal welfare expert and a practicing veterinarian.

Texas Tech Hires More Founding Faculty Members
From left, Drs. Arlene Garcia-Marquez, Prasanth Chelikani, Clayton Cobb and Emily Sundman.

The next U.S. veterinary school, Texas Tech University, is rapidly adding faculty members as it prepares to begin instruction in August 2021.

The School of Veterinary Medicine, headquartered in Amarillo, anticipates an inaugural class of 60 students. About 30 faculty and staff members were hired as of September 2020.

Recent appointees include:

Arlene Garcia-Marquez, Ph.D., MS

The animal welfare expert is an assistant professor of behavior and welfare. She was a Texas Tech animal and food sciences faculty member for four years and previously served as an assistant professor of animal science at the University of Minnesota.

“Coming from Presidio, Texas, she truly gets our mission.,” said Guy Loneragan, BVSc, Ph.D., dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine. “Dr. Garcia-Marquez also is deeply motivated to help our graduates be successful. That means developing communication and relationship-building skills. We are fortunate that so many of our faculty speak Spanish, and she will help that team develop programs that prepare our students to communicate effectively in Spanish.”

Prasanth Chelikani, BVSc, MVSc, Ph.D., FTOS

The founding member of the University of Calgary veterinary school is an expert in production animal physiology and obesity. He joined Texas Tech as a professor of physiology.

“In traditional veterinary programs, students often fail to appreciate the importance of basic science courses such as physiology until they reach their clinical years,” Dr. Chelikani said. “For more than a decade, we have tried to bridge this gap between basic and clinical courses at Calgary. Now, we have a unique opportunity at the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine to make it even better — to integrate physiology with anatomy, paraclinical and clinical courses — so students can gain a broader and deeper understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms of clinical cases they might encounter in practice.”

Clayton Cobb, DVM, MS

Dr. Cobb is an assistant professor of general veterinary practice. He earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science from Texas Tech in 2010 and spent the past four years as a mixed-animal associate veterinarian in Hugo, Oklahoma, after graduating from the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine.

“Dr. Cobb will have a critical role in teaching our students the clinical and professional skills they need to be Day One-ready practitioners,” said John Dascanio, VMD, DACT, DABVP, the senior associate dean for academic and student affairs. “He will be working with a team to train and test students to ensure their competency.”

Emily Sundman, DVM, DABVP

An assistant professor of medicine, Dr. Sundman is a practice co-owner and veterinarian at Picolino Ranch in Lipan, Texas. She has experience in research and development as well as the design and execution of veterinary clinical studies.

“Our animals — large and small — benefit from new therapies and new preventatives,” Dr. Loneragan said. “Dr. Sundman will add to our school’s vibrant research and discovery efforts. She also serves an important role helping our researchers design the best possible trials to test new discoveries.”

The opening of the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine will come one year after the debut of veterinary medicine programs at the University of Arizona and Long Island University. The school was granted a letter of reasonable assurance of accreditation in September 2020.

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