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Tufts University Selects New Dean For Cummings Veterinary School

Tufts University Selects New Dean For Cummings Veterinary SchoolDr. Deborah Turner Kochevar Brings Extensive Leadership, Teaching, and Research Credentials to New Post in the Northeast.

No. Grafton, Mass. [04.14.06] After a nationwide search, Tufts University yesterday announced the appointment of Deborah Turner Kochevar, D.V.M., Ph.D., A.C.V.C.P, as the fourth dean of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, effective August 1. Board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology (ACVCP), Kochevar is widely respected as a leader in the veterinary profession, an inspirational teacher, and a scientist.

Kochevar is currently associate dean for Professional Programs and holds the Wiley Chair of Veterinary Medical Education at Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. She also is professor of veterinary physiology and pharmacology at the College of Veterinary Medicine, with a joint appointment in medical physiology. She has been on the faculty at Texas A&M since 1987 and served two stints as acting dean in 2004 and 2005.

"I'm excited about having Dr. Kochevar join our senior academic leadership team," said Tufts President Lawrence S. Bacow. "Not only will she be an outstanding dean of the Cummings Veterinary School, she also will have much to contribute to the entire university.She has enormous energy and is a superb teacher and scholar."

Kochevar was graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor of arts degree in English and biology from Rice University in 1978. She received a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Texas A&M University in 1981, and a post-doctorate degree in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 1987. She was a National Institutes of Health National Research Service Award Fellow in 1984-86. In the mid-1990s, she spent a year in Washington, D.C., as a Congressional Science Fellow to the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee.

Heralded as an inspiring mentor to her students, Kochevar has won many teaching awards, including the Norden Distinguished Teacher Award, the Student American Veterinary Medical Association National Teaching Award in Basic Science, and the Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching at Texas A&M. She has received numerous grants for education and curriculum development and participated in educational outreach projects funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Science.

Kochevar's research focuses on pharmacology and cellular and molecular biology. She has received research grants from the American Heart Association, the United States Department of Agriculture, and corporate sponsors.

"After a comprehensive, national search, I am delighted that we've hired the best candidate in the country," said Tufts Provost and Senior Vice President Jamshed Bharucha.

"Dr. Kochevar is passionate about research and teaching, and is the perfect leader to take our veterinary school into the future, building on the successes of former Dean Phil Kosch and Interim Dean Sawkat Anwer."

Kochevar is president of the American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology and is active in the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), having chaired its Council on Education and the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates. As a member and vice-chair of the AVMA Council on Research, she also served on the editorial board of the American Journal of Veterinary Research.

"The students, faculty, and staff at the Cummings School are among the best in the nation," Kochevar said. "I am thrilled to serve as dean for such a dedicated and talented group. From its beginning in 1978, the school has served as a model for progressive and innovative scholarly activity. I hope to nurture and expand those traditions to the benefit of the school and the veterinary profession."

The committee charged with finding the best candidate to lead New England's only veterinary school was composed of faculty, students, and staff. The committee began its search in June 2005, after Dean Philip C. Kosch, D.V.M., Ph.D., announced his decision to take a one-year sabbatical before returning to Tufts to assist the Provost's Office with special research projects. The veterinary school prospered under Kosch's direction from 1996 to 2005, and he left the school with a legacy of remarkable achievements.

M. Sawkat Anwer, Ph.D., D.M.V.H., distinguished professor and chair of Tufts' Department of Biomedical Sciences, has served as the veterinary school's interim dean since July 1, 2005, providing strong leadership during this period. A respected scientist, professor, and administrator, he will resume his teaching and research responsibilities full-time on August 1.

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