Closeup of Steve Hines
Dr. Steve Hines

Washington State University Professor and veterinarian Steve Hines is the 2020 American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges’ Distinguished Veterinary Teacher.

The award is the most prestigious teaching award in veterinary medicine and is presented by Zoetis, the largest global animal health company. It highlights those who have dedicated their life and career to improving veterinary medical education.

To date, Dr. Hines is the only national recipient to receive the student-nominated award twice. He was also honored with the award in 1996 and has received the award at the college level three different times.

He will be presented with the award during the AAVMC’s 2021 Annual Conference and Iverson Bell Symposium, which will be held virtually March 3-5, 2021.

“It was a total surprise; I didn’t think they would give it to someone again,” Hines said. “I think it means the students believe I’m still effective and make a difference – that I kept growing and didn’t get stale. I’m proud of that.”

In addition to students, Hines was also nominated by Bryan Slinker, former Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, and Bob Mealey, Veterinary Clinical Sciences Chair.

Hines was recognized for his role in the Diagnostic Challenges, a multidisciplinary case-based exercise he started in 1991 that provides second-year veterinary students a simulated “real-world” exercise that runs a full week.

“Not only was the Diagnostic Challenge the most engaging, memorable, fun, difficult, and rewarding experience I have had throughout my veterinary education, but it was also the experience that I know I will look back on the most often when recalling my days as a veterinary student,” said Kayla Burnham. “I will reflect on this experience daily as a veterinarian.”

The award also recognized Hines for founding the College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Academy in 2010. The Teaching Academy supports faculty dedicated to teaching and learning and brings educators together to learn, grow, and collaborate. In 2013 the program became the model for a regional teaching academy that includes six veterinary schools throughout the West.  Dr. Hines was a founding Fellow and the first Steering Committee chair.

Hines’ role in the classroom was also mentioned in student-nomination letters.

“There are many professors who do what students ask of them – it is the rare one who listens to students as if they were the most important voice in the world and yet maintains the courage and wisdom to lead them, coach them, and inspire them,” veterinary student Minas Mkhitarian wrote.