AAEP Honors Retired Professor Who Inspired Future Veterinarians

Retired professor Jill Johnson, DVM, whose inventive teaching and testing methods encouraged critical thinking and curiosity among the veterinary and graduate students she trained at the Louisiana State University College of Veterinary Medicine for 34 years, has received the 2012 American Association of Equine Practitioners' (AAEP) Distinguished Educator Award.

The Distinguished Educator Award recognizes a teacher or mentor who has played an integral role in the educational and professional development of veterinary students through exceptional skills, character, leadership and knowledge. Johnson was honored Dec. 4 during the President's Luncheon at the 58th Annual Convention in Anaheim, Calif.

Known for asking questions to probe her students' minds, Johnson promoted curiosity and problem-solving in the classroom, in the research lab and during examinations in the clinic. Veterinary students, residents, interns and younger faculty members learned from her practical, yet progressive, approach to equine medicine. In addition to disseminating her vast knowledge of equine health, Johnson served on a committee charged with improving the workplace for women at LSU and used her knowledge of computer software to build a testing program for the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Johnson retired from LSU in 2011 but continues to pursue research projects on blood typing/immunogenetics, GPS technology for racehorses, and hospital-acquired salmonella infections in horses.

She received her master's degree and veterinary degree from the University of Minnesota. She started her veterinary career specializing in surgery and internal medicine at the newly formed LSU veterinary school in 1977. Johnson became the first veterinarian at LSU to perform an arthroscopy surgery and a kidney dialysis, as well as the first female veterinarian in the college to be promoted to a full professor.

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