Frye to become First Woman to lead CSU Veterinary School

Frye to become First Woman to lead CSU Veterinary School

Dr. Melinda Frye has experience in veterinary practice, with an emphasis on horse health, in both private and university settings.

Photo: Courtesy Colorado State University

A veterinarian with expertise in cardiovascular physiology and equine medicine will become the first woman to lead Colorado State University’s (CSU) veterinary school starting in July.

Melinda Frye, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences who has taught graduate-level physiology for seven years, will become associate dean of Professional Veterinary Medicine in the CSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. She will replace Dean Hendrickson, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, who has led the program for two years and is returning to full-time teaching and equine surgery.

Frye, who began her career in human medicine, has wide-ranging experience, including veterinary teaching; research supported by the National Institutes of Health into the links among dietary fat, obesity, and heart disease; veterinary practice, with an emphasis on horse health, in both private and university settings; and service on curriculum and steering committees for the CSU vet school.

“I’m very pleased that Dr. Frye is accepting this vital leadership role in our college and for the veterinary industry nationwide,” said Mark Stetter, DVM, Dipl. ACZM, dean of the CSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “Beyond her admirable credentials in teaching, research, and clinical service, it’s wonderful to have an accomplished woman in a role that so visibly demonstrates what our students can do in science, medicine, and the veterinary industry.”

Frye began her career as a registered nurse, a pursuit that brought her from Oregon to Fort Collins, Colorado, where she worked at Poudre Valley Hospital in critical care, among other units. She considered attending medical school, but ultimately pursued veterinary medicine because of her love of animals.

Frye earned a DVM at CSU, then worked at a mixed-animal clinic in Idaho before returning to complete an equine medicine residency at the CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital. After gaining certification and becoming a diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, she pursued a PhD in physiology through CSU, completing her research at the Cardiovascular Pulmonary Research Laboratory.

Since turning her focus to basic science instruction several years ago, Frye has taught CSU veterinary students and graduate students in biomedical sciences. In addition to helping guide the vet school in advisory roles, she has served on the executive committee for the CSU Cardiovascular Research Center.

“I hope my experience gives me a well-rounded perspective on our CSU veterinary program,” said Frye, in an office surrounded by research posters, science manuals, and photos of her Norwegian Elkhound dogs. “I look forward to building on Dr. Hendrickson’s strong efforts directed to training for unconventional veterinary roles, focusing on a broader array of careers. At CSU, we plan to start pairing students with faculty mentors in unconventional career pathways to help open the doors to new and different options.”

Some of these options include foreign and zoonotic disease, epidemiology, veterinary law, laboratory animal medicine, ecosystem health, conservation medicine, and livestock herd health and management.

“I’m entering this role with an appreciation for collaboration and the idea of, ‘Let’s build on our strengths and be the best we can be,’” she said.

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