July 28, 2023
Words and photos by Jens Odegaard
Last week, dozens of veterinary educators from across the western United States flocked to Corvallis to attend the 2023 Summer Conference hosted by the Teaching Academy of the Consortium of West Region Colleges of Veterinary Medicine, known in shorthand as the RTA for regional teaching academy.
The consortium consists of more than 75 members from seven member institutions as well as other veterinary and biomedical educational institutions in the West. The seven member institutions are: the Oregon State University Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine, the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the Western University College of Veterinary Medicine (California), the University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine, the Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine (Arizona) and the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Held every two years, the conference celebrated its tenth anniversary where it was first held, at the Oregon State University Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine. Lois Bates Acheson Dean of the College Susan J. Tornquist has been part of the consortium since its inception.
“The very first biennial summer meeting was held here in July, 2013, and I’ve been remembering the planning and the meeting itself. At the time of planning for that first 2013 conference, I was the associate dean for student and academic affairs and a member of the original steering committee for the RTA,” Tornquist said. “I had lots more responsibility for that conference than I do now, and I remember the feeling of relief when it was over and everyone had made good connections and learned a lot.”
In the ensuing years, the conference has been hosted by the other four founding member institutions: WSU, CSU, UC Davis and Western University. “The consortium has added two new members, Midwestern College of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine. We’re happy to add new members and expand our network,” Tornquist said.