New AVMA director passionate about education

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The AVMA has a new director of its Education and Research Division.

Dr. Karen Martens Brandt took on the position Feb. 10; she was promoted from her job as an assistant director in the same division. Dr. Martens Brandt replaces Dr. David E. Granstrom, who is now the AVMA associate executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Dr. Martens Brandt
Dr. Karen Martens Brandt (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

She says she’s excited about the opportunity and hopes “to do the best job I possibly can.”

Dr. Martens Brandt’s responsibilities are overseeing AVMA policies and programs related to education, research, accreditation of veterinary colleges, certification of graduates of foreign colleges of veterinary medicine, and recognition of veterinary medical specialties.

She assumed the position at a busy time. Her foremost task was to complete the AVMA Council on Education’s submission to earn renewed recognition from the Department of Education to accredit veterinary colleges.

Dr. Martens Brandt joined the AVMA staff in November 2008. She provided professional staff support to the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities. She also served as staff support to the American Board of Veterinary Specialties.

Dr. Martens Brandt has a comprehensive background in veterinary private practice and academia. She received her DVM degree from the University of Minnesota in 1983. She started teaching four years later at the University of Minnesota Technical College-Waseca veterinary technology program. Dr. Martens Brandt became its program director in 1992 and held the position until the program ended in 1993.

Before and after her foray into veterinary technician education, Dr. Martens Brandt spent many years in dairy and companion animal practice. She came from a small animal practice in Mankato, Minn., prior to joining the AVMA staff.

“A solid educational experience is the foundation for our profession. That’s why I came here,” she said, to help maintain veterinary education standards.