When I began my veterinary journey as a student at Colorado State University more than 30 years ago, I would never have imagined that I would be introducing myself to our profession as editor-in-chief of two world-renowned veterinary journals: the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Journal of Veterinary Research. That I am doing so is a tribute to many people—my wonderful children and partner, my parents, other family members, and my mentors, colleagues, and students in practice, research, and academia, among many others. To all of them, I express my sincere gratitude as I begin this new chapter of my career. I also am very thankful to the leadership of the AVMA, of which I am now a proud member, for entrusting me with this position of great responsibility to the profession we all love.
Established and essential publications such as JAVMA and AJVR are a reflection of their profession, of their dedicated and learned readers, of those who contribute scholarly articles, and of the staff who devote themselves, year in and year out, to producing journals of the highest quality. Thus, as I take on this new role, I also am very grateful to everyone—especially my predecessors—who for many decades have devoted themselves to making JAVMA and AJVR vital reading for veterinarians.
Of course, every publication is also a reflection of its editor-in-chief, and because I am the first new editor of these journals since 2009, I want to take this opportunity to briefly introduce myself in the spirit of transparency and accountability.
I bring to this position significant experience as a clinician, researcher, author, editor, and educator, roles that I believe give me a deep appreciation of the challenges facing today's veterinary practitioners. At JAVMA and AJVR, I hope that this will translate into visionary editorial judgment and leadership for our members and readers.
My educational journey started at Colorado State, where I earned a bachelor's degree in veterinary medicine in 1989 and my doctor of veterinary medicine degree in 1991. I later earned a doctoral degree in veterinary medicine from Cornell University, where I joined the faculty in 2002 and where, since 2015, I have served as the James Law Professor of Surgery. I also was director of equine programs and associate chair for research and graduate education at Cornell before moving to the AVMA.
Scholarly journals provide a vital service to an organization's members by ensuring rapid dissemination of knowledge and providing a fluid, trusted form of communication that aligns with institutional missions. My experience in editing includes launching and serving as the inaugural editor-in-chief of the Journal of Cartilage and Joint Preservation, the official open-access journal of the International Cartilage Regeneration and Joint Preservation Society. I previously served as president of the ICRS, where I also launched the society's first journal, Cartilage. These experiences provided me a deep understanding of the challenges in matching publications with an organization's mission and of the importance of timely publication of authors’ works, especially in our rapid-access digital era.
Success in any endeavor requires an inclusive and nurturing culture as well as consensus building. At a more organic level, this means developing day-to-day operational plans that are nimble and able to adapt to evolving needs and embracing the unexpected as an opportunity for positive change. All of this requires a strong sense of team and shared mission, which reflects the critical importance of developing a culture of collaboration, inclusion, and dedication.
I fondly remember asking Dr. Joe Foerner of Illinois Equine Clinic, during my first few months out of veterinary school, why he was so intimately involved in the AVMA. He responded that if one really wants to make a difference in veterinary medicine, the AVMA is the place it will happen. I have never forgotten his words of advice and have been a career-long member of the AVMA. I am honored to have been selected as the new editor-in-chief and to give back to our wonderful veterinary profession.
In the end, all of us at JAVMA and AJVR are deeply committed to our editorial product and serving the members of the AVMA. I look forward to continuing the respected legacy of these journals while cultivating change to meet evolving member needs by working with the staff and volunteer leaders, engaging with AVMA colleagues, and serving all our members, who rely on these journals to help advance the noble art and science of veterinary medicine.