Doctor of Philosophy (Candidate), Education and Higher Education Leadership
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO - expected completion June 2021
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
University of California, Davis, CA - June 1999
Master of Science, Animal Science
University of California, Davis, CA - August 1995
Bachelor of Science, Biology
University of California, Riverside, CA - June 1992
Harvard Macy Institute Program for Leading Innovations in Health Professions
Harvard University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
Harvard Macy Institute Program for Educators in Health Professions
Harvard University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
Director of Year 4 Curriculum
Western University of Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Pomona, CA - January 2008 to present
Director of Clinical Relations
Western University of Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Pomona, CA - January 2009 to June 2018
Clinical Field Liaison
Western University of Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Pomona, CA - August 2007 to January 2009
Banfield, The Pet Hospital, Fullerton/Fontana, CA - January 2005 to January 2009
Inland Equine Veterinary Associates, Hemet, CA - August 1999 to December 2004
Western University of Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Pomona, CA - July 2014 to present
Western University of Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Pomona, CA - January 2007 to June 2014
Facilitating Assistant Veterinarian
Western University of Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Pomona, CA - January 2007 to June 2007
Banfield Pet Hospital, Fontana, Western University of Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Pomona, CA - October 2005 to January 2009
Education does not run in my family; it stampedes! I am proud to say I am part of a family of educators, ranging from an elementary school teacher to an Associate Professor at the University of Florida. My father was a high school teacher for 35 years, and my mother returned to college at the age of 40, making her return to higher education at Riverside Community College and then transferring to San Diego State University where she earned her BA and Teaching Credential. My sister currently serves as an Associate Professor at the University of Florida in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
In considering my teaching philosophy, I think it imperative to reflect on the experiences that have shaped my current perspectives and understanding of teaching and learning. Two experiences have been most influential in shaping my teaching philosophy: one, the Harvard Macy Institute programs, the program for Educators in Health Professions and the program for Leading Innovations in Health Care Education, and two, the course work and the research plan for of my Doctor of Philosophy in Education and Higher Education Leadership at Colorado State University (expected completion 2021).
The Harvard Macy Institute programs expanded my knowledge and skills in teaching and learning and were the beginning of my focus on teaching and learning from the student’s perspective. Students learn differently and through different modalities, especially compared to 20 years ago. During the program, I gained knowledge of how students learn and the skills necessary to build educational activities around the learner and their learning styles. For example, the use of technology in their lives greatly influences how and when they access information and the way they interact with those around them; they are digital natives. As our world changes and access to information increases and information itself becomes less of a commodity, the roll of the educator must change. Harvard Macy is where I was first exposed to the phrase; we must teach their future not our past. No longer can the teacher be “the sage on the stage” (King, 1993, p. 30), but instead, we must be facilitators in the learning process, setting the stage for learners and engaging them regardless of their learning type. No longer can educators allow the sentiments expressed by Ralph Waldo Emerson to be accepted or the norm.
We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bellyful of words and do not know a thing.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82), U.S. essayist and poet.
The Harvard Macy Institute programs provided me with knowledge, skills, and attitudes that have informed my practice, allowing me to apply specific, concrete skills in my activities as an educator, was the first step in the development of my current teaching philosophy. My ensuing course work, assignments, interactions with classmates, and acculturation into the profession and practice of education associated with the partial completion of my Doctor of Philosophy in Education and Higher Education Leadership has impacted my philosophy. Participation in the doctoral program has provided the theory behind the practical, concrete skills I gained from my involvement in the Harvard Macy Institute programs.
My course work in the Doctor of Philosophy program has been grounded in the foundations and theory of student development, social science research, quantitative methodology, qualitative methodology, leadership, change, educational law, and program evaluation. During my course work, I learned about the constructivist paradigmatic perspective as described by Guba (1990) and Lincoln, Lynham, and Guba (2011). The constructivist perspective is based on the premise that knowledge is constructed within each of us and that our knowledge and understanding is highly contextual. Experiential learning activities give learners that opportunity to construct knowledge and understanding through active participation in the educational process; this is essential for true learning. My constructivist approach to education is informed by and grounded in, the publications of Dewey (2013), Kolb (1984), McCarthy (2006), Wenger (1998), and others. Not only have I gained an understanding of the constructivist nature of learning, but I have also come to appreciate through the writings of Lave and Wenger (1991) and Wenger (1998) that learning is a social process situated within a community of practice. This social constructivist nature of learning has informed my teaching philosophy, providing me with an understanding that learning is a process, an internal process that is different for all learners and that is bound by context. Each learner processes new information from their perspective, through their lens, and as an educator, it is my role to facilitate the integration of new information into their preexisting knowledge. Until information is integrated into their knowledge schema in long term memory, it is just that—information and not knowledge and understanding.
In reflecting on my path, I see how I have socially constructed my teaching philosophy through my participation in the Harvard Macy programs and through working with my colleagues towards the completion of my Doctor of Philosophy. Not only that, but I can see how my path has been one of development, similar to that of student development theories that originally emerged from the discipline of psychology (Evans, Forney, Guido, Patton, & Renn, 2010). Where I am now with regards to my teaching philosophy has not only required me to acquire information, it has required me to participate in a community of practice, socially construct knowledge, negotiate meaning with my colleagues, and develop psychosocially. My path embodies the path of all learners, and as such, I bring my understanding, both from the literature and from my learning, to my philosophy of teaching.
Learning goes beyond just information acquisition; it occurs through internalization, social construction, and development of the learner. Learning is greatly dependent on the learner, and I do not simply “deliver information,” I strive to inspire students and help them organize information and gain understanding. I work to create learning opportunities in their clinical courses that are conducive to learning in an experiential manner. I help them understand why the information is relevant. I strive to be organized, knowledgeable, and an excellent communicator. I have a genuine interest in the well-being and success of students and am supportive as they engage in the struggle of learning. I challenge students to seek solutions and grow as learners. The education of learners, whether they be the students, practitioners, or myself, does not just include the acquisition of knowledge; it includes attention to the learner’s career goals, personal goals, their attitudes, and their skills. For this reason, I strive to know and understand learners, asking questions and connecting with them at a more personal level to tailor my support to the needs of the individual.
The Harvard Macy Institute programs and the partial completion of my Doctor of Philosophy in Education and Higher Education Leadership at Colorado State University have impacted my teaching philosophy, yet I can look back and see how my philosophy was influenced at each point along my path: as a teaching assistant, as a clinician, as a freshman faculty, as a Harvard Macy Institute student, and finally as a doctoral student in the School of Education. The past two decades of my professional career has evolved from being an ambulatory equine veterinarian, educating my clients, to acting as a WesternU CVM clinical faculty member in a small animal practice. I then advanced from an assistant professor to an associate professor educating students and taking part in research and service, to college administration as the Director of Clinical Relations and now as the Director of Year 4 Curriculum. This progression is a focusing of my career goals and life aspirations, all with a dedication to the profession of veterinary medicine. I have been motivated by the wish to improve animal health and by the satisfaction of educating clients and now veterinary students.
Levi, O., Shettko, D. L., Battles, M., Schmidt, P. L., Fahie, M. A., Griffon, D. J., . . . Hendrickson, D. A. (2018). Effect of short- versus long-term video game playing on basic laparoscopic skills acquisition of veterinary medicine students. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.3138/jvme.0617-077r2
Hedge, Z. N., Bossong, F., Gordon-Ross, P. N., & Kovacs, S. J. (2018). Exploring the Effects of Participation in a Shelter Medicine Externship on Student Knowledge and Self-Confidence. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.3138/jvme.0417-056r
Halsberghe, B; Gordon-Ross, P; and Peterson, R (2016). Whole body vibration affects the cross-sectional area and symmetry of the m. multifidus of the thoracolumbar spine in the horse. Equine Veterinary Education. https://doi.org/10.1111/eve.12630
Buur, J; Gordon-Ross, P; Tegzes, J; Lee, L; Barrett, G; and Bertone, J (2014). Iron Pharmacologist: Student Impressions, Satisfaction, and Self-Reported Learning in Response to Active Learning Course Activity in Veterinary Pharmacology. Pharmacy Education Journal, 14(1):1-4.
Gordon-Ross, P; Schilling, E; Kidd, L; and Schmidt, P (2014). Distributive veterinary clinical education: a model of clinical-site selection. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 41(2), 179-188. https://doi.org/10.3138/jvme.0713-104R