The veterinary technology program at Lone Star College–Tomball is undergoing a change in leadership with the selection of Joyce Brod, RVT to serve as the program’s new director beginning September 1.
Brod, a faculty member with the veterinary technician program, is herself a registered veterinary technician and has been with Lone Star College-Tomball RVT program since 1990.
She is assuming the duties of the program’s founding director, George W. Younger, DVM, who has elected to teach full time as he begins his transition into retirement in the coming years.
The selection of Brod is significant as it marks the first time an RVT has been named to lead a veterinary technician program in this state. Although registered veterinary technicians direct similar programs in other states, all such programs in Texas were previously overseen by licensed doctors of veterinary medicine. McClennan Community College recently followed in LSC-Tomball’s footsteps and also named an RVT to serve as its program director, but Brod was the first to be named to such a position, noted Younger.
Brod’s selection is an excellent move for the school’s veterinary technician program, he added.
“I’ve long promoted letting veterinary techs manage themselves,” said Younger. “You don’t have medical doctors in charge of nursing programs, so why do you have doctors of veterinary medicine running a vet tech program?”
Veterinary medicine is a team effort, he added. And, Brod’s move to director will help promote the concept that registered veterinary technicians are an integral part of that team, believes Younger.
Brod joined the veterinary program at LSC–Tomball in 1990, two years after the program’s inception in August of 1988. She began as a vet tech in the department working as a class assistant, working in the lab and maintaining equipment. She became a faculty member in 1996 teaching a variety of the required vet tech courses such as radiology, equine and food animal management, nutrition, introductory courses along with overseeing the practicum or in-clinic rotations undertaken by students.
She has a long background in animal husbandry and animal health management dating back to her student years in the Pasadena school district where she participated in the district’s agriculture program. After high school, she earned both an Associate of Applied Sciences in animal health technology and a Bachelor of Science in animal health management from Sul Ross State University in Alpine. Brod is currently working on her Master of Science in biology at Sam Houston State University as well.
Her interest in veterinary medicine was born during her high school years when she took a sick lamb, her agriculture animal project, to a Deer Park area veterinarian.
“The attending vet that was on duty took it to a normal cat or dog exam room and started an IV (intravenous) catheter and I was very intrigued,” said Brod of the experience.
Although the lamb succumbed to its illness, the entire experience was pivotal for Brod.
She later served her veterinary technician internship with that same veterinary practice and after earning her certification was employed by the practice. Brod worked as a veterinary technician for nine years before joining LSC-Tomball.
As a registered veterinary technician herself, Brod said she believes she brings a realistic look into the profession for the students at LSC-Tomball.
Brod acknowledges that her selection sets a precedent in Texas, but she is firm in her belief that veterinary technicians such like her are fully capable of leading programs such as this.
Although there are some major tasks in front of her in the months to come, Brod is excited about meeting the challenges of leading a program that has established itself as successful and is known for producing quality veterinary technicians.
Among the challenges ahead are the completion of the college’s new $6.5 million veterinary health facility and preparing for the upcoming American Veterinary Medicine Association accreditation inspection and visit in 2011. These will go along with the usual leadership tasks of budgets, personnel and student issues and continuing to teach.
Both Brod and Younger said they expect a smooth transition in the leadership of the program.
“Dr. Younger had been talking about stepping aside as a first step toward retirement,” said Brod. “He’ll still be here as a teacher and he doesn’t leave before the new building is finished. I know he wants to see that through. This will be an easy transition time. If I have questions I can ask him.”
Younger said he began thinking about retirement a year or so ago, but decided to postpone it until the new facility is complete. However, he wanted to begin the process of transitioning from director of the program to retirement by stepping aside and simply teaching for a period.
“A lot of my time was administrative and I kind of envied my teachers who could just teach and go home,” he said.
Younger expects little to change within the program as Brod assumes leadership.
“Joyce is going to continue to teach and I’m going to continue to teach,” he said. “The only thing that will change is that she will take on the managerial tasks.
Younger is proud of the LSC-Tomball veterinary technician program and the quality of the new veterinary technicians that the program has produced since its inception and he is confident the program will continue its success under Brod’s leadership.
With more than 62,000 students in credit classes in spring 2010, and a total enrollment of nearly 85,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area, and the second largest and the fastest-growing community college system in Texas. LSCS consists of five colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, and LSC-Tomball, six centers, LSC-University Park, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.