|Bethany Solomon Schilling|
That expertise and knowledge will prove invaluable for the School of Veterinary Medicine as Schilling will serve as an assistant professor in general veterinary practice. Schilling began her new duties Feb. 1 and will help teach clinical skills and prepare the students for the unique challenges that come when practicing in rural communities.
“I am so thrilled that Dr. Schilling is helping us shape the School of Veterinary Medicine into something that will benefit so many,” said Guy Loneragan, dean of the school. “She has dived into the work at hand and has made an impact already. Her clinical and instructional experiences are invaluable and speak to what we are creating. Just as importantly, she is fostering the values upon which the school is founded.”
She earned her bachelor’s degree (2005) and doctor of veterinary medicine degree (2010) from Texas A&M University and began working at a multi-site, mixed-animal practice in Central Texas. She later became the clinical instructor of the Primary Care Service of the Texas A&M Small Animal Veterinary Teaching Hospital, where she discovered her love of helping veterinary students integrate knowledge from their time in the classroom with the applied clinical skills needed to deliver high-quality, real-world veterinary care.
Having grown up on a farm, she shares the desire to graduate practice-ready veterinarians who enjoy serving rural and regional communities across Texas. While she loved practicing veterinary medicine and developing relationships with patients and clients, her heart is in teaching and mentoring.
“I am so grateful for this opportunity, for the vision and the leadership shown at Texas Tech University, the donors and Amarillo Community for their support,” Schilling said. “It is so exciting, and a tremendous responsibility, to be one of the founding faculty members of the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine. Teaching and mentoring are my passions, and I cannot wait to use my upbringing, education and practice experience to help equip this next generation of veterinary students with the knowledge and skills to succeed.”
Schilling also has international veterinary experience, having served on mission trips to Haiti and Ethiopia and preceptorships in Mongolia and South Africa. She served as an emergency veterinarian at the Small Animal Emergency Clinic in Amarillo and as an associate veterinarian at the Chisholm Trail Veterinary Clinic in Lockhart and Luling, then joined the Swann Animal Clinic in Amarillo in 2014. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the Texas Veterinary Medical Association and the High Plains Veterinary Medical Association.
“Bethany brings great experience from a mixed-, large- and small-animal private practice background,” said John Dascanio, senior associate dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine. “Her understanding of veterinary practice in Central Texas and the Texas Panhandle, and of Texas agriculture, gives her unique tools to educate future veterinarians to serve rural and regional Texas. We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Bethany’s caliber join our program.”
Schilling joins Loneragan, Dascanio and associate dean for clinical programs Britt Conklin on the faculty for the School of Veterinary Medicine. Three additional faculty members will begin on April 1 with a series of faculty to be added over the summer and fall.
Thanks to the generosity of Amarillo and communities across Texas, and the commitment of legislators from around the state, the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo, established in 2018, is working to enroll its first class in the fall of 2021, pending approval by the AVMA Council on Education.
The School of Veterinary Medicine will recruit and select students with a passion to practice and succeed in small, agricultural and regional communities and utilize a curriculum focused on the competencies and skills necessary to be successful in practices that support these communities. Texas Tech’s innovative and cost-efficient model partners with the wider community of veterinary practices across the state to provide clinical, real-world experiential learning.
In June, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law the biennial state budget, which appropriated $17.35 million for the School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo that will go toward operational needs in order to get the school up and running. The appropriation included language directing Texas Tech to move forward in establishing the school.
Donors and civic leaders have pledged more than $90 million toward infrastructure, construction and scholarships for the School of Veterinary Medicine on the site of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Amarillo.