Texas Tech University

Veterinary Anatomist With a Passion for Teaching is Latest Texas Tech Faculty Addition

George Watson

June 3, 2020

mariposa station

Joshua Rowe brings extensive background in anatomical education to the School of Veterinary Medicine.

As a child growing up in rural Tennessee, Joshua Rowe learned firsthand just how critical high-quality, available veterinary care is while working with his grandfather raising Limousin cattle.

It was in veterinary school at the University of Tennessee that he gained an interest in the aspects of veterinary medicine beyond the traditional clinical practice, developing a desire to be a part of the foundation of veterinary care through teaching anatomy. His philosophy is to establish the bar of expectations high in order to give students a strong basis for the rest of their veterinary education.

Rowe will now bring that philosophy to help set the academic foundation for the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo, joining the faculty as an associate professor of anatomy. Rowe began his duties on Monday (June 1).

Joshua Rowe

"It's a huge responsibility and a tremendous honor," Rowe said. "That's part of what excites me about coming to Texas Tech's School of Veterinary Medicine as a founding faculty member. Anatomy is simultaneously one of the oldest disciplines in medical education and one of the most exciting as it lends itself to so many diverse methodologies to engage students and can truly capitalize on many of the emerging technologies beginning to be used in education. I am thrilled to join a program that values both innovation and quality."

Rowe holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and a Doctor of Philosophy in Comparative and Experimental Medicine from the University of Tennessee after earning his bachelor's degree in animal science from the University of Tennessee-Martin.

Rowe comes to Texas Tech after spending the past four years as an assistant professor of anatomy at Lincoln Memorial University's College of Veterinary Medicine, leading the college's veterinary anatomy section. Prior to that, he spent three years as a clinical assistant professor of anatomy at Kansas State University. He also taught anatomy as a graduate assistant and teaching fellow at Tennessee after earning his veterinary doctorate.

"Every time a veterinarian gives a vaccine, takes a blood sample or performs an X-ray to look for a broken bone, anatomical knowledge makes it possible," said Guy Loneragan, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine. "Dr. Rowe has a passion – and a sense of innovation – for teaching anatomy to veterinary students. We are thrilled that someone of Dr. Rowe's expertise and values is joining our team. His influence will shape our programs for years to come. The veterinary profession of Texas is going to benefit from what Dr. Rowe brings to our program."

Rowe's experience in attaining his veterinary degree, which wasn't that long ago, also gives him an appreciation of the financial burden veterinary students undertake in pursuing a degree. He was able to us the GI Bill after joining the U.S. Army Reserves to pay for his undergraduate education and, unlike many students today, he was able to access the relative affordability of attending an in-state veterinary program. A key tenet of the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine, just as it is for Texas Tech as a whole, is affordability and access to a world-class education.

"Texas Tech's mission to provide an affordable, high-quality veterinary education to students across the region and, thus, a pipeline of competent, confident veterinarians to meet the needs of their communities, is near and dear to my heart," Rowe said.

Rowe is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the World Association of Veterinary Anatomists (WAVA), the American Association of Veterinary Anatomists (AAVA), the American Association for Anatomy and the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE)

"I have known Dr. Rowe for a few years and can attest to his commitment and focus in serving as a foundational educator for veterinary students," said John Dascanio, senior associate dean for academic and student affairs. "He has embraced new teaching techniques such as the use of 3D printing and clay modeling to augment his anatomy instruction. Dr. Rowe brings enthusiasm and a collaborative spirit to our program. He understands the need to provide an affordable and innovative curriculum. I am excited for him to join our team."

Rowe becomes the 13th faculty member for the School of Veterinary Medicine. He joins Loneragan, Dascanio, associate dean for clinical programs Britt Conklin, professor of surgery David Dutton, assistant professor of general veterinary practice Bethany Schilling, professor of medicine László Hunyadi, professor of surgery Nancy Zimmerman, visiting professor Jerry Black, associate professor of Library and Information Sciences Howard Rodriguez-Mori, assistant professor of curriculum and assessment Marcelo Schmidt, associate professor of microbiology Jason Fritzler and assistant professor for microbiology Alexandra Calle on the faculty for the School of Veterinary Medicine. Additional faculty members will be added over the summer and fall.

About the School of Veterinary Medicine

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 rural and regional communities. Its curriculum is focused on the competencies and skills necessary for success 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 2019, 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.