As an undergraduate at Texas Tech, Clayton Cobb advocated for the very veterinary school he now joins.
Clayton Cobb epitomizes the mission of the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo. As a native of rural West Texas, Cobb now comes home to his beloved alma mater.
In a very real way, he was an early advocate for creating the School of Veterinary Medicine, As an undergraduate student at Texas Tech University, Cobb was a member of the Student Government Association (SGA) and drafted legislation proposing the university take steps to create an accredited veterinary school.
For the last four years, he has served as an associate veterinarian in Hugo, Oklahoma, at a mixed-animal practice serving rural communities in southeast Oklahoma and northeast Texas. Producing practice-ready veterinarians who serve in rural and regional communities is the mission of the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine.
Now, years after serving on the SGA at Texas Tech, Cobb will have a big hand in helping Texas Tech produce those very veterinary graduates as an assistant professor of general veterinary practice. He begins his duties today (Jan. 4).
"I had always dreamed of returning to academia as a veterinarian, and this opportunity means much more than I could ever describe," Cobb said. "I am honored to be a part of the school and program I have always had endless passion for. The mission of the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine is something I strongly believe in, and my goal is to measure our success by the creation of confident, competent and joyful veterinarians. Although instruction and research are essential in this process, I wish to be a mentor and a source of aid to the student population and graduates. I am thrilled and grateful to be surrounded by supportive and uplifting peers who believe in our mission."
Cobb began his veterinary career in 2016 at the River Valley Veterinary Clinic in Hugo as a full-time and emergency mixed-animal veterinarian, offering surgical, medical, preventative and field service care. He will bring that experience from treating all varieties of animals, large and small, to the classroom, passing on the knowledge Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine graduates will need to succeed in rural and mixed-animal practices.
"Dr. Cobb is an outstanding veterinarian who personifies our mission and core values," said Guy Loneragan, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine. "It is so exciting to welcome someone of Dr. Cobb's caliber home to Texas Tech. While at the university, he served in many leadership roles making sure students' voices were heard. Since graduation, he has been involved in organized veterinary medical associations to, once again, make sure the voices of veterinary students and new graduates are heard. He is a tireless advocate for students and a wonderful person to work with."
Cobb earned his bachelor's degree in animal science from Texas Tech in 2010 and later earned his master's degree in animal immunology and nutrition from Texas Tech in 2012. He then was awarded his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Texas A&M University in 2016. He graduated summa cum laude each time.
At Texas Tech, he conducted graduate and undergraduate research under professor Michael Ballou, chairman of the Department Veterinary Sciences and former associate dean for research in the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources. During this time, Cobb developed a desire for innovative teaching and ensuring veterinary graduates have the confidence and knowledge necessary to succeed.
As an undergraduate and graduate student, he served as a research volunteer for the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service in Lubbock in the areas of immunology and nutrition while also maintaining a laboratory at a site in Liberty, Texas.
Cobb is a member of both the Oklahoma and Texas Veterinary Medical Associations and the American Veterinary Medical Association. Since 2012, he has served as a committee member for the Texas Veterinary Medical Association, helping students in a variety of positions.
"Dr. Cobb will have a critical role in teaching our students the clinical and professional skills they need to be day-one ready practitioners," said John Dascanio, senior associate dean for academic and student affairs. "He will be working with a team to train and test students to ensure their competency. Dr. Cobb brings a mixed-animal background to help with all species. I especially enjoy his great enthusiasm to help train the next generation of veterinary students."
Cobb joins a growing and vibrant team of faculty and staff at the School of Veterinary Medicine. Additional team members will continue to be added over the next few months as the school prepares to welcome its inaugural class in fall 2021.
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 was established in 2018. In September 2020, the school was granted a Letter of Reasonable Assurance from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education and has begun the admissions process in preparation for classes to begin in August 2021.
The School of Veterinary Medicine will recruit and select students with a passion to serve rural and regional communities. Its curriculum is focused on the competencies and skills necessary for success in practice types 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.