New Director Takes Reins of PVM Veterinary Technology Program
Originally from Illinois, Dr. Christina (Tina) Tran was settled into life on the West Coast, working as a faculty member at the Portland Community College (PCC) Veterinary Technology Program, when the opportunity to return to the Midwest to serve as director of Purdue’s Veterinary Technology Program caught her attention. The idea became reality when she was appointed to the position effective July 1.
Dr. Tran says she was attracted to the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine because of the outstanding reputation of the Veterinary Technology Program. “Purdue has the number one veterinary technology program in North America, and with the on-campus associates and bachelor’s degree programs as well as the Veterinary Technology Distance Learning Program, it is much larger than the program at PCC,” Dr. Tran commented. But she also appreciates the desire she sensed at Purdue to continue to grow the program. “I love the idea of working with the staff and growing the program beyond where it is today.”
It’s not the first time that the veterinary profession has called Dr. Tran back to her Midwestern roots. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California at Davis, earning a BS degree in Biological Sciences in 1995, but then returned to her home state to enroll in the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, where she obtained her DVM degree in 2000. Dr. Tran entered private small animal practice and worked in both Illinois and California before she and her family moved to Portland, Ore. There, she worked as a relief veterinarian and part-time shelter veterinarian before accepting the faculty position at PCC. During her tenure at PCC, Dr. Tran organized and expanded a three-term internship program, called the Cooperative Education Program, by developing partnerships with practices and laboratories. Dr. Tran also served on the AVMA 20/20 Vision Commission and the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association’s Leadership Council, focusing on the subject of Mentoring and Recent Graduates.
Dr. Tran says she loves interacting with undergraduate students and has a particular interest in advising. She adds, this as an exciting time in the profession. “Like the veterinary medical profession as a whole, veterinary technology is at a crossroads. We have to consider the opportunities out there for our graduates and whether we are doing enough to keep veterinary technicians and technologists in the profession for the long-term.”
This is not Dr. Tran’s first time on the Purdue campus. As a pre-veterinary student, she completed a research project in the lab of Purdue Comparative Oncology Program Director Deborah Knapp. The trek from Portland to Purdue also was a bit of a homecoming for Dr. Tran’s husband, Lenny, who is a graduate of the Krannert School of Management.
Dr. Tran succeeds Dr. Pete Bill (PU DVM ’80), professor of veterinary pharmacology, who resigned after serving as Veterinary Technology Program director since 2002. Dr. Bill was appointed as PVM assistant dean for academic affairs, teaching and learning, effective July 1.