Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine communications officials Audrey Hambright, left, and Joe Montgomery received the association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges' Communications Excellence Award.

WASHINGTON — The communications program at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, consisting of Director of Communications Joe Montgomery and Public Information Officer Audrey Hambright, have been recognized with the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges’ (AAVMC) 2019 Communications Excellence Award.

Montgomery is a graduate of Abilene High School and Hambright of Chapman High School.

Kansas State’s program was praised by judges for comprehensive program excellence that advanced the college’s strategic plan.

“Communications excellence is fundamental to institutional advancement,” said AAVMC Chief Executive Officer Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe. “We congratulate our colleagues at Kansas State University for earning this distinction, and appreciate the role their work is playing in advancing the overall interests of academic veterinary medicine.”

Following the completion of a new strategic plan at the college, the communications team consolidated two magazines into a new “One-CVM” themed magazine called “Wildcat Veterinarian.” The new magazine was created to advance understanding and support for key initiatives and priorities in the strategic plan, which include building awareness for their outstanding food animal programs, as well as their responsive and collaborative research and service programs.

“We really appreciate the AAVMC’s for its support of this award and its support of the communicators who have some unique challenges in promoting veterinary medical education and the veterinary profession,” Montgomery said. “We had a third member on our team, Shelby Mettlen, who left our college this spring. Shelby played a significant role in designing and contributing content to the inaugural issue of Wildcat Veterinarian. This award is truly the result of a team effort made possible by the outstanding accomplishments and achievements of our college’s faculty, students, staff and alumni, which gave so much great content for our publications and communications.”

Judges also recognized their portfolio of communication strategies and tactics, including media relations with the veterinary and scientific trade press, broad-based and creative use of social media, strong collaboration with Hill’s Pet Nutrition in coordinating the announcement of the largest gift in the history of the college, and providing support for the Kansas State University Diagnostic Laboratory.

The judging team consisted of communication professionals representing member organizations of the Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions (FASHP) in Washington, D.C. Judges scored nominations from five competing schools using an empirical process that assessed criteria such as quality and scope of the program, leadership and innovation in program development, strategic orientation and other factors.

The award includes a $1,000 honorarium, a commemorative, and public recognition.

It will be formally presented during the annual meeting of the Association of Veterinary Advancement Professionals (AVAP) on Thursday, August 1 at 8 a.m. at the Courtyard Washington/Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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