Neel to Depart NC State After 22 Years

Jennifer Neel, NC State College of Veterinary Medicine’s associate dean of student development and a pathology professor, will leave the CVM at the end of the summer to take a new position in Arizona and be closer to family. Neel’s last day with the CVM will be Aug. 27.

She has served in several important roles and made numerous significant contributions to the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine over the past 22 years, In Arizona, she’ll begin a new adventure as a diagnostic pathologist with Antech Diagnostics in Arizona. Neel’s last day with the CVM will be Aug. 27.

“It has been a real privilege to work with Dr. Jennifer Neel. She is an outstanding teacher and also a hard-working advocate for our students,” says CVM Dean Paul Lunn. “Under her leadership, we have seen many critical innovations in how we support our DVM students. Never seeking the limelight, she is owed our sincere thanks for her many contributions to education in the college.”

Neel came to NC State as a clinical pathology resident in 1999. Over the span of more than two decades, she worked in the classroom as a visiting instructor, assistant professor, associate professor and professor. 

With her strong belief in mentoring and deep understanding that students learn in different ways, she guided and helped train hundreds of future veterinarians. Neel helped develop and taught a clinical pathology course that was both challenging and rewarding for her students.

Under [Neel’s] leadership, we have seen many critical innovations in how we support our DVM students. Never seeking the limelight, she is owed our sincere thanks for her many contributions to education in the college. – CVM Dean Paul Lunn 

Her classroom experience, focus on students and passion for clinical pathology education, laid the foundation for her transformative leadership roles at the CVM. Neel served as the assistant dean of education for several years and as interim associate dean and director of academic affairs in 2016.

In 2017 she assumed her current role as assistant dean of student development and continued to teach as an associate professor in the Department of Population Health and Pathobiology. The new position supported DVM students at every stage, from the admissions process through finding their first job as a veterinarian. 

Neel not only embraced this mission, but transformed the model for student support.

Under her leadership, the CVM strengthened its diversity and multicultural affairs program as well as student counseling and wellness services. She helped expand financial literacy and career service programs to ensure that DVM students are well prepared for the job market and professional life after graduation.

Neel has also developed many innovative education initiatives for the CVM including a virtual microscopy program, a clinical pathology mock board examination in collaboration with four other universities, additional clinical pathology teaching experience for residents and enhanced clinical pathology training for DVM students and house officers. She’s been honored with several CVM faculty awards for her dedication in the classroom.

Last year, Neel received an Outstanding Teacher Award from NC State, one of the university’s top academic honors, recognizing her extraordinary and innovative educational approaches and her ability to inspire DVM students. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Neel played an instrumental role, working closely with Laura Nelson, associate dean and director of academic affairs, to adapt curriculum and course delivery, ensuring DVM students from two classes were well prepared to graduate on time, despite limitations with campus access and in-person learning.

“I am deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from Dr. Neel,” says Nelson. “The care and thoughtfulness that she puts into her work as a clinician, mentor, leader and educator are tremendous. I know that she has made a lasting impact on this college and on hundreds of graduates who have been lucky enough to learn from her.  

“Moreover, her leadership has helped to create a remarkably supportive and responsive learning environment for our students.”

~Mike Charbonneau/NC State Veterinary Medicine