In The Spotlight

From the Dean

Excelling in a Growth Mindset

The stories of success from Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine are simply too numerous to count. They range from individual accomplishments in the classroom and clinic to team successes in veterinary practice and research. In all cases, they depend on assembling highly functioning teams to provide the dedication, focus and tenacity it takes to solve complex problems. Well-built teams cultivate synergy, and synergy breeds success. I am reminded of the popular psychologist Carol Dweck and her characterization of a growth mindset. This quality is displayed repeatedly in highly productive people through innate curiosity and perseverance. Over the past 12 years, I’ve learned that a large part of a dean’s job is to build and cultivate an institutional growth mindset. As Auburn University President Chris Roberts advises, everyone in the university must feel welcomed, valued, respected and engaged. Then, each person must ask themselves, “What am I doing today that will make me the best in the world in my field?” The stories in this issue are examples of world-class performance being achieved by exceptional individuals and teams in Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

Detection Canine Science, Innovation, Technology, and Education (DCSITE) is an example of the power of sustained curiosity and perseverance over 30-plus years in canine detection science at Auburn. Now funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as the largest research contract in Auburn University history, this program establishes our College of Veterinary Medicine as the nation’s academic hub for advancing the science of canine detection, connecting 7 units on the Auburn campus with

14 partner institutions and national labs across the nation. This collaborative network will explore the sensitivity and versatility of dogs to detect harmful substances at concentrations well below the limits of all other detection systems.

Similarly, the Scott-Ritchey Research Center’s sustained focus on curing GM1 gangliosidosis in cats and children continues to advance as a shining example of success in One Health. To date, 11 children have enrolled in a clinical trial at the National Institutes of Health using a treatment developed and perfected in cats by scientists in our college who have worked closely with collaborators at the University of Massachusetts. Their collective efforts to develop a unique viral vector and delivery strategy have resulted in the largest licensing contract for intellectual property in Auburn University history. Their work also represents the culmination of 50-plus years of intensive focus and perseverance.

As you read this issue, pay close attention to the exceptional people referenced throughout. They are the fuel of the engine that continues to make Auburn Veterinary Medicine great, and maintains our college as a pillar of research, innovation and education at Auburn University.

War Eagle!

Dean Johnson's Signature

Dean Calvin Johnson '86

Dean Johnson Dean Johnson

In This Issue