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Awards / Honors

Celebrate! CSU Milestone: Patricia Cole, 25 years

March 27, 2013
By Enes Ozekin

CSU is honoring faculty and staff who have reached service milestones during the 2012-2013 fiscal year at the annual Celebrate! CSU Milestones event. This all-University event will take place at 3-5 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, in the Lory Student Center Theatre.

Patricia ColePatricia Cole, a Colorado State University faculty member in Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, is celebrating 25 years of service on one of the leading veterinary medicine teams in the nation.

“I have liked my teaching very much; I have taught Pathology to over 3,000 veterinarians, and I’m very proud of that,” Cole said.

Cole was a first-year veterinary student in Minnesota when she found her first job at a lab.

“One day there was a job in the diagnostic lab,” Cole said. “I needed a job, I needed some money, and I really liked it!”

She says after that experience, there was no looking back. She would eventually work in a small animal practice for two years, and later pursue a degree in Veterinary Pathology at the University of Minnesota.

Blazing a trail

Cole was one of seven female tenure track faculty in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences when she came to CSU.

“Title IX changed everything and prevented gender discrimination, and all of a sudden women became qualified,” she said, laughing.

Cole says the veterinary sciences of 25 years ago and the veterinary sciences of today have many similarities.

“The drugs have changed, but the problems are the same,” Cole said. “Issues clients deal with regarding their animals are still the same, and I really understand that.”

Cole understands the importance of the client – it is one of the main focuses of her career. 

“I am service-driven,” Cole said. “The service that we do to help veterinarians working in the teaching hospital and the whole United States is invaluable. We are all about pathology service.”

Teaching the veterinarians of tomorrow

When she began teaching, projector slides were used instead of the modern RamCT or Blackboard. Cole says students now learn in a completely new way.

Cole’s favorite class to teach is Pathology for Sophomores.

“They know a lot and know enough to ask really good questions, but don’t know so much that they think they know it all,” she said. “They’re perfect, and the questions they ask help me think too. They are really eager students that are motivated to be veterinarians.”

Cole never teaches the same lecture twice and says she is always thinking about how she can be better as a professor.

Creating lifelong connections

Cole prides herself on building a connection with her students.

“Whether people are still students or working as veterinarians, we are all colleagues. We are all working toward the same goal,” She said.

Cole believes collaboration is the key to success in her field, especially at an internationally renowned program like CSU, where diagnostics are incredibly important.

“A person might know an animal is ill but not know why, and our laboratory provides a lot of information about the nature of the illness so decisions can be made about what to do next,” Cole said. “CSU scientists are always thinking about the pathogenesis of disease: Why did a problem start; what’s the molecular basis?”

Cole’s lasting impact on young veterinary students will reverberate for years to come.

To personally congratulate a Milestones honoree or group of honorees, please email your celebratory message to  no later than Tuesday, May 7. Your message might be used during the Celebrate! CSU Milestones event on May 9.

Contact: Brent Waugh
Phone: 491-3669