Focus on Faculty:
Dr. Julie Settlage

Dr. Julie Settlage (left) prepares for surgery on an equine patient.

Dr. Julie Settlage (DVM ’00) is a clinical assistant professor of large animal surgery in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences. After earning a bachelor’s degree in biology from the College of William and Mary, she pursued her doctor of veterinary medicine degree from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, Settlage completed an equine surgery residency at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va. She worked at veterinary clinics in New Jersey before returning to her alma mater in her current position in 2009. In both 2009 and 2013, the fourth-year classes elected Settlage as their Teacher of the Year.

Roanoke, Virginia

What are your current responsibilities at the college? If you teach, what do you teach?
I have many different roles here at the college. I work mostly in the hospital as a large animal surgeon. I teach fourth-year DVM students and surgery residents in the clinical setting and first through third-year DVM students in laboratories and lectures. My favorite topic to teach is equine colic. I have a burning interest in student surgical learning, thus, my research interests include studying methods on improving surgical learning. I also serve as the Section Chief of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery and sit on the university’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

When did you come to the college, and what brought you here?
The short answer is that I started my current position here in January 2009. However, I graduated from Virginia-Maryland Vet Med in 2000 and was a clinical instructor here from 2005-2006. I love Blacksburg and this college! In addition, I am from Roanoke. Being close to family is important to me.

What interests you about your field?
Clinically my main interests lie in equine soft tissue surgery – abdominal surgery, reproductive surgery, wound revision, and skin tumors. I really enjoy the unique challenges that horses provide to surgeons.

What is your area of research? Why did you decide to focus on that area?
My research is focused on the science of teaching and learning, specifically how to improve student learning of surgical techniques. When I started teaching veterinary students, I realized that I did not have knowledge of how to be an effective teacher. I enrolled in a Veterinary Education course in 2011 to address this. My study has interested me so much, I am now pursuing my Master’s in Veterinary Education and developing a research program in this area.

What do you hope students gain from their experience with you?
I hope my students realize that all animal species can teach them something – even if it is not the species with which they are expecting to pursue a career. I hope that they gain a curiosity that will help them to be life-long learners.

What are your hobbies or interests outside of the college?
Hanging out with my husband and two little boys. We enjoy hiking, gardening, and other outdoor pursuits. I also enjoy running and cooking (and eating!).

Dr. Julie Settlage (left) is presented with the 2013 Teacher of the Year Award by Dr. David Hodgson (right), head of the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences.