New grant aims to improve Spanish competency among animal health pros
By: Norman Martin
A graduate of Texas Tech's College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, and a former research assistant professor with the Department of Animal and Food Sciences, has been awarded a $750,000 grant from the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture to specifically improve Spanish competency among animal-health professionals, and improve their ability to effectively communicate with animal caregivers across the diverse communities.
Arlene Garcia-Marquez moved from CASNR earlier this semester to join the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) as an Assistant Professor of Behavior and Welfare. Her new project is titled, “Developing Spanish Communicative Competence among Veterinary and Animal Science Students to Improve U.S. Agriculture.”
Garcia-Marquez explained that the project strategically responds to challenges veterinarians and animal science professionals face to effectively communicate with non-English speaking animal caretakers. Ineffective communication can result in negative effects on animal behavior, welfare and food safety.
Joining Garcia-Marquez on the project are Amy Boren-Alpizar, an associate professor from Texas Tech's Department of Agricultural Education & Communication, as well as Dean Guy Loneragan and Assistant Professor Alexandra Calle from the SVM, and Jorge Zamora, an Associate Professor in Tech's Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures.
“My team and I couldn't be more excited to receive funding for this topic that is so critical for sustainable agriculture,” Garcia-Marquez said. “We have worked really hard in developing a proposal that will now allow us to better prepare our future veterinarians and animal science professionals.”
For the project, Garcia-Marquez also has teamed up with researchers from North Carolina State University, Tarleton State University, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and the University of Zulia in Venezuela in developing and implementing three courses of Spanish for Specific Purposes in Agriculture into the current veterinary medicine and animal science curricula at the SVM and CASNR. They will use innovative teaching methods, such as experiential learning activities, to enhance students' abilities to communicate effectively with the diverse population of animal caregivers.
Prior to joining the CASNR faculty in 2016, Garcia-Marquez served as an assistant professor of animal science at the University of Minnesota, and was an interim director of the Texas Tech Equestrian Center. The Presidio, Texas, native earned her doctorate and master's degrees in animal sciences from Texas Tech. Her bachelor's degree in animal health management is from Sul Ross State University-Alpine.
Contributing Weston Brooks
CONTACT: Michael Orth, chairman, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-5653 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Editor: Norman Martin
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