Teresa Sonsthagen and Stacey Ostby have been named co-directors of NDSU’s Veterinary Technology Program. Both are licensed veterinary technologists in the program. This is the first co-director team since the program’s inception in 1976.
Ostby and Sonsthagen say this move is the first step in focusing the veterinary technology program on the future. With the division of duties, they feel they will provide an excellent experience for students in the program and accomplish more as co-directors than they could as individuals.
They also say they intend to continue the program’s tradition of providing the students with hands-on experience in working with large and small animals while adding technology and expanding and updating the curriculum to prepare program graduates for a broad spectrum of career opportunities.
NDSU’s Veterinary Technology Program is an American Veterinary Medical Association fully accredited Bachelor of Science degree program. NDSU is one of only 21 universities offering a degree of this caliber in the veterinary medicine field. The program, which has about 200 students, is part of NDSU’s animal sciences department.
Sonsthagen was in the program’s first graduating class and has taught in the program for more than 30 years. She has written two textbooks and contributed to several textbook chapters, all on the subject of veterinary technology. She also is secretary and treasurer of the Association of Veterinary Technician Educators and a past president of that organization and the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, and has served two terms as chair of the Veterinary National Examination Committee.
Ostby is a 2002 graduate of NDSU’s Veterinary Technology Program. She worked as a veterinary technologist in a small-animal practice in Grand Forks, N.D., for seven years before starting her career as a lecturer in the Veterinary Technology Program in 2009.
In 2011, Ostby, Sonsthagen and the program’s teaching team received the National Team Teaching Award in Veterinary Technology, which was sponsored by Proctor and Gamble. Sonsthagen also received the Excellence in Teaching Award in 2011, which was sponsored by Elsevier Publishing.
NDSU is recognized as one of the top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.