Shelby Stegall and Jacquelyn Pelzer have been promoted to new leadership positions within the Office of Academic Affairs at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.

Stegall has been promoted to a new administrative and professional faculty position as the director of admissions, a role that encompasses her previous duties as DVM admissions coordinator and will increase her leadership responsibilities and visibility within Academic Affairs and the college.

Stegall has been with the veterinary college since August 2013, starting as the first-to-third-year support specialist, later moving into the clinical year support specialist role, then to her previous role as admissions coordinator.  She helps interested students with the application process, answers questions about the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program and leads the Student Ambassador Program, in which she is responsible for scheduling monthly tours and information sessions, as well as admissions-related events. Stegall loves working with students and helping them along their journey toward becoming a veterinarian.  

“Academic Affairs has been my home at this college,” Stegall said. “We are a family and I wouldn’t be successful in my job without them. I’ve worked in several positions over the nine years that I’ve been here and have seen our office evolve in that time.

“I love following students on this journey. I get to work with a lot of students before they are accepted and help them through the application process. Seeing them mature and grow into veterinary students and then on to veterinarians is what I enjoy most.”

Hailing from Gloucester, Virginia, Shelby has a twin sister who lives in Richmond Virginia, and works in Insurance, and an older brother and sister-in-law who live in Atlanta with two sons. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Roanoke College in 2009 and currently lives in Riner, Virginia, with her husband, Jeremy, and their Great Dane/pit bull mix Bella. Shelby loves reading a good book, watching Netflix, working outside, cooking/baking and playing with Bella.

Jacquelyn Pelzer, associate professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences, has been appointed assistant dean of student affairs and admissions, a new role at the college that will provide the vision, strategy, and execution of operations and initiatives in the areas of student support and admissions.  In this role, she will continue to lead the DVM program’s student affairs and admissions teams.

Pelzer joined the college in 2009. In her role as director of admissions and student support, she led the development and implementation of a comprehensive recruitment strategy to support the enrollment and diversity goals of the DVM program and college. Nationally recognized in the areas of for her contributions to student selection, social responsibility, and widening access, her efforts significantly contributed to the college achieving and maintaining its top ranking in the nation in the number of applications for veterinary program admission over the past decade. 

Pelzer has a primary interest in veterinary educational research, including student selection and the learning environment.  She has completed three postgraduate certificates: a postgraduate certificate in veterinary education with the Royal College of Veterinary Medicine; the Essential Skills in Medical Education Assessment program through the International Association of Health Professions Education; and a certificate program at the Harvard Macy Institute focusing on assessment.

“I am very humbled by the promotion, and I am very appreciative for this opportunity,” Pelzer said.  “We have such a great and supportive team in the office and I could not do my job without any of them. We have such dedicated faculty who have committed their entire careers to the students. How great is that? 

“I feel so privileged, as I meet them before they even apply to veterinary school and, once accepted, watching them evolve into veterinarians is truly amazing.” 

Pelzer has published three peer-reviewed veterinary education papers and is the senior editor of “Veterinary Medical Education: A Practical Guide” — the first textbook specifically about veterinary medical education — and is currently working on the second edition along with Dr. Jennie Hodgson, professor of microbiology in the Department of Population Health Sciences. Her work has garnered awards, such as the VMCVM’s Grant Turnwald Innovation Award in 2014 and the Supporter of Student Well-being Award from the Student American Veterinary Medical Association in 2019.

Pelzer earned a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997, a Master of Science in pharmacology in 1993, and a Bachelor of Science in biology from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1992.