2020 Hawai'i ACTE Award Winner - Carl Perkins Community Service Award
This award recognizes individuals who have used CTE to make a significant impact on their community and demonstrated leadership in programs and activities that promote student involvement in community service.
Windward Community College
“Yes, I can help.” “I will be there.” “Yes, I’ll work on that.” “Sure, I’ll do that.” These are statements you will hear Kathleen Baxter say on a daily basis.
Kathleen Baxter is a Veterinary Educational Specialist and Animal Science Lecturer for Windward Community College’s (WCC) Veterinary Technology Program, and one of those amazing people that you can always count on. Whether it is attending a weekend outreach event, guest lecturing in an elementary class, forging a collaborative relationship with a shelter or veterinary clinic, or coming in early and staying late to assist with class and lab logistics – Kathleen is there. The impact and contributions she makes to the Veterinary Technology Program and the veterinary care community are numerous.
Kathleen is passionate about helping animals in need and teaching future veterinary technicians how to provide quality care to animals. Giving back to the veterinary community is a huge part of who Kathleen is. She ensures that students see the importance of giving back and has high expectations that her students and graduates join her at various community events. Some examples of community events include: The Street Dog Coalition’s free medical care for homeless pets, the Hawaiian Humane Society’s microchipping and dog walks, the Poi Dogs and Popoki’s Petwalk, the Marine Mammal Stranding Program’s forensic examinations, and so much more. Her exceptional teamwork increases the level of skill proficiency among program students and graduates, subsequently elevating the level of patient care for the shelter animals treated by the program.
Kathleen’s volunteerism has even reached international levels with her recent participation on a Mission Rabies trip to Goa, India. Her work with Mission Rabies in October 2018, contributed to no human deaths attributed to rabies in Goa. This is a decrease from the 15 deaths in 2014, when the program began its efforts.
Kathleen is a founding member, and the treasurer, of the Hawaii Veterinary Technician Association (HVTA) a non-profit organization promoting the profession, supporting the working relationships between all members of the veterinary healthcare team, and representing the interests of veterinary technicians at the state level. She is also the advisor for the Student Chapter of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (SCNAVTA) that addresses the latest trends and innovations in the field of veterinary medicine.
Her rapport with students is undeniable. They describe her as knowledgeable, passionate, and approachable owing to her years of experience in the veterinary field. Kathleen maintains a Zen-like calm while talking her students through complex tasks in a reassuring tone.