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About Holly Bender

Dr. Holly Bender is a veterinary clinical pathologist who creates software tools and methods to improve higher education, especially in the areas of diagnostic skills and problem solving. She is the Associate Director of the Iowa State University Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, Director of the Preparing Future Faculty program and the Graduate Student Teaching Certificate.  She has received 28 teaching awards and 10 teaching honors including those on the College, University, State and National level.
She is dedicated to the improvement of higher education through scholarly research and software development and brings together experts from a wide range of disciplines including instructional design and evaluation, veterinary medical informatics, human computer interaction, computer science and clinical pathology. She led the design, development and implementation of a cognitive tool named the Diagnostic Pathfinder.  The Pathfinder is in use in 25 veterinary schools in the US, Canada, Australia, South America and Europe. Recently, she has been collaborating to re-engineer the Diagnostic Pathfinder into an expanded problem solving tool called ThinkSpace with faculty who are motivated to engage their students actively in the fields of education, toxicology, pharmacology, parasitology, internal medicine, anatomic pathology, microbiology, physics, English, statistics, journalism and engineering.


Present Associate Director, Iowa State University Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
Present Director, Iowa State University Preparing Future Faculty Program
Present Professor, Iowa State University Department of Veterinary Pathology

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Honors and Awards

  • 2011 ISU SCAVMA Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Clinical Sciences
  • 2009 William O. Reece Award for Outstanding Academic Advising
  • 2010 Marshal for ISU CVM Class of 2010 Graduation
  • Featured Speaker for Senior Banquet, Class of 2010

Contact Information

3025 Morrill
603 Morrill Rd
Ames, IA 50011-2100
Phone: 515-294-3584
Fax: 515-294-1860


Peer-Reviewed Articles (8)

Book Chapters (2)

Conference Proceedings (9)

Technical Reports (1)

Posters (3)