Holly Bender, DVM, PhD, Diplomate, ACVP

Professor, Veterinary Medicine
Director, Office of Educational Research and Development

About Dr. Bender

Holly Bender joined the University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine (UA CVM) in March 2020 to develop faculty and staff for our new innovative, Team-Based Learning-rich curriculum. She is driven by a passion for designing and implementing effective and engaging research-based practices to develop expertise.

She directs the Office of Educational Research and Development (OER&D), whose mission is to develop faculty and academic staff and support collaborative educational research.   She and her team mentor faculty and academic staff in designing exciting and engaging team-based learning and other active learning practices using the principles of deliberate practice, backward design, and effective technology.

Dr. Bender received her DVM at Michigan State University and her residency and PhD in Clinical Pathology from Virginia Tech. Before joining the UA CVM, she held faculty positions at the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech and Iowa State University (ISU), where she used Team-Based Learning extensively in her clinical pathology courses. For 25 years, Holly led a multidisciplinary research team that designed and developed open-source software for TBL prework using the tenets of deliberate practice to set students up for success.

For ten years before being recruited to the UA CVM, Holly was in charge of faculty development as the associate director of ISU's central campus teaching center and directed ISU's Preparing Future Faculty Program. During that time, she was personally mentored by both Team-Based Learning (TBL) founder Larry Michaelsen and the Team-Based Learning Collaborative's (TBLC) inaugural president, Dean Parmelee. She created an over 250-member TBL faculty learning community with members from all 8 ISU colleges. While at the ISU teaching center, she served on the national leadership team of the Center for Integration of Research Teaching and Learning (CIRTL), a 43-university consortium dedicated to transforming STEM education by preparing PhD students and postdocs for evidence-based teaching practices.


  • Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Pathology (Clinical Pathology)
    • American College of Veterinary Pathology
  • Ph.D. Clinical Pathology
    • Virginia Tech, Blackburg, Virginia, United States
  • D.V.M. Veterinary Medicine
    • Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, United States
  • B.S. Microbiology
    • Michigan State University, E. Lansing, Michigan, United States

Professional Interests

  • Teaching
    • Faculty and academic staff development in research-based practices that develop expertise and support peak performance, such as Team-Based Learning.
  • Research
    • Multidisciplinary educational research development and implementation of effective educational technology
    • Faculty Development
    • Open Educational Resources

Current Memberships

  • Team-Based Learning Collaborative
  • American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology (ASVCP)
  • American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP)
  • American Veterinary Medical Society (AVMA)
  • Phi Zeta Veterinary Honor Society