“The old saying is, ‘If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.’ Having been at the WCVM for 38 years, I can honestly say I love what I do”, she says.
Cartwright, who is a registered veterinary technologist (RVT) and veterinary technician specialist (VTS) in anesthesia/analgesia, has managed the college’s BJ Hughes Centre for Clinical Learning since its opening in 2016.
In June, she received this year’s University of Saskatchewan (USask) Provost’s Support of Teaching and Learning Award for her outstanding work. This annual award, which includes a $1000 prize, honours staff in a role supportive of teaching and learning.
After graduating from the animal health technology program at the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (now known as Saskatchewan Polytechnic) in 1985, Cartwright joined the WCVM. Throughout the years, she has taken on a number of clinical and teaching roles at the college — each incorporating her passion for learning and teaching.
At the BJ Hughes Centre for Clinical Learning, Cartwright’s instruction in clinical courses allows for students to gain hands-on experience in a practical environment. She strives to optimize the learning experience for each student, using challenges and errors as opportunities for teachable moments.
“I believe patience is essential, and I work diligently to empower each student so they can gain the confidence to demonstrate their skills and knowledge,” says Cartwright, emphasizing the importance of providing a safe environment for learning.
She also says that the college’s clinical learning centre plays a big part in providing students with high quality education.
“Managing the BJ Hughes Centre for Clinical Learning allows for me to have many advanced teaching tools at my fingertips. I’m able to tailor the needs of the students with the skills task trainer to facilitate readily available teaching materials,” she says.
As an educator, Cartwright takes pride in helping students pursue their goals and achieve their potential.
“I have always had a passion for learning and to share knowledge with the students just feels natural. I see students in their first few days of learning at the WCVM through to graduating from the four-year program. Seeing their confidence and patient care success is what keeps my pride and enthusiasm in the teaching program.”
What makes her job even more rewarding are all of the relationships that she has built with her students.
“Over the years I have had the opportunity to teach many students, and now I see children of previous students coming through the program,” says Cartwright. “It’s always heartwarming to hear positive feedback of how some small day-to-day interactions many years ago had an impact on their career success.”