CCCC's Loftis leaving for position with N.C. Veterinary Medical Board
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Jonathan Loftis, who has served as Animal Facilities Manager and Instructor in the Central Carolina ... (more)
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Jonathan Loftis, who has served as Animal Facilities Manager and Instructor, in the Central Carolina ... (more)
SANFORD - Jonathan Loftis, who has served as Animal Facilities Manager and Instructor in the Central Carolina Community College Veterinary Medical Technology program, is leaving to become Deputy Director of the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Board.
"The Board office has been growing increasingly busy over the years due to the dramatic increase in the number of facilities, veterinarians, and veterinary technicians in our state. As such, the workload has become quite taxing on the staff members at the office," said Loftis, who noted that his job would include helping the office staff. "I will also be spending a good deal of time working on revisions to the N.C. Veterinary Practice Act at the direction of the full Board. Another part of my job will be to follow up on disciplinary actions taken against licensees and registrants to ensure compliance with Board requirements."
Loftis, who has been at CCCC for 12 years, said there are many good memories from his time at the college. " Of course, seeing each of the graduating classes walk across the stage stands out in my mind. Watching each of them grow in their knowledge, skill set, and in general has been absolutely fantastic," said Loftis. "Being honored as the Employee of the Year in 2006 was a truly wonderful experience. Being a part of the college's 50th celebrations was also a great time. Most recently, watching the 50th class of VMT students begin the journey to become RVTs has been a blast."
Kim Browning, CCCC VMT Department Chair, has worked with Loftis for 15 years. "When a person is so fortunate to have the privilege to know and work with a 'Jonathan Loftis' in their lifetime, you count your blessings every day," said Browning. "When I think about my daily experiences with Mr. Loftis, I go back many years. I first met Mr. Loftis when I was a student at N.C. State's College of Veterinary Medicine. He was a Registered Veterinary Technician, working in the Large Animal unit of their hospital. As a student, Mr. Loftis was directly responsible for much of my hands-on learning experiences. He was gracious, thoughtful, and caring, not only to his patients, but to us students as well. He held a high standard for every single one of us, for which he never once apologized for, and, in the end, made us better practitioners for it.
"Later in my career as a full-time large animal veterinarian, I had the privilege to work with Jonathan as a colleague, as a guest lecturer and veterinarian in the Large Animal Clinical Practices course. It was in this role that Jonathan sparked my interest in becoming an educator," said Browning. "When an instructor's position became available in the Veterinary Medical Technology Department, it was Jonathan's welcoming and team-player attitude that brought my attention to Central Carolina Community College. Becoming an employee at CCCC was like 'coming home' for me - it feels like family here, and Mr. Loftis is a central member of that family."
Lisa Baker, CCCC Dean of Health Sciences, has great praise for Loftis. "His knowledge, work ethic, and dedication have led to an increase in student retention, work-based learning opportunities, and animal adoptions," said Baker. "I am grateful for his service to the CCCC VMT program, faculty and students.
"I am proud that Jonathan's efforts have resulted in his selection as the Deputy Director of the N.C. Veterinary Medical Board because I know he will use that same knowledge, work ethic and dedication to continue to shape the future of Veterinary Medicine in North Carolina paving the pathway for future VMT graduates," said Baker.
Loftis said he always had animals growing up. When one would get sick, he remembers getting upset that he did not know why and did not know how to help them.
Loftis notes that it helps to have family working in the field because you can get started at a much younger age. "I began working at a veterinary clinic when I was about 10 years old. I mowed the grass, took out the trash, etc. I moved from that to cleaning kennels when I was 12," said Loftis. "By the time I was 20, I had moved up to working rooms with the veterinarian and then on to being the lead assistant for the practice, which involved administrative responsibilities such as payroll and regulatory compliance."
After a few years away from veterinary medicine, Loftis chose to get back into it when he began in the CCCC VMT program in 1999. "I did my externship requirement at N.C. State University in the large animal hospital. In August 2001, I graduated becoming only the third person in my family to have graduated from college. I continued working at N.C. State as I prepared to take my national and state board exams.
"In 2003, I was offered the opportunity to join the VMT program as the Animal Facilities Manager. I accepted that position and began work Aug. 15, 2003, in a staff position. In 2008, my position was reclassified to a faculty position to reflect the teaching responsibilities I had assumed. Over the years I have been on multiple committees, was honored to be named the Veterinary Technician of the Year in 2006 by the North Carolina Association of Veterinary Technicians, and the Employee of the Year in 2008 by my colleagues at the college."
Browning said that Loftis, as an educator, is a talented and engaging instructor who motivates his students to learn. "As a Registered Veterinary Technician, he sets the professional model for students and technicians across the state," said Browning. "As an employee, he has been crucial to the continued success of the Veterinary Medical Technology Department."
Loftis earned his Bachelor's degree in Veterinary Medical Technology from St. Petersburg College and his Master's in Agriculture Education. In 2012, he was appointed by the Speaker of the House to serve on the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Board as the RVT member filling the position previously held by Nancy Robinson, a 30-plus year veteran of the CCCC VMT program's faculty.
Loftis has high praise for the CCCC VMT program. "This program is one of a kind. It was the first in North Carolina and second in the United States. This program has set the bar for what veterinary technology education should be," he said.
"I have had the opportunity to speak with many people involved with VMT programs at other schools in N.C., as well as other states and a couple of countries. After talking with them, I realized just how special this program is. Of course, my opinion is definitely biased but I truly believe we are one of the best programs in the country," said Loftis. "The faculty in this program cares about each and every student that enters the program. We all take it hard when we lose a student due to grades or personal reasons. We become invested in their success and their desire to pursue this field. The passion this faculty has for teaching and for student success can be felt in the classroom through the energy of the students. While we know this curriculum is tough, we want it to be fun for them, too. I don't think anyone could choose a better program than the one at CCCC for their VMT education."
Loftis says he will miss being with the CCCC VMT program.
"The family environment of not only the program, but of the college as a whole, is something I have always thought myself lucky to experience. I will definitely miss being in the classrooms and labs with the students and sharing knowledge with them while also learning from them. I will miss my friends," said Loftis. "I think most of all, I will miss the animals. The highlight of my days are getting to see them, pet them, play with them, and sit with them and just relax for a minute. One of my responsibilities included checking on the animals every day including weekends, holidays, and breaks between semesters. Some people saw that as a chore, but I relished the opportunity to spend time with my babies."
Loftis, too, will be missed.
Megan Kelly, who is now an instructor at the college, said she remembers her days as a student at CCCC and serving as Loftis' assistant. "Everyone was always scared of Jonathan because he can be physically intimidating, but I was able to see the side of him that cuddled cats and picked up the dogs like big babies. He's so unbelievably compassionate about not just the animals, but students, too," she said. "He never gave up on us, even if he was frustrated. He was, and still is, a major source of inspiration to me. He strives to be the best that he can be everyday, and is so determined and passionate about every task he sets out to accomplish.
"He inspired me as a student to be more than average, and he still inspires me now, as a coworker, to be a better person each day. He's the most supportive and dedicated coworker I've ever worked with. Jonathan is the first one to get here and the last to leave, but even in those long hours, he's always willing to go above and beyond for the faculty and students. As a former student, assistant, friend, and coworker, I will miss him from the bottom of my heart."
Browning, too, speaks highly of Loftis. "I could go on and on with accolades, but there simply aren't enough words to describe how pivotal Jonathan Loftis has been to so many students, to the Vet Med program, to Central Carolina Community College, and to the continued advances and success of veterinary medicine," said Browning. "As my colleague and friend, I will miss him enormously. As a champion for veterinary medicine, I count us all, people and animals alike, all the more fortunate for his next career opportunity with the N.C. Veterinary Medical Board."
What advice does Loftis have for someone who may be considering a profession in veterinary medicine?
"Do it. It is a great career path with wonderful opportunities that continue to grow," he said. "However, don't get into it for the money. If you do, you will be sorely disappointed. You must get into this field for the love of what you are doing, the animals you are helping, and the clients you are educating. This is a career of the heart, not of the wallet. If you don't truly love it, you will not succeed in it."
For more information on the CCCC Veterinary Medical Technology program, visit www.cccc.edu/curriculum/majors/veterinarymedical/.
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