Plenary Speakers

July 4th AM – 10.15-11.15 Keynote 1
Testing your memory: The benefits of retrieval for long-term learning.

Prof David Shanks
Professor of Psychology
Deputy Dean, Faculty of Brain Sciences,
University College London, UK
t +44 20 7679 7572 | e
University College London | London’s Global University

Professor David Shanks is Professor of Psychology and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Brain Sciences at University College London. His research interests include human learning and memory, judgment and decision-making, and computational models of cognitive processes. David will talk about the value of tests and quizzes for enhancing long-term learning, including domains with generalizability to a Vet/Medical context.

July 4th PM – 15.45-16.45 Keynote 2
Capable, Confident, Healthy and Fulfilled Professionals: Empowering the iGeneration.

Professor Stephen May
Senior Vice Principal,
Department of Clinical Sciences and services
Hawkshead campus,
The Royal Veterinary College, London, UK

Professor Stephen May is a Senior Vice- Principal and Director of Lifelong and Independent Veterinary Education (LIVE) at the Royal Veterinary College. Stephen is interested in professional learning and the range of tools needed to validly and reliably assess professional capability. He was instrumental in initiating key skills courses for veterinary and biological science students, which include communication skills, leadership and team-working, scientific, clinical and ethical reasoning, and professionalism. He has pioneered new approaches to teaching, learning and assessment, including the development of objective structured veterinary practical examinations. He has extensive experience of curricular development and design, as well as quality assurance work in the UK, US and European systems. His successful bid for £4.9 million from HEFCE enabled development of the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Lifelong and Independent Veterinary Education (LIVE), the centrepiece of which is a state-of-the-art clinical skills facility, enabling the College to educate outstanding professionals who are capable and committed independent learners.

July 5th AM – 9.00 – 10.00 Keynote 3
The mental health and wellbeing of undergraduate veterinary students; why does this matter?

Penelope Aspinall
Consultant trainer for Charlie Weller Memorial Trust (CWMT)
CWMT 32 High Street, Thatcham, Berkshire, RG19 3JD
T: 01635 869754

Penny has more than 25 years’ experience as a counsellor and trainer, and has worked with Relate, University of Huddersfield and the University of Leeds as Senior Counsellor. While at the University of Leeds, Penny developed and managed an extensive group work and psychoeducational training programme for students, as well as delivering staff training on mental health awareness. She worked at the University of Bradford from 2014 – 18, joining as Head of Counselling and then taking on disability as an additional area of responsibility in 2016.

Penny also worked in industry, offering one-to-one support, staff training and policy development, and in NHS settings as a counsellor in GP surgeries and ‘Take Time’ – a counselling and psychotherapy service for junior doctors in Yorkshire and Humber NHS trusts.

July 5th PM – 15.15-16.15 Keynote 4
Matching science teaching to society’s needs

Prof Justin Dillon
Professor of Science & Environmental Education
Graduate School of Education
University of Exeter, UK
t +44 7785 330536 |

Justin Dillon taught science in London schools for 10 years before joining King’s College London in 1989 as a researcher and teacher educator. He was appointed Head of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Bristol in 2014 and moved to the University of Exeter three years later. Justin’s research interests include learning in and out of classrooms, science teacher education and environmental education. He was president of the European Science Education Research Association from 2007-11 and is currently president of the National Association for Environmental Education. Justin is an Honorary Lecturer and a Senior Associate Teacher at the University of Bristol Veterinary School. His talk will examine some of what we know about effective pedagogy in science and environmental education.