Dr. Magee named Colorado’s veterinarian of the year

Portrait of Dr. Christianne Magee smiling
Associate Professor Dr. Christianne Magee, D.V.M., Ph.D., the 2022 Colorado Veterinarian of the Year.

Most evenings you’ll find Dr. Christianne Magee, associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, and her daughter out with their 20-year-old horse Tucker, a former Colorado State University polo pony. Except for last Friday evening when she was in Keystone, Colorado being named the 2022 Veterinarian of the Year by The Colorado Veterinary Medical Association at its annual convention on Sept. 30.

“Everyone in my family rode horses growing up, it has always been part of my life,” Magee said. “When I was a kid, I wanted to be a jockey but realized I was probably too tall for that and thought the next best thing would be taking care of the horses.”

Growing up in California’s Central Valley, Magee was fortunate to find a veterinarian mentor through her involvement with 4-H, who introduced her to the profession and instilled in her core values that she now passes on to her students. She attended Tufts University’s combined undergraduate and veterinary school program before coming to CSU to earn a Ph.D.

“Dr. Magee’s grit, ability to empower her students, and her dedication to her colleagues is exceptional,” said Dr. Stephanie Beagan, a 2019 graduate of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program. Beagan led the award nomination for Magee along with several other former and current students and faculty.

Magee teaches and directs several courses in the D.V.M. program and is heavily involved in many aspects of student success at all levels. She is the project lead for the Virtual Veterinary Education Tools team; leads the development of the suite of Virtual Animal Anatomy programs; maintains an active research laboratory studying the role of kisspeptin in the horse and different aspects of neuroendocrinology; and is helping to revamp the D.V.M. curriculum and develop educational content for Spur.

Horse and rider looking into the sunrise
Dr. Magee’s daughter watches the sunrise with Tucker, their family’s 20-year-old horse, on the first day of the 2022-2023 school year, an annual family tradition.

“Dr. Magee is an outstanding mentor and teacher, an excellent research scientist, and a highly respected colleague,” said Biomedical Sciences Department Head Bret Smith. “We are very proud to have her on our team and congratulate her on this well-deserved honor.”

Magee advises hundreds of students at any given time and has a unique ability to recognize when someone might need extra connection and support, even when that means helping them pursue paths outside of the veterinary profession.

“I spend a lot of time helping students come to understand what actually fills their bucket,” Magee said. “I want them to feel good about the decisions they make.”

For Magee, helping others find and pursue their passions is the most rewarding aspect of her work.

“I love seeing where my students go and to watch them develop and explore opportunities. I love working at CSU. Every day here is different—and fun. I have an amazing team and have had great mentorship and people in my life who have helped open doors for me.”