College of Veterinary Medicine

People in WSU Veterinary Medicine

Kathleen Ruby PhD

Kathy Ruby

Kathleen Ruby PhD
Special Assistant to the Provost
Leadership Development
Department of the Provost
Washington State University
122 Q French Administrations
Pullman, WA 99164
(509) 335-8360


University of Idaho Ph.D. in Counseling/Psychology
Dissertation: “Gender Role Identity: Impact on Depressive Symptomatology in High Achieving Adolescent Females”

University of Idaho, M.Ed In Counseling/Psychology

University of Northern Colorado, B.S.
Areas of Concentration: Journalism: Public Relations/Marketing
Minor: Communication

Research/Professional Interests

Dr. Ruby served on the WSU veterinary faculty for 13 years, where she developed courses designed to educate DVM’s- in- training about the science and art of medical care, given the societal evolution of the Human Animal Bond (HAB). In this capacity, she created the Washington State University Pet Loss Support Hotline, to provide a venue for students to learn from and interact with people across the country who have lost pets due to trauma or euthanasia. She also developed a corresponding course called “Understanding Client Grief and Bereavement”, to provide a theoretical understanding of veterinary clients’ experience of euthanasia and pet loss, to better prepare veterinarians to deal with this aspect of their practices. Dr. Ruby, along with Dr. Phyllis Erdman of the College of education, recently opened this course up to counseling psychology students, to increase interdisciplinary understanding and communication between helping professionals.

She also served as course director for an ethics/issues course entitled Animals, the Veterinarian and Society, in which students explore all aspects of animal use and the vast spectrum of human animal interaction in today’s world.

Dr. Ruby’s work in these arenas led her to a specialization in how to incorporate professional skills training and development in professional student programs. This work is a blend of her interests in human development, the psychology of high achieving individuals, the well-being of health care practitioners and the development of empathy and reflection skills in helping professionals. Along with veterinary colleague, Richard DeBowes M.S., DVM, she developed a leadership training program for the veterinary profession called the Veterinary Leadership Experience (VLE), which was designed to teach psychological flexibility and enhance self-awareness and mindfulness in veterinary professionals. She also founded and is Editor-in- Chief of a peer-reviewed publication called The Exceptional Veterinary Team.

She is currently on special assignment with the WSU Provost’s office to develop a similar professional skills/leadership program for undergraduate and graduate students and faculty across the university.

Publications and papers

  • Importance of the human-animal bond for pre-veterinary, first year and fourth year veterinary students in relation to their career choice. Francois Martin, Kathleen Ruby, Jennifer Farnum. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 2003
  • Factors associated with client, staff and student satisfaction regarding small animal euthanasia procedures at a veterinary teaching hospital. Francois Martin, Kathleen Ruby, T. Deking, A. Taunton. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 2004
  • Veterinary students as elite performers: preliminary insights. D. Zenner, G. Burns, K. Ruby, R. DeBowes, S. Stoll. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 2005
  • Teaching non-technical (professional) competencies in a veterinary school curriculum. G. Burns, K. Ruby, R. DeBowes, S. Seaman, J. Brannan. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 2006
  • The veterinary healthcare team: going from good to great; Kathleen L. Ruby, MS, PhD*, and Richard M. DeBowes, DVM, MS, Dipl ACVS**. Veterinary Clinics of North America:Small Animal Practice
Last Edited: Mar 08, 2012 3:53 PM   

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