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Holly Bender

Holly Bender
Holly Bender

DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVP (Clinical Pathology)

Associate Director, Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching; Director, Preparing Future Faculty and the Graduate Student Teaching Certificate and Professor of Clinical Pathology
Veterinary Pathology
(515) 294-3584
3024 Morrill Hall
Expertise / Research Area

Dr. Holly Bender is a veterinary clinical pathologist who creates software tools and methods to improve higher education, especially in the areas of diagnostic skills and problem solving. She is the Associate Director of the Iowa State University Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, Director of the Preparing Future Faculty program and the Graduate Student Teaching Certificate.  She has received 28 teaching awards and 10 teaching honors including those on the College, University, State and National level.

She is dedicated to the improvement of higher education through scholarly research and software development and brings together experts from a wide range of disciplines including instructional design and evaluation, veterinary medical informatics, human computer interaction, computer science and clinical pathology. She led the design, development and implementation of a cognitive tool named the Diagnostic Pathfinder.  The Pathfinder is in use in 25 veterinary schools in the US, Canada, Australia, South America and Europe. Recently, she has been collaborating to re-engineer the Diagnostic Pathfinder into an expanded problem solving tool called ThinkSpace with faculty who are motivated to engage their students actively in the fields of education, toxicology, pharmacology, parasitology, internal medicine, anatomic pathology, microbiology, physics, English, statistics, journalism and engineering.  


Gr. St. 585 Preparing Future Faculty Introductory Seminar

Gr. St. 586 Preparing Future Faculty Intermediate Seminar

Gr. St. 587 Preparing Future Faculty Teaching Practicum

Gr. St. 588 Preparing Future Faculty Special Topics

  • Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Pathology
  • 1987 Doctor of Philosophy, Clinical Pathology, Virginia Tech
  • 1987 Clinical Pathology Residency VMRCVM and the University of Georgia
  • 1979 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University
  • 1976 Bachelor of Science, Microbiology, Michigan State University
Selected Publications

Danielson, JA, Preast,VA, Bender, HS, Hassall, L (2014). Is the effectiveness of lecture capture related to teaching approach or content type? Computers & Education 72, 121–131.

Bender HS, Danielson, JA. A Novel Educational Tool for Teaching Diagnostic Reasoning and Laboratory Data Interpretation to Veterinary (and Medical) Students. Clinics in Laboratory Medicine. 2011 Mar; 31(1): 201-215.

Sponseller BA, Strait E, Jergens A, Trujillo J, Harmon K, Koster L, Jenkins-Moore M, Killian M, Swenson S, Bender HS, Waller K, Miles K, Pearce T, Yoon KJ, and Nara P. Influenza A pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus infection in domestic cat. Emerg Infect Dis. 2010 Mar; 16(3):534-7.

Danielson, JA, Mills, EM, Vermeer, PJ, and Bender, HS (2008). The Diagnostic Pathfinder: Ten years of using technology to teach diagnostic problem solving In F. Columbus (Ed.), Educational Technology Research Advances: Nova Science Publishers

Danielson JA, Fales-Williams AJ, Sorden SD, Myers RK, Bender HS, Mills EM. Peer Assessment of a Final-Year Capstone Experience for Formative Evaluation of a Pathology Curriculum. J Vet Med Educ, September 2008; 35: 466 - 474.

Danielson J.A., Mills, E.M, Vermeer, P.J., Preast, V.A., Young, K.M., Christopher, M.M., George, J.W., Wood, D.R. and Bender, H.S. Characteristics of a Cognitive Tool that Helps Students Learn Diagnostic Problem Solving. Educational Technology Research and Development 55, 499-520, 2007.

Preast, V.A., Danielson, J.A., Bender, H.S. and Bousson, M.. Effectiveness of a computer-based tutorial for teaching how to make a blood smear. Vet Clin Pathol. 2007 Sep ;36 (3):245-52.

A Fales-Williams, JA Danielson, R Myers, S Sorden, HS Bender. The Case Correlation Assignment: Connecting Antemortem and Postmortem Data in the Senior Year at Iowa State University. J Vet Med Educ, Spring 2007; 34: 183 - 193.

Bender, H.S., Young, K. M., Danielson, J. A., Mills, E.M., Vermeer, P.J., Development and Implementation of the Diagnostic Pathfinder, A Mind Tool Used to Teach Clinical Pathology. Conference Proceedings of the Association of American Medical Colleges Central Group on Educational Affairs. University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison, Wisconsin, April 8, 2005.

Danielson JA, Bender HS, Mills EM, Vermeer PJ, Preast VA: Helping Learners Gain Diagnostic Problem Solving Skills: Specific Aspects of the Diagnostic Pathfinder Software Tied to Learning Outcomes. Association for Educational Communications and Technology, 2004

HS Bender, KM Young, JW George, MM Christopher, JA Danielson, PJ Vermeer, EM Mills, RD Wood, PD Pion, VA Preast, CB Andreasen. Implementation of the Diagnostic Pathfinder, an Internet-Based Tool to Teach Clinical Pathology in Diverse Educational Settings. Conference Proceedings of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology 346-359, 2003.

Danielson JA, Bender HS, Mills EM, Vermeer PJ, Lockee BB: A Tool for Helping Veterinary Students Learn Diagnostic Problem Solving. Educational Technology Research and Development 52: 63-81, 2003

Bender HS, Lockee BB, Danielson JA, Mills EM, Boon GD, Burton JK, Vermeer PJ, Zimmerman KL, Hilmer KM: Mechanism-based diagnostic reasoning: thoughts on teaching introductory clinical pathology. Vet Clin Pathol 29: 77-83, 2000

Zimmerman KL, Bender HS, Boon GD, Prater MR, Thorn CE, Prater D, Robertson JL, Saunders GK, Sponenberg DP, Inzana KD, Lanz OI, Wright E: A comparison of the cytologic and histologic features of meningiomas in four dogs. Vet Clin Pathol 29: 29-34, 2000

BB Lockee, HS Bender, DI Bounous. Clinical Chemistry Through Distance Education: Resource Sharing for Effective Program Development. Spring 1999 Volume 25 (1) Journal of Veterinary Medical Education.