The Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology educates and prepares effective, productive, service-oriented veterinary health care team leaders for a diversity of career opportunities. The Academy educates its students in a warm and supportive learning environment, so that students are empowered to become self-sufficient veterinary nurses capable of making critical nursing decisions and contributes substantially to a productive veterinary team.
• To be the premier school of veterinary technology.
• To remain progressive by embracing cutting edge technologies and methods in veterinary medicine.
• To provide an intimate educational environment to produce veterinary paraprofessionals who are knowledgeable, proficient, and possess highly effective interpersonal skills.
• To promote intellectual curiosity and lifelong learning.
• To produce a complete veterinary technician by integrating academic knowledge with hands on opportunities.
Our Core Values
• Critical Thinking
• Service Orientation to Clients and Patients
• Applied Clinical Proficiency
• Small Class Sizes
• Positive Learning Environment
• Instructors With Diverse Backgrounds and Experiences
Our dedicted faculty and staff keep our programs and students working to the highest standards.
Dr. Rubin is the founder of the CAVT. He began the school in 2007 with 4 students and has since grown the CAVT to over 100 students learning their skills in small lectures and laboratories. In addition to his clinical and teaching duties, Dr. Rubin spends his time tutoring individual students in several subjects.
Dr. Rubin is a native of Brooklyn, New York. He received his undergraduate degree in History and Political Science from Cornell University, College of Arts and Sciences in 1982, and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in Fort Collins, Colorado in 1999. He is also a trained aquatic veterinarian after a stint at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole Massachusetts. Dr. Rubin served as an emergency clinician in Colorado and New York City until founding the CAVT in 2007. Dr. Rubin is the recipient of awards for research in aquatic veterinary medicine, and from the National Mensa Society for scientific essay writing.
Dr. Rubin also volunteers his time as a baseball coach in a local municipal developmental baseball league. Dr. Rubin spends much of his time with his wife and two children in exploration of the Colorado wilderness and the extensive national park system of the United States.
Born into a military family in Agaña Heights, Guam, it was clear from a very early age that Jen would become a veterinarian; her favorite place to sleep was always curled up with her Grandma’s dog. She was just 13 years old when she landed her first job in the veterinary field as a kennel technician.
After earning her BS in biology in California, Jen moved to Colorado, worked as a surgical technician and earned her veterinary degree from Colorado State University Veterinary School in 2002. Dr. Swiderski’s time as a surgical tech instilled in her a desire to become a surgeon, so she returned to California for an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital in 2003.
Following her internship, Dr. Swiderski returned to Fort Collins, Colorado to be a surgery resident at Colorado State University. She completed a three-year residency in small animal surgery, also receiving an M.S. in Clinical Sciences. Dr. Swiderski achieved board-certification as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2008.
Since earning her board certification, Dr. Swiderski has worked in veterinary referral hospitals in New Mexico, Southern California and Colorado. She joined the MOVES team in the Fall of 2019, where she serves Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas as a mobile Veterinary Surgeon, offering advanced orthopedic and soft tissue surgery services to general practice veterinarians. Some of her current research interests include oncologic surgery and minimally invasive surgery.
By partnering with CAVT, Dr. Swiderski has been able to forge her biggest passions together: veterinary surgery, teaching, and giving back to her community. Throughout her career, she has had the privilege to teach students, interns, residents, and veterinarians, and even volunteer in Mexico and local humane societies and rescues. This partnership gives students the opportunity learn about advanced veterinary surgery, rescues the ability to have necessary surgeries performed, and ultimately animals get the care they need to find their forever home.
Stephanie Winters is excited and honored to be the Program Director at CAVT. She earned her CVT credentials in 2003 from Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology. Since then, practicing and teaching veterinary medicine has been her passion. She spent most of her career providing exceptional and progressive nursing care to small animal emergency and critical care and small animal anesthesia patients. One of her greatest accomplishments was earning the prestigious title of Veterinary Technician Specialist in Emergency and Critical Care, VTS (ECC), in 2010. Earing this title requires years of additional training and experience, as well as, a rigorous application and testing process.
Stephanie is a well-respected authority in the veterinary community. She has written and presented countless continuing education classes on a variety of topics. These classes have been attended by local CVT’s and DVM’s. In 2017, she applied her veterinary expertise and public speaking skills full-time as an instructor at CAVT. Her favorite classes to teach are Anesthesia and Directed Clinical Practice. In fact, she enjoys them so much, that she is continuing to teach them even after accepting the Program Director position in 2019. Stephanie would say, she is privileged to be entrusted with the faculty and students at CAVT and she will work tirelessly to maintain the current standard, as well as, advance the program.
When she isn’t mentoring students, she is chasing after her three sons, caring for her leopard gecko, watching as many movies as she can, listening to podcasts, strength training and writing stand-up comedy sets. Maybe someday she will make it to an open mic night!
Becky Devine was born and raised in southern Arizona. She met her (soulmate) husband, an Army officer, there in 1989. After 21 years of service he retired and they returned to Arizona. In 2017, they settled down on a ranch in the Colorado mountains with their horses and dogs. Their military career gave Becky the opportunity to travel around the world. In 2000, she graduated and achieved the Certificate of Excellence award for graduating 1st in her class at the Omaha College of Health Careers in Nebraska with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Animal Health Technology. Since then she has had the privilege of working in many of the best veterinary specialty hospitals in the United States, working in orthopedic/soft tissue surgery, internal medicine, and emergency critical care. In the process, she has transferred and updated her license to hold her CVT, RVT, and/or LVT. Becky also has experience as a Veterinary Technician instructor since 2010 at Kaplan College, Pima Medical Institute, and the East Valley Institute of Technology in Arizona.
Susan has spent her life working closely with animals. She started riding horses at the age of ten and completed an equine certificate program with honors at age eighteen. Susan relocated to West Virginia and pursued an equine career as a riding instructor and barn manager. After a couple of years showing horses up and down the East Coast, Susan returned to her Colorado home to attend college. She graduated with honors from Bel Rea Institute of Animal Technology and began her lengthy career as a Certified Veterinary Technician. Her first job was at Broadway Animal Medical in Boulder and after seven years she relocated to Wyoming with her husband. After spending a couple of years in the wilds of Wyoming she once again returned to Colorado. The love of horses was still fresh in her heart and she worked at two different breeding facilities, one that focused on Arabian horses and the other bred and worked Paint horses. After a couple of years foaling horses and taking care of a herd of cattle at the Paint horse facility, Susan returned to small animal veterinary medicine. She continued her career in private day practice in Monument and spent several years in corporate veterinary medicine at Banfield Pet Hospital. Wanting to continue working as a Technician and expanding her knowledge base, Susan started working at Colorado Canine Orthopedics as a surgical scrub nurse.
After over three years of working as a scrub nurse, Susan took on a position at Southern Colorado Internal Medicine as an overnight ICU nurse. With the assistance of Dr. Morgan, Susan developed and implemented anesthesia protocols for animals undergoing MRIs and CT scans. After over seven years of sleepless nights working as an ICU nurse, Susan decided to focus her time and talents on her own dog breeding business. She had started breeding, showing, trialing and hunting German Shorthaired Pointers in 2000 and continues to run her own kennel. One of Susan’s favorite parts of working as a Certified Veterinary Technician was teaching new graduates the nuances of the veterinary field. She took this love of teaching to begin a new aspect of her career and spent three years teaching the Veterinary Assisting and Veterinary Technician students at PIMA. She has been teaching students here at Colorado Academy since July of 2017.
Amber has been in the veterinary field since 2001. Having left a frustrating career as a fashion retail manager, she decided to pursue a career that she loved and that would be rewarding. She graduated from Northwest Mississippi Community College in 2004 as a Certified Veterinary Technician and worked in Memphis, TN as a LVMT until her move to Colorado Springs in April 2012. She has worked primarily in small animal general practice and emergency medicine. She has a special interest in behavior and worked for 2 ½ years with a board certified veterinary behaviorist.
Her love for animals doesn’t stop when she leaves the office, though. She is also very active in animal rescue and is a volunteer with the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team. Her large family includes 2 dogs, 3 cats, 3 goats, 2 guinea pigs, and 3 rats. She enjoys skiing, hiking, camping, running, and biking but also reading and watching movies.
Chelsea began working in veterinary medicine in 2009. She completed her Associate of Applied Science at the PIMA Medical Institute in November of 2010, then passed the Veterinary Technician National Exam, becoming a CVT in May of 2011. Shortly after passing her exam she moved from Colorado Springs to Fort Collins, CO. Shortly thereafter, Chelsea accepted a position at a large General Practice and continued to learn and grow as a technician there for 3 years, becoming one of the lead technicians and managing hospital inventory in her time there.
In the spring of 2014, Chelsea made the decision to switch from general practice to emergency and critical care medicine. She accepted a position at Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital in the Critical Care Unit. While there, Chelsea participated in an advanced training system which helped her to quickly progress in her technical skills, becoming one of the lead technicians of the swing shift whose duties included overseeing other staff members and the 4th year Veterinary Students within the CCU. She enjoyed the fast pace of the Critical Care Unit and the endless teaching opportunities provided by working directly with Veterinary Students.
In the Summer of 2016, Chelsea moved from Fort Collins to Denver, CO where she currently resides. Shortly after getting settled, Chelsea accepted a position as a Surgery Technician at Animal Emergency & Specialty Center. Here she had the opportunity to still enjoy the excitement of fast pace emergency medicine and grow and adapt within a new specialty department. In 2018, Chelsea joined the faculty at Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology where she is teaching Career Development, VTNE Preparation, Intermediate Nursing, and is a technician in the Directed Clinical Practice Laboratory.
Chelsea lives in Denver, Colorado with her two young cats Howie and Thatcher, who are constantly keeping her on her toes. In her free time, she enjoys crafting, watching documentaries, and learning to cook vegan meals.
Kelly grew up in Colorado and has always had an interest in Veterinary Medicine. She decided to go into Veterinary Technology with the intent to work at a Hospital in the Zoo setting. During her Internship at a small animal and exotic practice she fell in love with day practice and decided this was the right career path for her. Kelly received her Associate of Applied Science Degree in Veterinary Technology from Front Range Community College in Fort Collins graduating with honors in 2008. While in practice Kelly enjoyed being part of everything veterinary medicine but was especially fond of surgery and dentistry. Kelly spends her time off with her husband, two young boys and three dogs.
Dr. Goble graduated summa cum laude from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology. She then graduated cum laude from Colorado State University with a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. Since graduation from veterinary school, Dr. Goble has worked in small animal general practices in Colorado and Arizona. Dr. Goble joined the faculty at Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology in March of 2019.
Breanna Light – BS, CVT Instructor
Breanna is originally from New Hampshire but moved to Virginia at the age of 4 and grew up about 30 miles outside of Washington, D.C. From a young age, Breanna wanted to be a veterinarian but soon realized she was meant to be a veterinary technician. She began her journey when she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology with an interest in veterinary medicine from Radford University in Radford, VA in 2008. She worked in small animal practice and an equine hospital before beginning veterinary technology school in 2012. She graduated from Northern Virginia Community College with an Associates of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology and passed the board exam in 2014. She continued working at her small animal practice after graduation as a LVT (Licensed Veterinary Technician) and worked her way up to senior technician. In 2017 she moved with her then fiancée to Colorado Springs to begin their new life together and got married in February 2019. In Colorado she transferred her license to hold a CVT and found her way to emergency medicine before changing careers to be an educator. Breanna has worked with many species of animals and in many different environments, all providing her with experience. Breanna brings her love of science, veterinary nursing experience and understanding of the demands of the veterinary world to the classroom. Breanna also obtained a Bachelor’s of Arts. Breanna enjoys gardening and baking at her home that she shares with her husband, a Shiba Inu named Saru and her standard domestic short hair mackerel tabby cat named Jenny.
Helen King graduated with high honors from Front Range Community College in Fort Collins with her degree in Veterinary Technology in 2014. She has since worked in northern and southern Colorado in general practice, shelter medicine, and emergency medicine. She loves many aspects of being a vet tech, but particularly enjoys behavior, nursing care, and working with difficult or misunderstood animals. She has two silly dogs, Doppler, and Fletcher. She also loves to read, garden, swim, and bike. Her lifelong dream is to own a farm where she can have a menagerie of animals. She joined CAVT in the fall of 2020.
Carley Crowder – Executive Assistant
Carley Crowder is thrilled to be a part of the CAVT team. She is an avid reader, an active participant and board member of Springs Ensemble Theatre, and a proud collector of vinyl and vintage furniture. When Carley is not happily working at CAVT, she is working towards a bachelor’s degree in Criminal justice. She loves animals and working in a school environment. She feels lucky to be able to work with the students of CAVT to help them reach their goals and have their dreams come true!
Amanda Trostad – Admissions officer
Amanda Trostad is happy to be a part of the team that helps you reach your next career goals. More than likely you’ll find her laughing with friends and family, and winning a board game. Amanda has been to 48 US states and hopes to cross off the last two and start visiting more international countries. Not one to back down from a challenge, Amanda can be found tackling daring adventures from cliff jumping and sky diving, to leading middle schoolers. During her down time, she enjoys hammocking with a mountain top view to read and nap. Amanda graduated from Longwood University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and promises to use her analytical powers for good.
Adjunct Faculty for Large Animal Nursing Lab
Adjunct Faculty for Directed Clinical Practice Lab
Adjunct Faculty for Basic Nursing Lab
Andreanna Hekkers, CVT
Adjunct Faculty for Anesthesia Lab, Advanced Nursing Lab, and Parasitology Lab
ANNUAL SAFETY REPORT