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Carrington College Blog

Faculty Q&A with Veterinary Technology Instructor Diane Huffman

March 28, 2023

The very first day Diane Huffman ever gave a student lecture at Carrington College she said, “I had butterflies because I had never spoken in front of anyone before.”

Like other moments in her life, Diane’s curiosity and courage to try something new helped her discover her passion for teaching. The path she took to accept the position as a faculty member for the Veterinary Technology program at the Pleasant Hill campus was the beginning of a very successful career.

Although she has always loved animals, as early as grade school Diane thought she wanted to become a lawyer. By following her love of animals, however, she eventually discovered that she could combine it with teaching. She loved the interaction with students; watching them grow as the course progressed and eventually staying in touch with them after they had graduated and hearing their stories of successfully finding their way in the real world.

She had found her passion: as an excellent instructor who genuinely cares for helping students. Here is Diane in her own words.


Tell us about yourself.

I was born in San Francisco and grew up in Vallejo. I live in Martinez now. I’m married with two children, a daughter, Jadyn, who is almost 13 and a 2-year-old son, Jacob.


How did you get started in the veterinary field?

While I was a senior in high school in 1998, I started working at a small animal hospital to make money. I liked it and worked my way up from cleaning staff to veterinary assistant.  I decided I really enjoyed the work and made the decision to go to college to become an RVT (Registered Veterinary Technician).  In 2002 at my first clinical rotation for college, I ended up at an animal shelter. I loved being in the shelter so much!  At the end of my rotation time, I asked to stay as a volunteer and they offered me a job.  Once I finished college and passed my licensing exam, they hired me as a full time RVT.


How did you discover teaching as a career path?

I really stumbled into teaching as a profession and realized it was my niche. When I worked at the animal shelter, I always enjoyed teaching the new hires and the students who came through.

I also met many veterinarians there, including one who left to become the Program Director of the Veterinary Technology program at Carrington College. In 2006, Carrington was looking for an evening instructor. I was offered and took the job while still working my day job at the shelter.  In 2010 I had a baby and gave up the evening teaching job.

But in 2016, I left the shelter and subsequently accepted a full-time job as an instructor at Carrington.  I always loved science, math, and animals, so this was a natural fit for me.  I also love to learn the current trends and changes in veterinary medicine and sharing my knowledge, so it made becoming an instructor very exciting.


Looking back, what was it about teaching that has engaged you?

As a teacher at Carrington College, I’ve always enjoyed it when students are putting in the commitment. The program can be stressful, so I try to keep it as fun as I can. I think of my students as an extended family and build relationships with them.  When they can joke around as well as be serious, we are building mutual respect. I believe they are more willing to learn when they’re being respected back. Makes for a more fun environment!


Is there anything you would like to tell a prospective student who is considering applying to the Veterinary Technology program?

The Veterinary Technology program is a tough program.  It is fast-paced, and math and science based.  You have to be willing to commit your time and energy to the program and look at it as an investment in your future.  Becoming an RVT (Registered Veterinary Technician) takes blood, sweat, tears, and a lot of hard work.  But it is so worth it.  There is no better feeling than caring for your patients and clients and knowing that you are making a difference in their lives.  I encourage anyone with a passion for animals and a willingness to learn to check out the program.

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