The Faculty at Bel-Rea consists of 3 Professors (Licensed Veterinarians), 13 Technical Instructors (Certified Veterinary Technicians), and 2 General Education Instructors (Education Professionals).
Nolan Rucker, B.S., D.V.M., M.S. is the Dean of Education at Bel-Rea. Dr. Rucker graduated from the University of Missouri in 1970. He has worked as a Small Animal Surgery instructor at Auburn University, was the Director of Research for the Comparative Neuroscience Center in Denver, has been active in research projects in the field of spinal trauma, and is a past president of the Denver Area Veterinary Society. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Denver and a Clinical Associate at Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Dr. Rucker instructs Anatomy and Physiology, supervises the faculty, and ensures the excellence of the academic content of the program.
Sharon Esposito, D.V.M., is a 1996 graduate of Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science. She first came to Bel-Rea as a student in 1987 then went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Animal Technology at the University of Denver before attending Veterinary School. Before graduation, she completed an externship at Kaytee Avian Research Center. She has been published in Popular Pets Magazine and currently serves on the board for Cavy Care Inc., a local guinea pig rescue. During her 16 years of experience, Dr. Esposito has worked in several small animal hospitals and at present sees her clients at Smoky Hill Veterinary Clinic in Aurora. Dr. Esposito is currently helping students master their clinical skills in their Preclinical Surgical Rotation. She nurtures a big family, including two dogs, three cats, a macaw and a cockatoo, a bearded dragon, russian tortoise, three horses, and a flock of chickens with her husband and two children.
Technical Instructors -
Erik Fausak, A.A.S., B.A., C.V.T., L.V.T., M.A., MSLIS, attended Beloit College in Wisconsin where he developed a strong interest in Primatology. After receiving his BA in Anthropology at Beloit, he went on the Bel-Rea to earn his AAS in late 2000. After graduation, he started at Alameda East Veterinary Hospital in Surgery. Erik then worked full time in Surgery and Critical Care at Fifth Avenue Veterinary Specialists in New York, while attending graduate school at Hunter College and Pratt Institute. During his graduate studies, he worked with the Bronx Zoo to develop his graduate thesis on langur phylogeny and behavior.
Amy Johnson, B.S., C.V.T., R.L.A.T.G., graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1996 with a B.S. in Biology. Amy then returned to school and graduated from Bel-Rea in 2000. Following graduation, she worked in several small animal and emergency practices, as well as in laboratory research. She began teaching in a veterinary technology program in Nebraska in 2002 where she taught for 3 years before joining the Bel-Rea Faculty. In addition to teaching, Amy ensures the facility meets or surpasses all USDA requirements for a veterinary program.
Robyn Keiter, A.A.S., B.S., C.V.T., graduated from Maple Woods Community College in Kansas City, Missouri in 2002. She moved to Denver that same year to work as a CVT at the Denver Dumb Friends League-Buddy Center. In 2004, she joined the Animal Emergency & Specialty Center (AESC) in Parker. After working as a Technician Supervisor at a small animal practivce, she returned to AESC, where she developed and continues to run the intern program. Robyn earned her B.S. in Business Administration in 2008 from the University of Colorado-Denver.
Janet King, A.A.S., B.S., C.V.T., is the supervisor of Pre-Clinical studies at Bel-Rea and actively works to prepare students for their internship quarter. In addition to training students during their surgical rotation time, Janet teaches Microbiology and Anesthesia. Prior to attending Bel-Rea, she earned a degree in Microbiology from the University of Wisconsin. After graduating from Bel-Rea in 1987, Janet supervised the Radiology Department at Alameda East Veterinary Hospital.
Scott Newman, A.A.S., B.S., C.V.T., teaches Radiology, Anesthesia, Pharmacology, Medical Math, and the Medical Math intensives for the students who test out of or waive the Medical Math class. Prior to becoming a technician, Scott received his degree in Animal Science in 1992 from Colorado State University. After graduating from Bel-Rea in 1994, Scott worked as a CVT at a small animal practice in the Denver Metro Area. He has been teaching at Bel-Rea since 1997.
Liz Salan, A.A.S., C.V.T., graduated from Bel-Rea in 2004. Prior to attending Bel-Rea, Liz worked at the Animal Emergency Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan as a Veterinary Assistant. After graduating from Bel-Rea, Liz worked at VCA Alameda East Veterinary Hospital as both the Lead Technician in the Treatment Department and the Intern Coordinator for the veterinary technician student interns. Liz enjoys emergency medicine and is currently pursuing her Bachelor degree.
Tammy Schneider, A.A.S., B.S., C.V.T., R.L.A.T.G., instructs students in Microbiology, Hematology, and Large Animal Medicine. Tammy’s diverse background includes working at feedlots as an artificial insemination technician, and in small animal, exotic, and mixed animal practices as a CVT. Her working knowledge greatly benefits the students during their equine and bovine fieldwork experiences. She graduated from Bel-Rea in 1989, has a B.S. in Animal Science, and is a Registered Laboratory Animal Technician (Research).
Annette Temple, B.S., C.V.T., graduated from Brigham Young University in 1994 with a degree in Animal Science with an emphasis in Veterinary Technology. She worked in small and exotic animal practices as both a technician and an office manager before starting her teaching career with instructing a veterinary assisting class at Mountainland Applied Technology College in Utah in 2000. In 2009, Annette moved to Colorado and worked in a small animal clinic before joining the Bel-Rea faculty in 2010.
Michaela Witcher, A.A.S., A.S., B.S., M.S., C.V.T., graduated from Bel-Rea in March 1997 and from Metropolitan State College of Denver in May 2002 with a Bachelor of Science degree. She earned a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University in 2011. Her interests include emergency and critical care medicine. Michaela worked in a veterinary emergency room for many years and most recently for a needleless injection medical device company before returning to Bel-Rea as an instructor.
General Education Instructors –
Rosemary Lewis, DipPhysio, C.T.P., B.A., P.G.DipL.I.S., graduated with a Diploma in Physiotherapy from the University of Cape Town, South Africa in 1971, followed by a Certificate in Teaching Physiotherapy in 1976. She then received her B.A. from the University of South Africa in 1991, followed by Postgraduate Diploma in Library and Information Science from University of Cape Town, in 1992. Rosemary joined the staff at Bel-Rea in November 2000, is currently working towards her Master degree in Classical Studies, and teaches Technical Writing and Humanities in addition to her duties as Bel-Rea’s Librarian.
Cynthia Medina, B.A., M.A., attended Westmont College in Santa Barbara, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Psychology in 1994. In 1996 she completed her M.A. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Denver’s School of Education and started at Bel-Rea shortly thereafter. In addition to guest lectures in Perspectives, Veterinary Science, Office Management, and Pre-Clinical, Cynthia’s responsibilities at Bel-Rea include computer instruction, guidance and career counseling, disability services, and mediation. She also supervises Student Council, Bel-Rea’s website and Facebook page, Emergency Management, and the Teaching Assistant/Mentor Programs.