AoE Leadership


Stacie Gallenstein, DVM – President

Stacie Gallenstein (DVM) began her career as an educator in the realm of marine biology and outdoor education after earning her BA in Pre-professional Zoology at Ohio Wesleyan University in 1997.  She worked as a researcher, divemaster, boat captain, clean water and environmental activist and educator for eight years before returning to school to earn her veterinary degree.  She attended the St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine In Grenada, West Indies for her first three years of veterinary school and completed her clinical rotations at the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007.  After graduating, she completed a rotating internship in specialty care and emergency medicine at the Regional Institute for Emergencies and Referrals in Chattanooga, TN after which she worked as a general practitioner in Hawaii and at the Nellis Air Force Base Veterinary Treatment Facility, Las Vegas.  After working for two years as a stay-at-home parent, she came to the CVM to teach veterinary anatomy in 2015.

Her passion lies in educating the “whole individual.”  She strives to learn and utilize best pedagogical practices to teach students not only how to be competent medical professionals but also how to acquire the resiliency, self-compassion, and confidence to manage the inherent challenges in the veterinary field.  Her favorite part of teaching is seeing students learn to learn, when they become life-long learners.


Jesse Watson, EdS, MS – Director

Jesse Watson (EdS., MS) is the Academic Initiatives Program Manager at North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM).  In this role, he supports the CVM community in advancing its curriculum and educator development, identifies and facilitates new educational initiatives, and acts as a meeting point for cross-departmental efforts.

Watson was a teacher and teacher trainer in various contexts before earning his MS and EdS degrees in Educational Psychology from NC State University and Purdue University.  He has pursued lines of educational research inquiry into classroom communication, teaching evaluation, technology use in the classroom, and learning motivation.  As a teacher/researcher, he is deeply interested in the intersection of theory and practicality.  He thinks of himself as an “Education Engineer”, who enjoys identifying problems, developing solutions, and then taking those solutions from blueprint to classroom.

Within the CVM, Watson is involved with strategic planning for curriculum review, teaching skills development, and the accreditation process.  His charge includes maintaining awareness within the CVM that “curriculum” refers to the entirety of students’ learning experiences, and to drive for intentional growth in all aspects of our educational process.  Specific to the Academy of Educators, he brings his education and research background to the conversation while also coordinating programming and guiding the Academy’s strategic planning.


Lysa Posner, DVM, DACVAA – Adviser / President Emeritus

Lysa Pam Posner (DVM, DACVAA) is a Professor of Anesthesiology and Assistant Department Head in the Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences.  She received a B.S. in Biochemistry from Purdue University and a DVM from Cornell University.  She practiced veterinary medicine for nine years before completing an anesthesiology residency at Cornell University.  She is a Diplomat in the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia.   Following her anesthesia training she served on the faculty at Cornell University and has been at the North Carolina State University CVM since 2005.

While Dr. Posner is still enthusiastic about practicing as an anesthesiologist, she realized that her passion for educating veterinary students was even greater, and now dedicates more time to teaching.  She is a founding member of the CVM Academy of Educators, and a member of the North Carolina State University Academy of Outstanding Teachers.  She has received numerous teaching/ instruction awards, and serves on teaching mentoring committees for early stage faculty.

Dr. Posner’s educational interests center on the transformation of basic science information into clinical problem solving.  She is uniquely suited to this area as she teaches fundamental classes such as physiology, as well as clinical skills such as anesthesiology.  When students are able to use the fundamentals she taught in physiology, in anesthesia laboratories, or on clinical patients, she feels she has succeeding in an important educational mission.


Kenneth Royal, PhD, MSEd – Director of Educational Scholarship

Kenneth D. Royal (Ph.D., University of Kentucky) is Assistant Professor of Educational Assessment & Outcomes in the College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, at the North Carolina State University. His scholarship is dedicated to the broad study of education research and medical education. Royal is the author of more than 170 peer-reviewed articles, serves as editor-in-chief or associate editor of four academic journals, and reviews for more than 20 medical and education journals. Royal’s work has been featured on National Public Radio (NPR), Psychology Today, The Atlantic, and other nationally syndicated outlets. In 2017, he received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Kentucky’s College of Education.

Royal began his research career specializing in measurement, statistics, assessment and evaluation. However, subsequent employment in the medical certification industry and academia resulted in his research interests evolving to also include general issues in medical education, such as educational policy, teaching and learning, educational psychology and faculty development. His recent educational research has led to innovations in research methodology, assessment techniques and theory. In the field of veterinary medicine, his recent work has included national studies of Americans’ beliefs about animal afterlife, the public’s knowledge of potential pet toxins, and the development of a comprehensive wellness model to improve veterinary student health and learning environments. Currently, he is working on developing new techniques to simplify grading, enhance feedback mechanisms, and improve score validity, among other projects.

Royal is a member of the International Council for Veterinary Assessment’s (ICVA) Academic Veterinary Assessment Working Group, an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, and a Visiting Scholar (2018-2019) at the University of North Carolina School of Pharmacy.


Laura Nelson, DVM, MS, DACVS-SA – Associate Dean and Director of Academic Affairs

Laura Nelson is the Associate Dean and Director of Academic Affairs and an Associate Professor of Small Animal Surgery at North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. In this role, she is pleased to be able to support the CVM community in the advancement of its education mission through educator development, curricular development, and collaboration.

Dr. Nelson completed her BS, DVM, and MS degrees and surgical residency training at The Ohio State University and served as a clinical faculty member there prior to joining the surgery faculty at Michigan State University. While at MSU, she developed and supervised the preclinical surgical skills curriculum and was engaged in training house officers and clinical veterinary students on the Soft Tissue Surgery service.

A self-described ‘education geek’, her interest in veterinary education was spurred by an early love of training veterinary students and house officers and informed by the completion of MSU’s prestigious Lilly Teaching Fellowship and a graduate certificate in Higher Adult and Lifelong Education through the MSU College of Education. While at MSU, she was an active member of the Curriculum Committee and Curricular Reinvention Steering Committee, which oversaw the development of a competency-based, integrated, learner-centered curriculum that is currently in its first year.  She is the recipient of multiple teaching awards, including the Zoetis Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award.

At NC State, Dr. Nelson is active in the development and implementation of competency-based education frameworks in DVM student, intern, and surgical specialty education. She is a member of the ACVS Residency Program Credentialing Committee. Her education-related research interests include faculty retention and career structure, the influence of gender on grading and award receipt, and study skills development.

Dr. Nelson is proud of the passion for education that NC State CVM embodies and is thrilled to support the Academy of Educators.