<<    BACK The Faculty at Bel-Rea consists of 3 Professors (Licensed Veterinarians), 14 Technical Instructors (Certified Veterinary Technicians), 2 General Education Instructors (Education Professionals), and 1 Internship Coordinator.  In addition, students will receive presentations on specialty topics from guest lecturers and animal handling mentorship from Paid Animal Care Staff (PACS).

Professors -

Nolan Rucker, B.S., D.V.M., M.S., is the Dean of Education and Program Director at Bel-Rea.  Dr. Rucker instructs Anatomy and Physiology, supervises the faculty, and ensures the excellence of the academic content of the program. 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.  Dr. Rucker practiced for 20 years at Alameda East Veterinary Hospital and taught classes at Bel-Rea prior to becoming Dean of Education in 1996.  He is a past Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Denver, a past Clinical Associate at Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, and one of the founders of Bel-Rea.  Professor since 1971.

Sharyn Esposito, D.V.M., helps students master their clinical skills in their Preclinical Surgical Rotation and is one of Bel-Rea's Lead Instructors.  Dr. Esposito 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.  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.  Professor since 2012.

Patrick Hemming, B.S., D.V.M., instructs students in the theoretical and applied aspects of veterinary reproduction. Dr. Hemming attained his doctoral degree in 1976 from Colorado State University.  He owns and operates Animal Reproductive Technologies, a beef cattle production medicine, nutrition, reproduction, and veterinary consulting service.  Dr. Hemming operates Aristocrat Angus Ranch’s beef cattle reproduction services and has traveled extensively implementing feasibility studies for livestock projects.  Professor since 1996.



Technical Instructors -

Janet King, A.A.S., B.S., C.V.T., is one of Bel-Rea's Lead Instructors and is the supervisor of Pre-Clinical studies, where she actively works to prepare students for their internship quarter.  In addition to training students during their surgical rotations and supervising the clinical competency requirements, 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.  Instructor since 1987.



Scott Newman, A.A.S., B.S., C.V.T., is Bel-Rea's Assistant Lead Instructor and teaches Radiology, Anesthesia, Pharmacology, Medical Math, and the Medical Math Review for the students who 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.  Scott has also published a Veterinary Medical textbook.  Instructor since 1997.




Erik Fausak, A.A.S., B.A., C.V.T., L.V.T., M.A., MSLIS, is Bel-Rea's USDA Liaison and teaches Chemistry, Veterinary Science IV, and Radiology.  Erik attended Beloit College in Wisconsin where he developed a strong interest in Primatology.  After receiving his BA in Anthropology at Beloit, he went on 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.   Instructor since 2010.



Natalie Kirkland, A.A.S., B.S., C.V.T., instructs upper quarter students in their Pre-Clinical rotations and teaches Chemistry.  Natalie earned a degree in Biomedical Science from Texas A&M in 2006 before earning her veterinary technology degree from Bel-Rea in 2009.  Natalie has worked as a veterinary technician for Rocky Mountain Small Animal Hospital, and as a surgery technician for Animal Emergency and Specialty Center, VCA Alameda East, and Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital.  Instructor since 2015.




Amber Latyshov, A.S.E., A.A.S., C.V.T., teaches Medical Math, Veterinary Science I, and instructs in the Pre-Clinical rotations.  Amber graduated from Pickens Technical College in 2002 with an A.S.E. in Automotive Repair.  She then attended Bel-Rea and graduated in 2006 with Highest Honors.  Amber worked for Harrison Memorial Animal Hospital, a non-profit, as Head Technician and Intern Coordinator for five years.  Deciding to focus on surgery, she moved to Hampden Family Pet Hospital to work with an orthopedic surgeon.  Even though she enjoyed the challenge of anesthesia and post-operative care, Amber missed teaching students and switched to education while continuing to work part-time at Hampden Family.  Instructor since 2015.


Robin McGehee, B.A., A.A.S., C.V.T., R.V.T., instructs the Pre-Clinical students in their rotations.  After graduating from Wesleyan University with a degree in English and working as a substitute teacher at Kent-Denver, Robin decided to follow her heart and pursure veterinary medicine.  After graduating from Bel-Rea in 1990, Robin worked as a supervisor at Alameda East Veterinary Hospital while teaching classes at Bel-Rea.  Robin then worked as a Large Animal Emergency Medicine Technician at CSU and as a supervisor for Northern Colorado Veterinary Specialists.  Robin then worked for North Carolina State University's Veterinary Teaching Hospital where she supervised 25 specialty technicians, ran the technician internship program, and taught fourth-year vet students in clinical skills.  Instructor since 2015.


Elizabeth Rodriguez, A.A.S., B.A., C.V.T., L.V.T., teaches Laboratory Animal and Veterinary Science II.  Elizabeth graduated  graduated from LaGuardia Community College and received her AAS in 2000. While attending LaGuardia she was an intern at the Central Park Zoo and North Shore Animal League of America. She was hired on after internship to work at North Shore Animal League of America and worked there for two years before she moved on to work at Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital a general practice. In 2005, she left general practice and joined the staff at Fifth Avenue Veterinary Specialists. There, she spent 5 years working as a technician in emergency and critical care. While working full time, she earned her BA in Anthropology at the College of Staten Island.  Instructor since 2014.


Liz Salan, A.A.S., C.V.T., teaches Veterinary Science III, Large Animal, and Sterile Technique. Liz 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.  Instructor since 2010.



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).  Instructor since 1997.




Sara L. Sharp, A.A.S., C.V.T., V.T.S. (Dentistry), instructs students in their dental rotations at Bel-Rea.  Sara graduated from Columbus Technical Institute and The Ohio State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1982. She worked at VCA Alameda East as the Lead Technician in the Specialty Dental Department for five years. In addition to her dentistry teaching schedule at Bel-Rea, Sara also works as a dental consultant/teacher for PDX Biotech and as a lecturer/teacher with Zoetis. Instructor since 2014.



Kimberly Sykes, A.A.S., C.V.T., leads Bel-Rea's Pre-Clinical Review rotations.  Kim graduated from Bel-Rea Institute in 2002. Kimberly's experience includes 3 years in emergency equine medicine at Littleton Equine Medical Center, supervising an equine practice in California, running a successful transportation business in Washington, and working for 5 years as a small animal Surgery/Anesthesia Technician in Texas.  Instructor since 2014.




Michelle Szydlowski - A.A.S., B.A., C.V.T., teaches Office Management and Avian/Reptile.  Michelle graduated from UNC in 1990 with a BA in English and Theater and a certification in Secondary Education.  She has taught at the Denver Zoo, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and the Colorado History Museum.  Active as a volunteer with animal services for years, Michelle changed careers and went into small animal and exotic practice.  She also spent two years with Wild B.I.R.D. of Denver doing rescue, rehab, and release of Colorado and migratory birds. Michelle celebrated her 20th year of volunteering with the Denver Zoo in January 2015, where she works with Black Rhinoceros and River Hippos.  She has traveled twice to Nepal to do conservation training and work with the Greater One Horned Rhino and Asian Elephants there.  Instructor since 2015.


Angela Taibo, A.A.S., B.S., C.V.T., teaches Medical Terminiology, Hematology, Parasitology, and Clinical Chemistry, supervises the Paid Animal Care Staff (PACS), and is Bel-Rea's OSHA Lead.  Angela graduated from Bel-Rea in 1998 and earned a degree in Mathematics & Biology with an emphasis on Secondary Education at CU Denver in 2000.  During her 16 years at VCA Wingate, she worked her way up from volunteer to CVT, and also worked in human medicine as a Medical Laboratory Assistant and Phlebotomist at St. Anthony’s Central & Littleton Adventist Hospital.  She has published a Veterinary Medical Terminology textbook.  Instructor since 2001.



Annette Temple, B.S., C.V.T., teaches Medical Terminology, Office Management, Sterile Technique, and Radiology.  Annette 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 Bel-Rea's faculty.  Annette is currently pursuing an Associate Degree in Exercise Science.  Instructor since 2010.


General Education Instructors -

Rosemary Lewis, DipPhysio, C.T.P., P.G.DipL.I.S., B.A., B.A. Hons, M.A., teaches Technical Writing and Humanities in addition to being Bel-Rea's Librarian.  Rosemary holds a Diploma in Physiotherapy, a Certificate in Teaching Physiotherapy, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Library and Information Science from the University of Cape Town.  Rosemary has also earned a Bachelor of Arts, a Honours Bachelor of Arts, and a Master of Arts Degrees in Classical Studies from the University of South Africa.  She enjoys reading and spending time with her cat.  Instructor since 2000.



Rebecca Brown, AAS, BA, CVT, PsyM, teaches Perspectives to first quarter students, helping them navigate the transition from high school to college.  In addition, Rebecca serves as Bel-Rea's Student Services Coordinator.  Rebecca holds a BA in Psychology & English from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and an AAS in Veterinary Technology from Bel-Rea.  Rebecca's background includes providing mental health therapy to college-level students, implementing high school peer leadership programs, and 10+ years experience as a group facilitator and trainer in both educational and corporate settings.  Rebecca is thriled to combine her passion for student success with her love for veterinary medicine in her role at Bel-Rea.  Instructor since 2016.


Internship Coordinator -

Debra Kubiak, AAS, BS, CVT, is Bel-Rea's Internship Coordinator.  From 1999-2002, Deb taught Office Management, Medical Terminology, Dental Lab, Parasitology, Large Animal, and Anatomy Lab before changing roles.  As Internship Coordinator, Deb enjoys assisting students throughout their education in finding the site that best suits their career goals and compliments their prior experience.  She continues to support each student during the internship quarter to ensure success.  Deb graduated from Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, PA in 1993 with an AAS in Veterinary Technology.  She spent 6 months interning at the Univeristy of Pennsylvania Small Animal Hospital and Penn Vet's New Bolton Center, and then went on to work as a credentialed technician in small animal practices in Pennsylvania and Colorado.  Deb also has a Bachelors of Biology from Colorado State University.  Faculty member since 1999.


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