Bess Pierce

Bess Pierce

Contact Information College of Veterinary Medicine Phone: 423.869.6752
Office Location: College of Veterinary Medicine 329
Email: [email protected]

Dr. Bess Pierce serves as Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions at LMU’s College of Veterinary Medicine (LMU-CVM), stepping into the role August 2019. She joined LMU-CVM in 2016 to develop and deliver the comprehensive small animal medicine course, and also has been involved with teaching in most parts of the small animal curriculum. As dean of students, Dr. Pierce leads a vibrant student services and admissions team dedicated to providing the support, guidance and resources to help students reach their academic, professional and personal goals as developing veterinary professionals. In her role as professor of veterinary medicine, she continues to develop and share her knowledge in the subjects of small animal internal medicine, sports medicine, human animal bond and One Health. She has a passion for four-footed canine heroes and their human partners, and a particular interest in athletic conditioning and injury prevention, along with comparative exercise physiology. Additionally, Dr. (Colonel) Pierce has served for more than 28 years in the US Army Veterinary Corps both in the active duty and reserve components, with worldwide assignments including California, Japan, Germany, the Military Working Dog Center in San Antonio, Texas, and the Middle East. She is currently assigned as the US Army Reserve Deputy Director of Women, Peace, and Security studies at UA Army War College. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her veterinarian husband and dogs, traveling, hiking, kayaking and teaching yoga.



  • BS, Tulane University
  • MZS, Auburn University
  • DVM, Auburn University
  • Animals and Human Health: A Certificate in Animal Assisted Therapy Activities and Learning; University of Denver
  • Diplomate, American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, Canine and Feline Practice
  • Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (SAIM)
  • Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation (Canine)


Honors & Awards

  • AVMA Leo Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year 2015
  • Zoetis Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award 2018
  • LMU CVM Class of 2021 Teacher of the Year Award 2020


Recent Publications & Book Chapters

  •  Corrigan V, Pierce B, Hosig K. Association between dog ownership, physical activity, and health-related quality of life in veterinary students: a cross-sectional study. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, Spring 2018, Vol. 45, No. 1, pp. 51-63
  • Boyle S, Corrigan V, Buechner-Maxwell V, Pierce B. Evaluation of Risk of Zoonotic Pathogen Transmission in a University-Based Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI) Program. Front. Vet. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fvets.2019.00167
  • Henderson A, Pierce, B. Puppy Neural Development and Conditioning. Veterinary Focus|30.3, November 2020, 30(3): 10-16.


Research Interests

  • Human Animal Bond
  • One Health
  • Canine and comparative sports medicine
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