Dr. Virginia Buechner-Maxwell

Virginia Buechner-Maxwell

Dr. Virginia Buechner-Maxwell, professor and large animal internal medicine specialist in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, was appointed director of the Center for Animal Human Relationships in June 2016. Prior to her appointment, she served as a member of the center's advisory board since 2012 and earned an advanced certificate in Animal Assisted Therapy Activities and Learning from the University of Denver's Graduate School of Social Work.

Dr. Buechner-Maxwell completed a bachelor's degree in biology and secondary education from Goucher College in 1976, a master’s degree in cell and molecular biology in 1987, and a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in 1987. She earned a second master’s degree in veterinary clinical medicine from the veterinary college in 1991. Dr. Buechner-Maxwell also completed an equine surgery and medicine internship from Chino Valley Equine Hospital in Chino, California, and an equine internal medicine residency from Virginia Tech’s Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Virginia. In 1994, she achieved Diplomate status from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Dr. Buechner-Maxwell's plans for the center include expanding the organization's research activities to better understand and document the benefits of the animal-human relationship while continuing to maintain the already established programs. Because of her background in large animal medicine, she is particularly interested in studying the impact of equine-assisted programs on human health. She also hopes to enhance collaborative efforts at the center. You may contact Dr. Maxwell at bmax@vt.edu.

View Dr. Buechner-Maxwell's faculty biography page.

Alexandra joined the CENTAUR team in August of 2018 as an assistant researcher and science communicator. She has a background in wildlife biology and recently earned her Master of Science in environmental education.

Alex Freeze

Alex joined the CENTAUR team in August of 2018 as CENTAUR's assistant director. She is a researcher, science communicator, and environmental educator. She has a background in natural resources and earned a Masters of Science in Environmental Education. 

Alex works alongside Dr. Maxwell on CENTAUR's research projects, helps to advise and coordinate CENTAUR's associated veterinary and graduate student projects, and helped to co-create the Topics in Animal Human Relationships course for 3rd year veterinary students. She manages the CENTAUR website and creates media to highlight ongoing research, outreach, and projects within the organization and the broader veterinary college. 

You may contact Alex at alexfreeze@vt.edu.