Simone Hinz (Faculty)
For Dr. Simone Hinz, there never seems to be a typical day at Mississippi State’s College of Veterinary Medicine. For the veterinarian and veterinary anesthetist, each is unique, offering new challenges and opportunities.
Whether overseeing university students in surgical laboratories, assisting in the clinics or volunteering for such outreach programs such as Vet Camp and VetAspire, the Canadian native’s deep commitment to aspiring veterinarians, in particular, and the veterinary medicine profession, in general, is evident for all to see.
Hinz has a special interest in the general mental health and well-being of those she teaches. “Due to the close interactions of our students in a very high-pressure environment, I get to see the students’ emotions first-hand,” she said.
From that personal perspective, Hinz said she is “passionate about helping students manage a healthy relationship with stress and learning to have a good work-life balance.”
Attendance several years ago at a mental-health conference in Ohio led her to a deeper awareness of a need to assist MSU veterinary majors in this area, she explained.
“One of the things I realized was the lack of easy access that our students had to a licensed staff psychologist,” she said. “The services are provided on the main campus, but it’s so hard sometimes for our students to make it over to the main campus.”
Returning from the conference, she became instrumental in helping the college add a psychologist to the staff. That person, Christy Monaghan, now provides fulltime counseling services to Wise Center students. (With bachelor’s and master’s degrees earned at MSU before completing a doctorate in psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi, Monaghan already was familiar with the Starkville campus environment.)
Even with the many demands of campus duties and responsibilities, Hinz remains committed to an active participation in Starkville community life. “I value our local public schools and believe that parents and community members can contribute a lot to schools by finding out what the needs are and helping where they can,” she said.
Hinz isn’t the only family member working in Mississippi’s only academic training program in veterinary medicine. Her husband, Dr. Andrew Mackin, is a professor and interim head of the CVM’s clinical sciences department. They are the parents of three children: Mary, 20; Ben, 18; and Sean, 15.
Naturally, the family has a strong love for animals, as evidenced by the three dogs and two cats that also reside under their roof.