Pegasus Press - Spring/Summer 2017

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Six months available for electives/externships. To enable them to build an area of special interest or expertise, MSU students are given up to 26 weeks during their final year to take elective courses, select private practices externships away from campus and participate in other public and private institutions or businesses. They also may enroll in advanced clinical rotations on campus or take an individual study or research project with a faculty member. Many use this time to begin developing skills in an interest area that was kindled earlier in the curriculum. This frequently occurs in a professional area that the student had not considered when they entered the college.


There are 28 accredited colleges of veterinary medicine in the U.S. All award the doctor of veterinary medicine degree, but there is a range of differences in how each goes about the learning process. The goal of this column is to focus on several distinctive curriculum characteristics at Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and how, in my opinion, these particular features prepare graduates to enter the profession. Tracking. Some colleges require students to select a particular study “track” (e.g., companion animal, equine, farm animal). Those that track do so to varying degrees, and there frequently is a requirement for students to decide on a species focus fairly early in the process. Typically, this decision will focus around individual course work and clinical experience in a particular area, often to the exclusion of others. Having considered the many pros and cons of implementing such a curriculum, our faculty has chosen not to track. Core courses. MSU veterinary faculty members believe there are distinct advantages for students to complete a core of required courses and clinical rotations during their first three years of study that cover all domestic species. Our students do this before selecting species elective experiences in the final year. Because veterinary medicine offers an extraordinarily broad range of career opportunities, we believe this approach opens the students’ minds to considering, at the very least, the wide range of available career possibilities. Two years of clinical education. Hands-on clinical learning experiences long have been hallmarks of North American veterinary medical education. All accredited veterinary colleges must have a curriculum that provides a minimum of one full academic year of clinical instruction. MSU’s is among only a few North American colleges of veterinary medicine where each student experiences two complete years of clinical instruction. In other words, our students enter clinics in May of their second year and are prepared to immediately apply and test what they have learned in structured classes and laboratories of the first two years.

B.S. in Veterinary Medical Technology. In case you are not aware, MSU is one of only three U.S. veterinary medical colleges offering a bachelor of science degree in veterinary medical technology. In completing what essentially are undergraduate animal nurse degrees, our technology students train in clinical rotations alongside students studying for doctor of veterinary medicine degrees. This symbiotic process helps both groups learn how to work together for their mutual benefit—and the benefit of future animal patients. Effective clinical teaching is faculty-intensive, whether in the numerous small-groups or in individual instruction. Often, this instruction takes place 24/7 during the two years of clinics. Following completion of both the Community Veterinary Service rotation and Shelter Medicine elective, most students will have completed more than 70 ovariohysterectomies and neuters and become proficient in tissue handling and surgery. Evaluations from externship mentors and employers consistently indicate our students are “hitting the mark” or better with their assessed performance in most areas. I also am happy to report that evaluators comment regularly on the superior ability of our graduates to quickly integrate into a professional practice environment and become contributing members of a team. For four of the last five years, the average starting salary for MSU veterinary medical graduates has been above the national average— and these figures are not adjusted for geographical locations. Additionally, our CVM graduates that begin internships and residencies have been ranked over a five-year period to be in the top five for success among peers from 33 US and Canadian veterinary colleges. Having served at MSU for more than a decade, I can proudly affirm that our faculty, in both pre-clinical and clinical years, consider their roles to be more than “just a job.” The figures cited above validate clearly the deep commitment of our faculty and staff, and their dedication to producing future generations of very successful veterinarians.

Dr. Kent Hoblet

Dean & Professor | CVM Office of the Dean (662) 325-1131

M I S SI S SI PPI STAT E U N I V E R SI T Y • C O LLEG E O F V E TER I NAR Y M E DI CI N E Pegasus Press is published twice a year by the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine.




Department Head Basic Sciences




Executive Director Mississippi Veterinary Research & Diagnostic Laboratory System

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Research & Graduate Studies


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Academic Affairs

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Admissions & Student Affairs


Direct suggestions, requests,


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Mississippi State University is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veterinary status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Department Head Clinical Sciences

DR. BILL EPPERSON Department Head Pathobiology & Population Medicine

COVER PHOTOS Front: Innovative training attracts international interest in shelter medicine program.

Back: Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Kent Hoblet cuts the ribbon for the new Nestlé Purina Nutrition Center and the Nestlé Purina Student Center at CVM’s Animal Health Center.







ANIMALS IN FOCUS WHERE OUTREACH MEETS EDUCATION As a pioneer and leader in the area of shelter medicine care, Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine continues to expand its missions of nationally recognized teaching, research and service. One part of the service component is “Animals in Focus,” an elementary school-level program in community outreach. Designed to help foster an interest in animal care among young students, it also works to strengthen the human-animal bond by incorporating dogs into classroom settings. Last year, AIF team members joined with teachers at the Palmer Home for Children in Columbus to organize bi-monthly visits in which students learned to correctly interact with and care for animals. In the process, the students received guidance in making healthy personal decisions about eating, exercise and hygiene. Liesel Schneider, a veterinary medical science graduate student, said working with Palmer proved to be a highlight of her year because “the students there are eager to learn and retain the information we are sharing” and “we have seen relationships grow.” Schneider said her favorite class topic was “Where does our food come from?” Educating about the importance of agriculture, in general, and production livestock, in particular, “is vital to ensuring that the future generations better understand the industry,” she emphasized. In December, the CVM team was able to provide more than animals and lesson plans. Thanks to generous community donations, an MSU AIF Day was held in which veterinary medical staff members and students, along with a number of university athletes, joined with Palmer students and teachers to enjoy food, fun activities, music and up-close visits with Jak, the current Bulldog mascot. One Palmer Home senior teacher and coordinator spoke for her colleagues in expressing thanks for the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine and it special involvement with the Columbus facility. “It is always a treat for our kids when they are on campus,” she said.

For more information about the AIF program, go to




MSU SHELTER MEDICINE SPAY-NEUTER EXTERNSHIP PROGRAM Current students and practicing graduates of international veterinary colleges are gaining greatly enhanced surgical experiences from a special training program at Mississippi State. Through the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Shelter Medicine Spay-Neuter Externship, international university students have been active in taking advantage of opportunities to develop specialized, hands-on clinical and surgical skills, said Dr. Jacob M. Shivley. “We produce veterinarians who are confident in their surgical skills and who excel in the fields of their choice,” added the assistant clinical professor who coordinates shelter medicine training. Since 2013, the program has welcomed 26 international participants from as far away as England and Denmark. Four more are scheduled to participate in coming months.

atmosphere by providing on-site care at various Mississippi shelters. Beyond innovative training in specific spay/neuter techniques, participants become well acquainted with all aspects diverse shelter settings. Lena Vindfeldt Rasmussen, another former participant, said the program’s value cannot be overstated, specifically the extensive practical training that was directly applicable and helped optimize her surgical efficiency. The MSU training caseload was more than ten times greater than what is available in her home country, she said, adding that she did “so many surgeries that it would have taken me months as a newly graduated veterinarian in private practice in my own country to achieve the same amount of experience. It was, therefore, absolutely essential to have had the privilege to participate in this externship.”

While preparing individuals for professional careers in their own countries, the program has helped MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine develop an enhanced reputation overseas. An example of this is former participant Lillian Cousto, whose very positive report of her experience in shelter medicine was featured in Veterinary Record, a well-known British journal. “We are very proud of our shelter medicine program,” said Dr. Andrew Mackin. As leader of the CVM’s Department of Clinical Sciences, he has witnessed how it “has grown tremendously over the past few years and is recognized both nationally and internationally as a signature program that serves to highlight the high quality of educational experiences available at MSU.” Veterinary students in their fourth year, as well as practicing professionals, are eligible to apply for the rigorous training experience. Supported by two fully-equipped mobile clinics, the program emphasizes hands-on experiences in case management at both individual and population levels. Specifically, the program seeks to advance clinical knowledge and skill sets in a high-volume



Pictured: Katrine Astrid Aagaard, international extern from Denmark CVM faculty members have noted how international students tend initially to be shocked at the number of unwanted pets found throughout the Southeastern United States. As they progress in the program, however, these same participants come to realize



how MSU’s Shelter Medicine Program uses this situation to train students while reducing the numbers of unwanted litters. According to Daniel Futtrup Andersen, another participant, just two weeks in a mobile veterinary clinic under the guidance of experienced high-volume spay and neuter surgeons enabled him and other students to leave MSU with greatly enhanced surgical skills. “It gave me the physical experience of many operations and handling soft tissue that we wouldn’t have received in our education,” he said. Dr. Kimberly Woodruff is an assistant clinical professor who serves as director and service chief of the shelter medicine program. She expressed pride, first for how the program regularly draws students from around the world to Mississippi State, and second, for how the MSU staff constantly is working make the training even better. “We’re currently exploring additional options for offering surgery experiences for both our students and the visiting externs,” she said. “I think that it will be exciting to see what the future holds.”

Those interested in joining or learning more about the MSU shelter medicine program should contact Dr. Shivley at or Dr. Woodruff at kimberly.




GRADUATION CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 2017! The MSU-CVM Class of 2017 graduated on May 5th, 2017. The graduation ceremony took place at Lee Hall on MSU’s main campus. The event began with an awards and coating ceremony that honored the graduates’ achievements during their time at MSU-CVM. The graduates then received their diplomas and took the Veterinarian’s Oath. The ceremony ended with MSU President Mark Keenum officially awarding the graduates their DVM degrees. A reception for the new doctors and their friends and family followed the ceremony. Congratulations MSU-CVM Class of 2017!



DR. CHINLING WANG Left to right: Dr. Stephen Pruett, Dr. Mark Lawrence, Dr. Chinling Wang, Dr. Henry Fan (from Elanco), MSU-CVM Dean, Dr. Kent Hoblet, Enid McMillan (from Elanco)

Dr. Chinling Wang is a University of Georgia doctoral graduate who joined the College of Veterinary Medicine faculty at Mississippi State University in 1993. Also a veterinary medical graduate of the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology in her home nation of Taiwan, she is a seasoned researcher in the areas of microbiology, immunology and food safety. Recently, Wang was asked by Greenfield, Indiana-based Elanco Animal Health to conduct several scientific studies. The project has developed into CVM’s largest partnership in recent years with a major animal health company with support funding to-date, exceeding $500,000. The rigorous selection process began with Elanco sending a quality assurance expert to MSU for a review of Wang’s CVM facilities and methods. That quickly led to a formal request to help develop a set of standard operating procedures for Elanco research operations. The company was seeking to install what are known as good laboratory practices similar to those required for international human pharmaceutical testing developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris, France. To date, Wang and members of her lab group have completed six studies for Elanco, with a seventh to begin soon. Most involve the effectiveness of vaccines that Elanco is developing for poultry diseases, an area in which MSU has extensive experience thanks to its close association with Mississippi’s huge poultry industry. According to Wang, additional studies are being planned and she predicts the professional relationship with Elanco will be a long and productive one.

Wang’s current work represents a growing trend among institutions of higher learning to enter research partnerships with commercial organizations, much as they have for years with federal agencies. Whether funding comes from government or private enterprise, the resulting experience consistently enables the training of graduate students that will make up succeeding generations of research scientists. Most of MSU’s work with Elanco is proprietary and will not be available publically for some time. Even so, Wang has produced five peer-reviewed research papers for scientific journals during the past year. As noted by Dr. Stephen Pruett, her department head, “Five papers in a year would be an excellent level of productivity if this represented Dr. Wang’s total research effort, but when considered that she also did multiple major projects for Elanco that could not be published, her performance is even more impressive.” Beyond to her Elanco work, Wang has conducted research on biofilms that enable the deadly listeria bacteria to adhere to food products and food preparation machinery. With funding provided by the MSU-U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Initiative, her goal has been to develop ways to prevent biofilm formations on both. Additionally, she has served as a consultant for animalhealth issues for the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine in Taiwan.





Attendees to the MSU-CVM 2016 All College Day enjoyed a picnic along with the annual All College Day Awards Ceremony.



STAFF AWARDS Jimmy Chandler Sherita Daniels Stephanie Mays

DEAN’S PEGASUS AWARD Dr. J. Darrell Phillips



PEGASUS FACULTY AWARDS Dr. Robert Wills | Faculty Award for Service Dr. Jake Shivley | Faculty Award for Teaching Dr. John Thomason | Faculty Award for Research



As good nutrition is vital to a pet’s general well-being, quality nutrition can be critical when managing veterinary patients with medical and surgical issues. With a goal to help improve facilities at the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Animal Health Center, the Nestlé Purina PetCare Co. provided support to establish the Nestlé Purina Student Center Endowment and Nestlé Purina Facility Enhancement Fund. Income generated from the gift will fund continuing maintenance and upkeep of both Mississippi State facilities. The diet kitchen is among the largest and most modern at any of the nation’s 30 accredited veterinary colleges and schools. The university endowment will enable additional enhancements to the food preparation facility, as well as to the student center that now carries the name of its St. Louis, Missouri-based benefactor. Both kitchen and center are housed in CVM’s Animal Health Center. The renovated kitchen enables veterinary students and faculty to more easily access necessary supplies and review available nutritional options for hospital patients. The room stocks dry and canned goods, along with special dietary items produced both by Purina and other commercial pet food companies.

thanks to the well-known manufacturer of pet care products. “We’re proud of the diet kitchen and the improvements in the student center made possible by the establishment of the Nestlé Purina Student Center Endowment,” he said. “It takes a shared, bold vision to achieve big goals, and this gift made possible immediate improvements that are vital to the CVM’s success.” Kight noted that Nestlé Purina’s passion for pets goes beyond nutrition. “Their support of the college’s scholarship program, Safe Haven and Humane Ethics and Animal Welfare programs, enrichment courses, numerous student and faculty efforts and the MSU Police Department’s K-9 Unit demonstrates their commitment to nourish pets and enrich the communities they live in,” he said.

It takes a shared, bold vision to achieve big goals, and this gift made possible immediate improvements that are vital to the CVM’s success.

“We saw a great need to fund a diet kitchen that would improve the accessibility of quality nutrition to patients within the hospital,” explained Dr. Ainsley Bone, Nestlé Purina veterinary communications manager. Bone said animal health centers “highlight the important role of nutrition in managing both healthy and sick pets” and “ultimately results in a more integrated educational program and an improved, comprehensive approach to medical care of pets.” Renovations and upkeep to the student center “also were an important focus because CVM students spend many hours researching, learning and discussing cases,” she added, in stressing how the center “is an important area for collaboration and team building among students.” Dr. Joey Burt, hospital director, said the health center team greatly appreciates Nestlé Purina’s investments. “The new diet kitchen is designed for efficiency and practicality in selection and preparation of food products,” he said. “This allows for more appropriate patient feeding and less wasted food, and for that we are very grateful.” Jimmy Kight, the college’s director of development, also expressed



“I want to be a veterinarian because I love the idea you get to keep working with them every single day, and keep learning about them.� BROOKE SECOR. 16

VET CAMP As children, many people aspire to become veterinarians. While there are many ways for children to get experience working with animals, few opportunities give them a real, hands-on experience at a college of veterinary medicine. This is the goal of MSU-CVM’s Veterinary Camp. Vet Camp, which began in 2011, is the only camp of its kind in Mississippi. The camp gives teenagers a chance to work through a variety of labs modeled after the CVM’s curriculum for first and second years. The camp offers two different sessions each June—a day camp for ages 13-17, which accepts 40 students, and an overnight camp for ages 15-17, which accepts 25 students. According to Dr. Brittany Henderson, MSU-CVM’s community outreach veterinarian who helps organize Vet Camp, getting accepted into Vet Camp is a competitive process, similar to getting into vet school. A large number of students apply each year, hoping to get one of the 65 spots. A total of 150 students applied to the camp in 2016, which was a 35 percent increase in applications from the previous year. In 2017, approximately the same number of students applied, despite a shorter window for submitting applications. Amanda Waddle, a rising CVM second year student who served as this year’s Student Camp director, said it was difficult deciding which students got to fill the limited number of spots.

SEVENTH YEAR OF VETERINARY CAMP GIVES STUDENTS HANDS-ON VETERINARY COLLEGE EXPERIENCE “I love working with animals,” Secor said. “I want to be a veterinarian because I love the idea you get to keep working with them every single day, and keep learning about them.” Secor said the one thing she was not expecting about Vet Camp was how busy the campers were each day. “We haven’t stopped,” Secor said. “I feel like I’m a real vet student.” During the five day camp, campers completed upwards of 20 laboratories taught by CVM professors, which included a suture lab, an exotics lab, and a night in the E.R. “Even I got to do things I don’t have much experience with yet,” said Waddle. “They did bovine, equine, aquaculture—they’re getting a real life glimpse of what it’s like to be a veterinarian.” Two new labs were added to the Vet Camp curriculum this summer— a revamped aquaculture lab, which allowed students to visit the CVM’s catfish hatchery, and a Police K-9 lab, where police dogs did obedience and guard demonstrations for the students. “I wasn’t sure what to expect,” said Waddle. “An officer put on a protective sleeve and a dog was sent to bite him. It sounds scary, but it was surprisingly tame. The dog started and stopped on command. The kids loved seeing how well trained the dogs are.” Vet Camp 2017 was a success.

“It was pretty challenging,” Waddle said. “You want to accept them all, but a lot of people want to do it. I think that it’s good for the future of veterinary medicine, that so many kids are interested.” This year, Vet Camp welcomed students from nine states to the MSU-CVM campus.

“It was rewarding to know these kids wanted to be there and want to learn more about veterinary medicine,” Waddle said. “I think one of the roles of current veterinarians should be to help younger generations, and I think vet camp really does that.”


Brooke Secor, a 16-year-old from Boerne, Texas drove 13 hours with her mother to come to the overnight camp.



MSU - CVM AWARDS Zoetis Teaching Award: Dr. Gretchen Grissett Veterinary Pharmacy Reference Cloud Learning Award: Caroline Andrews

MISSISSIPPI VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION AWARDS MVMA Companion Award: Sarah Schraeder MVMA Economic and Performance Award: Josh Wells MVMA Large Animal Award: Brett Lee MVMA Junior Auxiliary Award: Daniel Armstrong MVMA Senior Auxiliary Award: Erin Johnson

AMERICAN COLLEGE OF VETERINARY SURGEONS AWARDS ACVS Large Animal Award: Summer Walton Graves ACVS Small Animal Award: Shauna Fuhrmann Excellence in Veterinary Pathology Award: Ryan Taylor


DR. MIKE JOHNSON The College of Veterinary Medicine named Dr. Mike Johnson as our 2016 distinguished Alumni Fellow. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and raised in Worthington, a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Johnson earned his master’s degree in veterinary medical science from the MSU-CVM in 1989. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental zoology and biology from Ohio University, an MBA from Tulane University, and a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from The Ohio State University.

The Abbott Animal Health-Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society Award for Proficiency in Emergency and Critical Care: Sarah Schraeder

AMERICAN COLLEGE OF VETERINARY INTERNAL MEDICINE AWARDS ACVIM Clinical Excellence, Small Animal Award: Stephen Millar ACVIM Clinical Excellence, Large Animal Award: Dalton Pate ACVIM Clinical Excellence, Neurology Award: Josh Wells Veterinary Cancer Society Award: Jeimy Rivera-Falcon

CPC Award: Brooke Deaton CPC Attendance Awards: Haley Hill and Courtney Hunter Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association Award: Brittney Villagran

Upon his graduation from MSU-CVM with his master’s degree in 1989, Dr. Johnson spent nearly five years working at our Aquatic Research and Diagnostic Laboratory in Stoneville, Mississippi, where he introduced the concept of herd health management. He played an integral role in establishing the first Herd Health program in the Channel Catfish Industry, which played an integral role in aligning the catfish industry with the poultry and swine industries and increasing the profitability of the industry at the same time. He developed the first natural model for natural infections for one of the most devastating diseases known to the catfish industry, Enteric septicemia (ESC). Dr. Johnson worked with the Delta Council, MAFES, USDA, Extension Service, and many farmers to brainstorm strategies on how to grow the catfish industry into a more profitable industry with a goal of making the catfish industry in Mississippi number one in the country. In 1994, Dr. Johnson left MSU-CVM to become President and Owner of Gulf States Environmental Solutions in Woodlands, Texas, which sought innovative ways to treat flow-back fluids offshore and required collaboration with engineers at oil companies such as Shell and Chevron. Dr. Johnson served in this capacity from 1994 until 1997, at

American Association of Feline Practitioners Award: Whitney Kiehl American College of Veterinary Radiology Award: Stephen Millar American Society of Veterinary Ophthalmologists Award: Julianna Frum American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners Award: Cameron Volpe Fili American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology Award: Erica Unz American Animal Hospital Association Award for Proficiency in Primary Care: Caitlin Underhill Proficiency in Theriogenology Awards: Rachel Montgomery Mayfield and Dalton Pate The Poco and Cilo Gentle Doctor Award: Erin Thomas The Charles and Viola Bardsley Scholarship: Whitney Kiehl Associate Dean’s Award: Julianna Frum Dean’s Pegasus Award: Megan Cummings

which time he assumed the role of President for CETCO Energy Services in Covington, Louisiana, a subsidiary of AMCOL, which would become the world market leader in temporary modular water treatment systems. Dr. Johnson’s experiences since then have led him to hold the positions of Senior Executive Vice President for AMCOL and now Mineral Technology, which acquired AMCOL International in May of 2014. He is known as a strategic leader and skilled recruiter, a confident and resourceful entrepreneur with exceptional technical attributes and a keen sense of business acumen. He currently works as a consultant and resides in Mandeville, Louisiana, with his wife, Liz. Alumni Fellows Weekend at MSU provides an opportunity for each college to honor distinguished alumni. The 2016 Alumni Fellows were invited to an opening reception hosted by the Alumni Association, breakfast and interactions with faculty and students at each college, lunch at the home of President Mark and First Lady Rhonda Keenum, a roundtable with university vice presidents, an Alumni Fellows Spotlight, and special recognition on the field at the football game that weekend.

MEET THE FACULTY JASON SYRCLE, DVM, DIPLOMATE ACVS Associate Clinical Professor Service Chief, Small Animal Surgery Department of Clinical Sciences


ANDREA S. VARELA-STOKES, DVM, PhD Associate Professor Department of Basic Sciences


June 1, 2007. My wife and I moved to Starkville from New York City in 2009 when Juli Gunter, DVM, MS, DACVD she was offered a residency in diagnostic imaging at CVM. WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT RESEARCH FOCUSED ON? As it turned out, a position had just opened up for a small animal surgeon at the same time, so it worked out for both of us. We’re interested in understanding the contributions of various tick-borne Rickettsia species to spotted fever rickettsiosis in the WHAT IS YOUR TEACHING INTEREST? United States. This includes studying how these bacteria circulate among ticks and vertebrate hosts in nature, and how vertebrate My primary teaching interest is the hands-on, clinical teaching hosts respond to them when infected. Although that’s our main of students and house officers, both of surgical techniques and the area of research, we also have other parasitology-related projects, examination and diagnostic skills that are necessary to determine including one on the canine protozoal pathogen, Hepatozoon if surgery is actually needed. I enjoy teaching residents advanced americanum, and a collaborative project on Toxoplasma gondii. surgical techniques in the clinic, as well as teaching students basic surgical techniques in their second year in the spay and neuter WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF WORKING laboratory, and more advanced techniques in the advanced surgery AT A VETERINARY COLLEGE? th laboratory that I offer for 4 year students.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IT IS MOST IMPORTANT FOR VETERINARY STUDENTS TO LEARN? I think it is important for them to realize their learning process is only beginning as they complete veterinary school. Good critical thinking skills and the drive and ability to continue to educate themselves during their careers is what will make them great veterinarians.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WORKING AT MSU-CVM? I enjoy the diversity of responsibilities—from the number of challenging cases we get to manage in clinics, to teaching in labs, mentoring residents and contributing to research.

WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES AND INTERESTS OUTSIDE OF WORK? Probably my main hobby right now is helping my wife entertain our 5-year-old daughter! I enjoy following my favorite college sports teams like the Missouri Tigers, from my alma mater, and the Bulldogs, of course. I am also a lifetime St. Louis Cardinals fan. I also enjoy home improvement projects, woodworking, gardening and cooking. Skiing, reading—especially history and biographies—doing crossword puzzles and enjoying live music and theatre are additional things that I enjoy when I have the time and opportunity.

It’s more of a mixture of things, a sort of venn diagram (almost) where the aspects of research, teaching and service that I enjoy all overlap in an environment that understands the human-animal interface best. It’s being actively involved in the mentorship and growth of students at various levels in the careers—from undergraduates to veterinary and graduate students—and doing this while pursuing the research I am passionate about. It’s being mentored while also mentoring, and working with people who are also passionate about what they do. It’s about seeing graduates become more than they expected and bigger than I could hope to be.

WHAT IS YOUR TEACHING INTEREST? Sharing an appreciation for parasites with undergraduate, veterinary and graduate students that extends beyond memorizing parasite names and life cycles.

WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES AND INTERESTS OUTSIDE OF WORK? I enjoy spending time with my husband and 8-year-old son— doing anything outside, like visiting the refuge or camping with our blue heeler mix. I also enjoy traveling, running, bicycling, reading, hanging out with the rest of our critters at home and attempting to fix broken things, even if I think I’ll be unsuccessful.



there are wonderful career opportunities for poultry veterinarians.


ALEJANDRO BANDA, DVM, MS, PhD DIPLOMATE ACPV, DIPLOMATE ACVM Clinical Professor Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine Poultry Research and Diagnostic Laboratory

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO MSU’S POULTRY RESEARCH AND DIAGNOSTIC LABORATORY? Before being part of our college, I served as an extension associate and director of the Cornell’s Duck Research Laboratory, in Long Island, NY. It was a wonderful experience—I learned a lot about commercial ducks, but I deeply missed working with chicken viruses. In 2007, I applied for the poultry virologist position that Dr. Roy Montgomery left when he retired, and in April 2008, I was hired at our college to oversee the program in diagnostic poultry virology. Since then, I have been very happy working as a team member of the Poultry Research and Diagnostic Lab (PRDL), based in Pearl, MS.

DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL FIELDS OF INTEREST WITHIN POULTRY RESEARCH? Since I was a DVM student in Mexico, I have been very interested on the study of poultry pathology and viruses with clinical significance in commercial birds. I have developed research on the molecular characterization of the viruses that induce infectious bursal disease, infectious bronchitis, viral arthritis, infectious laryngotracheitis, and others. As part of my service activities, I have developed some diagnostic techniques aimed to detect and genotype these viral etiologies. Regarding my applied research activities, I have been able to conduct some trials with chickens to test poultry vaccines and to evaluate vaccination programs in our vivarium area where we can conduct studies with birds under biosafety level 2 conditions. Finally, I am dedicating some of my time to do diagnosis and research on chicken enteric viruses. This is a very interesting area, where there remains much to discover.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS MOST IMPORTANT FOR VETERINARY SCHOOL STUDENTS TO LEARN? This is a very interesting question. I believe there are multiple answers, depending on the personal and professional interests of each student. Most of our students are interested in companion animals, equine, and cattle. In every class there may be only one or two students that consider poultry medicine as an option for professional development. My message to our vet students is, CHICKENS ARE AMAZING! Try to learn more about avian medicine—



I deeply love my job and I enjoy everything I do in our lab. I enjoy the time that I spend reviewing cell cultures, and chicken embryos, doing necropsies, and planning or conducting research. Although my teaching responsibilities are minimal, my interactions with DVM and graduate students have been very positive and rewarding.

WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES AND INTERESTS OUTSIDE OF WORK? I love cooking—my kitchen is my personal laboratory. I enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and my son, who lives in Virginia. I also enjoy reading, watching movies, and although I do not have any experience as a writer, I plan to soon start writing a novel.

NEW FACULTY NATALINI Dr. Claudio Natalini joined the Clinical Sciences faculty in June as an Associate Professor of Veterinary Anesthesiology. He previously worked as a Clinical Anesthesiologist at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Natalini earned his DVM at Brazil’s Universidade Federal Fluminense School of Veterinary Medicine, and completed an MS in veterinary anesthesiology at the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria-RS School of Veterinary Medicine. He received a PhD from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. Natalini is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia.

CALDER Dr. Christine Calder is now on the Clinical Sciences faculty as a clinical instructor in behavior medicine. Calder previously was a behavior resident at MSU-CVM for the past three years, where she has led students in clinical rotations and acted as the faculty advisor for the college’s AVSAB Behavior Medicine Club. Her areas of special interest include teaching and clinics concerning aggression in dogs, inappropriate elimination in cats, behavior in shelter settings, preventive behavior medicine, and animal welfare. Prior to her residency, she practiced in small animal practices in New Jersey and Maine. She also was a clinical instructor in Community Practice at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Calder earned her DVM from MSU-CVM in 1998, after completing a B.S. in animal and dairy science at MSU.







Christina Loftin has been an Animal Health Technician at MSU-CVM for two years. Loftin said the favorite thing about her job is working with shelter medicine’s Animals in Focus program, which educates elementary school students about the proper way to care for animals, and imparts on them the value of animals’ lives. “ It’s been a blessing to watch and participate in this community outreach program,” Loftin said. Outside of work, Loftin spends much of her free time studying, as she is currently pursuing a biological sciences degree. She enjoys spending time with her 6-year-old twins, Charlotte and Logan. Loftin and her husband, Matthew, have been married for twelve years, and have two dogs, one cat and a pot-bellied pig.

Nancy Wilson has been MSU-CVM’s ICU Supervisor since August of 2016. She joined the MSU-CVM family in 2004, when she became a member of the Animal Health Center’s Anesthesia team. Wilson says her primary motivation for doing her job well are patient care and her ICU team members. “ Being part of a large team of such talented professionals who dedicate so much of their time to patient care really motivates me to strive to meet everyday challenges,” Wilson said. In her free time, she enjoys camping, drinking coffee on her front porch and visiting with friends and family. She and her husband, Sam, have three children— Elizabeth, a sophomore at Itawamba Community College, Austin, a member of the Choctaw County High School FFA, and Eli Tucker, a 3-year-old who loves dinosaurs, and “keeps everyone on their toes.”






Amber Osborne is a Senior Sample Reporting Technician in the Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine (PPM) at MSU-CVM. She began working at MSU-CVM as a student worker in 2010, and became a full-time staff member in 2014. What Osborne most enjoys about her job is interacting with everyone in her department, and getting to know her coworkers. “PPM has always had a helpful environment with a helpful nature,” said Osborne. She cites serving clients as her main motivation to do her job well. “When our job is done well in the Diagnostic Lab, the doctor, client and patient all benefit,” she said. In her free time, Osborne enjoys resting, reading and spending time with her family—Logan, her husband, and Walker and Eli, her two sons. Osborne’s family has several animal members as well. They have two dogs named Max and Piper, a cat named Gary and four hermit crabs.

Chris McBride has been a building maintenance technician at MSU-CVM since November of 2002. McBride said he is driven to do his job well by the satisfaction that comes with serving the building, the staff and the faculty. His favorite part of his job currently is “learning more about the building’s Johnson Controls,” which help the college optimize its energy usage and reduce its carbon footprint. In his spare time, McBride enjoys hunting and fishing. He and his wife Ashley have been married for nine years, and have a four year-old son, William.




2017 CVM GRADUATES MATCHED FOR INTERNSHIPS Dr. Mary Crowe, small animal medicine and surgery internship, South Texas Veterinary Specialists Dr. Christopher Lenahan, rotating small animal internship, Veterinary Emergency and Referral Group, New York Dr. Jennifer Merkle, small animal medicine and surgery internship, Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners, Florida Dr. Stephen Millar, small animal medicine internship, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Massachusetts Dr. Kate Schraeder, rotating small animal internship, Regional Veterinary Referral Center, Virginia Dr. Sarah Schraeder, rotating small animal internship, VCA Alameda East Veterinary Hospital, Colorado

INTERNS COMING TO MSU SMALL ANIMAL ROTATING Dr. Lisa Neufang, Auburn University Dr. Gregory Kaiman, University of Pennsylvania Dr. Claire Totari, University of Missouri Dr. Angela Harrington, Texas A&M University Dr. Ashley Coll, Washington State Dr. Conor Moloney, University College Dublin DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING Dr. Christopher Tollefson, Ross University EQUINE ROTATING Dr. Hailey Light, Ross and University of Illinois Dr. James Brady, University of Guelph EQUINE SURGERY Dr. Patrick Foth, Oklahoma State University FOOD ANIMAL/ AMBULATORY Dr. Sara Brunsden, University of Pennsylvania Dr. Erin McCauley, Oklahoma State University OPHTHALMOLOGY Dr. Po Wong, Cornell University




MSU-CVM graduates received the results of the 2017 American Association of Veterinary Clinician’s Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program in March. Students were matched with programs based on their mutual fields of interest, and the MSU-CVM Class of 2017 has been paired with a variety of successful, competitive programs

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Dr. Sarah Castaldo (2016) small animal surgery, Mississippi State University Dr. Alison Little neurology and neurosurgery, Ontario Veterinary College Dr. Jordan Hatfield radiology, Washington State University

CVM ALUMNI MATCHED FOR INTERNSHIPS AND RESIDENCIES Dr. Samantha Aumann (2016) emergency and critical care residency, Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners, Florida Dr. Ryan Gibson (2016) neurology and neurosurgery internship, Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists, Texas Dr. Benjamin Lee (2016), small animal oncology residency, University of Georgia Dr. Emily Pierce (2016), small animal surgery internship, Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital / Metropolitan Veterinary Referral Group, Ohio Lisa Quinn (2016), laboratory animal residency, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Dr. Tyler Scott (2015), surgery internship, Alpenglow Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center, Colorado Dr. Colleen Sheridan (2016), ophthalmology internship, Louisiana State University Dr. Kimberly Smith (2016), emergency and critical care internship, Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital Dr. Theresa Smith (2016), emergency and critical care medicine residency, Cape Cod Veterinary Specialists, Massachusetts Dr. Jamie Steins (2015), surgery internship, South Paws Veterinary Specialists, Louisiana Dr. Jessica Wagner (2016), small animal neurology and neurosurgery internship, Mission Veterinary Specialists, Texas

CVM INTERNS MATCHED FOR SPECIALTY INTERNSHIPS AND RESIDENCIES Dr. Taylor Graville, small animal surgical internship, Dallas Veterinary Surgical Center, Texas Dr. Michael Ensor, radiology internship, Washington State University Dr. Harry Cridge, small animal internal medicine residency, Mississippi State University

Regardless of the duties Kern was fulfilling at the time, one thing was consistent. Colleagues and students alike knew they could turn to her for sound guidance. “Whether in the clinic working on a challenging medical case or in many administrative meetings, Margaret was always the ‘voice of reason’” said Dr. Ron McLaughlin Associate Dean at MSU-CVM, “a model of professionalism and comportment.” Kern’s guidance was especially beneficial in matters of curriculum development and outcomes assessment. Her work in both areas were center stage during the College’s 2014 Council on Education accreditation site visit. Dr. Kent Hoblet noted that Kern’s work in outcomes assessment “resulted in national exposure of defining our methods of threshold events and performances.”Several other schools have now looked to Kern’s program at MSU-CVM model in their own programs.

REMEMBERING THE LEGACY OF DR. MARGARET KERN Dr. Margaret R. Kern, former Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and MSU-CVM alumna, passed away on May, 11, 2017. As a professor and administrator, her lasting impact on the College and veterinary medical education simply cannot be overstated. Kern’s passion for MSU-CVM and her understanding of its Doctor of Veterinary Medicine curriculum ran deep. Her own story at the College began in the classroom as a student. Faculty noted her maturity and tenacity as she balanced the roles of being a student and a single mother to three children with grace and dignity. Despite her trials, she persisted. Upon earning her DVM degree in 1988, Dr. Kern completed a three-year residency in small animal medicine at the University of Missouri-Columbia’s College of Veterinary Medicine. In August, 1992, she returned to MSU-CVM as a faculty member within the small animal internal medicine service. She later became board-certified in small animal internal medicine, a feat as noted by Dr. Phillip Nelson, Dean of Western University College of Veterinary

Medicine and former MSU-CVM Associate Dean, that was “quite the accomplishment for a young black woman in the era.” As a faculty member, Dr. Kern took great interest and care in educating and guiding students. Her own personal understanding of the struggles veterinary students face contributed greatly to her dedication to student success. This commitment to student development made her the perfect fit for numerous administrative roles within the College in addition to her clinical duties. Kern served as Curriculum Coordinator, Director of Clinical Education, and Assistant Dean before assuming the role of Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.Continuing to make a way for those who will follow her, Kern was the first African-American female Associate Dean within the College. Dr. Philip Bushby, who knew Kern as both a student and a revered colleague, described her as “an excellent clinician, a skilled teacher and an effective administrator, always with the best interests of the school and students in mind.”

Kern’s commitment to evaluation and refinement of the veterinary medical education program and MSU-CVM has created a foundation of excellence that will continue to benefit students for years to come. To continue the legacy of Kern’s dedication to veterinary medical education, The Dr. Margaret R. Kern Memorial Annual Scholarship has been established to aid veterinary students at MSU-CVM. Those desiring to contribute to the scholarship fund may write checks payable to MSU Foundation earmarked for Kern’s memorial scholarship. Contributions should be mailed to Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, P.O. Box 6100, Mississippi State, MS 39762.



DR. BRITTANY MOORE-HENDERSON CL A S S OF 2 016 You graduated in May 2016 and are currently working at MSU-CVM as a Community Outreach Veterinarian. Can you tell us a little more about what your job entails and what a “typical” day might look like for you in this role? As the Community Outreach Veterinarian, I help recruit perspective veterinary students, help oversee various CVM outreach programs such as VetAspire and Vet Camp, and provide clinical service in the Animal Health Center while teaching veterinary and veterinary technician students. Because my position is rather unique, a typical day can pretty much vary depending on what is going on in the CVM and the time of the year. I could possibly be seeing patients in our Community Veterinary Service or speaking to a group of aspiring veterinary students. You played an active role as a student while at MSUCVM in creating our Vet Aspire program and starting a V.O.I.C.E. chapter. Can you tell me a little bit about the process of starting and sustaining those programs? VOICE, which stands for Veterinary Students as One in Culture and Ethnicity, is a national organization that seeks to increase diversity and inclusion within the veterinary profession. I came across this organization while attending a SAVMA Symposium and realized how much our CVM could benefit from having an organization that focused on diversity. Starting a local chapter of VOICE was dependent on the receptiveness and support of administration as well as the need to have such an organization within the CVM. However, being able to sustain such an organization was a great fear of mine as diversity is not an easy task to take on; whoever decides to, must be passionate and willing to be an agent of change. Our chapter has been in existence for three years now and is still going strong by making an impact within the CVM and Starkville community. VetAspire is a monthly program which exposes underserved high school and college students to the veterinary profession in hopes that they will consider it as a career path. This program was created because students from underserved areas lack exposure to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education and therefore do not consider careers in those fields. I wanted to give them the unique opportunity of being a veterinary student for a day and seeing what all the

veterinary profession has to offer; at the same time, letting them see the real-world impact of math and science. Starting this program came down to having the support of administration and having clinicians and students that were willing to volunteer their time. Because of the continuous help from our clinicians and students, as well as social media, VetAspire continues to bring in underserved students from across the state. What benefits do you see to current students having the opportunity to get plugged into volunteering with either (or both) Vet Aspire and V.O.I.C.E.? Through VOICE, CVM students learn how to effectively communicate and relate to a diverse clientele which not only enhances their personal growth but also helps advance the future of veterinary medicine as they are the future leaders of the profession. As for VetAspire, they get the opportunity to share their passion with a group of aspiring veterinarians, while also seeing why it’s so important for them to be active within the communities in which they plan to practice. Favorite memory from being a student at MSU-CVM? I would have to say that my favorite memory was receiving the Veterinary Learning Award during my second year because it was so unexpected at the time. Any advice for your other fellow young MSU-CVM alumni? My advice would be to make a presence within your community by reaching out to local schools and youth organizations. I believe that it is our responsibility to educate students about animal welfare and public health, which in turn leads them to having a greater understanding of veterinary medicine and how they can be good stewards of animals.






Our Fall Alumni Weekend 2016 was a blast! Please join us for our Fall Alumni Weekend 2017, coming up on October 13th & 14th.

MSU-CVM Emeritus Professor Dr. John Harkness is a recipient of the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International’s Bennet J. Cohen Award.

For more information, visit

Dr. Gregory Timberlake, Chair of AAALAC International’s Board of Directors, said the award “recognizes individuals who have, through their exceptional service and significant contributions to AAALAC International, demonstrated a strong and abiding commitment to advancing science through promotion of the highest standards of laboratory animal care inresearch, testing, and education.” The award, named for the founder of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, has only been given thirteen times in AAALAC International’s history, and is considered the organization’s most prestigious award. Harkness said he is very gratified to receive this award in a field he is so passionate about. "I am one of those very fortunate people who, upon opening the door to a profession and a speciality about which I knew almost nothing, happened onto an excellent, lifelong career in the company of diverse, caring, and excellent people pursuing a worthy cause,” Harkness said of laboratory animal care. “To be rewarded for doing well in such pursuits is very satisfying, and besides—I like the company of animals such as rabbits and rodents and monkeys." Harkness will receive the award in September, at AAALAC International’s annual U.S. meeting in Washington, D.C. BY SAMANTHA GIBSON



Thank you - for Today and Tomorrow For those who may not already know me, my name is Jimmy Kight and I am the College of Veterinary Medicine’s development officer. A Mississippi State communication graduate, I began work at the university shortly after receiving my degree in 2007. As with most development officers, frequent travel is a part of life. Proudly, I have logged thousands of road miles over the years to visit with CVM donors and friends. Meeting “family” members always is a pleasure, in large part because most share a common characteristic—a passion and desire to help their beloved pets and others. In addition to explaining the various support opportunities, my mission also is to express the university and college’s deep appreciation for their previous support. Many have chosen to make annual gifts for programs that operate with immediately spendable funding, while others elect to create endowments, planned gifts and property donations for future applications. No matter the method of commitment, each and every gift is critical to our operational success.

Recognizing that some alumni and friends may not be in a position to make a major contribution, it is my goal to help everyone appreciate the many ways beyond personal gifts to support scholarships, research, academic advancements and new developments. Successful fundraising always—always— requires assistance from others. Working together to form a community of supporters is key to what really should be termed “friend raising.” There are any number of instances where major gifts to the CVM were made by clients of alumni or referring veterinarians. In each case, the client had expressed an interest in supporting a trustworthy organization dedicated to improving animal health or educating veterinary students. As trusted professionals, our graduates have hundreds, maybe thousands, of opportunities to serve their clients each year. Through these ongoing relationships, it should not be difficult to determine a client’s potential interest and ability to support the institution. Of course, helping clients consider a CVM investment should not make them feel uncomfortable. Rather, the

effort must be regarded as providing an opportunity to connect them with a project or program about which they are passionate. We clearly understand and respect the strong bonds between veterinarians and clients. By working together, we thoughtfully can develop friendships that align a client’s areas of interest and passion with giving opportunities. Private giving is essential to elevate the CVM from very good to great, and to ensure that its professionals continue to provide high-quality animal care while also enabling exceptional educational experiences for our students who will be tomorrow’s trusted veterinarians. In summation, never underestimate the strength of your connections, time, and willingness to volunteer. Again, thanks for all you have done and will do in the future.

Jimmy Kight


Director of Development

There are a number of ways to support the CVM’s efforts. You may want to consider making an annual gift or creating an endowment.

ANNUAL GIFTS are crucial to the CVM because they provide ongoing support for the college, individual departments, research programs, academic programs, and student support services. Your annual contributions provide critical assistance and ensure that we maintain quality programs and a high level of excellence. Your gift can be designated to support any of the CVM’s needs and can be used immediately to make a difference.

ENDOWMENTS to the CVM help to provide a resource for generations to come. Your contribution is held in perpetuity, the principal is invested, and only the income from the investment is spent, allowing your legacy to continue for years. Endowments may be named for the donor or in honor of another person of the donor’s choosing.

For more information on annual and endowed funds and how to become involved in efforts at the CVM, please contact the Office of Development staff.

JIMMY KIGHT CVM Director of Development

(662) 325-5893 |

MELISSA MONTGOMERY Advancement Coordinator (662) 325-5170 |



EXTERNAL GRANTS Larry Hanson (PI). USDA ARS. Examining the Potential of Snails as Disease Vectors for Aeromonas Hydrophila in Intensive Catfish Production Ponds. $30,000 Henry Wan (PI). USDA APHIS NWRC. Identifying Microbes Potentially Causing Virulent Aeromonas Hydrophila Disease Outbreaks in Mississippi Catfish Ponds using Metagenomics. $45,000 Larry Hanson (PI). USDA APHIS NWRC. Animal Vectors Correlated with Epidemic Aeromonas Hydrophila Abundance and Dissemination between Mississippi Catfish Ponds. $15,000 Bill Epperson (PI), Amelia Woolums (CoPI), John Blanton (CoPI). Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Application of a Non-Invasive MultiModal Sensor System for Bovine. $88,579 Henry Wan (PI). USDA APHIS. Emergence and Spread of Influenza Viruses in Poyang Lake. $325,000 Bill Epperson (PI), Amelia Woolums (CoPI), John Blanton (CoPI). Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Application of a Non-Invasive MultiModal Sensor System for Bovine. $41,134


Matthew Griffin (PI), David Wise (CoPI), Terrence Greenway (CoPI), Charles Mischke (CoPI), Thomas G. Rosser (CoPI). Oklahoma State University. Investigating the Myxozoan Etiology of Proliferative Gill Disease in Blue X Channel Hybrid Catfish in the Southeastern United States. $9,955 Wes Baumgartner (PI). Berezan Management, Ltd. Shrimp Disease Control and Biosecurity Training. $5,500 Larry Hanson (PI), Wes Baumgartner (CoPI), Lora Petrie-Hanson (CoPI), Mark Lawrence (CoPI). Berezan Management, Ltd. – Health Monitoring for Intensive Shrimp Production. $20,000 Andrea Varela-Stokes (PI). Oklahoma State University. Refining Approached for Detecting Pathogens in the Gulf Coast Tick, Amblyomma. $14,679 Patricia Gaunt (PI). Phibro Animal Health. An in vitro study assessing the efficacy of Virginiamycin against (Edwardsiella ictaluri, Edwardsiella piscicida, Edwardsiella tarda, Flavobacterium columnare, Aetomonas hydrophila, Steptococcus agalactiae, and Streptococcus iniae). $13,410 Janice Chambers (PI). Johns Hopkins University. The transport of neurotoxin antidotes across the blood-brain barrier. $95,568 Matthew Griffin (PI). Fish Vet Group. Development and validation of PCR assays for Mycobacterium. $4,194 Mark Lawrence (PI). National Institute of Health. Summer Research Experience for Veterinary Students. $97,943 Amelia Woolums (PI). Zoetis Animal Health, Inc. Nasal Interferon and IgA Release Stimulated by INFORCE 3 in Stressed and Unstressed Beef Cattle. $145,610


Andrea Varela-Stokes (PI). Merial Veterinary Scholars Program. Research Experience Program for Veterinary Students 2017. $10,000 Janice Chambers (PI). FMC Corporation. Inhibition Kinetic of Organophosphates on Human and Rat Erythrocyte Acetylcholinesterase. $300,000 Keun Seo (PI). MSU RTC. Evaluation of Safety and Efficacy of Staphylococcus Aureus Avirulent Enterotoxins and Cyanotoxin Recombinant Vaccine in Cattle. $82,887 Henry Wan (PI). USDA APHIS. Risk Assessment of Emerging Avian-Origin Swine Influenza Viruses. $140,950 Lora Petrie-Hanson (PI). Ralco Nutrition, Inc. Zebrafish Model for Evaluating the Effects of Actifibe soluble fiber diet supplementation on resistance to gut bacterial infection. $40,916 Mark Lawrence (PI), Attila Karsi (CoPI), Terrence Greenway (CoPI), Matthew Griffin (CoPI), Michael Colvin (CoPI), Charles Mischke (CoPI), David Wise (CoPI). USDA NIFA. Control Strategies for Virulent Aeromonas Hydrophila in Catfish Aquaculture by Vaccination and Informing Pond Management. $500,000 Mark Lawrence (PI), Wes Baumgartner (CoPI), Attila Karsi (CoPI), Hossam Abdelnaby Mahamoud (CoPI). BioWish Technologies. BioWish MultiBio 3PS Protocol Laboratory –based testing protocol in Catfish. $78,519 Janice Chambers (PI), Russell Carr (CoPI). National Institutes of Health. Brain-penetrating acetylcholinesterase reactivators for several organophosphates. $145,17

INTERNAL GRANTS Maggie Jinks (PI), Caroline Betbeze (CoPI), Robin Fontenot (CoPI). MSU CVM ORGS. The efficacy and duration of effect on corneal sensitivity of three local anesthetics administered subconjunctivally in clinically normal horses. $2,000

Jodi Richardson (PI), Jacob Shivley (CoPI), Kimberly Woodruff (CoPI), David Smith (CoPI), Robert Meyer (CoPI). MSU CVM ORGS. Transection as a safe and faster means to release the suspensory ligament during canine ovariohysterectomy. $2,000

Wylen Won (PI), Erin Brinkman (CoPI). MSU CVM ORGS. Correlation of meniscal injury to joint space narrowing on standing lateral radiographs and standard tibial plateau leveling osteotomy radiographic projections. $1,950

Erica Burkland (PI), Michaela Beasley (CoPI), Andy Shores (CoPI), Cory Langston (CoPI). MSU CVM ORGS. Pharmacokinetics of levetiracetam continuous rate infusion in healthy dogs. $2,000

Jon Blakely (PI), Ryan Butler (CoPI). MSU CVM ORGS. Ex vivo biomechanical comparison of 2.7mm String-of-Pearl plate vs screw/wire/ polymethylmethacrylate composite fixation and 2.7mm veterinary acetabular plate for repair of simulated canine acetabular fractures. $2,000 Allison Kenzig (PI), Ryan Butler (CoPI). MSU CVM ORGS. A biomechanical comparison of conventional dynamic compression plates and String-of-Pearls locking plates using cantilever bending in an ilial fracture model. $2,000 Alison Plumley (PI), Jennifer Gambino (CoPI). MSU CVM ORGS. Qualitative and quantitative evaluation of fractional gadodiamide dosing for clinical use in the dog and characterization of the 0.05mmol/kg dose of gadoterate in canine brain and bone deposition. $2,000 Naomi Crabtree (PI), Kate MochalKing (CoPI), Robin Fontenot (CoPI), Alison Eddy (CoPI). MSU CVM ORGS. Serum and synovial butorphanol concentrations following intravenous regional limb perfusion in standing sedated horses. $2,000



Kristina Hubbard (PI), David Smith (CoPI), Kimberly Woodruff (CoPI), Cooper Brookshire (CoPI), Uri Donnett (CoPI). MSU CVM ORGS. Canine brucellosis seroprevalence in Mississippi shelter dogs. $1,895 Uri Donnett (PI), Kimberly Woodruff (CoPI), David Smith (CoPI), Andrea Varela-Stokes (CoPI). MSU CVM ORGS. Identifying an improved approach for diagnosing patent and occult canine heartworm infections in endemic areas. $1,649 Stephanie Eldredge (PI), Kari Lunsford (CoPI), Taya Marquardt (CoPI). MSU CVM ORGS. Platelet activation in canine osteosarcoma and canine mammary cardinoma. $2,000

Dr. Ron McLaughlin (left) Dr. Robert Filgo (right)

The College of Veterinary Medicine is pleased to recognize Dr. Robert Filgo as the 2017 Alumnus of the Year. Filgo is a 1988 graduate and currently practices at the practice he co-founded, All Creatures Animal Care Center in Madison, Mississippi. Filgo was recognized by the Mississippi State University Alumni Association and College of Veterinary Medicine in February. Filgo and others attended an Alumni of the Year Roundtable facilitated by President Mark Keenum, a reception hosted at the home of President Keenum and First Lady Rhonda Keenum, and an award banquet hosted by the MSU Alumni Association.








Fall 2017 SCAVMA members will host MSU-CVM tailgates beginning approximately 2 hours before kickoff at MSU home football games. We invite you to come by and visit with students, alumni, and colleagues. Reminders will be emailed to alumni and friends and posted on our Facebook page.

October 13 - 14 Alumni Weekend Celebration CE courses, “mix and mingle” event, tailgating, and football game Contact (662) 325-0465 RSVP online at:

Dr. Andrew Mackin has been named as the head of the Department of Clinical Sciences at Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine after serving as the interim head of the department since 2014. Mackin began his career at MSU in 1998 as an assistant professor of small animal medicine. He became a professor in 2009, and served as the Dr. Hugh G.Ward Endowed Chair in Small Animal Medicine from 2002 until 2014, when he became the interim head of clinical sciences. “I am very proud of the CVM,” Mackin said. “ MSU has offered myself and my family some wonderful opportunities, so I took on this role as giving a little bit back.” Mackin received a bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine and surgery at Murdoch University in his home country of Australia. He went on to complete his masters of veterinary studies degree at the University of Melbourne, and earned his DVSc at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Canada. Prior to coming to MSU, Mackin spent 4 years in a faculty position in Edinburgh, Scotland. He ended up at MSU somewhat by chance, after a long time search for a faculty position in the United States.

November 2 - 4

“MSU-CVM has been my first and only US faculty position,” Mackin said. “I never expected to be here for 19 years! My oldest two children were one and three when I arrived, and both are now undergraduates at MSU. My daughter will be graduating from MSU in December.”

Alumni Fellow Recognition Program Contact (662) 325-0465

Mackin regards his family as his greatest personal achievement, but says that helping build the small animal medicine program at MSU has been his “greatest professional accomplishment to date.” He said MSU-CVM has “an established program that provides a great education for our students, produces great residents, and is nationally recognized for stability, clinical expertise, research accomplishments, and service to the profession.” Mackin said clinical teaching is what he generally most enjoys about his job. “But, in reality, as an academic, there is no single thing that is most enjoyable,” Mackin said. “The diversity and variety of experiences offered as an academic clinician is what makes it so interesting.” As the Head of the Department of Clinical Sciences, Mackin said he aims to maintain the quality of work already being done in the department. “We have a great department with great people,” Mackin said. “One of my major goals is to maintain stability—to let talented and motivated people continue to do the excellent job they are already doing in the areas of teaching, clinical service and research, and to give them room to continue to grow and improve, and to enjoy what they are doing.”




ALUMNI NEWS The South Carolina Association of Veterinarians (SCAV) named Dr. Rob Presley (DVM 04) as their 2016 Veterinarian of the Year. Dr. Hanna Cook (DVM 11) and husband, Dustin, together with proud big sister, Amelia, and big brother, Parker, welcomed son and brother Mason to the world April 27, 2016. Dr. Rivka Shoulson (DVM 07) successfully completed the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine board exam and was named Associate Director for Columbia University’s Institute of Comparative Medicine. She and her husband also welcomed their third child, a baby boy, on December 31, 2016. Dr. Mandy Wallace (DVM 10) was presented with the Resident Award from the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians in April of 2016. This honor recognizes her clinical, scholarly, and educational achievements. Dr. Heather Smogorzewski (DVM 07) married Andrew Snyder on July 16, 2016 in Peoria, IL. Dr. Carondelet Nollner (DVM 98) was named the 2016-17 President of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. She became a specialist in canine/feline clinical practice with ABVP in 1995. Dr. Nollner currently practices at Greene Animal Hospital in Memphis, TN. Dr. Andrew Grady (DVM 86) was elected President of the AAALAC International Council on Accreditation for 2017­2018. He has been serving as President pro tem since 2016 and has been a member of the AAALAC International Council since 2004. He is a diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine and is the Director of the Center for Comparative Research at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Dr. Robert Filgo (DVM 88) was honored as MSU CVM’s Alumnus of the Year for 2017. Dr. Todd Sullivan (DVM 12) was awarded 2017 Young Veterinarian of the Year by the Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association.

Robert Stenger (Class of 2019) is a recipient of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners Amstutz Scholarship. This the second time an MSU­-CVM student has received this prestigious award. Randi Clark (Class of 2018) is a recipient of the 2016­-17 Auxiliary to the AVMA Legacy Endowed Scholarship. Eight MSU­-CVM students were awarded 2017 Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarships this spring. Congratulations to Robert Stenger, Veronica Kiely, Katelyn Card, Eryn Reznicek, Alicia Pownall, Nicole Rowbotham, and Amanda Kline of the Class of 2019, along with Kimberly Brito of the Class of 2018.

FACULT Y & STAFF NEWS Dr. Emily Skovira earned Diplomate status in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Dr. Richard Hopper was awarded 2017 Veterinarian of the Year by the Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Stephen Pruett was awarded the Society of Toxicology Senior Award. Dr. Jan Chambers was awarded the 2017 SEC Faculty Achievement Award for Mississippi State University. Dr. Robert Linford was awarded the MSU Outstanding Graduate/ Professional Student Teaching Award. Dr. Henry Wan received Ralph Powe Outstanding Researcher Award, as the outstanding researcher for Mississippi State University. Dr. Gretchen Grissett was awarded the Zoetis Teaching Award. Maggie Horner was awarded 2017 Veterinary Technician of the Year by the MSU­-CVM Veterinary Medical Technology Program.

NOTE TO ALUMNI: Please send us your news! If you would like to share announcements such as new positions, new titles, marriages, births, deaths, or awards, please let us know. You can send your news to Katie Timmerman at Another place to keep up with your fellow graduates: On Facebook!



Post Office Box 6100 Mississippi State, MS 39762

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