Western University of Health Sciences | College of Veterinary

Western University of Health Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine
Winter/Spring 2014
| Volume 15, Issue 1
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WesternU College of Veterinary Medicine
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Contact Tim McPheron at (909) 706-3762, [email protected]
Veterinary Outlook Magazine
Editor: Paul Gordon-Ross, DVM, MS
909.706.3529 • [email protected]
Photographer: Jeff Malet
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Western University of Health Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine
Associate Editor: Carla Sanders
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Photographer: Mirza Hasanefendic
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Assistant Editor: Caren Tse
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Graphic Designer: Paul Gettler
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309 E. Second St.
Pomona, Calif. 91766-1854
[email protected]
Winter/Spring 2014 | Volume 15, Issue 1
2 Word from the Dean
3 Commencement Speaker Preview
4 The CVM Hollywood Connection
6 Strategic Plan Part II
7 CVM Professors Aid in Gibbon Surgery
8 Veterinary School Collaboration
9 Professor Helps Birds of Prey
10 Helping the Giant Panda Population
12 Veterinary News & Notes
14 Research Update
15 Student Research Day
16 Around Campus
18 Student Profiles
21 Alumni Connection/Calendar
Giant pandas in the United States
and China are thriving, thanks in
part to the CVM's Dr. David Kersey.
(Story, Page 10).
Veterinary Outlook Magazine
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Veterinary Outlook 1
Word from the Dean
The great Mahatma Gandhi is often quoted as saying that “The greatness of a nation and its moral
progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Similarly, Michael Mountain, founder
of Best Friends Animal Society, has stated, “Kindness to animals and respect for all life are the
only meaningful foundations for a civilized world.”
Mountain suggests the most meaningful pillar of civilization is a communal respect for life –
including animals. Gandhi also asserts that the “greatness” of a nation is related to its compassion
for life, and that compassion can be measured in the way the nation’s animals are treated.
Our College’s contribution to
America’s “greatness” can be
measured by the compassion
of our graduates and their
future roles in assuring the
health and respectful
treatment of their charges...
Our College’s contribution to America’s “greatness” can be measured by the compassion of our
graduates and their future roles in assuring the health and respectful treatment of their charges
– because they understand the importance of their roles in protecting and promoting the
“public health.” Through our “Reverence for Life” founding principles, our curriculum
repetitively exposes our students to the inter-relationships of human, animal, and ecological
This “One – Health” paradigm is also modeled by the activities and research of our faculty.
Their function as mentors and models of behavior shouldn’t be taken lightly. In this issue, we
tell a few of their stories.
Dr. David Kersey provided valuable information to Chinese scientists regarding the
reproductive cycle of the giant panda and will be traveling to China this summer to help even
further. Dr. Miguel Saggese has become a noted expert about birds of prey and is often featured
at international conferences. Even Hollywood has come a-callin’, featuring many of our faculty either as experts on-screen or
consultants behind the scenes.
Such exposure means that time and again, the spotlight is on WesternU. Thankfully, with our stellar faculty and staff,
guiding principles, and innovative curriculum, we are all ready for our close-up – and for the work ahead.
Perhaps President John F. Kennedy said it best: “To educate our people, and especially our children, to humane attitudes
and actions toward living things is to preserve and strengthen our national heritage and the moral values we champion in
the world.” As the class of 2014 joins the professional ranks, I would like to remind them (and all of our alumni) of their
responsibility to the “greatness” of our society.
Phillip Nelson, DVM, PhD
Dean’s Calendar
June 19-22, 2014
PacVet Conference, San Francisco
2 College of Veterinary Medicine
June 22-24, 2014
WITCHE, Hawaii
July 26-29, 2014
AVMA, Denver, Colo.
cardiologist, OneHealth lecturer and best-selling author will address the Class of 2014 at this
year’s WesternU College of Veterinary Medicine Commencement Ceremony on May 15. Barbara
Natterson-Horowitz, MD, is a professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the David
Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She is actively involved with patient care, medical education and
research. Dr. Natterson-Horowitz holds a professorship in the UCLA Department of Ecology and
Evolutionary Biology and is co-director of the Evolutionary Medicine Program at UCLA.
She serves as a cardiovascular consultant on the Medical Advisory Board of the Los Angeles
Zoo and lectures frequently on One Health and the potential for novel investigation,
improved global health, and advancement in clinical care through collaborations between
human physicians and veterinarians.
In 2010, she founded the annual “Zoobiquity Conference: A Species Spanning Approach
to Medicine,” a discussion among doctors treating the same diseases in their patients of
different species. Zoobiquity Conferences are in their fifth year bringing physicians and
veterinarians – and medical and veterinary students – from around the world together
for connection and collaboration.
In 2012, Dr. Natterson-Horowitz co-authored the New York Times bestselling book,
“Zoobiquity: The Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal Health.” It was named
Discover Magazine’s Best Book of 2012, The China Times’ Best Foreign Translation of
2013, and was a finalist in the American Association for the Advancement of
Science Excellence in Science Books 2012. Her work has been featured in The
New York Times, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Nature, Scientific American, and
New Scientist, among others.
“Veterinarians are very aware of the deep linkages that exist between the health
of all species and the power of the comparative approach,” she explained.
“It is time to engage the physician community in this important
and exciting conversation. The OneHealth movement has
already led to important scientific insights. It’s an exciting
time to be at the interface between veterinary and
human medicine.”
Conference Founder
To Speak at CVM
Her own interest grew out of what she calls “an aha”
moment at the zoo 10 years ago. Listening to the
veterinarians discussing arthritis, diabetes, breast
cancer and other disorders, she realized
veterinarians were taking care of the same
disorders in their animal patients that she was in
her human patients. Why, she wondered, in her
years as a physician at a major teaching
hospital, had she never once collaborated
with a veterinarian?
“Ever since that spark happened for me, my
career shifted dramatically. OneHealth is
one of the most fascinating scientific stories
of the moment and I am grateful to be part
of it.”
Dr. Natterson-Horowitz completed her
undergraduate studies at Harvard
College and received a master’s degree
from Harvard University. She received
her medical degree from the University
of California, San Francisco.
Veterinary Outlook 3
WesternU Faculty Expertise Sought by Filmmakers
ore and more, when film and television productions need expertise
in anything related to the veterinary field, they are turning their
cameras toward WesternU’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
“We’ve become the Hollywood vet school,” said Associate Professor Diane
McClure, DVM, PhD, DACLAM.
That statement is borne out by the numerous times faculty members have
provided input for various projects, as well as the celebrities who have
visited the WesternU campus in Pomona, Calif., only a short drive from the
entertainment capital.
In the past year alone, Hollywood has come calling several times.
Dr. McClure served as a technical consultant for an episode of TV’s popular
“Grey’s Anatomy,” which aired in December. Also, in December, a
production crew from Prometheus Entertainment was on the Pomona
campus, filming for the “Ancient Aliens” TV series, which explores the
theory that extraterrestrials have visited Earth for millions of years. The
show airs regularly on H2, a sister channel to The History Channel. The
crew interviewed Professor Jim Reynolds, DVM, MPVM, DACAW, for an
episode that aired this spring titled, “Aliens in America.”
Moreover, for 25 years, Associate Professor Gini Barrett, BS, has been
involved in film and television production, reviewing projects and
providing advice regarding potential content and animal welfare issues.
“I have been involved with animals in film since 1989, when I joined the
Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and dealt with these
issues from the point of view of the producers,” she explained.
In 1997, she joined the American Humane Association (AHA) and oversaw
the use of animals in film from the humane community point of view. She
left AHA in 2001 and began consulting for all the Discovery channels,
primarily Animal Planet, as well as for other media companies. She joined
the WesternU faculty in 2002 and has continued consulting for media
4 College of Veterinary Medicine
The biggest project to date with which she has been involved was “Whale
Wars” on Animal Planet, a show in which a conservation group takes on
Japanese whalers. Her involvement lasted for nearly a year, as she
reviewed, among many things, all the relevant international agreements
and national laws of Japan and other whaling countries, as well as the
political, scientific and ethical issues.
During her years with AHA, she provided services on the sets of theatrical
motion pictures including “The Horse Whisperer” and “The Grinch.” One
of her favorite projects was overseeing the use of a famous grizzly, Bart the
Bear, at the 70th Academy Awards in 1998. Bart helped actor Mike Myers
present an Oscar for Best Sound.
“During rehearsals, all these film crews who were used to working with
celebrities came to watch him,” recalled Ms. Barrett. “It was quite
something. He was wonderful!”
On the
episode of
with which
Dr. McClure
was involved,
the fictional
Dr. Meredith
Grey, played
by actress
Ellen Pompeo,
practiced transplanting a 3-D printed blood vessel – seeded with human
DNA cells – into a sheep. Dr. Grey was using the sheep to research the
procedure and determine if the implant would graft into a new host,
making the procedure a viable option for humans. To make the scene look
authentic, a veterinarian, played by actor Henry G. Saunders, was included
during the surgery.
Dr. Diane McClure on the set of TV’s “Grey’s Anatomy,”
with actor Henry G. Saunders, who played a veterinarian.
According to Dr. McClure, the special
effects team from the show did a
great job with the simulated sheep. It
had tubes, blood, real wool – and
even breathed! She helped set up the
replicated sheep for surgery, making it look authentic. She also worked
with the actors to get the procedure right, explaining technicalities
including how to hold a knife for the necropsy, how to use the monitor,
how to administer anesthetic, and how to shear the sheep. And, she
worked with the technical team on development of the script.
“I definitely contributed to the authenticity of the scene and got things
moving along, and they were genuinely listening to what I had to say,”
Dr. McClure said. “I was really pleased with that. It was exciting.”
She did not receive any payment for her role, but said her compensation
was the show having a veterinarian in the scene. “I wanted it to be known
that the surgeons don’t get to do these things unless a veterinarian is
Dr. McClure said this was her first consulting job for TV or film. The
10-hour day was well worth it, she said. “I felt the set related to what I
have done for 20 years.” She added that it is important that veterinarians
be represented in the kind of research demonstrated on the show, and
that it be conveyed that veterinarians are the best health care providers for
Dr. Reynolds is quoted as saying, “Just looking at the pictures, I can’t
explain how this happened.”
Previously, he was interviewed for a PBS documentary, “New Shepherds of
the Farm.” The program aired in 2011 and Dr. Reynolds is seen and
quoted extensively about humane treatment of dairy cattle. Famous
animal advocate Temple Grandin also in featured in the film.
The College of Veterinary Medicine’s link to Hollywood extends even
further. A media room in one of the CVM buildings is named for the late
Gretchen Wyler, a Broadway and film actress who was an early supporter
of the college and an avid animal rights advocate. In 1972, Ms. Wyler
became the first woman to serve on the board for the American Society
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and in 2005 she was
inducted into the U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame.
Actress Heather Locklear, of TV’s “Melrose Place” and “Dynasty” fame,
attended the dedication for a problem-based learning (PBL) room on
campus and everyone’s favorite “Golden Girl” Betty White offered the
keynote address to the charter class at the CVM’s inaugural
commencement in 2007.
In addition to veterinary skill, geography played a big part in Dr. McClure
landing the TV gig. A “Grey’s Anatomy” team member called her former
colleague, Dr. Pamela Eisele, a sheep expert at University of California,
Davis, who referred the show to Dr. McClure because she was closer to the
studio where the TV show is filmed.
Another faculty member who has spent time in front of the camera is
Assistant Professor Betsy Charles, DVM, MA. She recently appeared in a
documentary, “Furever Film,” about pet loss and how people memorialize
their pets.
“I just had a small cameo role, but played a big part in helping the
filmmaker make some connections with my colleagues at WesternU as well
as at Washington State, who have all been championing the human
animal bond,” she said.
On “Ancient Aliens,” Dr. Reynolds, a bovine veterinarian, was featured for
about 30 seconds in an episode titled, “Aliens in America.” He appears on
camera viewing photographs of dead cattle from the 1970s and 1980s in
the Midwest. Was the condition of their mutilated carcasses due to typical
animal scavengers, the show asked, or was it possibly from ancient aliens
having removed body parts?
While he spent the morning discussing with the production team how
scavengers usually eat carcasses, they wanted more. So, on camera
Entertainer Charo, left, visited the CVM with her pet bull calf for an exam in
December of 2008.
Memorably, Latin singer/dancer/actress Charo took advantage of the
CVM’s expertise and brought a 14-week-old, 250-pound Angus-mix bull
calf to campus for an exam in 2008. Several faculty members were
involved, with members of the media also present.
As word gets out about WesternU and its pre-eminent veterinary college,
more requests may be on the way.
“We’re not in the media center,” said Ms. Barrett. “If WesternU were
better known, there would be a lot more requests.”
Veterinary Outlook 5
Strategic Plan
Strong Core Curriculum and Employee Well-being
Are Important Components for Future Success
The WesternU College of Veterinary Medicine unveiled a five-year Strategic Plan in the summer of 2013. The plan – which runs from January 2014 to
January 2019 – focuses on five “critical strategic issues” (CSI’s): Enhancement of the research program, strengthening the core curriculum and teaching
methodology, employee well-being/job satisfaction, educational value, and enhancement of the college’s community image. In each edition of Veterinary
Outlook this year, we are looking more in depth at the CSI’s.
In this edition: Strengthening the Core Curriculum and Teaching Methodology and
Employee Well-being/Job Satisfaction
hile WesternU’s problem-based learning (PBL) was a curricular innovation
during the initial program design, according to the Outcomes Assessment
portion of the plan dealing with Strengthening the Core Curriculum and
Teaching Methodology, “there is a tendency toward inertia or stagnation in
educational methods as the college ages.” In addition, many aspects of the teacherstudent dynamic, how teachers are valued and the curriculum could and should be
assessed and strengthened.
To accomplish this, the plan recommends “a commitment by the college, of both
financial and human resources (time and personnel), to emphasize and incentivize
development, validation, and/or implementation of educational innovations in a
scholarly manner.”
Recommendations that relate to personnel include having technology savvy faculty
on board, creating the position of associate dean of Veterinary Education, and
creating a “promotion and tenure document that recognizes educational
scholarship as a valued and viable path of career advancement.”
Additional recommendations include reallocating faculty time to allow
development or implementation of education innovation and having full-time
equivalent faculty assigned specifically to curriculum evaluation/assessment.
The CVM also needs a “dedicated funding stream for internal development of
innovation, partnerships with industry and “alternate funding sources beyond
typical educational grants.”
6 College of Veterinary Medicine
The Action Team identified several key issues regarding Employee Well-being/Job
Satisfaction. Among them were: ineffective communication, faculty members who
don’t feel involved in key decisions, and staff dissatisfaction or discontent.
To address these issues the plan recommends that the CVM develop clear lines of
communication at all levels, engage the faculty in a “bottom up approach to
running the curriculum,” provide more opportunities for staff promotions and
recognition, lay out a comprehensive structure for staff positions in which roles and
responsibilities are clearly identified, provide a structured and verifiable feedback
and evaluation process, and create a system whereby both staff and faculty can
raise concerns about treatment and/or performance.
The goal will be to “improve trust and transparency through improved
communications within college programs and between administration leaders,
faculty and staff.”
In the next issue of Veterinary Outlook:
• Eduactional Value
• Enhancement of the College’s Community Image
CVM Professors Aid in Gibbon Surgery
wo professors from the WesternU College of Veterinary
Medicine played key roles earlier this year during a
successful collaborative surgery on an infant gibbon.
The CVM’s Lyon Lee,
and Ohad Levi, DVM,
were part of the team
that operated on the
infant of Phy Gyi at
the Gibbon
Conservation Center in
Santa Clarita, Calif.
The young gibbon
successfully underwent
surgery for an inguinal hernia repair.
The surgery became necessary after Dr. Howard Martin, a
specialist at the center, noticed the infant had a bulge on his
lower abdomen. Though the hernia was small and manageable
at Dr. Martin’s first assessment, a few days later the staff noticed
that the hernia had gotten larger. The veterinarians on staff
decided the best course of action was to go into surgery to
repair the hernia and avoid a life-threatening emergency.
Because the infant was only three weeks old and a mere 600
grams, The Conservation Center contacted Western University
of Health Sciences for their support. With Dr. Lee, an
anesthesiologist, monitoring the little guy closely, Dr. Levi and
Dr. Martin were able to perform the very difficult and delicate
hernia repair operation.
Veterinary Outlook 7
ake teaching matter. Those three words are at the heart of a
new initiative by the Consortium of Western Regional
Colleges of Veterinary Medicine.
“Our goal is to really make teaching matter and provide resources and
support to accomplish that,” said WesternU CVM Professor Peggy
Schmidt, DVM, MS, DACVPM, who is the
current elected chair of the consortium’s new
Teaching Academy. “We want to show that
veterinary education is a valued career track.
The deans of the consortium have said they
value teaching and that there is an impact
being made and to be made.”
In the past, being a good educator played
only a minor role in advancement,
promotions and tenure at veterinary colleges
and universities. Most of the focus was on
research and the number of articles
published, according to Dr. Schmidt. The
Teaching Academy’s goal is to change that
focus. As such, they are looking at numerous
variables to measure teaching success and
how to evaluate it, including what makes a
good teacher, engagement and stimulation of
students, impact on students’ futures, and
motivation. Part of the program also will
involve faculty development.
“There is a lot of literature about how to
educate students, ” Dr. Schmidt said. “Good
teaching is based in science. We need to
make sure we are teaching to their
(students’) future, not our past.”
In fact, at WesternU, one of the
recommendations in the CVM’s five-year
Strategic Plan unveiled last summer deals
with this issue. It states that the CVM should
create a “promotion and tenure document that recognizes educational
scholarship as a valued and viable path of career advancement.”
Dr. Schmidt will spread the word even further in July, when she and
several of her colleagues from WesternU will lead a four-part
professional development program at the AVMA National Convention in
Denver, Colo. The program is entitled “Teaching in Your Clinic – The Art
8 College of Veterinary Medicine
and Science of Veterinary Education from Externships to Preceptorships
and Beyond,” and information about the program notes, in part, “Just as
practicing quality veterinary medicine is a combination of both art and
science, the practice of quality education requires both the knowledge of
education as a science and the art of applying that science in a realworld setting.”
The idea for the Teaching Academy has been
in the works since the 2011 inception of the
consortium, which was formed after deans
of the five westernmost veterinary colleges
in the country agreed that many common
issues could be addressed jointly and that a
consortium would provide a greater voice on
national issues. Along with Western
University of Health Sciences, the other
members are Colorado State University,
Oregon State University, Washington State
University and University of California,
Davis. The first full meeting of the Academy,
which will meet every two years, was held in
the summer of 2013 at Oregon State. The
next session will be in summer 2015 at
Washington State.
“At that first consortium meeting, formation
of the Teaching Academy was the top
priority,” Dr. Schmidt said.
The Teaching Academy is composed of
nominated faculty members from each
university. The current WesternU CVM
members are Paul Gordon-Ross, DVM, MS,
Jennifer Buur, DVM, DACVCP, PhD, Peggy
Barr, DVM, PhD, Suzie Kovacs, MSc, John
Tegzes, MA, VMD, DABVT, and Dr. Schmidt.
The academy’s steering committee meets via
teleconference every six to eight weeks and
various working groups hold one to two
meetings in person about once a year.
“This Teaching Academy is the first cross-institutional academy of its
kind,” said Dr. Schmidt. “We hope that it will allow collaboration and
resource sharing across institutions to improve the quality of veterinary
education for our students and quality of life for faculty dedicated to
teaching those students.”
CVM Spotlight
CVM Professor’s Knowledge Aids Birds of Prey
ssociate Professor Miguel D. Saggese, DVM, MS, PhD, considered
an expert in the field of birds of prey worldwide, has been
involved with several presentations and publications in the past
six months, offering insight and knowledge at various international
In October, 2013, Dr. Saggese, who is director at large for the Raptor
Research Foundation (an international scientific society whose primary
goal is the accumulation and dissemination of scientific information about
raptors), was the main organizer and one of the three conference cochairs of the I Worldwide Raptor Conference. The event was held in
Nahuel Huapi National Park, Bariloche City, Rio Negro province,
Argentina, South America. More than 200 delegates from 30 countries and
five continents
Dr. Miguel Saggese and his attended this
co-chairs presented a talk
entitled “Everything you wanted
to know about Patagonian
raptors, but were afraid to ask!”
During the
Dr. Saggese
presented four
papers (three posters and one oral presentation) some of them a result of
collaborative work conducted with researchers from the USA, Canada,
and Argentina, including CVM students Natalie Nguyen, Shelley Taylor
and Joseph Debrota, who conducted summer research projects with Dr.
Saggese. The oral presentation was titled, “Breeding Biology of Southern
Crested Caracaras (Caracara plancus) in Santa Cruz Province, Southern
Patagonia, Argentina.” The posters were:
• Lead Toxicosis in California Condors (Gymnogyps californianus)
Admitted for Rehabilitation at the Los Angeles Zoo: a Retrospective Case
Series Study (1995-2012)
• Solitary Crowned Eagles’ (Harpyhalieatus coronatus) Plasma Neutralizes
Pit Viper (Bothrops alternatus) Venom In Vitro
• Are Infectious Diseases and Environmental Toxins Decreasing Raptor
Populations in Southern California?
In addition, during the conference, Dr. Saggese and his co-chairs
presented a talk entitled “Everything you wanted to know about
Patagonian raptors, but were afraid to ask!”
On Oct. 28, after the conference concluded, Dr. Saggese was invited to
present a seminar, “Medical Aspects in the Rehabilitation of Patagonian
Raptors,” to veterinarians from Bariloche city and surrounding areas of
Northern Patagonia. The venue for this seminar was Universidad FASTA,
San Carlos de Bariloche, Rio Negro province, Argentina.
Dr. Saggese also has been recognized
recently in the following ways:
• He published an article titled “Parental
care and time-activity budget of a breeding
Miguel Saggese
pair of Black-chested Buzzard-Eagles
(Geranoaetus melanoleucus) in Southern Patagonia, Argentina.”
The article was in the journal Asociacion Colombiana de Ornitologia.
• He was invited to give a three-day course on
raptor medicine, rehabilitation, biology and
conservation and a wet lab on raptor
handling and clinical procedures in
Bogota, Colombia last
December. The event was
held at the Zoo Parque
Jaime Duque and was
co-organized by the
Colombian National
Associate of Zoos and
Aquariums (ACOPAZOA), the
Environmental and Sustainable
Development Ministry,
Universidad LaSalle and the
Zoo Parque Jaime Duque.
• He was co-author of a study
presented by Dr. Pablo Regner
at the First Biennial Meeting of the
Latin American Wildlife Diseases
Association. This meeting took place at
the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the
University of São Paulo, at São Paulo, Brazil,
Sept. 19-22, 2013.
Dr. Saggese earned a veterinary degree from
the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina,
completed a three-year residency and a
master’s degree at The Raptor Center
University of Minnesota, and completed a
PhD in microbiology at the Schubot Exotic
Bird health Center, Texas A&M University. His
main research interests are on investigating the
role that infectious pathogens and pollutants
have in Southern California raptors, the conservation
and population ecology of Patagonian birds of prey, and
the impact of lead spent ammunition on crowned
eagles, condors and other scavengers.
Veterinary Outlook 9
Helping the
Giant Panda
10 College of Veterinary Medicine
Scientists from China visit WesternU
cientists from the China Conservation and
Research Centre took a crucial first step to
repopulate the giant panda into the wild by
visiting with CVM Assistant Professor David
Kersey, PhD, a renowned reproductive biologist.
The scientists, Yingmin Zhou and Xiaoyu
Huang, were from an organization that
manages 60 percent of the captive
giant panda population at three
main giant panda breeding
facilities in Wolong,
Dujiangyuan, and Bifengxia.
Pandas International, a
nonprofit leader in panda
conservation, funded the trip.
In return, Dr. Kersey will head to
China this summer to help set up
an endocrine laboratory in
The Chinese scientists began their
20-day United States visit last fall
with three days of training with Dr.
Kersey, a key contributor in artificially
inseminating (AI) Zoo Atlanta’s 15year-old giant panda
Lun Lun. She gave birth to twin cubs
on July 15, 2013.
The scientists’ goal is to strengthen their technique on
fecal hormone analysis to improve captive breeding, by
maximizing the breeding potential of the captive giant
panda population and reintroducing pandas into the
wild. The next step is to build the capacity to develop
knowledge, bring it back to China, and apply it to
species conservation, according to Dr. Kersey.
The CVM’s David Kersey, PhD,
has won the top prize in the
web-based international
competition, “Giant Panda Zoo
Awards 2013.”Dr. Kersey, whose
specialty is physiology, shares
the award with his colleague
Copper Aitken-Palmer, DVM,
PhD, chief veterinarian at the
Smithsonian Conservation
Biology Institute.
AI and the breeding of perhaps dozens of female giant
pandas each year. Dr. Kersey said the reason feces are
analyzed is because they’re easy to collect, and they store
good hormone data.
Dr. Zhou said her team came to the U.S. to make sure
they are doing the analysis properly. The training they
are receiving from Dr. Kersey and others will help them
move beyond just collecting knowledge on captive
“The goal is to protect the giant panda,” she said. “It’s
not enough to only populate pandas on reserves. We
want to bring the giant pandas into the wild to make the
species stronger.”
After learning from Dr. Kersey in the lab, Drs. Huang
and Zhou had planned to spend a week of additional
training split between the Smithsonian Conservation
Biology Institute and the Smithsonian National
Zoological Park, but the federal government shutdown
altered those plans. Instead, they received training at the
San Diego Zoo and Safari Park and Brookfield Zoo in
Chicago. Afterward, Dr. Kersey escorted them to an
endocrine conference. The two then visited an endocrine
assay company before heading back to China.
Dr. Kersey’s reciprocal visit will be the latest in a string of
trips he has taken to China in the past decade.
“We have been able to grow the captive population, in
part, by applying knowledge we generated from basic
science research,” he said. “They are looking to use the
large captive population as a reintroduction reservoir.”
“Working with colleagues in the US and in China we
have been able to elevate the level of care provided to
the giant panda,” he said. “and the efforts we have put in
are paying off.”
About 1,600 giant pandas are left in the wild. More than
300 live in zoos and breeding centers around the world,
mostly in China. Nearly all the pandas in the U.S. and
other parts of the world are on loan from China. The
exceptions are two at a zoo in Hong Kong; both were
gifts from China, said Dr. Kersey. The panda is listed as
endangered in the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN’s)
Red List of Threatened Animals.
The life span for a giant panda in captivity is at least 20
years, he said, and his mission, as he sees it, is to “make
sure that whatever we do is for the conservation of the
species.” Currently, he is involved in web-based
problem-solving conversations with his Chinese
colleagues several times a month. There will come a day,
though, when that will end.
At their base in China, the scientists work in the
endocrine laboratory, and are responsible for timing the
Kersey Tops
Zoo Awards
“One day, they won’t need me,” he said. “And that will
be a good thing because it will mean the giant panda is
no longer in danger.”
The two captured gold with 33
percent of the vote in the
category of “Panda Personality
of 2013 - The Human,”
according to results announced
Jan. 17, 2014, at Zoo Atlanta.
Online voting was open to
anyone worldwide from Dec. 13,
2013, to Jan. 14, 2014. More
than 239,000 votes were
registered during the one-month
voting in 10 categories,
according to Giant Panda Zoo’s
press release.
“Dr. Aitken-Palmer and I were
nominated for our collaboration
in the successful artificial
insemination (AI) of the twin
cubs born at Zoo Atlanta and
the contribution she and I have
made to the knowledge of giant
panda biology from our 10-plus
years of research,” said Dr.
Kersey. “To have been
nominated for this award is
something special, but to have
won is very exciting.”
The Giant Panda Zoo Awards
are organized by
www.GiantPandaZoo.com, a
website about captive giant
pandas around the world, to
promote the important panda
conservation work in China
and abroad.
Veterinary Outlook 11
Veterinary News & Notes
CVM faculty members Spring Halland, DVM, CVA, DACVIM, Lyon
Lee, DVM, PhD, DACVA, and Ohad Levi, DVM, and 12 students
participated in the enucleation of a horse in a field in Norco, Calif.
The caretaker of the horse is a staff member of WesternU. The students
were all members of the Student Chapter of the American Association of
Equine Practitioners. They carried out, under close supervision of the
faculty, many clinical procedures including tissue handling, suturing, IV
catheterization, bandaging, administering local or general anesthetics, and
they assisted in anesthetic induction and recovery. Students participating
were Liz Perry, Amanda Blake and Mailie Fanning (all Class of
2015); Kristina Ridge, Randall Bryden, Lexi LaPorte, Kelsey
Milich (Class of 2016); and Kathryn Slaughter, Rachel Williams,
Kayla Ross, and Jackie Hofer (Class of 2017).
The Clinical Sites Advisory Board for the WesternU College of Veterinary
Medicine met in March on the WesternU campus. Representatives from
Nativis Inc. offered a presentation, “Voyager Anti-Cancer Medical Device
Canine Clinical Trials.” Shown at the meeting are, from left, Mike
Butters, vice president of technology at Nativis; CVM Dean Phillip
Nelson, DVM, PhD; John Butters, president and CEO of Nativis; Lisa
Butters, chief operations officer of Nativis, and John Payne, chairman of
the American Humane Association and a member of the Nativis Board of
Assistant Professor David Forster, MRCVS,
and the CVM Shelter Club, along with Mercy
House, located in Ontario, Calif., offered a free
vaccine clinic for homeless and low-income pet
owners. They used the VACS mobile clinic and
also were able to disperse donated pet food
along with the vaccines. More clinics are
planned for the local area.
Assistant Professor Suzana Tkalcic, DVM,
PhD, traveled to her homeland of Croatia
to lecture at the University of Zadar. The
title of her lecture was “Pathology of
Domestic Animals” in a course on
Diseases and Health Protection of
Domestic Animals at the University of
Zadar in Croatia.
12 College of Veterinary Medicine
Malika Kachani
David Forster
Suzana Tkalcic
Professor Malika Kachani, DVM, PhD,
traveled to her home country of Morocco to
present a course on One Health and zoonotic
diseases to a group of tutors including
veterinarians, physicians and biologists from the
Maghreb and the Sahel. This was a five-day
course and was a contribution to the zoonotic
diseases module of a European Union project.
She was invited by the European Union project
coordinator and the Department of Parasitology
of the Veterinary School in Morocco.
Professor Tracey McNamara, DVM, DACVP,
was invited by the Science Center programs of
the U.S. Department of State to evaluate a
proposal submitted for funding. Her evaluation
will be used by science advisers to the State
Department at Los Alamos and Brookhaven
National Laboratories and the State Department
in determining whether the proposal should be
funded. The Science Centers, which include the
International Science and Technology Center
Tracey McNamara
(ISTC) in Moscow and the Science and
Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU), were established in 1994 and 1995
as nonproliferation programs, with the primary objective of providing
peaceful, non-weapons opportunities to weapons scientists in the newly
independent states of the former Soviet Union (FSU), particularly those
with knowledge and skills pertaining to weapons of mass destruction.
• Associate Professor Jennifer Buur, DVM, DACVCP, PhD, will be
a judge at the 63rd annual California State Science Fair, April 2829, 2014, at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. More
than 1,000 participants in grade 6-12 from 400 schools throughout
the state are expected to attend this year’s event. They will
compete for awards totaling $50,000.
In March, Dr. Buur presented a webinar for the Arizona Veterinary
Medical Association, “Maximizing Pain Control in Canine and
Feline Patients.”
By Gina Cipolla, DVM 2015 and Jessica Brown, DVM 2016
The last block of the year is under way and first year students are
finally settling into the swing of PBL and becoming familiar with all of
the happenings on campus. As of Feb. 1, the first year student officers
gained the responsibility of being in charge of all clubs within the CVM
for the next year. Leaving the clubs in the hands of the first years has
left the second years with more time to focus on their studies while
also preparing for third year.
• Professor John Tegzes, MA, VMD, DABVT, provided video
commentary for the “Just Food for Dogs” YouTube website on the
FDA’s recent video, “Safe Handling of Pet Food in the Home.”
The video is featured in the “Video Spotlight” section of the
WesternU home page at www.westernu.edu.
• Professor Beth Boynton, DVM, assisted in a STEM (Science
Technology Engineering Mathematics) event held at Citrus
College in Glendora, Calif. The purpose of the event was to
encourage more young woman to consider going into one of the
STEM fields.
• Professor Joe Bertone, DVM, MS, DACVIM, was a recent invited
presenter at the World Equine Veterinary Association meeting in
Guadalajara, Mexico. The presentations were: “False Colic” and
“Medical Management of Abdominal Pain.”
• Associate Professor Diane McClure, DVM, PhD, DACLAM, was
a recent guest speaker at the Cal Aero Preserve Academy in the
Chino Valley Unified School District. Seventh- and eighth-graders
from Lyle S. Briggs Fundamental School also were in attendance.
• Assistant Professor Betsy Charles, DVM, MA, has moved into
the position of course leader for the third year course Small
Animal Practice. Previously, she was a diagnostic imaging
Congratulations to the following faculty and staff members for their
milestone years of employment in the College of Veterinary Medicine
at WesternU:
Denisha Jenkins, 10 years
Frank Bossong, DVM, 5 years
Elizabeth Schilling, DVM, 5 years
Gina Cipolla
There is a significant transition from second
year to third year in which students will see
less of the campus and spend much of their
time in clinics. Third year enables students to
gain exposure to many different fields in
veterinary medicine and
provides them with the
unique opportunity to
travel and see a variety of
Beyond clubs of the CVM, WesternU’s Student
Chapter of the AVMA (SCAVMA) worked hard to
help send more than 30 students to the national
Student AVMA Symposium in Fort Collins, Colo.,
during spring break. With a fully active fundraising
committee, SCAVMA was able to raise more than
$6,000 in only a few months to support this amazing
educational, networking and fun experience.
Jessica Brown
Now that the year is coming to an end, second years are excited to
plan their third year off campus while third years seem to be enjoying
life after PBL. Fourth years are finishing up their final rotations,
received their NAVLE scores in February, and are anxiously awaiting
graduation in May.
During the summer, our students will be participating in some great
opportunities, including bovine internships, small animal critical care,
cheetah conservation in Africa, aquavet trips, Rural Area Veterinary
Services (RAVS) trips, World Vets trips, research projects on and off
campus and many other ventures. We all look forward to hearing about
their experiences when classes begin again in August.
Veterinary Outlook 13
Assistant Professor Paul Gordon-Ross,
DVM, MS, received word that a manuscript,
“Distributive Veterinary Clinical Education:
A Model of Clinical Site Selection,” on which he
collaborated with several CVM faculty was
accepted for publication in the Journal of
Veterinary Medical Education (JVME). The others
involved were Elizabeth Schilling, DVM,
Linda Kidd, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, and Peggy
Schmidt, DVM, MS, DACVPM. An online
Paul Gordon-Ross
advance may be viewed at
Professor Victoria Voith, DVM, MSc, MA,
PhD, DACVB, presented two papers recently at
the IFAAB meeting in Tucson, Ariz., on “Use of
Dog Head-Halters and Restraint (Response
Prevention) Techniques” and “Aggression and
Castration Controversy.” She also participated in
two panels on the same topics.
Professor Beth
Victoria Voith
Boynton, DVM, is
presented a poster titled, “A Longitudinal and
Cross-Sectional Investigation of Health
Professional Students’ Empathy.”at the National
Academies of Practice, Annual Meeting and
Forum in Alexandria, VA. She was also inducted
as a Distinguished Practitioner and Fellow.
Assistant Professor Jijun Hao, PhD, has published several articles
recently. Dr. Hao published a stem cell research paper entitled
“Neuregulin-1β induces embryonic stem cell cardiomyogenesis via
ErbB3/ErbB2 receptors.” The article was published in the Biochemical
Journal [458, pp335-341]. In the paper, the author reported a novel
signaling pathway, Neuregulin-1β/ErbB3/p-CREB, which plays a critical
role in pluripotent stem cell cardiomyogenesis. Particularly, the discovery
that activation of CREB transcription factor is indispensable in
Neuregulin-1β-induced stem cell
cardiomyogenesis may provide a
novel approach for future stem cellbased therapy for cardiac repair.
Dr. Hao also recently published a
book chapter entitled “Molecular
Mechanisms of Embryonic Stem Cell
Pluripotency” in the book
“Pluripotent Stem Cells,” INTECH
press, ISBN 978-953-51-1192-4. In
Jijun Hao
this chapter, the authors reviewed the
signaling pathways and transcription factors critical for Embryonic Stem
Cell Pluripotency, and deeply elucidated an emerging field of “naïve
embryonic stem cells,” and provided some prospect view of future field
Moreover, Dr. Hao published a cancer research paper entitled “DMH1, a
Small Molecule Inhibitor of BMP Type I Receptors, Suppresses Growth and
Invasion of Lung Cancer” in PLoS ONE [2014:9(3): e90748]. In this paper,
the authors reported that DMH1, a BMP signaling inhibitor previously
developed by Dr. Hao in zebrafish model, can significantly attenuate the
migration, invasion and proliferation of human lung cancer cells. The
authors further demonstrated that DMH1 can dramatically reduce the
tumor growth of human lung cancer in a mouse xenograft model,
suggesting that blocking BMP signaling with DMH1 or its analogs may
offer a new approach for lung cancer treatment. This was a collaborated
project of multiple colleges including College of Pharmacy and College of
Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific at WesternU.
14 College of Veterinary Medicine
Beth Boynton
A manuscript that describes student responses
to active learning during a unique laboratory
experience and in which numerous CVM faculty
members took part, has been accepted for
publication. Those involved were Jennifer
Buur, DVM, DACVCP, PhD, Paul GordonRoss, DVM, MS, John Tegzes, MA, VMD,
DABVT, Lyon Lee, DVM, PhD, DACVA, Gini
Barrett, BS, and Joe Bertone, DVM, MS,
DACVIM. The citation is: Buur JL, Gordon-Ross
P, Tegzes JH, Lee L, Barrett G, and Bertone JJ
Jennifer Buur
(in press). “Iron Pharmacologist: Student
Impressions, Satisfaction, and Self-Reported Learning in Response to
Active Learning Course Activity in Veterinary Pharmacology.” Pharmacy
Education Journal. An online advance may be viewed at the following:
David Kersey
Assistant Professor David Kersey, PhD, and
two others secured funding for a project entitled
“Assessing thyroid endocrine status in mammals:
a new approach to diagnosing thyroid disease.”
The project is a collaborative effort among Dr.
Kersey, Copper Aitken-Palmer, DVM, PhD, of
the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute,
and Kari Morfeld, MS, PhD, of the Lincoln
Children’s Zoo. The project was submitted by Dr.
Morfeld to the Nebraska Wesleyan University Research or Creative Endeavor Grant.
Student Research Day Lauded
ore than 70 people – both students and faculty – took
part in WesternU’s Third Annual College of Veterinary
Medicine Student Research Day, which drew praise all
around. Calling the January, 2014, event a “resounding success,”
CVM Associate Dean for Research Dominique Griffon, DMV, MS,
PhD, DECVS, DACVS, said she was impressed not only with the
presenters and mentors, but the faculty and students who attended.
“While experiments are often a solitary or small group venture, it is
only through collaboration and involvement in the community that
these undertakings become progressive research,” Dr. Griffon said.
“Dissemination of intellectual results is the capstone of every
successful discovery. While a single data point may be important, it
is only in the expanding graph that we see trends and build
conclusions. So, too, must research be shared by a community to be
of true benefit to society.”
Three CVM faculty members served as judges for the competition.
They were Associate Professor Yiling Hong, PhD; Assistant Professor
Gagandeep Kaur, DVM, PhD, and Professor James Reynolds, DVM,
MPVM. David Haworth, DVM, PhD, president and CEO of Morris
Animal Foundation, was the event’s keynote speaker.
Because of the excellent participation and fierce competition this
year, the judges recommended three awards in each category to
express their admiration with the level of scholarship and
dedication, Dr. Griffon said. Certificates of Award and cash prizes
were officially presented during the annual CVM Honors Day
in April.
The 2014 winners, research topics and their advisors are:
Outstanding Research and Presentation of A Clinical Project
1. Ainjil Bills, DVM ’15: “Establishing Normal Thyroid Hormone Values For
The Male Giant Panda.” CVM Assistant Professor David Kersey, PhD.
2. Lindsey Jett, DVM ’16: “Molecular Prevalence Of Vector Borne Disease
In Free Roaming Cats From Louisiana.” CVM Assistant Professor Pedro
Diniz, DVM, PhD.
3. Audrey Keebaugh, DVM ’15: “Factors Influencing Pressure Mat
Analysis Of The Canine Gait.” CVM Associate Dean for Research
Dominique Griffon, DMV, MS, PhD, DECVS, DACVS.
Outstanding Research and Presentation of A Basic Science Project
1. Natalie Punt, DVM ’15: “Regulation Of Pathogenic Antiviral Immunity
By Peripheral and Meningeal Stromal Cells During Viral Meningitis.”
Phillip Swanson, PhD, and Dorian B. McGavern, PhD, both from the
National Institutes of Health.
2. Andreana Lim, DVM ’16: “Inhibition of Pericyte Migration in Spinal
Cord Injury Creates a Window for Cervical Contusion Treatment: A Pilot
Study.” Drs. Chris Czisch, Seok Voon-Lee, CVM Assistant Professor Suzana
Tkalcic, DVM, PhD, and Giles W Plant, PhD, Stanford University School of
3. Kurt Michelotti, DVM ’15: “Comparison between Training Models to
Teach Veterinary Medicine Students Basic Laparoscopy Surgery Skills.”
CVM Associate Professor Ohad Levi, DVM.
Veterinary Outlook 15
Around Campus
Western University of Health Sciences is one of six institutions testing two
More than 100 children through the Los Angeles County Department of
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) devices. The University’s College of
Children and Family Services
Optometry is creating a normative database for a U.S. Food and Drug
received Christmas cheer, food and
Administration-approved study of two OCT devices, Topcon OCT-1
gifts during Western University of
Maestro and 3D OCT-200 Optical Coherence Tomography. Topcon
Health Sciences’ Santa’s Workshop
Corporation is a Tokyo, Japan-based company divided into three business
Dec. 7, 2013.
domains: Smart Infrastructure, Positioning and Eye Care.
WesternU has been the proud host
The study is being led at WesternU by College of Optometry Associate
of Santa’s Workshop for the past 25
Professor Pinakin Gunvant Davey OD, PhD, FAAO. It is being conducted
years. The Student Government Association (SGA) organized the
in WesternU’s Patient Care Center on the Pomona, Calif., campus.
workshop with support from the Office of University Student Affairs and
“These devices are very state-of-the-art,” Dr. Davey said. “Current
the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.
machines have to do three scans for what this device is capable of doing
in one scan. It evaluates the nerve, retina, and takes a fundus photograph
of the posterior retina in true color in one shot.”
Warren Lawless, a pillar of Western University of Health Sciences and
West Seattle, Wash., who dedicated his life to service, died on Jan. 13,
Study subjects, who must be 18 or older without eye disease, will undergo
2014, in Washington. He was 95.
an eye examination and will be scanned at least nine times on the 3D
Mr. Lawless served more than 30 years on
OCT-1 Maestro and at least six times on the 3D OCT-2000.
the Western University of Health Sciences
Board of Trustees, taking the helm as
WesternU received the 2013 Partner in Progress Award from the Arthritis
chairman a scant 10 months after the
Foundation’s Inland Empire branch. The University is conducting a clinical
College of Osteopathic Medicine of the
study to evaluate the prevalence of dry eye in rheumatoid arthritis
Pacific’s inaugural class had graduated. He
patients, which could potentially lead to new
served as chairman until 2013, when he took
treatments. This interprofessional study is being
on the title of chairman emeritus.
conducted by College of Optometry faculty
members Jasmine Yumori, OD, FAAO, Robert
Warren Lawless
He was a veteran of World War II, serving as
Gordon, OD, FAAO, DPNAP, and Gillian
an electrician’s mate in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Theater, and later
Hollands, OD, MS; College of Osteopathic
studied business and the humanities at the University of Washington
Medicine of the Pacific faculty members Michael
while working as a journeyman typographer for the West Seattle
Finley, DO, and Dat Trinh, DO; and College of
Herald. He rose steadily through the newspaper’s ranks, eventually
Graduate Nursing faculty member Tina Escobedo, DNP, RN, FNP-BC,
becoming manager of retail advertising sales before leaving to start his
with a research grant from Allergan Pharmaceuticals.
own printing and management company in the late 1960s, which he
operated until his retirement in 1988.
One of the biggest challenges for the research team, and for research
projects in general, is recruiting subjects, said Dr. Yumori. WesternU
Lawless was also deeply involved in community service, as part of the
reached out to neighboring organizations such as Casa Colina Centers for
West Seattle Chamber of Commerce but most notably as a member of
Rehabilitation and local rheumatologists to help get the word out about
the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle. He received an honorary Doctor of
the study.
Humane Letters degree from COMP in 1980, and in 1997 received the
University’s Humanism in Medicine Award. WesternU held a “family
“The Arthritis Foundation has been incredibly supportive,” said Dr.
reunion” of Lawless relatives during COMP-Northwest’s Convocation
Yumori. “We’ve been going to community events with them and sharing
weekend in Lebanon, Ore. in August 2013, bringing together his blood
information about the study. They’ve been really great in sharing our
relatives and members of his WesternU family to share memories.
educational material with their volunteers. It’s been a great learning
process, learning about how much support and advocacy they do for
The Board proclaimed Aug. 3 and Aug. 10, 2013 as “Warren Lawless
patients with arthritis.”
Days” on the campuses of Western University of Health Sciences.
16 College of Veterinary Medicine
Always In Our Hearts
By Chrissy & Bill Valentine
ne Saturday in November 2006,
we decided to stop by the
Pasadena Humane Society, as we
often do, and take a look at the animals.
It was Chrissy’s birthday and what better
way for two animal lovers to celebrate
than to adopt a new member of the
The cat room was filled with adorable,
meowing kittens and full-grown cats
rubbing their faces against cages, begging
for attention. And then there was George.
He was skinny, 10 years old, listed as a
stray, facing the back of the cage and
wheezing due to an upper respiratory
infection he contracted while at the
shelter. Without missing a beat, Bill said,
“This is the cat for us.”
We took him home and when his infection
was gone, introduced him to the rest of
the family, another cat named Miles and a
dachshund named Ralphie. George and
Miles became the best of friends, sleeping
in the sun on the same chair together for
hours at a time. After Miles passed away,
George would split his time between that
same chair and the bottom shelf of the
linen cabinet in the bathroom.
As the years passed, George developed kidney disease, but continued to eat his favorite canned food (but only if it was heated slightly in the
microwave) and demand his morning grooming session with his favorite wire bristle brush.
George was a sweet, dignified member of our family and we miss him very much. We don’t know what his life was like before he came to live with us,
but we do know that we are so happy that he could spend his final years with us. We hope George will help other animals.
About the WAVE Program:
The College of Veterinary Medicine’s Reverence for Life Commitment promises
that animals will not be harmed in our teaching programs. A key element of this
commitment is the WAVE (Willed deceased Animals for Veterinary Education)
Program, which reaches out to animal owners to ask that they consider donating
their beloved pets’ remains to anatomy and clinical skills education at the college
(WAVE Program is modeled after the Human Willed Body Program at WesternU).
More than 500 deceased animals have been donated to the college in the last
two years. These special animals are providing a greater quality of education to future generations of veterinarians.
All donations to WAVE must be deceased due to age, serious illness or injury. An animal that has no owner to approve
the donation of its remains will not be accepted. When you know that the death of your beloved pet might be
imminent, and you live within 40 miles of the college, please ask your veterinarian about donating to WAVE. Your
veterinarian may contact Ms.Tami Miller at (909) 469-5597 to make all arrangements.
Establishing a Pet Trust
Those concerned about what will happen to their
animals should their human caregivers become
incapacitated or die might consider including
provisions in an estate plan. One means of doing
so is to establish a charitable remainder unitrust
to ensure their care in the event disaster strikes.
This can be easily accomplished, and WesternU’s
Planned Giving Office is available to assist in this
process. For more information, contact Olive
Stephens, Planned Giving administrator,
(909) 469-5211 or [email protected]
Always in Our Hearts: Stories from WAVE appears as a regular feature in each issue of the Veterinary Outlook Magazine.
Veterinary Outlook 17
Class of 2017 Profiles
First-year CVM students are profiled throughout the year
I am from rural Pennsylvania where I earned a
BS as well as an MS in Biology from
Shippensburg University. My master’s thesis
was on tick-borne pathogens. I hope to
incorporate my background in equine
dentistry into mixed-animal medicine with a
focus on tick-borne pathology.
A native of Houston, Texas, I obtained my
bachelor’s in Animal Science from Texas A&M
University. I began work in research while
getting my master of science at the University of
Houston - Clear Lake. I hope to apply my
experience and education to promote the welfare
of laboratory animals.
Jessica Anderson
Katherine Baldwin
I grew up in Southern California where
I developed an interest in working with
animals through many trips to local
zoos and aquariums. I received my
bachelor’s degree in Zoology from
California State Polytechnic University,
Pomona, while working full time in a
small animal clinic in Costa Mesa.
I was raised on a small farm in Myrtle Creek, Ore. This
agricultural experience plus my experience in nature
with my wildlife biologist mother influenced a large
part of my career. I obtained a bachelor’s in Animal
Science and Fisheries and Wildlife with an emphasis
on poultry science and wildlife conservation. I plan to
pursue wildlife and exotic or conservation medicine.
Amy Ariel Barkhurst
Christopher Bates
I grew up in Southern California and earned
my bachelor’s degree in Animal Science with
emphases in Companion Animals and Animal
Behavior from University of California, Davis.
I went abroad to perform spay and neuter
clinics and have interned at small animal
clinics. Companion animals are my primary
focus during veterinary school.
Kellie Berman
I grew up in San Diego and in 2012, I received
my bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from
California State Polytechnic University,
Pomona. I am newly married to my wonderful
husband, Stephan, and we have a beautiful
year-old daughter, Clementine. I’m interested
in large animal and zoo medicine.
Therese Bruno
I grew up in Battle Creek Mich., aka “Cereal City
USA.” While the city smells of Fruit Loops, it was
the surrounding farmland that captured my heart.
I received my bachelor’s degree from Michigan State
University and plan to study small animal medicine
in hopes of one day owning my own practice.
Gabrielle Carter
I grew up in Atascadero, Calif., and
earned my degree in Animal Science &
Management from University of
California, Davis. I worked for several
large animal and equine veterinarians
and additionally was on the Western
Equestrian Team at UCD. I plan to focus
primarily on equine medicine.
I grew up in Queens, NY, and received a BS in
Cell and Molecular Biology from Binghamton
University. As an undergraduate, I worked at a
cat and rabbit exclusive practice, was involved in
a few research projects, and had an internship in
comparative medicine. I am interested in small
animal surgery.
Mario Costa
18 College of Veterinary Medicine
Joseph Davis
Brenna Cherry
I grew up on a small cattle ranch in Chewelah,
Wash., and obtained my bachelor’s degree in
Biology from Montana State University in
Bozeman. I worked for an equine referral clinic
in Nampa, Idaho, and as a laboratory animal
veterinary technician at the University of
Washington in Seattle, Wash. I plan to focus on
large animal medicine, but am also interested
in specializing in surgery.
I grew up in New Washington, Ohio, and
received my bachelor’s degree in Animal Science
and Biology from the University of Findlay.
I worked for the university farm for two years, a
mixed animal practice for six months, and a
therapeutic equestrian facility. I am interested in
food animal medicine.
Originally from Oklahoma, my veterinary
background is primarily in shelter and small
animal medicine. I have a master’s in Animals
and Public Policy from Tufts Cummings School
of Veterinary Medicine and hope to study
large animal medicine, combining my love for
farm animals with my passion for policy.
Carin Ferdowsian
Kerry Fortney
Born in Canada and growing up in Arizona,
I had many animal family members from lizards
to ducks. In undergraduate I studied physiology
and neuroscience at University of California, San
Diego, before finishing a master’s in Biomedical
sciences from Colorado State University.
I continue to be intrigued by small animal surgery.
I grew up in Cypress, Calif., and received my
bachelor’s degree in Animal Science at
California State Polytechnic University,
Pomona. I worked at Banfield Pet Hospital
during high school and worked at VCA Animal
Hospital while completing my undergraduate
degree. I am interested in small animal
medicine and owning my own practice.
Daniel Gutman
I was born and raised in San Jose, Calif.,
and obtained my bachelor of science in
Animal Science from California
Polytechnic State University, San Luis
Obispo. I plan to pursue small animal
I was born and raised in central New Jersey and
obtained my bachelor’s degree in Biology from
Pennsylvania State University. I have invested more
than 3,500 hours of work in a specialty animal hospital
in New Jersey and plan to pursue a small animal
specialty certification upon graduation.
Cody Kent
Ashley Keeley
I grew up in Chino Hills, Calif., and
received my bachelor’s degree in Biological
Sciences at California State University,
Fullerton, with a concentration in molecular
biology/biotechnology. I worked at two
small animal hospitals as an
undergraduate. I am interested in small
animal medicine.
I grew up in Santa Maria, Calif., where I gained
experience in shelter, exotic, wildlife, small animal,
and large animal medicine. I received my bachelor’s
degree from University of California, Davis, where
I participated in a retrospective equine
thrombocytopenia study and research for the Sierra
Nevada Red Fox's conservation efforts. I plan to
pursue a mixed practice in the state of California.
Stephanie Marie
David Kim
I am from Glendale, Calif., and I graduated
from The Polytechnic Institute of New York
University with a bachelor’s in Biomolecular
science. After school I worked full time at
Montrose Pet Hospital, which fueled my
desire to focus on small animal medicine
during the next four years.
Marisa Mauerhan
Lauren Heit
I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Animal
Science from California State Polytechnic
University, Pomona, while working for the USDA,
Food Safety Inspection Service. I also volunteered
at a horse rescue facility. I plan to pursue large
animal medicine with a focus on public health
and the investigation of disease outbreaks.
Brittany Newtown
Veterinary Outlook 19
I grew up on a hobby farm in southwest Florida
and obtained my bachelor’s degree in Biology
from Florida Gulf Coast University. I’ve worked
for the past eight years at small animal clinics and
also have spent some time working with wildlife
rehabilitation. I plan to pursue small animal and
exotic medicine.
I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Business
Administration and Finance from California
State University, Fresno, and received my PreMedical Certificate through UCLA Extension.
I worked as a technician in small animal
hospitals and volunteered my time with wildlife
organizations. I plan to pursue small animal
medicine with a focus on internal medicine.
Tony Nitido
Meghan Schuman
I grew up in southeastern Pennsylvania,
and hold a BS in Animal Science from the
University of Delaware, as well as an MS in
Animal Science from Oklahoma State
University. I have worked in multiple
positions at the University of
Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center. I also
enjoy rock climbing and backpacking.
I graduated from Rutgers University in 2013 with a
degree in Animal Science. In the past five years
I have learned through research, an internship at the
SPCA, a mobile equine practice focused on
racehorses and performance horses, and acupuncture
and chiropractic medicine. I am pursuing a career as
a mixed animal veterinarian specializing in
acupuncture and chiropractic medicine.
Joe Simmons
I am from Rockland County, NY, and
graduated from the University of Delaware
with a BS in Pre-Veterinary Medicine and
Animal Biosciences. I have worked at a
small animal veterinary hospital, horse
farm, zoo, and did undergraduate research.
Currently, I am interested in both large
and small animal medicine.
Monica Sterk
Christina Tataryn
I was raised in Vancouver, British Columbia,
and obtained my bachelor’s degree in Biology
from Washington University in St. Louis.
I was a research intern at the Saint Louis Zoo
and volunteered in small animal clinics,
shelters, and rescue centers. I plan to pursue
small animal medicine.
I grew up in upstate New York and received
my BS in Cellular/Molecular Biology from
Binghamton University. My employment in a
small animal practice and my experiences
with shelters, farms and large-animal
veterinarians have all contributed to my
interests in small and large animal medicine.
My interests are in preventive medicine and
client communication and education.
I have always had a passion for physical
rehabilitation. I majored in kinesiology and
received my doctorate in Physical Therapy. I have
worked in canine rehabilitation for three years in
Los Angeles. I plan to pursue small animal
medicine focusing on rehabilitation including
surgery, physical therapy, and alternative therapies.
John Wagner
Andrew Tsai
I grew up in Fresno, Calif., and received my
bachelor’s in Biology from California State
University, Fresno. I raised three puppies in
training for Guide Dogs for the Blind and have
worked in a small animal practice for nine years.
I’m interested in dermatology. I enjoy hiking
with my dogs and kayaking in my free time.
Lauren Waterhouse
20 College of Veterinary Medicine
Brianna Stafford
I earned my bachelor’s degree in Animal
Science at Rutgers, The State University of
New Jersey, and worked at the university’s
farm as an animal care assistant and a
research assistant for four years. I plan to
focus on small animal medicine.
Ting-Ting Yang
Alumni Connection
Mission Statement
is committed to serving society
Virtual Veterinary Career Center
The WesternU College of Veterinary Medicine has implemented the online Veterinary Career Center
(VCC), part of the nationwide Veterinary Career Network (VCN), which describes itself as “an
industry wide alliance of the AVMA, State Veterinary Medical Associations, affiliate organizations,
other national industry associations and education institutions, that serve professionals working in
the animal-health industry.”
The VCC offers Job Directory services and enables employers to advertise their job opportunities on
the local directory for free or on the VCN for a fee. The VCC is accessible at
http://cvmjobs.westernu.edu/. Information about pricing for the VCN can be found at
The VCC provides access to the best, high-profile and even niche openings locally and nationwide
from the industry’s leading institutions and practices. Students and alumni are able to do the
following and more free of charge:
• Build an in-depth profile to market skills and talent
• Upload a resume and update it as often as desired (confidentially, if preferred)
• Set up a personal Job Agent and be alerted when new jobs are posted
• Review career-search tips and advice from recruiting experts
• Search hundreds of jobs posted every day by leading institutions and practices
Contact Emmanuel Griffon, the CVM’s web content administrator, with any questions. He may be
reached at [email protected] or (909) 469-8780.
and animals through the preparation of
students for the practice of veterinary
medicine, veterinary public health and/or
veterinary research in an educational program
of self-directed learning, reverence for life and
clinical education through strategic partnerships.
Instruction and clinical opportunities
are provided in a wide variety of domestic
species, including food animal,
equine, and companion animals.
The college sustains a vibrant diverse faculty
by encouraging advancement through
personal and professional development and
research. This creates an environment of
competent, caring, ethical professionals,
where cooperative learning, public service
and scholarship can flourish.
Dean Hosts Reception in Las Vegas
CVM Dean Phillip Nelson, DVM, PhD, hosted a reception in Las Vegas on Feb. 17, 2014, for the
college’s alumni, students and faculty during the Western Veterinary Conference. The conference
took place Feb. 16-20. The reception, in the dean’s suite at Mandalay Bay Hotel, was a wonderful
opportunity for those associated with the CVM to reconnect with former classmates and faculty
members, and meet current students.
Annual Alumni Reunion Set for October
Alumni from the WesternU College of Veterinary Medicine should mark their calendars for Oct. 18,
2014, for the next CVM all-years reunion. The Class of 2009 will be spotlighted at this year’s
gathering as it celebrates its fifth-year reunion. Watch for more information in Veterinary Outlook as
the reunion date draws near.
Share Your News
Have you recently married, started a new job, had a baby, or received a promotion? Update
WesternU on your achievements and milestones so they can be shared with your fellow classmates.
Send any news to [email protected]
CVM Calendar
July 25-29
July 28
July 30-Aug. 1
Aug. 4-8
Aug. 9
Aug. 11
Sept. 1
Sept. 28
AVMA Convention, Denver, Colo.
AVMA Convention, WesternU CVM Alumni Reception,
Hyatt Regency, Denver: Mineral Hall B
Preceptor/Faculty Summer Retreat
CVM Orientation Week
CVM Convocation and White Coat Ceremony
First Day of Fall Term
Labor Day Holiday
World Rabies Day
Veterinary Outlook 21
Non-Profit Org.
U.S. Postage
Permit No. 465
San Dimas, CA 91773
College of Veterinary Medicine
309 E. Second St.
Pomona, Calif. 91766-1854
Parting Shot
Screech Owls On The Wire!
“Spring 2013, San Antonio Heights, Calif., a rare and stunning
encounter with screech owls on an electrical wire.
It turned out the encounter repeated four nights in a row as an
entire family of screech owls had nested in the area.”
– Emmanuel Griffon, CVM Web Content Administrator
If you have a Parting Shot photo to share, please contact us at 909.706.3874.