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2012 Staff Recognition Awards

4th Annual Staff Recognition Awards Presented

The College of Veterinary Medicine presented the fourth annual Staff and Administration Recognition Awards on August 1 in Overton Auditorium.

The program’s purpose is to formally recognize outstanding performance and accomplishment by college staff employees, as well as to recognize longevity. Five staff awards, the Dean’s Award, the Czerkawski Award, and awards for longevity were given.

2012 Staff and Administration Recognition Awards Committee members are HuiChu Lin (Chair), Hattie Alvis, Lori Carden, Pete Christopherson, Teri Dunaway, Mahmoud Mansour, Ron Montgomery, Amelia Pendleton, and Vic Walker.

Deborah Hatch Czerkawski Award

  • Jameson Sofge, Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology


Jameson Sofge is the third recipient of the Deborah Hatch Czerkawski Award. The award was created in 2009 and presented posthumously to Debbie Czerkawski who was an integral part of the clinical pathology lab and the college for eight years. The award is to reflect spirit, enthusiasm, and character.

Attitude reflects leadership. JAMESON SOFGE is a research assistant and manager of the Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory. He oversees activities that range from coordination of research support for five to ten simultaneously ongoing projects, to running a therapeutic drug monitoring service that caters to over 200 patients each week.

“Among the most profound contributions Jameson has made to our lab is in the realm of our therapeutic drug monitoring service,” said Dr. Dawn Boothe. In regard to the oversight and development of automated assays on the new instrumentation, Sofge has helped reduce sample analysis time from 24 hours to 20 minutes. Equally important have been the changes he has made in the recommendation system to veterinarians submitting samples. As a result the turnaround time for directives regarding the design of dosing regimens is less than 24 hours from the time of sample receipt.

Sofge is committed to excellence in his personal life as well. “He is currently pursuing a master’s degree and he has multiple ongoing epidemiological research projects that he is developing from our therapeutic drug monitoring database,” said Dr. Heather Davis.

Sofge is an active member of the Auburn community. “This past summer, when most people were on vacation, Mr. Sofge donated a week of his own time to a children’s leadership camp and served as camp counselor and chef,” Dr. Davis said.

“His smile precedes him by about 30 yards,” said Dr. Boothe. “Veterinarians uniformly compliment him for his enthusiasm, attention to detail, willingness to help, and follow-through. Jameson’s contribution to our laboratory has been the reason we are nationally recognized for our therapeutic drug monitoring service and our efforts in clinical research.”

Staff Recognition Awards

  • Stephen Gulley, Pathobiology


Honest and ethical are essential characteristics in undertaking research work. But if you’re STEPHEN GULLEY, you’re also pleasant, patient, easygoing, and unselfish. Not to mention, extraordinarily able to fix equipment and kind enough to keep the treat jar filled with candy and chocolates. A research assistant, Gulley has been with the College of Veterinary Medicine for six years.

“He will spend late hours in the lab to finish experiments and comes in on weekends,” said Dr. Frits van Ginkel. “His dedication to do a good job combined with work ethics makes him an essential member.”

“Steve is a research assistant for Dr. van Ginkel, but he also cooperates with other members of the avian disease research group, including myself,” said Dr. Vicky Van Santen. “He enthusiastically helps his colleagues in sample collection and necropsy for experiments in chickens, as well as processing and analyzing samples for others and providing technical advice.”

“He displays a collaborative spirit that is vital to the success of the avian disease program,” Dr. Stuart Price said. Stephen takes a personal interest in all the experiments conducted in the Avian Disease Research Program, not just the ones which originate from his laboratory. This interest in what others are doing, coupled with his positive outlook in general, has helped to create an almost ‘wall-less’ mega-lab among the avian disease group, with the lines of communication fully open all of the time.”

For several years, Gulley has led the college in soliciting nonperishable food items during the Beat Bama Food Drive benefitting the Food Bank of East Alabama.

  • Liz Hodson, Clinical Sciences / Orthopedic Service


LIZ HODSON
is a technician with the orthopedic service in the Small Animal Teaching Hospital. Hodson, who is pursuing a veterinary technology license, is known for her outstanding customer service skills.

“Good customer service is a combination of well-trained employees and an efficient system,” said Client Advocate Nancy Wagner. “Clients want to encounter knowledgeable and professional customer service representatives to resolve their issues, questions, and concerns. This goes a long way toward helping retain clients.”

“Liz is a valued colleague and trusted friend who brings the Auburn ‘human touch’ to our patients and their owners,” said Dr. Ron Montgomery, Bruce Pratt Distinguished Professor of Orthopedics.

“Liz is very knowledgeable and a professional,” Wagner said. “Feedback from clients is always positive. She possesses good communication skills, strong interpersonal skills, and a positive attitude.”

Hodson’s skills, knowledge, and attitude are what make her an asset to the orthopedic service and to Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

  • Robert Logan, Clinical Sciences / Large Animal


Our clients interact with the clinicians and veterinary technicians, but rarely do they see the behind-the-scenes staff members who provide the caretaking and custodial support. ROBERT LOGAN has served as an animal care orderly for over 20 years.

As an animal care taker at the Large Animal Teaching Hospital he is responsible for cleaning and organizing animal quarters such as pens and stables, and yards and equipment. He assists with the transportation of animals and with their care and observation.

Logan, who is described as a tireless worker, holds down an additional job at a local supermarket. “I’ve never heard Robert complain about anything even though he performs duties that don’t appear to be much fun,” said Dr. John Schumacher. “He is always eager to help anytime he sees a problem. Robert seems to enjoy working at the large animal clinic.”

The goal of the staff recognition awards program is to create awareness of outstanding performance and accomplishment. For 26 years Logan has been an integral part of veterinary medicine. For this reason he deserves, as stated by Dr. Schumacher, the “Unsung Hero Award.”

  • Erin Robbins, Clinical Sciences / Equine Medicine


ERIN ROBBINS
is the individual primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the equine isolation unit. Robbins manages every detail of the facility while being available when needed for technical assistance in the Large Animal Teaching Hospital.

“Erin is a cheerful member of our team who works relentlessly for the betterment of the hospital and the equine group,” said Dr. Erin Groover. “I have worked closely with her on the equine medicine service and through our roles as stewards of the infectious disease control measures in the equine hospital. She is an outstanding technician who has expanded her role by overseeing the technical aspects of the equine isolation unit.”

“Erin is always efficient and has everything ready and waiting for procedures and student laboratories,” Dr. Anne Wooldridge said. “She is an excellent horse handler and I always feel that we are safe when she is handling an animal for a procedure.

“Our service had a very difficult neurological case in isolation recently and Erin volunteered to work on a Saturday to help support our service and that horse.  Our service is so fortunate to have a technician like Erin who cares so much about our patients.”

  • Missy Streicher, Clinical Sciences / Dermatology Service


Veterinary technician MISSY STREICHER is the primary contact person for the dermatology service. “Missy always puts her patients and clients before herself,” said Natalie Royer. “She works through lunch to make sure patient diagnostics and cases are finished.”

“Missy is probably the best technician in feline venipuncture and she is frequently paged to assist with difficult patients,” said Dr. Robert Kennis.

During rotations Missy instructs the house officers in techniques such as intradermal allergy testing, biopsy collection, ear cleaning, and anesthesia monitoring. “Missy is responsible for using and maintaining the video otoscope and she is very adept at preparing and assessing cytologic samples for teaching and diagnostic purposes,” Dr. Kennis said. “Her clinical skills are outstanding, but she is equally gifted in teaching these skills.”

During each rotation Missy, who has become very knowledgeable in the field of veterinary dermatology, leads a discussion on shampoo and topical therapy and presents flea rounds to the community practice service.

“While performing her regular duties as a dermatology technician, Missy also manages the dermatology stock supplies, maintains a clean and neat environment, and cares for our elderly ward cat Little Mac,” said fellow veterinary technician Rachel Arnold of neurology. “She represents a model technician, as well as a model human being. All of us should aspire to the high standard she sets in the workplace every day.”

Dean's Award

  • Cora Cobb
  • Charles Allen Cary Veterinary Medical Library


The Dean’s Award recognizes individuals who are not full-time employees of the College of Veterinary Medicine or Auburn University, yet provide exemplary service to the college. 2012 recipient Cora Cobb is a specialist II/library technician in the Charles Allen Cary Veterinary Medical Library, part of the Auburn University Libraries.

Dr. Dan Givens knew CORA COBB when he was a student in 1990 checking out histology slides, as a large animal resident in 1999 when searching for misplaced professional journal articles, and he calls on her assistance today as a faculty member when downloading difficult-to-find journal articles.

“Mrs. Cora Cobb has generously and graciously assisted my personal endeavors in the veterinary profession.  By her quiet example, unflappable composure, attention to detail, warm smile, and determination to find the desired information, Mrs. Cobb demonstrates to all patrons of the CVM library how to provide professional service,” Dr. Givens said.

Dr. Nancy Cox refers to Cobb as a “gem.” Said Dr. Cox, “While not officially a member of our college, she is truly part of our CVM family.”

Cobb came to the veterinary campus in 1985 where she remained until 2006. After transferring  to the Library of Architecture, Design, and Construction, Cobb returned to the Cary Veterinary Medical Library in 2008. “Cora does it all,” said Dr. Charles Hendrix, “from maintaining and cataloging our ever-growing collection of books and journals, to keeping track of current faculty publications and arrivals of new acquisitions, to locating misfiled books or journals, to the ever mundane task of checking out books. Our veterinary medical library would not be as welcoming to me or to our faculty, staff, students, and the public-at-large if Mrs. Cora Cobb was not ‘on duty’.”

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