November 2011

Alpha Psi Fraternity Pledges $1 Million

The Theta chapter of Alpha Psi has pledged $1 million over the next 10 years benefitting the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. The $1 million gift will be used toward enhancing facilities.

The monies will help make possible three new classrooms in the educational wing addition that is currently under construction. The 150-seat lecture rooms will be accessible in January 2012. Construction of the new Wilford and Kate Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital, opening in 2014, follows along with a food animal barn that is to be built adjacent to food animal research facilities. [news release]

Critical Care Case of the Year

A six-year-old yellow Labrador retriever that that stayed 34 days in intensive care is the Critical Care Case of the Year.

Atticus, the pet of Dr. Michael and Barbara Raines of Americus, Ga., came with other animals from across the Southeast on Nov. 6 to be honored during the annual Celebration of Life. Nurses and doctors selected these extraordinary cases from more than 1,500 animals treated in the past year by the Critical Care Program within the Small Animal Teaching Hospital. They gathered to share stories of survival and to present the Manny Morpeth Award for Case of the Year, named for the first recipient in 2002.

The purpose of the program is to welcome back some of the special animals and their owners who triumphed over adversity to survive despite overwhelming odds.

A veterinarian referred Atticus to the Small Animal Teaching Hospital after he diagnosed the dog with pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas. “Atticus had gotten into the trash a few days before he came to Auburn and he had been showing signs of vomiting and lethargy,” said Clinical Instructor Adesola Odunayo, who presented the award.  “His veterinarian took him to surgery and diagnosed him with severe pancreatitis.”

While he was at Auburn, Atticus had many medical issues. “He had severe pneumonia and fluid building up in his chest, abdomen, and pancreas. His pancreas continued to be severely inflamed which ultimately started to affect the function of his liver,” said Dr. Odunayo.  Atticus required two additional surgeries and many critical treatments including intravenous antibiotics, intravenous fluids, a flushing of his abdomen, and intravenous nutrition.

“Atticus was loved by his many caretakers,” Dr. Odunayo said. “He beat the odds and was discharged on August 21. He has been doing great at home and is back to spending time with his other siblings.”

Dr. Ricardo Irizarry, who until recently served as a clinical instructor in critical care, played a large role in Atticus’ recovery.

CVM Mourns the Loss of Ben Ray

Benjamin F. Ray, 53, of Waverly, an animal care attendant with the Scott-Ritchey Research Center, died of a massive heart attack on Nov. 20. Ben had worked with the center for over 25 years.

“Ben was such a kind person and a hard worker,” said Dr. Nancy Cox.” He went about his work quietly and without fanfare, always doing his part and more. He was not only an excellent caretaker in the dog colonies, he also was the person who made sure places the housekeeping services could not go – offices offices and laboratories – were swept and mopped so all of us would have a clean place to work. As most of you know, he lost his dear mother three weeks ago. That was very, very hard on Ben. In spite of that, he continued to do his work for the center without fail. He will be greatly missed.”

Scott-Ritchey is collecting contributions for Ben’ family – his children and grandchildren who were recently in town and returned for his services. If you would like to help with their travel expenses, please see Sherry Compton ( in the Scott-Ritchey Research Center front office.

Phi Zeta Research Emphasis Day and How to Build a Dog

On Nov. 9 the college recognized outstanding research done by its veterinary and graduate students, interns, and residents. Throughout the day, podium and poster presentations were given as part of Phi Zeta Research Emphasis Day. The keynote speaker, Dr. Elaine Ostrander, chief of the Cancer Genetics Branch at the National Human Genome Research Institute of NIH, spoke on “How to Build a Dog: Genetics of Complex Traits.” Dr. Ostrander’s lab works in both human and canine genetics focusing on the genetics of complex disease traits, including cancer.

A banquet that evening featured the induction of new members into the honor society and awards for the poster and platform competitions. Epsilon Phi Zeta Chapter hosted the day’s activities. Dr. Stuart Price serves as chapter president.

Continuing Education for Faculty, Students, and Practitioners

The Facts about Communication in Veterinary Medicine

  • February 2
  • 6 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Overton Auditorium

Veterinary faculty from Auburn and Tuskegee's veterinary programs, veterinary students, and veterinary practitioners from Alabama and west Georgia are invited to attend a free continuing ed event on Feb. 2 focusing on communication.

The interactive presentation outlines current knowledge regarding the importance of successful communication in veterinary medicine and core communication skills required of the veterinary professional. Tips for more successful communication in all areas of our lives including communication within the veterinary health care team, with clients, and in challenging situations will be provided.

Dr. Karen Cornell of the University of Georgia is the guest lecturer. A light snack will be provided from 7 to 7:30 p.m. Register by January 23 to participate and to receive 2 CE credit hours. Due to space limitations, on-site registration will not be available.

For information, call 844-2497 or register online.


November Orientation

Attending the CVM orientation session held Nov. 2 were: First row, Britaine Williams, animal care orderly (DCS), and Roderick Marshall, animal care orderly (DCS). Seated: Natalie Mills, admin support specialist (DCS); Kathryn Jones, research assistant (Admin); and Connie Beckwith, financial associate (DCS). Standing: Ursula Young, large animal/small animal technician (DCS); Jane Dowling, research assistant (Admin); Ashley Appleman large animal/small animal technician (DCS); Chad Maddox, canine instructor (AHPP); and Nicholas Wheeles, diagnostic imaging tech (DCS).

LIVE UNITED – CVM United Way Campaign Winners

Every year the College of Veterinary Medicine is a major participant in the United Way of Lee County LIVE UNITED campaign. As a special incentive for contributions, two framed photographs of Tiger War Eagle VI were offered by Dr. Charles Hendrix. One photograph was to be given to a faculty/staff member who donated to the United Way campaign and one to a student. Gifts to the United Way of Lee County support 27 agencies that serve the local community. 

And the winners are…

Kristen Meadows, United Way of Lee County campaign manager drew the winning entry from the faculty/staff contributors selecting Acting Dean Calvin Johnson. Dr. Charlie Hendrix expresses his surprise!

“Smarter Every Day” and Auburn’s Eagles

A University of Alabama graduate who is a weapons tester at Redstone Arsenal (and pursuing his M.S. degree in rocket propulsion) approached the Southeastern Raptor Center regarding his online educational segments on YouTube. The Raptor Center partnered with Destin for a “Smarter Every Day” segment at Jordan-Hare Stadium during a morning practice to show how the eagles are trained. Watch the video here.

Stocking Stuffers - 2012 Best Friends Calendars

The Lee County Humane Society is selling its 2012 Best Friends Calendar sponsored by Delta Zeta Sorority.  Each full-color, 32-page calendar costs only $10, and all proceeds benefit the animals at the shelter.

More than 75 pets were entered into the voting contest to see which would be featured as the cover pet and pets of the month. All of the pets’ pictures are included in the calendar. The voting contest, entry fees, and ad sales raised more than $13,000.  Calendar sales will supplement this amount to generate funds for adoption programs at the Lee County Humane Society which aim to find homes for the more than 5,000 animals the society cares for each year.

Calendars are available at the shelter and at many local businesses and veterinary practices in the area.  

CVM Holiday Party Dec. 15 – Food, Philanthropy, and Outtakes!

Acting Dean Calvin Johnson hosts the CVM holiday party on Thursday, Dec. 15, from 2 to 4 p.m. In the spirit of giving, the College of Veterinary Medicine is again assisting the Lee County Humane Society with their in-kind donation needs. The humane society provides many services by partnering with the cities of Auburn and Opelika, as well as Lee County, to house stray and unwanted animals. The society also provides adoptions services, educational programs, and community awareness. Look at the humane society’s needs list and bring your donation items to the CVM Holiday Party on Dec. 15. 

Special Video Premiere

Do you remember the Crystal Capers? Specifically Crystal Caper #9  where members our Animal Health and Performance Program helped find the crystal football, otherwise known as the Coaches’ Trophy? Rumor has it there is an outtake video from the day’s filming that will likely have a special showing during our holiday party. Come to the party.  It’s not to be missed!

Champions On and Off the Field

From our oncology program to training bomb-sniffing dogs, the College of Veterinary was featured in a series of ads this season in Auburn Football Illustrated. Sponsored by the Development Office, “Champions On and Off the Field” depicts how students, alumni, and friends of the college are contributing to our community, nation, and world. The ads create awareness of the new Wilford and Kate Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital and the funding campaign Soar. [view the complete ad series here]

Upcoming Events

Thursday, Dec. 1

  • World AIDS Day Symposium
  • 11 a.m.
  • Goodwin Auditorium

Dec. 8-9

  • J.T. Vaughan Equine Conference
  • 20 hours C.E.
  • CVM Campus

Saturday, Dec. 10

  • EndNote Class
  • 10:30 a.m. to Noon
  • RBD Library, 2nd Floor “Lobby Lab”
  • Enroll here

Thursday, Dec. 15

  • CVM Holiday Party
  • 2-4 p.m.
  • Overton Cafeteria

Thursday, Feb. 2

  • The Facts about Communication in Veterinary Medicine
  • 2 hours C.E.
  • 6 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Overton Auditorium

Symposium Marks World AIDS Day Dec. 1

The College of Veterinary Medicine observes World AIDS Day Dec. 1 with a symposium beginning at 11 a.m. in Goodwin-Overton Auditorium. Dr. James Willig, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Division of Infectious Diseases, will speak on HIV in the present day, its ongoing challenges, and new hope. He will discuss current trends regarding the epidemiology of HIV in the U.S., as well as the one "functional cure” case.

Dr. Jenni Spencer, a lecturer in the Department of Pathobiology, will present "Animals and the Immunosuppressed Person: Fact versus Fiction."

Willig’s work with the UAB 1917 Clinic Cohort has focused on quality issues in HIV primary care, as well as the integration of informatics tools to improve patient care. He spearheaded the design of the second version of the 1917 Clinic electronic medical record and the integration of medication dosing decision support for HIV therapy into this software. The UAB 1917 Clinic Cohort is a cohort study established in 1992 that includes HIV positive individuals who receive primary and subspecialty care at the UAB 1917 Clinic.

Dr. Bartol is Animal Science Image Gallery Editor-in-Chief

Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies Dr. Frank Bartol has been named editor-in-chief of the Animal Science Image Gallery which is a collaborative project of the USDA National Agricultural Library and the American Society of Animal Science. ASAS oversees the peer review process required of new submissions before they are accepted into the gallery. The site is designed to provide images, animations, and video for classroom and outreach learning. To view the image gallery, click here.

2011 Phi Zeta Research Emphasis Day

2011 Phi Zeta Research Emphasis Day Awards

  • Graduate Student Poster, Farruk M.L. Kabir       
  • Veterinary Student Poster, Andrew Pfaehler        
  • Undergraduate Poster, Nichole Orr
  • People’s Choice Poster, Hui Huang      
  • Graduate Student Platform, Meghan Davolt          
  • Veterinary Student Platform, Jeremy Foote

Newly Inducted Members

  • Shelley Ash
  • Daniel Bland
  • Laura Catharine Brittain
  • Lawrence Brown
  • Adam Cooner
  • Jessica Durrett-Work
  • Justin Farris
  • Harmony Glenn
  • Landon Grantland
  • Sakthila Jeyakumar
  • Russell Laster
  • Abby Corbin Long
  • Kelly McKee
  • Kelli McNamara
  • Cinzia Mastrorilli
  • Pamela Minogue
  • Patrick Moyle
  • Samantha Murphy
  • Drew Nelson
  • Amie Perry
  • Anil Poudel
  • Kim Reid
  • Margaret Sermersheim
  • Jordan Towns
  • Vaughn Traywick
  • Michael West
  • Jessie Young
  • Whitney Young

Construction Update

Excerpted from a Nov. 18 report:

Overton exterior

Planter precast is complete. The damaged building precast is being patched. Brasfield & Gorrie plans to monitor this closely to make sure it meets appropriate standards. Most of the glass is installed with one window remaining open for equipment and for the exterior doors. Roof demolition is complete.

Overton interior

The ramp walls are being constructed allowing for compliance and accessibility. The catwalk concrete has been poured and is now passable. Permanent power and conditioned air should be available. Bathroom counter tops should be installed. VCT flooring will be installed after Thanksgiving as long as conditioned air is present. 

The Spirit Stick Goes to…

Congratulations to Anesthesia Prep in the Department of Clinical Sciences! Winners of the Iron Bowl Door Decorating Contest

Congratulations to...

  • Drs. Aime and Jacob Johnson on the birth of their triplets born Nov. 16: Kirin Elizabeth, 4 lbs., 14 oz.; Levi Raymond, 5 lbs., 10 oz.; and Savannah Caroline, 5 lbs., 3 oz. Mom and babies are doing well, says Dr. Johnson.
  • Drs. Ghislaine Dujovne and Rodrigo Gallardo on the arrival of their son. Matias Gallardo-Dujovne (6 lbs., 10 oz.) was born Nov. 20.
  • Russell Adkison and his wife Addie on the birth of their first child. Cassie Ray Adkison was born Nov. 27 weighing 7 lbs., 3 oz., and was 19 inches long.
  • Ray L. Allen who retired as animal care manager with the Scott-Ritchey Research Center on Nov. 30. Ray had been with the College of Veterinary Medicine for 35 years. He is the first recipient of the Deborah Hatch Czerkawski Award.

Our Condolences To...

  • Leon Bowman (IIT) whose mother died Nov. 9. Funeral services were held Nov. 19 in Anniston.
  • Rajesh Guntupalli (APP postdoctoral fellow) whose mother died Nov. 13 in India following a stroke.


Did you get married, have a baby, win a teaching award, receive a grant for a study, publish your work in a professional journal, or, do you have immediate family serving in the U.S. Military? @the CVM is a monthly e-newsletter for faculty and staff and we would like to hear from you! Please send information to, 105 Greene Hall.


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