Three CVM faculty members were honored May 26 at the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery.
John Kelliher, affiliate professor, and Ken Nusbaum and James Wright, professors in the Department of Pathobiology received the 2010 Research Excellence Award for developing and teaching two courses, “Strategic Public Health” and “Public Health from Zero.” The first course focused on issues of force protection and the second on developing basic public health systems in war or disaster areas.
”Public Health from Zero” focused on health needs in Afghanistan, but the earthquake in Haiti occurred one day before the first class. Dr. Kelliher, a former state public health veterinarian who was an Army major and helicopter pilot in Vietnam, insisted on the use of immediately relevant course material. “The syllabus was changed over lunch and the course focused on health needs in Haiti, to the satisfaction of students and faculty alike,” said Dr. Nusbaum.
The students came from the Air Force, Navy, and Air Force Reserve. The course was part of their year-long training for the Master of Military Art and Science degree. Officers brought experiences from numerous deployments to the classes, making each class interactive and contributory. Each student wrote three papers for the course, the last a long study submitted to a program-wide and national competition.
Professor Robert A. Norton of the Department of Poultry Science facilitated the College of Veterinary Medicine’s participation. Dr. Norton, who has worked with the veterinarians since 2000, has developed a program in open source intelligence and taught a course in agricultural terrorism with Dr. Nusbaum.
“A lot of our great ideas for collaboration have failed for lack of funding,” said Dr. Nusbaum, “but Dr. Norton has persevered and extended his collaboration to us.”