Several veterinary students were recently recognized for their achievements at the 2016 Life of the College Awards.
The awards recognize students’ scholarly work, research accomplishments, business aptitude, promotion of the human-animal bond and altruistic service to the college, faculty and fellow students.
“We are pleased to have an awards ceremony early in the fall semester that reminds each of us of the attributes that we value and celebrate as a college,” said Dr. Dan Givens, the associate dean for Academic Affairs.
“We have many students who are deserving of notable recognition in these diverse areas. Being a part of the educational experience of our students who represent the current and future leadership of our broad and distinguished profession is a great privilege.”
The awards ceremony was held as part of the weekly Clinicopathologic Conference presentations, during which several senior-level students give presentations on unique cases they have treated during their clinical rotations.
Students receiving awards were:
Johnathan Tubbs, a first-year student, from Cadiz, Ky., was awarded the Francesca B. Gaither Scholarship, in recognition of her accomplishments prior to admission to the college. The award is named for the late Francesca B. Gaither, a member of the class of 1987.
Rachel Roberson, second-year student from Geneva, Fla., was awarded the T.C. Fitzgerald Memorial Award, in recognition for their outstanding ability and almost identical academic performance in anatomy. The award is named for Dr. T.C. Fitzgerald, head of the Department of Anatomy and Histology, now the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology, from 1948 to 1968.
“Rachel’s scores and overall grade in the subject of anatomy taught over the period of one year was astonishing,” said Dr. Benson Akingbemi, professor in the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology. “It is the unanimous opinion of anatomy faculty that this distinguished but quiet and diligent worker was well deserving of this honor.
“In spite of the work load and required attention to other subjects, Rachel maintained her poise, interacted positively with her peers to achieve set goals and related to her peers and anatomy faculty in the most professional way,” he added.
Rachel Roberson was also awarded the LaVerne Krista Histology Award for demonstrated ability in histology. The award is named for Dr. LaVerne Krista, who spent his entire veterinary career as a faculty member at Auburn. He joined in 1969, was appointed the head of the Department of Anatomy and Histology in 1988, and retired in 1998.
“Rachel’s scores and overall grade in the subject of anatomy taught over the period of one year was astonishing,” said Dr. Benson Akingbemi, who presented the award. “It is the unanimous opinion of anatomy faculty that this distinguished but quiet and diligent worker is well deserving of this honor.
“In spite of the work load and required attention to other subjects, Rachel maintained her poise, interacted positively with her peers to achieve set goals and related to her peers and anatomy faculty in the most professional way.”
Samantha Morici, a third-year student from Smithtown, N.Y., was awarded the Student Research Award for her demonstrated ability for research. The award is sponsored by Dr. Charles H. Courtney, a 1977 graduate of the college, who previously served as the associate dean for research and graduate studies at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
“Samantha has shown an interest in research that began with her participation in the Veterinary Summer Scholars Program last year,” said Dr. Bruce Smith, who presented the award. “She continued to work in the laboratory following the end of the program, and this spring was awarded a highly competitive grant from the Morris Animal Foundation to continue that research this summer and will continue to work in the laboratory on this project during the fall semester as well. The award was presented to Samantha for her dedication and excellence in research.”
Melissa Crepps, a second-year student from Coxs Creek, Ky., was presented the Scott-Ritchey Research Award for her accomplishments during a research fellowship. The Scott-Ritchey Research Center was initially established by Mr. K.A. Scott in appreciation for services provided by the Small Animal Teaching Hospital. Miss Eleanor Ritchey bequeathed the bulk of her estate to provide support to this research center.
“Melissa participated in the Veterinary Summer Scholars Program this past summer,” said Dr. Bruce Smith. “She worked in my laboratory, assisting on a project designed to use synthetic biology to produce therapeutic anti-cancer viruses. Melissa was recognized for her excellent abilities in the laboratory, reflecting both her careful and skillful laboratory technique as well as her intellectual involvement in the research problem.”
Rachel Maloney, a fourth-year student from Buffalo, N.Y., was presented the Edwin R. Goode, Jr. Memorial Award, for her contributions to large animal research. The award is named for Dr. Goode, who was known for his work in bovine brucellosis.
Camille Ogletree, a third-year student from Franklin, Ga., was presented the Simmons Business Aptitude Award. The Simmons & Associates Educational Trust Fund established a scholarship in 2003 to recognize a veterinary student from the college who has demonstrated an ability and interest in the business aspects of veterinary practice.
Jennifer Lyons, a second-year student from Louisville, Ky., was presented the Pat Teer Award for her positive, significant interest and participation in the training and use of animals in the promotion of the human-animal bond. The award is named for Dr. Teer, who taught Clinical Pathology at the college for more than 30 years. She was also involved in the training and showing of pure bred dogs.
Lyons has a “passion for helping others. Through her activities and those of the remarkable organization she works with, The Guide Dog Foundation, individuals facing extreme challenges in their lives are provided (free of charge) a companion that not only cares for their needs but provides love and comfort,” said Dr. Elaine Coleman, professor in the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology.
She has been raising service dogs since her undergraduate studies at University of Kentucky and continues while a veterinary medicine student in spite of a rigorous academic program. Words used to describe Lyon by those who nominated her include relentlessly patient, caring, dedicated, and “THE GIRL WITH THE DOG!”
Rachel Burt, a third-year student from Columbiana, Ala., was presented the East Alabama VMA Student Leadership Award. This award is presented to an Alabama resident entering their third year of veterinary education demonstrating excellence in leadership.
Rebekah Green, a second-year student from Prospect, Ky., received the I.S. McAdory Memorial Award, which is given to a second-year student who was selected as the outstanding first-year student at the college. Dr. I.S. McAdory served as the second dean of the college from 1935 to 1940.
Emily Hipp, a third-year student from Wildwood, Mo., was awarded the R.S. Sugg Memorial, presented to the third-year student who was selected as the outstanding second-year student at the college. The award is named for Dr. R.S. Sugg, who received his DVM from Auburn University, served in WWII, and was the Alabama State Veterinarian. Dr. Sugg was instrumental in the development of the Southern Regional Education Board.
Megan Hesson, a third-year student from Hopkinsville, Ky., received the James E. Greene Memorial award for her unselfish, altruistic service to the college, faculty, and fellow students as determined by nominations and selection by faculty and students. The award is named for Dr. James E. Greene, who was the fourth dean of the college from 1958 to 1977.