WSU College of Veterinary Medicine announces recipients of 2018 alumni awards

Congratulations to our 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award winners.

  • Dr. Louise C. Abbott (’88 DVM) – Excellence in Teaching and Research
  • Dr. Scott C. Bender (’94 BVSc, ’95 DVM) – Excellence in Practice
  • Dr. Guy Palmer (’84 PhD) – Distinguished Graduate Alumni

Dr. Louise C. Abbott (’88 DVM)

Excellence in Teaching and Research

Abbott held faculty positions in Colleges of Veterinary Medicine at WSU and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before joining the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University in 1994. She conducted research on the role of calcium in neuronal development and function as well as on the effects of heavy metals on early development, using zebrafish and mice as animal models. She also collaborated with computer scientists at several institutions to create 3D, high-resolution maps of the mouse brain. Abbott was a TAMU Montague Center for Teaching Excellence Scholar (1997), received the Association of Former Students of Texas A&M University Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching at the College Level (2009 and in 2017) and at the university level (2010), the Pfizer Inc. Carl J. Norden Award for Teaching Veterinary Medicine (2010) and an American Association of Veterinary Anatomists Outstanding Anatomist Award (2013). Abbott retired in 2018 from Texas A&M University as an Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences. She currently lives on the southern Oregon coast with her husband, the Rev. James L. Abbott, a retired Evangelical Lutheran Church of America pastor.

Dr. Scott C. Bender (’94 BVSc, ’95 DVM)

Excellence in Practice

Bender is a bonafide vampire hunter in Mexico and only occasionally mistaken for Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones. He was a U.S. Marine who became a veterinarian. He has had the opportunity to treat and be chased by musk ox in the beautiful bitterroot valley of Montana and see the lovely Canadian island of “Anne of Green Gables,” not just on PBS, but by practicing at the Atlantic Veterinary College on Prince Edward Island. Then trading green pastures for red rocks, Bender spent over 20 years as Navajo Nation Tribal veterinarian, enjoying community practice, zoo and wildlife medicine, public health, and all the joys of being a government veterinarian. He currently teaches veterinary science at Navajo Technical University, and now gets to avoid pulling calves in the mud. He continues to be involved in oral rabies and birth control vaccine research as a cooperating researcher with USDA Wildlife Services and while still not yet “Dr. Jones,” he has co-authored a research paper in archeology and did play a human doctor on TV once.

Dr. Guy Palmer (’84 PhD)

Distinguished Graduate Alumni

Palmer is the Jan and Jack Creighton Endowed Chair at Washington State University and is Regents Professor of Pathology and Infectious Diseases. He is the founding director of WSU’s Paul G. Allen School for Global Health and he currently serves as the WSU senior director of Global Health. He is also the president of Global Animal Health-Tanzania and chairman of WSU Global Health-Kenya. Palmer directs global health programs in east and west Africa and Latin America and holds a NIH MERIT award for research on pathogen emergence. He has a joint appointment as professor of life sciences and bioengineering at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology in Tanzania and directs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supported Integrated Doctoral Program between WSU and the Mandela Institution. Palmer also holds adjunct appointments with the University of Nairobi Institute of Tropical Infectious Diseases, Centro de Estudios en Salud de la Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, and the Center for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases in the University of Washington School of Medicine. Palmer was honored with WSU’s Sahlin Award for Research, Scholarship, and the Arts in 2008, the Eminent Faculty Award in 2013, and the Alumni Achievement Award in 2017.