College alumni receive distinguished honors

L-R, Leslie Sprunger, Steve Vredenburg, Dori Borjesson, Khursheed Mama, and Gary Marshall.
Dori Borjesson, center, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University, poses for a photo with CVM alumni. This year's winners were Leslie Sprunger, left, Steve Vredenburg, second from left, Khursheed Mama, second from right, and Gary Marshall, right, who also won an Outstanding Service Alumni Award. (College of Veterinary Medicine/Ted S. Warren)

The College of Veterinary Medicine’s Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony recognizes alumni for their contributions to biomedical research, the medical field, public health, education, or veterinary medicine. The awards are selected by a college committee following nominations of their classmates, co-workers, peers, and family. This year’s award ceremony was held on March 23, 2024, at the Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center.

  • Veterinarian Dr. Gary Marshall (‘89 DVM) and veterinary educator and researcher Dr. Leslie Sprunger (‘87 DVM) each earned Outstanding Service Alumni Awards, largely for their commitment to veterinary education.
  • Dr. Khursheed Mama (‘89 DVM) will be awarded the Excellence in Teaching and Research Alumni Award.
  • Dr. Steve Vredenburg (‘81 DVM) will receive the Excellence in Practice Alumni Award.

Dr. Gary Marshall

Dr. Gary Marshall is committed to mentorship and community support in the veterinary profession. For years, Marshall, an adjunct faculty member of the college, has taught feline medicine to senior veterinary students at Island Cats Veterinary Hospital in Mercer Island, Washington. He continues to serve on the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association Board, where he completed a term as president. Nationally, Marshall represents Washington in the AVMA House of Delegates and also serves on the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative Board of Directors. Dr. Marshall’s commitment to mentorship and community support is evident in initiatives like Vets Outdoors and the pandemic-inspired “Cat Class” virtual lecture series. He was also selected by the WSU DVM Class of 2022 to deliver their commencement address.

Dr. Leslie Sprunger

Dr. Leslie Sprunger, an accomplished educator and researcher at WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, has had an enduring impact on veterinary education. Known for creative and insightful teaching in anatomy and physiology, Dr. Sprunger has profoundly influenced both students and colleagues. As associate dean, she played a pivotal role in shaping WSU’s Regional Program in Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Sprunger has been a leader in evidence-based transformative initiatives at WSU, including the transition to pass/fail grading and has initiated a national movement to modernize grading systems in professional veterinary education. As chair of the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges Academic Affairs Committee, Dr. Sprunger exemplifies leadership, community building, and a commitment to wellbeing.

Dr. Khursheed Mama

Dr. Khursheed Mama has left an indelible mark on the profession through her roles as clinician-scientist, mentor, teacher, and leader. As interim department head of Clinical Sciences at CSU, she exemplifies compassionate leadership, prioritizing the well-being of the faculty and staff, and spearheading recognition initiatives. Her dedication to faculty retention is evident in her impactful onboarding and ongoing mentorship of faculty. Dr. Mama’s influence as a clinician and educator extends to zoological parks and overseas venues, where she collaborates on development of anesthesia protocols for non-traditional species and is sought after for her expertise in training veterinarians. Dr. Mama has over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts focused on addressing anesthesia and pain management related topics in a broad range of species.

Dr. Steve Vredenburg

Dr. Steve Vredenburg is a trailblazer in bovine embryo transfer, boasting a remarkable 42-year veterinary career. His pioneering work includes the development of cutting-edge technologies for non-surgical recovery and freezing of bovine embryos, contributing to global advancements in this field. As the former owner of the Banks Veterinary practice in Oregon, he cultivated a full-service clinic renowned for innovative therapies, surgeries, and diagnostic modalities. Dr. Vredenburg’s influence extends internationally through collaborations with ALTA Genetics, Therriault Creek Ranch, Trans Ova Genetics, the American Embryo Transfer Association and many cattlemen and dairymen.

Use this form to nominate a college alumnus for next year’s Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Read about previous award winners.