Dean’s message: March 2024

Dori outside the College in October 2023.

A few warm days promised spring, but we woke up to frost this morning. The Palouse is fickle. The quail, blackbirds and frogs all agree, it is time to awaken, but pity the flowers that believed them! This past weekend, we opened our doors for our annual Spring Continuing Education Conference and Bustad Lecture and welcomed a lovely group of practitioners and alumni. We also hosted many members of the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association who engaged with students, faculty, leadership, and stakeholders. It felt full and thriving. And the season brings much-earned recognition and accolades.

Coug students have been the recipients of some wonderful awards. Christopher Ibarra was an inaugural recipient of the 2024 Chewy Veterinary Leaders Program scholarship ($20,000!), which recognizes third-year veterinary students from underserved groups who have demonstrated an aptitude for developing leadership capabilities. Regina Meeks received the Merck Animal Health Diversity Leadership Scholarship ($8,000!). This scholarship acknowledges students who have demonstrated a remarkable record of contributing to the advancement of diversity and inclusion at their institution. Engagement and leadership are rewarded!

Coug alumni were honored in a beautiful venue, on the evening of March 23, where we hosted our annual alumni achievement awards reception. Our award winners always share a common thread of pursuing their dreams and passions. Sometimes deeply focused on one area of lifelong innovation (Dr. Steve Vredenburg, reproductive technology, Excellence in Practice), sometimes demonstrating serial excellence in an array of academic endeavors (Dr. Khursheed Mama, Excellence in Teaching and Research, and Dr. Leslie Sprunger, Outstanding Service Award), and sometimes discovering that professional service is a deeply rewarding way to pay it forward (Dr. Gary Marshall, Outstanding Service Award).

Coug faculty have been recognized locally and nationally for distinguished careers as teachers and scientists. Dr. Katrina Mealey just received the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians 2024 Faculty Achievement in Research Award; Dr. Jon Oatley is this year’s recipient of the Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Research; Dr. Guy Palmer was elected to the American Academy of Microbiology; and Dr. Rance Sellon has been the truly deserved recipient of both the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians 2024 Faculty Achievement in Teaching Award and the 2024 AAVMC Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award.

So, raise your glass. To the well-earned recognition of discovering your path and pursuing excellence each step of the way. Congratulations Cougs!