Six Cougs recognized at Distinguished Alumni Awards

Picture taken during Alumni Awards event in 2022.
Left to right: Dr. Barbara Gores, Dean Dori Borjesson, Dr. Jon Pennell, Dr. Robert Corbett.

Six Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine alumni were recognized for their contributions to the veterinary field April 21 at the college’s Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony.

Two of those alumni — veterinarians Dr. Bryan Slinker (‘80 DVM) and Dr. Marty James Becker (‘80 DVM) — were awarded one of the university’s highest honors, the Alumni Association’s Alumni Achievement Award. The award, given to fewer than 600 alumni, honors Cougs who have given outstanding service.

Slinker is a former dean and provost of the College of Veterinary Medicine. Becker is the author, co-author, or editor of 23 books, including three New York Times best-sellers. His latest book is on his program Free Free, which looks to recognize and rid anxiety, fears, and phobias in dogs.

Veterinarians Dr. Robert Corbett (‘74 BS, ‘78 DVM), Dr. Barbara R. Gores (‘89 DVM), and Dr. Jon Pennell (‘81 DVM) were each given the Excellence in Practice Award. The award recognizes the college’s most outstanding alumni for outstanding contributions to clinical, diagnostic, military, public health, regulatory, or other practice service. Dr. Rachel Pollard (‘96 DVM), who recently retired as a professor from the University of California, Davis, was recognized for her outstanding contributions to excellence in teaching. She was presented an Excellence in Teaching and Research Award.

Dr. Robert Corbett.

Dr. Robert Corbett

Dr. Corbett received a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and public health from WSU in 1974 and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1978. He later opened a large animal practice in Blackfoot, Idaho. He has been involved in international and domestic consulting on large dairy operations. He has also been the seminar coordinator for the Dairy Heifer Seminar at the American Association of Bovine Practitioners for the past 12 years.

Dr. Barbara R. Gores.

Dr. Barbara R. Gores

Dr. Gores dedicated her professional career to the exploration and development of veterinary surgery, particularly in the areas of surgical and therapeutic lasers, wound reconstruction and care, oral maxillofacial surgery, and elective orthopedics. She is a board-certified Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. In 1999, she and her husband established the Veterinary Specialty Center of Tucson, a 24-hour emergency, multi-specialty veterinary hospital.

Dr. Jon Pennell.

Dr. Jon Pennell

Dr. Pennell is a second-generation veterinarian with a focus on One Health programs. A long-standing member of the Southern Nevada Medical Reserve Corps, Dr. Pennell can respond as a veterinarian or as a licensed advanced emergency medical technician in critical situations. He has practiced small animal medicine in Las Vegas for more than 40 years. In addition to many past leadership positions, he is currently chair of the Nevada State Board of Health.

Dr. Rachel Pollard.

Dr. Rachel Pollard

Dr. Pollard recently retired as a professor from the University of California, Davis, where she taught for 15 years and was often voted “favorite teacher” by her students. Dr. Pollard has served as president of the American College of Veterinary Radiology and as a member of the exam committee. She is now working in New Zealand as a veterinary radiologist with a clinical interest in small animal ultrasound and dynamic imaging techniques, such as contrast fluoroscopy for swallowing disorders.