News Releases, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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News from the
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Illinois
3225 Vet. Med. Basic Sciences Bldg.
2001 S. Lincoln Ave.
Urbana, IL 61802
September 3, 2009

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Contact: Chris Beuoy

Alumni Receive Illinois Veterinary College Awards

The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and its alumni association will present four Dr. Erwin Small Distinguished Alumni Awards and a Special Service Award on September 10, 2009, during the annual Fall Conference for Veterinarians.

Dr. Richard DeBowes, professor and associate dean of veterinary development and external relations at Washington State University, will receive the Dr. Erwin Small Distinguished Alumni Award for his dedication to promoting leadership in the veterinary profession. Dr. DeBowes envisioned, developed and delivered, the Veterinary Leadership Experience (VLE), a national program to promote leadership development in hundreds of veterinary students and faculty from across North America, Australia, the UK and Europe. He has also led the development of pilot programs on leadership in veterinary medicine in both Australia and Western Europe and has presented these programs to practice groups to advance the practice of team drive and relationship-centered care.

Dr. Ronald Gill, owner and founder of Gill Veterinary Clinic, will receive the Dr. Erwin Small Distinguished Alumni Award. Dr. Gill received his veterinary degree at Illinois in 1975. Through the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association/University of Illinois mentor program he has been a model for veterinarian mentors and students. Dr. Gill supported the establishment of a class scholarship for his class, and additionally helped establish four additional endowments at the College for student scholarships. As a strong advocate for veterinary students, he was one of the key supporters of the Illinois Veterinary Student Loan Repayment Program Act. Dr. Gill is very involved in local, state and national veterinary associations and has held several positions in each.

Dr. Walter Hoffmann, interim director, veterinary diagnostic laboratory at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Illinois, will receive the Erwin Small Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of his generous time and support which have furthered many in their future careers as scientists and academicians. Dr. Hoffmann received his veterinary degree in 1975. Upon graduation he continued on at Illinois as an assistant professor in clinical pathology, ultimately moving to section head and now as Interim Director of the Diagnostic Laboratory. During his tenure at Illinois, Dr. Hoffmann has taught clinical pathology to hundreds of veterinary students, led dozens of graduate students and trained many residents. He and his wife, Dr. Ann Johnson, have created an endowment to recognize residents for their excellence in teaching.

Dr. Edward A. Hoover, professor and department head of microbiology, immunology and pathology at Colorado State University, will receive the Erwin Small Distinguished Alumni Award. Dr. Hoover received his veterinary degree in 1967. An international authority of chronic wasting disease in deer and elk, and the Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus infection of cats, he has He has been designated a University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University, the highest honor bestowed on a professor; received the Researcher of the Year from the Colorado State University Research Foundation; and also received the Ralston Purina Research Award. During his tenure at Colorado State University he has advised over 25 doctoral students and has mentored and advised many others, allowing them to achieve significant success in research, grant funding and publications.

A Special Service award will be presented to the Auxiliary to the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association. The Auxiliary began January 1943 at the 61st Annual meeting of the ISVMA in Springfield, Illinois and was comprised of spouses of veterinarians. Its goal was to support veterinary medicine in Illinois and strengthen opportunities for communication among those who are associated with professional veterinary medicine. In 1999, the Auxiliary established an endowed scholarship to provide financial assistance to 2nd and 3rd year veterinary students at the Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. By 2009, 30 scholarships had been awarded through this fund.