Technology Strengthens College Outreach Programs
by Jonas Siegel
The College’s hospital can’t move from farm to farm. And the research
faculty can’t go from producer to producer explaining the applicability
of their research. But the College can make connections with veterinarians,
producers, and animal owners all over the state through its Continuing
Education and Public Service (CEPS) unit.
The CEPS staff is too busy to be photographed all in
one place at one time!
Dr. Dean Scoggins, equine; Dr. Gavin Meerdink, beef and
feed safety; Dr. Allan Paul, coordinator and small animal; and Dr. Dick
Wallace (seated), dairy.
Below, from rear: Dr. Paul; Dr. Larry Firkins, swine and
EVP; Dr. Peter Bahnson, swine; Chris Beuoy, College editor; front: Judy
Mewes, Linda Lauchner, and Karel Earl, CEPS support staff.
Too busy to even be pictured: Dr. Lydia F. Miller, visiting
program coordinator Small
“We are a resource for the community,” says Dr. Allan Paul, coordinator
of CEPS. “Whether we are fulfilling our Extension functions or offering
continuing education programs for veterinarians and producers, we try to
keep the needs of the public in mind.”
“When veterinary practitioners have questions, they call us,” said Dr.
Richard Wallace, assistant professor in production medicine/theriogenology
and the director of instructional programming and distance learning.
The best preparation for this type of work, says Dr. Wallace, is private
practice experience. “It brings perspective to the job,” he said.
In addition to his practice experience, Dr. Paul’s fifty-percent research
appointment brings an authoritative dimension to his work as the small
animal Extension veterinarian.
“Extension veterinarians rely on their academic training to be able
to critically evaluate new topics and be able to synthesize research into
something that producers can use,” says Dr. Wallace.
CE on CD
The CEPS department has always managed both Extension and continuing
education programs at the College, but new technologies are beginning to
change the way these programs are administered.
For example, the 1999 Fall Conference was conducted in the usual way,
but the proceedings were available on CD-ROM as well as in printed form.
Soon the department will offer continuing education credit over the
Internet and on CD-ROM. This will allow CEPS faculty to craft a single
message that can be heard many times over.
Practitioners using an instructional CD-ROM could follow the module
as though they were in a lecture, seeing and hearing everything, and could
also engage in online, real-time sessions with an instructor and other
This type of instruction, if approved by the veterinary licensing board,
could drastically change the continuing education process.
Dr. Larry Firkins, director of the College’s research stations and swine
Extension veterinarian, says that online capabilities will enable him to
make the Executive Veterinary
Program in swine a more academically rigorous program. But he doesn’t
see the entire program going on line.
“It is important to find the balance between online work and the hallway
discussion that goes on during a module,” says Dr. Firkins. “The networking
and interaction among veterinarians is a very valuable part of EVP.”
As part of their Extension duties, the CEPS faculty also answers questions
from clients and producers. The number of Internet inquiries coming through
Extension Web sites has been growing at an overwhelming rate, according
to Dr. Paul.
This type of interaction makes the CEPS staff more visible to the public
as “windows into the College,” but it also illustrates some limitations
of the use of technologies in Extension work. “It is hard to diagnose an
animal’s problem over the Internet,” said Dr. Wallace.
Attempting to do this would not only violate practice laws but would
also thwart CEPS veterinarians’ goal of encouraging animal owners and producers
to consult their local veterinarians about animal medical problems.
We’re All Connected
Ultimately, sharing information with veterinarians using the Internet
and CD-ROM programs can be only so effective.
Dr. Wallace, who is also the dairy Extension veterinarian, routinely
travels to practitioner and dairy conferences, as well as to smaller gatherings
of producers and veterinarians, to answer questions about new products
and address individual problems.
“I like to get out in the field every once and a while to stay in touch
with veterinarians and what is going on,” he says.
Sustaining those connections is at the heart of the CEPS mission.
2000 Fall Conference Line-Up
Great speakers and topics are slated for the October 12 and 13 Fall
Conference, so plan to attend! Registration materials will be mailed in
For more information, call the CEPS office at 217/333-2907.
Dr. Darrel Kesler, Illinois College of ACES: Illinois
Dr. Dawn Morin, Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine
(CVM): Training Students for Bovine Practice
Dr. Randall Ott, Illinois CVM: Breeding for Disease Resistance
Dr. Richard Randle, University of Missouri CVM: Select
Dr. Randall Singer, Illinois CVM: Disease and Trade Restrictions;
Antibiotic Usage and the FDA
Dr. G. F. “Andy” Anderson, Equine Veterinary Associates,
Broken Arrow, Okla.: Restraint
Dr. Harold Hintz, Cornell University: Nutrition for the
Dixie Carter, Family Life Skills Learning Center, Champaign,
Ill.: Dealing with Emotions
Dr. Greg Ekdale, Highland Hospital for Animals, Bloomington,
Ill.: Veterinary Staff Education
Dr. Nicole Ehrhart, Illinois CVM: Soft Tissue Sarcomas;
Tumors of the Thoracic Cavity
Dr. Tim Fan, Illinois CVM: Mast Cell Tumors
Dr. Cathy Greenfield, Illinois CVM: Gastrointestinal
Dr. John Haburjak, Illinois CVM: Genital Emergencies
Dr. Joseph Harari, Illinois CVM: Fracture Repair
Dr. John Hintermeister, Illinois CVM: Oncologic Emergencies
Dr. Walter Hoffmann, Illinois CVM: Cytology Rounds
Dr. Pam Jones, Illinois CVM: Hyperthyroid Cats
Dr. Lisa Klopp, Illinois CVM: Cranial Trauma
Dr. Alfred M. LeGendre, University of Tennessee CVM:
Infectious disease and vaccinology
Dr. Sheila McCullough, Illinois CVM: Electrolyte Disorders;
Dr. Joanne Messick, Illinois CVM: Cytology Rounds
Dr. David Polzin, University of Minnesota CVM: Renal
Dr. Marc Raffe, Illinois CVM: Point of Care Testing;
Acid-Base Balance; Artificial Hemoglobin Therapy
Dr. Ron Smith, Illinois CVM: Internet Resources in Veterinary
Dr. Phil Solter, Illinois CVM: Cytology Rounds
Dr. Peter Bahnson, Illinois CVM: Control of Salmonella
Dr. Allan Carlson, Swine Health Center, Morris, Minn.:
Swine Influenza H3N2; Preharvest Food Safety
Dr. Perry Harms, Iowa State University: Diagnosing SIV;
Interpreting Porcine Circovirus Diagnostics
Dr. Bill Hollis, Carthage (Ill.) Veterinary Service:
PRRS Elimination vs. Control
Dr. Christopher Kuster, Illinois CVM: Artificial Insemination