Alumni News | General News

2019 Awards Go to Faculty, Staff Member, Alumnus

[Michael Kinsel; Daniel Skirvin; Celeste Kappes]

Annual Awards Recognize Contributions

The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and its alumni association recently announced the winners of the 2019 awards, which will be presented on September 19 at Silvercreek Restaurant in Urbana, Ill.

Dr. Michael Kinsel, a 1993 alumnus of the college and current faculty member, is the recipient of the Dr. Erwin Small Distinguished Alumni Award. The Small Award recognizes graduates who have excelled in their field and made significant contributions to the profession and/or the college. Dr. Daniel Skirvin, MAJ, a 2006 alumnus of the college, has been named Outstanding Young Alumnus for embodying the Illini spirit of “labor and learning.”

Celeste Kappes, a certified veterinary technician at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, will receive the Special Service Award, which honors an individual who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the veterinary profession or to the college.

Zoo Pathology Program Builder

Michael Kinsel, DVM, DACVP, a clinical professor in the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory’s  Zoological Pathology Program, was selected for his outstanding contributions in establishing an internationally recognized pathology program that serves zoo and wildlife organizations, contributes scholarship in this field, and trains and mentors students seeking to specialize in zoo pathology.

In 1998, shortly after completing his residency at the college’s Zoological Pathology Program (ZPP) and passing boards, Dr. Kinsel became the sole faculty member in the program, supervising one resident. The program’s main clientele was Chicago-area zoos and wildlife agencies. Over the course of the next 18 years, Dr. Kinsel grew the ZPP to four permanent faculty members, three pathology residents, and several full- and part-time support staff. He built the program by offering the highest quality of anatomic pathology support to the zoological and wildlife communities around the world with a rapid turnaround, and recently expanded their services to include a molecular diagnostic laboratory.

Public Servant

Daniel Skirvin, MAJ, DVM, is a veterinary medical officer with the Food and Drug Administration as well as a public health veterinarian in the United States Army. He is receiving the 2019 Outstanding Young Alumni Award for his commitment to lifelong learning and public service.

After working exclusively in private practice immediately after earning his veterinary degree, Dr. Skirvin joined the U.S. Army Reserves and began splitting his professional life between small animal practice and military service. Today, Dr. Skirvin holds the rank of Major and performs food safety inspections as well as provides medical and surgical care of military working dogs. He has been deployed to the Middle East and Central Asia, both times being honorably discharged. Last year he became a veterinary medical officer with the United States Food and Drug Administration, where he works with industry partners to ensure the safety and efficacy of new veterinary drug applications. He is enrolled in a dual master’s degree program in public health and business administration, with a projected graduation date in 2021.

Dedicated Technician

Celeste Kappes, CVT, is the clinical coordinator for the Equine Medicine and Surgery Service in the college’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital. She was chosen to receive the Special Service Award for her dedication as lead veterinary technician in charge of large animal surgery.

Kappes has served the Large Animal Clinic as a veterinary technician for more than a decade. As the clinical coordinator in large animal surgery, she oversees the central sterile area and makes sure that instrumentation and equipment is in working order every day. Her positive influence benefits the education and morale of veterinary students, interns, and residents as well as other veterinary technicians. She is also very involved with teaching fourth-year veterinary students on rotation in equine and food animal surgery and oversees students who volunteer with after-hours surgeries.