General News

College Celebrates 2020, 2021 Excellence Awards

The 29th annual College of Veterinary Medicine excellence awards program took place on November 22, when nine members of the college community were recognized for outstanding contributions to the college. Additionally, 58 staff members were honored for their years of service to the college or university.

The awards program began with Dean Peter Constable acknowledging the award recipients from 2020, when the college was unable to hold an in-person recognition ceremony.

2020 award winners

  • Jennifer Dittmar, Shirley A. Seets Staff Excellence Award
  • Kim Byrne, Robert and Lucy Graham Award
  • Terrence Stuber, Rathgeber Academic Professional Excellence Award
  • Ron Goncalves, Hoffmann and Johnson Resident Teaching Excellence Award
  • Joe Qiao, Zoetis Award for Research Excellence
  • Prabu Reddi, Kruger Research Excellence Award
  • Santiago Gutierrez Nibeyro, Kruger Service Excellence Award
  • Megan Mahoney, Kruger All-Round Excellence Award
  • Juanmahel Davila, Kuhlenschmidt Innovative Teaching Award

The 2021 award winners are listed below, followed by the individuals recognized for their years of service at the college or university.

Fran Bell, Senior Human Resource Specialist, college administration

Recipient of the Shirley Seets Staff Excellence Award, for an individual who demonstrates excellence in overall job performance and service.

“At any given point in time, Fran is typically facilitating 10 to 15 ongoing search processes, 30 appointment change requests, as well as facilitating bi-weekly payroll and on-boarding as many as 30 new employees each month.


Carol Mathis, Customer Service Specialist, Veterinary Teaching Hospital

Recipient of the Robert and Lucy Graham Award, for a staff employee who has made outstanding contributions.

“Carol’s outstanding leadership and dedication have been critical to the creation of a friendly environment in the Large Animal Clinic front desk…”


Brandon Boyd, Director of Facilities, college administration

Recipient of the Rathgeber Academic Professional Award, which recognizes outstanding performance by an academic professional staff member.

“Brandon has been instrumental in the completion of an unprecedented number of projects at the College of Veterinary Medicine. These include capital projects such as installation of the linear accelerator and the remodel of the Veterinary Medicine South Clinic, as well as smaller projects…”


Dr. Giorgia Podico, Resident, Equine Theriogenology

Recipient of the Dr. Walter E. Hoffmann and Dr. Ann L. Johnson Resident Teaching Excellence Award, which recognizes the excellence of a graduate student or resident in training for an AVMA-recognized specialty board. 

“Dr. Podico has developed a high level of proficiency in her field and has established herself as a trusted clinical resource for her clients and colleagues.”


Dr. Makoto Inoue, Assistant Professor in the department of Comparative Biosciences

Recipient of the Zoetis Animal Health Award, presented to a current faculty member for research at the University of Illinois that shows promise of attaining or has attained national recognition. 

“His research addresses questions regarding the causes and potential treatments for autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, and neurodegenerative disorders. He currently has a major focus on multiple sclerosis (MS) and an exaggerated immune response known as Cryptococcus-associated immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome.”


Dr. Keith Jarosinski, Associate Professor in the department of Pathobiology

Recipient of the Dr. Gordon and Mrs. Helen Kruger Research Excellence Award, in recognition of quality and quantity of publications, research awards, and outside recognition of the nominee’s work. 

“… he has nearly 20 years of experience in herpesvirus research and has [made] several seminal discoveries regarding herpesvirus pathogenesis. These discoveries are improving both human and animal health and supporting global food security.”


Dr. Tessa Marshall, Lecturer in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine

Recipient of the Dr. Gordon and Mrs. Helen Kruger Service Excellence Award, which recognizes outstanding committee work and clinical service and continuing education. 

“In the past year Dr. Marshall provided clinical contact for students with over 3000 animals (1145 cattle, 612 goats, 1409 sheep, 117 pigs, 39camelids, 161 deer and elk, 82 bison and 12 other species) while on farms or in the hospital.”


Dr. Kim Selting, Associate Professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine

Recipient of the Dr. Gordon and Mrs. Helen Kruger All-Round Excellence Award, which is presented to a faculty member who demonstrates excellence in the areas of teaching, research and service.

“Dr. Selting has six co-authored, refereed manuscripts submitted with and additional three published in the past year… She is also a supervising diplomate for four ACVIM residents.”


Dr. Thomas Lowery, Instructor in the Departments of Veterinary Clinical Medicine and Comparative Biosciences

Recipient of the Kuhlenschmidt Innovative Teaching Award, presented to a faculty member who practices innovative teaching methods, demonstrative creativity and initiative.

“During the pandemic restrictions [Dr. Lowery] helped design and implement video demonstrations that will continue to be used in the future… He not only willingly stepped up to create the lectures, but he and his team were successful in raising the average anatomy score by about 15% compared to prior years.”


Service Year Awards

College Administration

  • Christopher Berger, 5 years of service
  • Sara Kennedy, 10 years of service
  • Crystal Zulauf, 10 years of service
  • Margaret Caston, 15 years of service
  • Jackie Sturdyvin, 15 years of service
  • Jennifer Dittmar, 15 years of service
  • Angela Ronk, 20 years of service

Comparative Biosciences

  • Makoto Inoue, 5 years of service
  • Michael Spinella, 5 years of service
  • Sarah Spinella, 5 years of service
  • CheMyong Jay Ko, 10 years of service
  • Juanmahel Davila, 15 years of service
  • Regina Duncan, 15 years of service
  • Jodi Flaws, 15 years of service
  • Kannan Athilakshmi, 20 years of service
  • Indrani Bagchi, 20 years of service


  • Keith Jarosinski, 5 years of service
  • Gee Lau, 15 years of service

Veterinary Clinical Medicine

  • Kari Foss, 5 years of service
  • Saki Kadotani, 5 years of service
  • Stephanie Keating, 5 years of service
  • Thomas Lowery, 5 years of service
  • Lori Madsen, 5 years of service
  • Tessa Marshall, 5 years of service
  • Danielle Strahl-Heldreth, 5 years of service
  • Scott Austin, 10 years of service
  • Edgar Garrett, 15 years of service
  • Laura Garrett, 15 years of service
  • David Williams, 15 years of service
  • Jennifer Langan, 20 years of service
  • Julia Whittington, 20 years of service

Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

  • Melissa Lara, 5 years of service
  • Miranda Vieson, 5 years of service
  • Evette Vlach, 5 years of service
  • Nadia Ahmed, 10 years of service
  • Karen Conrad, 20 years of service
  • Kristin Ellis, 20 years of service
  • Miranda O’Dell, 20 years of service

Veterinary Teaching Hospital

  • Rachel Dorney, 5 years of service
  • Lena Fatheree, 5 years of service
  • Nicole Fitzpatrick, 5 years of service
  • Krystal Newberry, 5 years of service
  • Lydia Smith, 5 years of service
  • Jill Stillabower, 5 years of service
  • Jennifer Trail, 5 years of service
  • Merinda Venatta, 5 years of service
  • Mikayla Wrasse, 5 years of service
  • Carrie Chandler, 10 years of service
  • Angie Derossett, 10 years of service
  • Lisa Miller, 10 years of service
  • John Snyder, 15 years of service
  • Jill Franzen, 20 years of service
  • Kimberly Lee, 20 years of service
  • Kimberly Knap, 20 years of service
  • Dorothy Kinard, 25 years of service Melinda Smith, 25 years of service