Dr. Ian Sprandel, pictured above with his family, is a senior lecturer in comparative biosciences.
When did you begin working at the College of Veterinary Medicine?
I began working at the college in 2003 as a researcher under the direction of Dr. Timothy Fan in oncology.
Describe your role at the college.
Some students have called me the “class dad” because I am the curriculum coordinator for the first-year students. This means I keep everything running as smoothly as possible, create the schedule, assemble examinations, and often am the point-of-contact for first-year students that have questions. I also teach some aspects of histology, physiology, and run a clinical rotation on medical skills and safety.
Have you held any previous titles or responsibilities at the college?
After working for oncology, I began veterinary school in 2010, graduating in 2014. I did a residency in anatomic pathology here at Illinois from 2014 to 2017. I‘ve been at my current position since 2017.
What is your favorite part of your job?
While I work with wonderful colleagues, my favorite part of my job is making positive impacts on students. Veterinary school is incredibly demanding, and watching students rise to the challenge is inspiring to say the least. Whatever I can do to make the student experience more joyful is a win in my book.
Complete this sentence: My most memorable day at work was…
…the day I was asked to be faculty speaker at convocation by the Class of 2021 and 2022. This was such an incredible honor, and I’m still in disbelief that I was asked to fill such an important role. To me, this was a verification that I was truly making a difference in students’ lives.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Family, family, family. They are always first. I also love to garden, cook and have lavish dinner parties, with my family of course. Once upon a time, I did crazy stuff like fight in medieval war reenactments. Yup….I own a suit of armor that’s badly in need of repair.
What is something your co-workers may be surprised to know about you?
Probably not much….I’m an open book and love to share who I am, what I’ve done, and my opinions on just about anything. What many may not know is that in addition to an undergraduate degree (BS) in biochemistry, I also got a BA in philosophy/religious studies, focusing on schools of thought in ancient India.
What is one thing on your bucket list?
Some day I’d like to have a nice car. Mine stinks. Seriously though, I am planning on a bucket list trip this coming spring! My wife is on sabbatical and we, as a family, are going to live in Lyon, France, for a few months. I look forward to immersing myself in Gallic food and culture.
Do you have a favorite restaurant or place in the Champaign/Urbana area?
We just had a kid-free date night and splurged at Nando in downtown Champaign. I was seriously impressed. One of my favorite things to do is simply drive through Champaign and Urbana. I love how all the houses are different and the community (in general) really seems to care about having beautiful gardens.
Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
During the pandemic we splurged and got a Breville espresso machine. Now I’m hooked on the lattes. We get Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso roast from Chicago.
Do you have any pets?
We have a three-year-old Shih-Tzu named Patxi. He’s fluffy, cute, sweet, and loves to go for walks at Porter Park.