Graduates of the IZAAR and IZCAR Residencies

Illinois fosters outstanding careers in zoological medicine.

The Illinois Zoological and Aquatic Animal Medicine Residency Program, jointly offered through the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo, and John G. Shedd Aquarium has been training veterinarians since 2005. In 2018, the Illinois Zoological Companion Animal Residency was started to provide training to veterinarians with a focus on zoological companion animals. Both residency programs are compliant in the American College of Zoological Medicine and prepare the veterinarians to become Board Certified Specialists™️ in Zoological Medicine.

Anthony Cerreta, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2020 – 2023

Current Position: Associate Veterinarian, Shedd Aquarium

“I am so thankful for the incredible clinicians, technicians, and animal care staff that made the Illinois Zoological and Aquatic Animal Residency such an amazing opportunity. The mentors and the supportive environment they fostered allowed me to grow and develop as both a clinician and person. I look forward to using the skills I learned to continue to contribute to the advancement of the field of zoological medicine. I will
forever cherish my experience and being a part of the IZAAR family.”

Mike McEntire

Mike McEntire, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2019 – 2022

Current Position: Associate Veterinarian, Sea World San Antonio

“The Illinois Zoological and Aquatic Animal Residency has shaped me into the clinician and scientist I have hoped to become. I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with an incredible group of clinicians, technicians, animal care staff, and researchers that have shown me what can be accomplished when we work to advance the care and treatment of our patients. I am extremely proud to have been trained in this program and am ready to make my impact in zoological, aquatic, and conservation medicine.”

Lauren Kane, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2018 – 2021

Current Position: Associate Veterinarian, Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

“The Illinois Zoological and Aquatic Animal Residency gave me opportunities to be a successful clinician and continue to advance the field of Zoological Medicine – contribute to conservation medicine through the diverse animal collection, teaching opportunities, and original research projects. Despite COVID-19 challenges, the phenomenal mentorship is one of the many long lasting impacts this residency will leave me with. It was a pleasure working with such esteemed colleagues, mentors, and friends. I will always remember and be grateful for my IZAAR family.”

Joanna Webb, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACZM

IZCAR Resident: 2018 – 2021

Current Position: Lecturer and Relief Veterinarian

“The opportunity to be the inaugural Illinois Zoological Companion Animal Resident was better than what I prayed for! It was the perfect blend of companion and general zoo, free-ranging wildlife, aquatics, research, and teaching. I graduated as an extremely well-rounded zoological medicine clinician capable of working in academia, private practice, or a zoological institution. All good things have to come to an end, and I left behind a large family of mentors, technicians, and friends. I will always treasure my time here!”

Julie Sheldon, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2017 – 2020

Current Position: Clinical Assistant Professor of Zoological Medicine, University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine

“This residency program is incredibly diverse with strong mentorship in clinical, research, and teaching opportunities. The challenges it provided helped me grow as a clinician and a person and build teamwork and leadership skills–while in a supportive and fun atmosphere with enthusiastic people I consider family. The work took me from the clinic to the rocky beaches of Peru. I will cherish the years I spent with the Brookfield Zoo and IZAAR!”

Karisa Tang, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2016 – 2019

Current Position: Vice President of Animal Health, Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, Illinois

“I am incredibly fortunate to have been mentored by an immensely talented team of clinicians, researchers, and teachers. This residency models making big impacts through compassion for zoological species, both at the population and individual levels. Graduates of the Illinois Zoological and Aquatic Animal Residency move forward with incredible opportunities, clinical acumen with a vast variety of species, and a lifelong family of colleagues.”

Dana Lindemann, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2015 – 2018

Current Position: Senior Veterinarian, Sea World Orlando

“The Illinois Zoological and Aquatic Animal Residency provided a unique opportunity to exercise clinical skills with a diverse array of species and in a variety of work environments, while receiving guidance of exceptional mentors and colleagues. This residency truly prepared me to make a meaningful contribution to the conservation medicine community. I will always be proud to be a graduate of this program!”

Megan Watson, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2014 – 2017

Current Position: Associate Veterinarian, Atlanta Zoo

“This residency has been an unforgettable opportunity that helped shape me into the zoo and aquatic animal clinician and scientist that I aspired to be. The Chicago Zoological Society’s staff practices cutting-edge medicine, setting an example for what I hope to achieve and contribute to the field. Field conservation, research projects, and working alongside superb mentors are just some highlights. The residency provided me with a strong foundation to build upon. It has been the highest privilege and honor to be a part of this team.”

Jimmy Johnson, DVM, MS, CertAqV, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2013 – 2016

Current Position: Head Veterinarian, Denver Zoo

“The diverse experience and expert mentorship afforded at the Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo was invaluable for my development as a versatile clinician and scientist. It made me well-equipped to make meaningful, forward contributions to the field of zoological medicine.”

Jennifer Flower, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2012 – 2015

Current Position: Associate Veterinarian, Disney Animal Kingdom

“The Illinois Zoological and Aquatic Animal Residency Program provided me with a life-changing opportunity to be trained by experts in the zoo and aquatic animal medicine field, and to practice high-quality medicine on a variety of exotic species. This training program prepared me to become a successful, well-rounded zoo and aquatic veterinarian.”

Ben Nevitt, DVM, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2010 – 2013

Current Position: Associate Veterinarian, San Diego Zoo

“My residency not only allowed me to get my job dream job, but also gave me the tools to be successful in it.”

Gwen Jankowski, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2009 – 2012

Last Position: Associate Veterinarian, Denver Zoo

“I couldn’t have asked for a better veterinary and animal care staff to work with and learn from. The staff was always expanding the boundaries of advanced medical care. I also valued the opportunity to participate in conservation projects, most memorably working with Dr. Adkesson in Peru to help protect South American fur seals.”

Kim Wojick, DVM, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2008 – 2011

Current Position: Associate Veterinarian, Roger Williams Park Zoo, Providence, Rhode Island

“Brookfield Zoo and the Illinois Zoological and Aquatic Residency Program was an amazing educational experience that provided the framework for my career in zoo and conservation medicine.”

Trevor Zachariah, DMV, MS, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2007 – 2010

Current Position: Director of Veterinary Programs, Brevard Zoo, Melbourne, Florida

Lisa Naples, DVM, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2006 – 2009

Current Position: Chief Veterinarian, Los Angeles Zoo

Michelle Davis, DVM, Dipl. ACZM

IZAAR Resident: 2005 – 2008

Current Position: Head, Aquatic Health Department, Wildlife Conservation Society and New York Aquarium, New York, New York

“The residency shaped me into a well-rounded zoo veterinarian. I learned from many different experts and left the program ready to work as a zoo and aquarium vet. The Chicago Zoological Society’s fast-paced, top-notch veterinary program was integral in preparing me for my current position.”