Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine


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The official newsletter for the faculty, staff and students of
K-State’s College of Veterinary Medicine


June 2008 - Vol. 3 No. 5


 Top Stories

 $4.8 million USDA grant benefits Dr. Rowland’s lab
 K-State takes part in Porcine Reproductive and
 Respiratory Syndrome Coordinated Agricultural Project

 Graduation Day
 Commencement 2008 in pictures

 Top teachers for 2008

 Dean Richardson honors employees at luncheon

 Peddireddi wins Sarachek Fellowship

 Regular Features

 Check it Out at the Library
Summer animal-related activities

 Under the Microscope:
 Cheri Ubel,
Alumni Coordinator

 CVM News Ticker

 New Arrivals/Recent Departures

 Lifelines back issues

  Bonus logoExtra stories and photos*

Dr. Richt meets the press

Departing interns and residents

Ubel gets surprise award at Heritage Evening

New donor recognition board in Dean’s lobby


Printable PDF Version of this Issue


$4.8 million USDA grant benefits
Dr. Rowland’s lab
K-State takes part in Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Coordinated Agricultural Project

Dr. Bob Rowland sees himself as an administrator of a multidisciplinary project and not as a principal investigator. Nevertheless, his lab is a ‘principal’ beneficiary of a significant grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that totals $4.8 million.

The disease known as Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) costs pig producers an estimated $700 million a year. In Kansas alone, losses are estimated at $15 million per year.

That’s why researchers at Kansas State University have been collaborating with other regional universities to resolve PRRS and other swine diseases.

Dr. Rowland, K-State professor and virologist, will lead the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Coordinated Agricultural Project. Under the project, K-State’s experts will collaborate with other universities, veterinarians, commodity groups, government agencies and swine producers to get to the bottom of the disease.

K-State has been a player in this initiative since 2004.

“Our first step was to lay out a comprehensive road map for the industry,” Dr. Rowland said of the national project’s progress to date. “All anyone in the field has to do now is pick a destination and go there.”

The mission of the project is to effectively coordinate efforts aimed at dealing with the disease. That includes research, education and extension.

PRRS is a highly infectious disease that has spread throughout North America, Europe and Asia. The disease is responsible for causing a flu-like condition with high fever, loss of appetite and an overall deterioration of health. In its most severe form, the virus causes “reproductive storms” which result in the death of pregnant females and of newborn pigs.

“By eliminating porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome we can have a significant impact on animal health and welfare and the economic bottom line of producers across the nation and the world,” Dr. Rowland said.

The project will support research into new vaccines against the syndrome, Dr. Rowland said, as well as a look into the disease and how things like pig genetics impact treatment. Though researchers have come a long way in the few years since the disease became prevalent in the U.S. pig population, Dr. Rowland said there is also still quite a bit of basic research to be done on the virus. Researchers who take part in the project, he said, will take a broader look at the syndrome and try to map out how the virus works, as well as what effect things like the environment have.

The project at K-State will be funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at $1.2 million a year for the next four years. Participants at Ohio State University, the University of Minnesota and the National Pork Board are listed as co-directors, and grants from this project will be funded competitively, Dr. Rowland said.


Dr. Bob Rowland
Dr. Bob Rowland directs students on a research project at his lab in Mosier Hall.

Bonus logo*includes extra photos

Graduation Day
Commencement 2008 in pictures 

Billy Collins
Billy Collins, former U.S. Poet Laureate, recites one of his poems about animals.

Hooding ceremony
Dr. Roger Fingland hoods a graduate while President Wefald, right awaits to congratulate the new veterinarian.

Dr.Christina Murray
Fourth-year class president Dr. Christina Murray gives the reflections for this year's graduating class.


Taking the Veterinarian's Oath
2008 graduates take the Veterinarian’s Oath.

Picture time
Dr. Jennifer Kilburn poses for a picture with guests
after the ceremony.

Dr. Naomi Dean
Dr. Naomi Dean shows her veterinary diploma to members of her family.

TV cameraman
A videographer for KST8, the K-State TV channel, documents veterinary graduates celebrating.

Dr. Steve Dritz and Dr. Ken Harkin
Drs. Steve Dritz, left, and Ken Harkin, receive recognition for the Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence and Norden Award for Teaching Excellence, respectively.


Top teachers for 2007-2008

Dr. Amy Dixon-Jiminez, left, pet health assistant clinical professor,
Dr. Amy Dixon-Jiminez, left, pet health assistant clinical professor, receives the Pet Tribute Faculty Award from Dean Richardson.



Dr. Melinda Wilkerson presents the Fort Dodge Teaching Award to Dr. Matt Miesner
Dr. Matt Miesner, right, agricultural practices professor, receives the Fort Dodge Award for Excellence in Clinical Instruction of 4th year students from Dr. Melinda Wilkerson.

Dr. Laurie Beard, right, equine professor, receives the Mary Reed Award for Compassion in Treating Equine Patients from Dr. Beth Davis, equine section head.
Dr. Laurie Beard, right, equine professor, receives the Mary Reed Award for Compassion in Treating Equine Patients from Dr. Beth Davis, equine section head.


Bonus logo* includes full listings

Dean Richardson honors employees at luncheon

Employees took the spotlight at the Dean’s Staff Luncheon in May for being Employees of the Year and for Classified Years of Service Awards.

Those recognized for years of service were

5 years

Nelwyn Cook,  senior administrative assistant
Jennifer Fleeker,
Beth Galligan

25 years

Ruth Berggen

State of Kansas Service Pins

10 years

Dennis Caffrey, Animal Science Technician
Barbara Self, Senior Administrative Assistant, VMTH

20 years

Bob Lynch, electronics technician
Scott Ruthstrom, animal science technician
Paul Wagoner, animal science technician

30 years

Mary Girard, library services manager
Pam Davis, research technician

Employees of the Year are:

Classified Staff

Dr. Jun Yang, microbiologist II - Employee of the Year in Anatomy and Physiology

Kathy Shike, small animal surgery veterinary technician - Employee of the Year in the VMTH

Mike Hays, molecular diagnostics, Employee of the Year in Diagnostic ­Medicine/Pathobiology

Katherine Carlgren, senior administrative assistant - Employee of the Year in Clinical Sciences

Unclassified Staff

Brandy Nowakowski, office supervisor, Employee of the Year in Diagnostic ­Medicine/Pathobiology


Years of service award recipients
Years of service awardees (left to right), Nelwyn Cook, Pam Davis, Bob Lynch and Mary Girard (several not pictured).

Employees of the Year
Employees of the Year with their respective department heads, left to right, Dr. Frank Blecha, Dr. Jun Yang,
Dr. Shirley Arck, Kathy Shike, Dr. M.M. Chengappa, Katherine Carlgren and Dr. Bonnie Rush (two not pictured are Mike Hays and Brandy Nowakowski).


Peddireddi wins Sarachek Fellowship

Lalitha Peddireddi, Ph.D. student in Dr. Roman Ganta’s laboratory in DM/P, recently received the Alvin and RosaLee Sarachek Predoctoral Honors Fellowship in Molecular Biology for 2008. It is a universitywide competition among graduate students who’s research involves molecular biology.

“I am honored to receive this award,” Peddireddi said. “It is great recognition for my Ph.D. work and for the research in our lab.”


Pictured right to left are: Dr. Don Boggs, associate dean of agriculture; Lalitha Peddireddi; Dr. Roman Ganta, DM/P professor; and John Leslie, plant pathology department head.
Pictured right to left are: Dr. Don Boggs, associate dean of agriculture; Lalitha Peddireddi; Dr. Roman Ganta, DM/P professor; and John Leslie, plant pathology department head.


Bonus logo*bonus story & photos

Dr. Richt meets the press

Last fall, the CVM announced the hiring of Dr. Juergen Richt as its new Regents Professor in Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology. Although Dr. Richt won't begin working in the office until later this summer, he was on campus during a bioscience media day and spoke to the press about his new role with the college and the Biosecurity Research Institute. He also addressed the strategy to help Manhattan become the new site for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF).

Manhattan Mercury front page
Dr. Richt appears on the front page of the Manhattan Mercury.



KSNT-TV report Hannah Wooldridge interviews Regents Professor Dr. Juergen Richt
Topeka TV reporter Hannah Wooldridge asks Dr. Juergen Richt, Regent Professor, if he gets a 'rush' from researching zoonotic diseases.

KMAN News Director Kathy Dawes interview Dr. Richt
Dr. Richt answers questions from KMAN Radio News Director Cathy Dawes.

  Bonus logo*bonus story

Departing interns and residents

The following clinicians will complete their Clinical Internship programs at the VMTH on June 17, 2008

Dr. Tami Karges, Equine Medicine and Surgery
Dr. Megan Wickersham, Equine Medicine and Surgery
Dr. Kimberlee Wojick, Zoological Medicine
Dr. Karen Brenner, Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
Dr. Julia Sumner, Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
Dr. Kenneth Waller, Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
Dr. Benjamin Wernham, Small Animal Medicine and Surgery


The following clinicians will begin their Clinical Internship programs at the VMTH on June 16, 2008

Dr. Nicole Belair, Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
Dr. Diana Burr, Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
Dr. Judilee Marrow, Zoological Medicine
Dr. Catherine Rivara, Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
Dr. Imma Roquet, Equine Medicine and Surgery
Dr. Travis Wodiske, Small Animal Medicine and Surgery

  Bonus logo*breaking news and photo

Ubel gets surprise award at Heritage Evening

Alumni coordinator Cheri Ubel received a surprise service award from Dean Richardson and the Veterinary Medical Alumni Association at the Heritage Evening banquet. Full coverage of Heritage Evening and the June conference will be in the July issue of Lifelines.


Dean Richardson presents a surprise service award to alumni coordinator Cheri Ubel
Dean Richardson presents a surprise service award to alumni coordinator Cheri Ubel

Under the Microscope: Cheri Ubel
Alumni Coordinator

Cheri Ubel

Place of birth: Riley, Kan.

Family information: My husband Delbert is from the Flush area. His mom was an Umscheid and one of eight. His dad also came from a farming family in the area and was one of four boys. My maiden name is Quinn and my Dad grew up in St. George with his three brothers. They had a wonderful orchard and market and trucked produce to many states in the U.S. Mom grew up in the rolling hills that is now Tuttle Creek. She was the youngest of ten. All six of her brothers were in WWII. Only one didn't come home. Needless to say, between Delbert and I, we have many relatives. We own property in St. George and have raised four wonderful children. Delbert recently retired two years ago at age 55 from the Iron Workers Union Local #10, A.F. of L. but keeps very busy. Our oldest is Christopher Patrick. Our three girls are Amy Colleen, Megan Mary and Trina Elizabeth. They are all married now and their spouses fit right in. We are enjoying our nine grand children (five boys and four girls) ranging from thirteen to ten months.

Pets: In the last five years we have lost a 13 year-old Shelty (Shelby), 14 year-old Chocolate Lab (Ralph) and a 12 year-old German Short Hair (Bullet). We have started all over with another Shelty (Beetle) who is 3 and a German Shorthair (Pearl) who is 8 months. We have one Conure (Pickles) and three cats, Mr. Stripes, Cricket and Samantha (13 years).

Who is the most inspirational person to you and why? I have to say that my mother-in-law, Lucile, inspired me a great deal as a wife and mother. She was hard working, selfless and holy. Dr. Jake Mosier and Dr. John Noordsy were great mentors to me when I began in my current career as Alumni Coordinator for the College of Veterinary Medicine. They only wanted you to succeed and not only cared about your performance at work but were interested in you as a person. I would like to be more like them.

What was the first job you ever had? My very first job out of High School was a grocery retail called Farm House Foods at the end of Ponytz Avenue where the mall is now. After that I worked at McCall Pattern Co., K-State Student Food Services, cleaned houses for two years (had 13 houses a week), Horticultural Services for six years (nursery, greenhouse, store) and then to K-State as a custodian for two years before I was hired by Dr. Dean Lorenz, Dr. Jake Mosier and Dr. John Noordsy to administer the alumni program for the college. I have been here ever since - going on 20 years.

What is a hobby you have that others might not know about? I love horticulture. I like to help people with landscaping ideas and have many house plants. My dream is to have a greenhouse when I retire. I also like art, both refined and crafty.

What's your favorite day of the work week and why? At the beginning of the week it may seem like a long haul so I like to think of Wednesday as the hump day. It is down hill after that and doable. I also pick up the house a little on Wednesday so it isn't a total wreck by the weekend.

Where do you go when you need a quiet place? I don't really have a quiet place or need one. Coming from a family of nine siblings and later having four children of my own, I have always lived in chaos. I suppose driving to and from work would be a quiet time. I also spend one hour a week at the Adoration Chapel at Seven Dolores Catholic Church to pray and meditate. This has been very good for me.

Name something you keep or something you do for good luck: I just really have a lot of faith that everything will happen as it should.

Describe a time you surprised yourself at being able to do something: I have a fear of heights and am squeamish about needles. I have handled several projects that required me to manage myself in high places and give blood regularly. I feel good that I have been able to do what needs to be done despite my fears and inhibitions.

Finish this sentence: In 10 years, I hope ... to be comfortably retired, still enjoying my husband, and children and grandchildren. I hope to have been spending more time doing things I enjoy - spending more time in flower gardens, doing arts and crafts, seeing my siblings more often and traveling a little.

Which is better and why: the book or the movie? The book. It lets you inside the heads of the characters. I love words.


  Bonus logo*bonus news and photo

Dean’s lobby sports new bling

The development office recently posted a new donor recognition board in the dean's lobby. This board features names of donor’s who have given gifts of at least $25,000 to the CVM. Thanks to all those who have helped support our college! Please stop to see this wonderful new addition to the lobby.



Check it Out at the Library: Summer animal-related activities

by Carol Elmore

Carol Elmore

Summer will soon be here and everyone will be looking for interesting activities. Why not plan to spend some time with the animals in our area?

There are activities available in Manhattan such as the Riley County Fair and Kaw Valley Rodeo, July 24-28, where animals and their owners compete in many exciting events. The fair and rodeo’s Web site is http://www.rileycountyfair.com. Many fair events are free, but the rodeo admission is $10 at the door for adults and $4.00 for children.

Sunset Zoo in Manhattan also has some upcoming special events such as Father’s Day at the Zoo, June 15, with free admission for dad with a paying child, Kids Free Days are June 7 and Aug. 7 and other events and times are listed at www.SunsetZoo.com.

If another animal experience and day trip are appealing, then Rolling Hills Zoo has 100 plus species of wildlife throughout their 60 acres of beautifully landscaped park near Salina, Kan. Specifics about the zoo, museum, and their special events can be viewed at www.rollinghillswildlife.com with times and admission fees listed for these events.

The T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter in Manhattan, while not sponsoring any special events, welcomes visits to the shelter with contributions for their animals’ needs. A list of needs is listed at www.geocities.com/man-hattananimalshelter, as well as other information for families who might want to adopt an animal from the shelter.

One upcoming event is the Kansas State Horse Show Circuits’ Open Horse Show at the Kansas Expocentre, Domer Arena, in Topeka, Kan., June 7 at 8:30 a.m. Information about this event can be viewed at www.kshsc.org/shows.htm.

These are just a few of the many opportunities for animal events. If you know of any animals events this summer, please e-mail me at celmore@vet.ksu.edu and I’ll keep a list of them for future reference.



CVM News Ticker

Dr. David Hodgson returned to continue work at Kabul University in Afghanistan May 8. He will be there until the end of June. Last year, he was at KU from June to mid November. Dr. Hodgson worked within the Afghan system to create a functioning teaching facility for veterinary students.

Dr. Bob Larson will present at the Evidence Based Veterinary Medical Association in Athens, Ga., on June 9. Topic: What is EBVM? History of EBVM.

Dr. Tracey Jackson will present at the ACVIM forum in San Antonio, Texas, on June 5. Topic: Cellular & Molecular Analysis of Hormone Production and Gene Expression in a Feline Insulinoma.

Dr. Doug Powell was invited to present “Foodborne disease outbreaks: The medium and the
message, 2008” at the Alabama Food Safety and Defense Conference, Montgomery, on May 14. He gave two hours of consulting on development of survey for Delphi assessment of FDA food safety risk assessment model on May 13. This month he was featured in a K-State news release about food tips to gardeners:


Mal Hoover and Dr. Dan Thomson were featured in two stories in the May 22 issue of K-Statement. See these stories online here:



Congratulations from Dr. Beth Davis to:

PI: Dr. Emily Klocke
Sponsor: USRG Proposal
Title: “Verification of a Continuous Glucose Monitor”
Amount: $2,000

PI: Dr. Lucy Bergamasco
Sponsor: USRG Proposal
Title: “Electroencephalography Assessment in Adult and Geriatric Horses”
Amount: $2,500

PI: Dr. Hans Coetzee
Sponsor: Schering Plough
Title: Determining the Pharmacokinetics and Analgesic Effect of Flunixin Meglumine Administered prior to Dehorning and Castration.
Amount: $122,000

PI: Dr. Ken Harkin
Sponsor: Royal Canin
Title: Evaluation of L-carnitine in the treatment of toy breed hypoglycemia and in pre-conditioning of toy breed puppies prior to shipping
Amount: $21,452


  New Arrivals

Jishu Shi - A&P
Kimathi Choma - Dean’s Office

  Recent Departures

Ofelia Luz Zegarra - DM/P
Sajid Mahmood
- DM/P
Mohammad Alam - DM/P
Manuel Moro
- DM/P



Lifelines is published each month by the Development and Alumni Office at the College of Veterinary Medicine

Editors are Joe Montgomery and Amy Jo Wright, jmontgom@vet.k-state.eduajwright@vet.k-state.edu

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