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


July 2008 - Vol. 3 No. 6


 Top Stories

 Outstanding recognition for Dr. Wilkerson

 Hail and other surprises check in at June conference

 Under the weather: Tornado hits Manhattan

 New Interns take their turn

 Regular Features

 Check it Out at the Library
Planet Earth series on video

 Under the Microscope:
 Joe Nisil, Computer Information Specialist

 CVM News Ticker

 New Arrivals/Recent Departures

 Lifelines back issues

  Bonus logobonus stories*

Where’s the Beef? Right here

Morris Animal Foundation picks Montgomery for scholars program


Printable PDF Version of this Issue


Outstanding recognition for Dr. Wilkerson

She flashes a smile when talking about her career.
Dr. Melinda Wilkerson obviously enjoys the challenges of wearing several proverbial hats. In June, she was named Outstanding Woman Veterinarian of the Year as awarded by the Association of Women Veterinarians Foundation.

“I have a multitasked position,” said Dr. Wilkerson, interim associate dean of academic programs in the College of Veterinary Medicine. “I’m a veterinary pathologist by training and am board certified in pathology and clinical pathology. Since I’ve been at K-State more than 11 years, I’ve helped the Flow Cytometry/Clinical Immunology Lab to grow in its service capability. I also teach veterinary immunology and work in the dean’s office, so service, teaching, research, and administration — I think all of that is being recognized through this award.”

Dr. Wilkerson was nominated for the award by Dr. M.M. Chengappa, University Distinguished Professor and department head for the Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology. He said, “I see Dr. Wilkerson as nothing less than one of the very best all-around faculty in the country. She does everything so well and is engaged in every aspect of academics. Among her many accomplishments, she has brought tremendous visibility and national recognition to the Flow Cytometry Lab that she directs. She has also introduced several new testing procedures in the Clinical Immunology Laboratory to augment our service capability. She deserves a lot of credit for the excellence she has shown in her relatively young professional career.”

K-State has two previous winners of this same award.
Dr. Lisa Freeman, associate vice president for innovation for the K-State Olathe Innovation Campus and associate dean of research and graduate programs in the College of Veterinary Medicine, received the Outstanding Woman Veterinarian of the Year award in 2002. Dr. Bonnie Rush, department head for the Department of Clinical Sciences, received the award in 2004.


Dr. Melinda Wilkerson
Dr. Melinda Wilkerson shows off her internationally renowned Flow Cytometry lab.

Dr. Wilkerson, left, hands out calling lists to CVM students who volunteered at Telefund 2008 in February. She helps coordinate the college’s participation in the annual fundraising event, aside from her other teaching, research and administrative responsibilities in the CVM.


Bonus logo*includes extra photos

Hail and other surprises check in at June conference

Unexpected weather conditions added extra excitement to the 70th Annual Conference for Veterinarians. A thunderstorm with softball-sized hail hit Manhattan on the second day of the conference, but failed to dampen spirits. This year’s conference featured a magical kickoff, some surprises at the KVMA luncheon and Heritage Evening Banquet, and healthy doses of continuing education for the hundreds of veterinarians in attendance.

Dr. Beth Davis at the ultrasound Wet Lab
Dr. Beth Davis, front, demonstrates proper use of ultrasound during a Wet Lab in Mosier Hall.

Dr. Greg Hammer and Dr. John Noordsy
AVMA President Dr. Greg Hammer, DVM 1973, presents a President’s Award to his mentor, Dr. John Noordsy, DVM 1946.

Dykstra Hall building history poster
This poster shows attendees where Dykstra Hall got its name. It is one of nine K-State buildings/facilities named in honor of veterinary faculty and/or graduates.

Dr. William Brown presents the 2008 Class Initiative Award to Dr. Dallas Nelson, representing the class of 1953, and Dr. Clifford Noffsinger, representing the class of 1963, while Dean Richardson looks on.


Dean Ralph Richardson opens the conference
Dean Ralph Richardson opens the conference with highlights on the CVM’s activities from June 2007-June 2008.

Dr. Yoder compares hail to golf ball.
Dr. Tim Yoder, DVM 1988, proves how big the hail is at the scholarship golf tournament.

Dr. Dick Oberst
Dr. Dick Oberst tells how practitioners can implement molecular diagnostics in a Wet Lab at the Biosecurity Research Institute.

Dr. Amy Rankin, far right, gives eye exam.
Dr. Amy Rankin, far right, explains how to use an instrument for a canine eye examination.

Dr. Christen Skaer and her father Dr. Willaim Skaer
Dr. Christen Skaer, class of 1999, receives a surprise by being named the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association Veterinarian of the Year, as presented by her father
Dr. William Skaer, class of 1969. They work together at the Skaer Veterinary Clinic in Wichita.

Dr. Brown presents the Distinguished Alumnus Award to Dr. Jack Judy, with his wife Nan, and the E.R. Frank Award to Dr. George Kennedy.


Bonus logo* includes extra photos

Under the weather: Tornado hits Manhattan

More than 100 students and staff with their families and pets took shelter in the basement of Trotter Hall on the night of June 11. A tornado plowed through residential areas on the west side of Manhattan, destroyed businesses along Seth Child Road and twisted through the K-State campus leaving a path of destruction along the way. No lives were lost, though many were touched. Some of our CVM colleagues have shared pictures showing damage in their own backyards and neighborhoods.

Dr. Jianfa Bai shared this picture of the area around Peachtree Circle.

Another view of Dr. Bai's neighborhood, which shows how lucky he and his family were to have only sustained minor damage on their home.

A picture from campus taken by Dr. Michael Dryden. This is part of the Wind Erosion Lab.

Students, some with pets, take shelter in the basement hallway between Mosier and Trotter halls.

A piercing example of the power of a tornado (submitted by Dr. Mike Dryden).


Trotter Hall cafeteria during Tornado
More than 100 students took shelter in the Trotter Hall basement while the storm passed overhead.

Kirsta Pippin's neighbor's house
This is a house in the Amherst Neighborhood, near where Kristan Pippin lives.

Dr. David Poole's son, Conner, right, 'shoots' hoops with friend Scott Hahn.

A view of Dr. Poole's house after the storm. He said: "Wildwood Lane fully lived up to its name that night. The trees groaning and ripping from the earth made the tornado grunt like some massive beast in pain. Huge branches and tree trunks were swirling around horizontally those released from the rotating column came crashing down through the treed canopy right in front of us. At that point Connor and I beat a hasty and, we felt, a prudent retreat into the house and downstairs.  A moment later the building shuddered and what sounded like a sonic boom of pressure blasted our eardrums as the tornado passed over and around us. An eerie silence followed." 

These are some personal items found among the tornado debris scattered on campus and turned in by CVM staffers. Findings are being collected at the UFM House as a central location where tornado victims can look for lost personal items.


New Interns take their turn

The VMTH welcomes the incoming class of clinical interns who arrived on campus in June. They are (left to right)
Dr. Imma Roquet, Dr. Nicole Belair, Dr. Diana Burr,
Dr. Travis Wodiske, Dr. Catherine Rivara and Dr. Judilee Marrow.


New Interns for the VMTH

  Bonus logo* bonus story and photos

Where’s the Beef? Right here

Animal health has entered a new arena at K-State. The newly initiated Beef Cattle Institute hosted the first International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare May 28-30 at the Kansas State University campus.

The Symposium drew more than 700 participants, both in local attendance and through worldwide viewing via live webcasts at feedlots, veterinary practices, veterinary colleges and other locations. More than 20 U.S. and international speakers — experts in cattle welfare — covered numerous welfare, animal health, regulatory issues and other topics.

Dr. Dan Thomson, Jones Professor of Production Medicine and Epidemiology and director of the Beef Cattle Institute, said, “The beef industry is perceived as being on the leading edge of animal welfare in the livestock industry. The producers who were there were proud of the job they are doing with welfare and they want to continue to improve and make our industry more open to the public. We also agree we need to condemn any in our industry who do not use proper welfare standards.”

The purpose of the Beef Cattle Institute, established in August 2007, is to create a collaborative environment at Kansas State University to tackle today's and tomorrow’s issues facing the beef industry through education, research and outreach.


Dr. Dan Thomson kicks off the first International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare.

The cattle handling group poses with a young volunteer Clayton Duft. Behind, from left to right, is Dr. Tom Noffsinger, Dr. Lynn Locatelli, Curt Pate and Clint Hoss.


Under the Microscope: Joe Nisil, Computer Information Specialist

Joe Nisil

Place of birth: Attleboro, Mass.

Family information:
I come from a family of 7 kids, so I learned early on how to fend for myself.

Cats Elroy and Serena, the best companions you could ask for. (Except when they wake me up at 4 a.m., and I don't have to go to work!)

What is your favorite part of celebrating Independence Day?
Being with family and all the FOOD! We go to Sundown Salute every year and enjoy the community we live in, and our extended families.

Do you have collectibles and if so, what is your biggest collection made up of?
I have a very large collection of 12" G.I. Joes. I have collected them for many years. My grandson always complains because I won’t take them out of the box and play with them.

What has surprised you the most about being an employee in the College of Veterinary Medicine?
I have been very lucky to have had great supervisors and mentors here at CVM. I came over from main campus where I worked as a photographer for Photo Services. When the Web was becoming a major factor in education, I was lucky enough to have Wayne Michaels teach me Web and Linda Johnson let me grow as an employee. I have been surprised at how much the Web has grown and all the technologies now used in veterinary medicine.Under the Microscope beaker logo

What did you do on your most memorable summer vacation?
I have many memorable summer vacations with my family, whether we were camping in New Hampshire or spending the summers on Cape Cod. My most memorable was the last time we were all together as a family, knowing my sister was sick with breast cancer. Trying to get seven brothers and sisters together with our families wasn't an easy task, but we did it. We made the most of it. We went to the beach; we BBQ’d; and we did a lot of talking. It was just great being all together and sharing our memories and laughing.

Name something you keep or something you do for good luck:
I keep my sister’s breast cancer ribbon pin. It was given to me by her just before she passed away.

Describe a time you surprised yourself at being able to do something:
One time I surprised myself was being able to rappel out of helicopters! I have a fear of heights, but the rappelling was a chance to push my personal limits. I have also surprised myself by going back into DJing on weekends, and being able to keep up with music the kids like!

If you could be an animal in the next life, what would you be and why?
I want to be a spoiled house cat! I've seen their life and I want to be able to sleep all day and play all night.



Check it Out at the Library: Planet Earth series on video

by Carol Elmore

Carol Elmore

Over the summer months, I will be featuring some highly recommended books, DVD’s and CD’s that we have at the Veterinary Medical Library. “Planet Earth: As You’ve Never Seen it Before,” a BBC Video, is a very popular item. Our set is the original documentary series narrated by David Attenborough and produced by Alastair Fothergill. It was first broadcast in the United Kingdom in 2006. The U.S. version narrated by Sigourney Weaver was broadcast in 2007 by the Discovery Channel. Currently the library has the BBC version but due to the popularity of the series we have recently ordered the American version.

The library also has the book based on the original photography published by the University of California Press. The filming of the series took 40 cameramen more than five years visiting 62 countries for a cost of $25 million. Most of the footage was filmed on high-definition video. Places shown on film are those seldom seen.

The series is organized by ecosystems and includes mountains, fresh water, caves, deserts, ice worlds, great plains, jungles, shallow seas, seasonal forests, and ocean deep. Also included are three sections on conservation issues surrounding species and environments which discuss actualities of our present world as well as future possibilities relating to these issues.

The American series has a behind-the-scenes section on the equipment, technology and danger that went into the making of the series. The photography of the series is truly spectacular with many aerial views, deep earth views, and underwater scenes that may never again be filmed. Because of the series’ true depictions of nature, some scenes have some potentially disturbing content and might not be appropriate for small children. Generally the series is appropriate for family viewing and watching the series would be a great summer activity.



CVM News Ticker

Congratulations Dr. Ralph Richardson! The K-State Provost’s office announced June 19 that Dr. Richardson will be reappointed for another five-year term as dean.

Dr. Vanessa Clark presented a poster entitled “Structural Characterization and Partial Sequence of the Feline Glucokinase Gene” at the Annual Forum of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in San Antonio, Texas, held in early June.

Michael Walsh, class of 2011, tied for second place in the J. Fred Smithcors Student Veterinary History Essay Contest for 2008.

Lalitha Peddireddi, Ph.D. student in Dr. Roman Ganta’s laboratory in DM/P, was selected to attend the 2008 Robert J. Kadner Institute for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Students in Preparation for Careers in Microbiology. Kadner Institute is managed by American Society for Microbiology (ASM). The meeting will be held at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Dr. Mark Weiss participated with Brad Kemp, executive director of Community Bridge, in a radio program that won first place from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters for the 2008 public affairs programming category. “The Kansas Stem Cell Debate,” was a discussion about stem cell research issues.

Dr. Dan Thomson presented to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association BQA State Coordinators Meeting June 11 in Kansas City, Kan. Topic: Training martial for feedlot workers.


Morris Animal Foundation picks Montgomery for scholars program

Megan Montgomery, class of 2009, is among 43 veterinary students worldwide selected for the Morris Animal Foundation's Veterinary Student Scholars Program.

The scholars program provides an opportunity to become involved in research that enhances the health and welfare of companion animals and wildlife.

As a scholar, Megan will receive a $5,000 stipend to participate in a short-term clinical or basic veterinary research project under the guidance of an experienced researcher.

Megan’s project is evaluating the oral bioavailability of terbinafine in horses and in some dogs. Terbinafine is an antifungal drug used for nail fungus infections in humans. Her faculty mentor for the project is Dr. Butch KuKanich, assistant professor of anatomy and physiology.

She also is invited to attend the Morris Animal Foundation’s 2009 annual meeting in Colorado, where her project will be reviewed by the foundation’s scientific advisory boards.

“Pet owners are looking for more advanced health care for their pets, but the number of veterinary students choosing research careers is decreasing significantly,” said Dr. Patricia N. Olson, veterinarian and president and chief executive officer of the Morris Animal Foundation. “We also hope these grants will encourage veterinary students to pursue research careers that will make a critical difference to the future of animal health for our pets and the world's wildlife.”

Megan said her research project fits with her career plans.

“After earning my DVM, I am hoping to go into equine practice,” she said. “I chose veterinary medicine because I grew up with horses and  other pets, and have wanted to have a career working with animals since I was very young. It is a very exciting and rewarding profession and I am looking forward to becoming a part of it.”

Megan earned a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences and industry from K-State in 2006. As an undergraduate, she was a member of K-State’s equestrian team. She currently is active with the university’s student chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners/Equine Club, Theriogenology Club and the student chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association.


Megan Montgomery, class of 2010, shown with her horse Vi. Megan was a member of K-State’s equestrian team while she was an undergraduate.
  New Arrivals

Amy Burklund - DM/P-VDL
Brenda L. Mayberry - DM/P-VDL
Jennifer l. Hill - VDL
Kyathanahalli Janardhan - DM/P-VDL
Mika Doornbos - VDL
Bonto Faburay - DM/P

  Recent Departures

Ying Wang - DM/P
Kristen Schweitzer - DM/P-VDL
Michael Dinwiddie - DM/P-VDL
Donald Robertson - DM/P
Kishore Das - DM/P
Mark Minihan - Dean’s Office - ARF



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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