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Kansas State University


The official newsletter of the College of Veterinary Medicine

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April 2010 - Vol. 5, No. 4

Top Stories

Matthew Edson with a young patient in Haiti.E. coli O157:H7-in-cattle research draws grant

National Institute of Food and Agriculture grants $465,000 to
Dr. Nagaraja's research team to study E. coli O157:H7 in Beef Cow-Calf Operations
Who's on the research team?

MPH program awards two for excellence

The Master in Public Health program recognizes an outstanding student and faculty member for Public Health Week.
Who are the winners?

Presidential scholar

Pre-veterinary student Amy Sents is K-State's newest Truman Scholar.
How did Amy earn the scholarship?

President Schulz gives leadership lessons to SCAVMA

Join us for Kind Hearts Caring Hands Day and White Coat Ceremony

April Fool's pranks greet development office

Come golf with us at the 16 Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament

Regular features

Dr. Barbara LutjemeierUnder the Microscope
Meet Dr. Barbara Lutjemeier, Special Projects Assistant, Anatomy and Physiology

Check it Out at the Library
"Agricultural Network Information Center"

News Ticker

Calendar of events

New Arrivals/Recent Departures

Lifelines back issues

Hard copy version of Lifelines (printable)
Note: File is in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format.
Some documents are in PDF format.
Click here to get Acrobat Reader

E. coli O157:H7-in-cattle research draws grant

National Institute of Food and Agriculture grants $465,000 to Dr. Nagaraja’s research team to study E. coli O157:H7 in Beef Cow-Calf Operations

Size doesn’t always matter when it comes to human health. The smallest bacterium that is harmless to cattle can be deadly once the food supply is contaminated. That’s why Dr. T.G. Nagaraja finds it’s important to learn as much as possible about E. coli O157:H7.

“The more we know about how E. coli O157:H7 operates in cattle and its environment, the better our ability to come up with strategies to control it,” said Dr. Nagaraja, University Distinguished Professor of microbiology. “This new project involves collaborative interaction with other disciplines such as entomology, production medicine and epidemiology.”

The USDA agreed that this was a good approach, so it has awarded Dr. Nagaraja a $465,000 grant through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), to be effective starting September 2010. The full project title is “Ecology of E. coli O157:H7 in Beef Cow-Calf Operations from Ranch to Feedlot.”

“We will be collecting samples from several feedlots and slaughter houses in Kansas and Nebraska.,” Dr. Nagaraja said.

The project’s co-investigators are Dr. David Renter, associate professor of epidemiology; Dr. Mike Sanderson, professor of production medicine; Dr. Jianfa Bai, assistant professor of molecular biology; and Dr. Ludek Zurek, associate professor in microbial ecology.

“This grant is super,” said Dr. M.M. Chengappa, head of the Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology and University Distinguished Professor. “It’s become more and more important that we perform research through collaborations with different departments. Dr. Nagaraja has assembled a team of experts who will help look at this problem from many different perspectives.”

Dr. Nagaraja said the grant will help provide funding for graduate assistants, supply costs and travel necessary for gathering research samples.

NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people’s daily lives and the nation’s future through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs.

Drs. Nagaraja, Sanderson and Bai
Dr. T.G. Nagaraja looks over a sample with Dr. Mike Sanderson and Dr. Jianfa Bai.
Dr. Ludek Zurek     Dr. David Renter
Drs. Ludek Zurek and David Renter are also part of the research team.
E. coli 0157:h7 represents a serious health issue to producers
E. coli O157:H7 represents a serious health issues to cattle producers and the food supply.

MPH program awards two for excellence

Outstanding accomplishments in public health and contributions to Kansas State University's Master of Public Health program have earned a recent graduate of the program and a K-State faculty member honors.

Dr. Jennifer Akers, a veterinarian and clinical assistant professor at K-State's Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, was named the 2010 outstanding Master of Public Health student. The 2010 outstanding Master of Public Health faculty honoree is Dr. Lisa Freeman, associate vice president for innovation at K-State Olathe and a veterinarian and professor of pharmacology in the department of anatomy and physiology at K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine.

The awards were presented by Dr. Carol Shanklin, dean of K-State's Graduate School, at the Excellence in Public Health awards reception April 5 at K-State.

Dr. Akers earned her Master of Public Health degree, with an emphasis in infectious diseases and zoonosis, from K-State in December 2009. Her major professors were Dr. Justin Kastner, assistant professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology, and Dr. David Renter, a veterinarian and associate professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology.

Her thesis, "Addressing Curriculum Deficiencies in Veterinary Public Health: A Comparison of Other Health Professions' Experiences," provided a systematic assessment of the veterinary profession's curricular inadequacies in public health education and examined potential solutions for addressing the educational deficiency by documenting approaches from other health professions. She has already authored one peer-reviewed paper on public health education, and is working on at least one other first-author manuscript based on her thesis work.



Dean Shanklin and Dr. Jennifer Akers
Graduate Dean Carol Shanklin presents the Outstanding Student Award to Dr. Jennifer Akers.
Dean Shanklin and Dr. Lisa Freeman
Dean Shanklin presents the Outstanding Faculty Award to Dr. Lisa Freeman.

Dr. Akers said her greatest professional passion is to enhance public health awareness and education as it relates to infectious and zoonotic diseases. As a student, she voluntarily contributed to numerous public health education outreach activities. She has been the adviser to the K-State Public Health Club since 2007, and served as a mentor for junior K-State veterinary students enrolled in the zoonoses class. She also has spoken to the State Animal Response Team about zoonotic diseases, the Girls Researching Our World program about disaster preparedness, and local kindergartners about dog bite prevention.

Dr. Akers received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University.

Dr. Freeman has been a driving force for improved public health education, research and practice throughout Kansas. She has served on the Master of Public Health coordinating committee since 2008 and as an adviser for Master of Public Health students. Dr. Freeman also has served as a mentor to a number of K-State students, working with them one-on-one about their educational opportunities and future careers.

Dr. Freeman also has helped develop a public health collaboration network between Kansas community colleges and K-State to inform undergraduate students about public health jobs and educational opportunities. This network includes the recruitment of students interested in public health to K-State programs.

In addition, she has been a catalyst for the development of the One Health Kansas Initiative, which created new positions to support public health programs across the state to better educate the general population about the importance and interdisciplinary nature of public health. The initiative also provides information about current and future educational opportunities and careers.

Dr. Freeman is leaving K-State at the end of the school year to become vice president for research and graduate studies at Northern Illinois University.

K-State's Master of Public Health program was approved by the Kansas Board of Regents in January 2003 and admitted its first students in fall 2003. Since then, 87 students have enrolled in the degree program, with 33 graduates. Currently, the program has 43 students. The program offers integrated multidisciplinary expertise with more than 50 primary and support faculty from eight departments in four colleges and two support units at K-State. The mission of the program is to provide education, research and service across multiple disciplines of public health, impacting human, animal and community health locally, regionally and globally.

Director of the program is Dr. Michael Cates, a veterinarian and the James B. Nichols Professor of Veterinary Public Health at K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine.


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Presidential Scholar!

Pre-veterinary student Amy Sents is K-State's newest Truman Scholar

Amy SentsKansas State University student Amy Sents is K-State's 32nd Harry S. Truman Scholar.

Sents is a McPherson, Kan., senior in animal sciences and industry and pre-veterinary medicine with a minor in international agriculture. As a winner of the Truman scholarship, she will receive as much as $30,000 for graduate studies toward a career in public service.

"We're very pleased that Amy Sents has been selected as a Truman scholar," said K-State President Kirk Schulz. "Amy is a great representation of the caliber of K-State students, and she is continuing the university's ongoing success in the Truman scholarship competition. She is committed to serving others and is on track for an excellent career in veterinary medicine."

K-State ranks first in the nation among 500 public universities, with 32 students winning Truman scholarships since the program began in 1977. In 1996, the Truman Foundation named K-State a Truman Scholar Honor Institution. K-State was among the inaugural group of 17 schools, which were chosen from the more than 450 colleges that have produced Truman scholars, to receive this title.

Sents is among 60 scholars selected this year by the Truman Foundation. The scholars were chosen from 576 applicants from 245 colleges and universities, according to the Truman Foundation. Truman scholars are selected based on their commitment to public service, record of leadership and likelihood of success in graduate studies.

Sents plans to obtain a doctorate of veterinary medicine and master's of public health at K-State. She then would like to work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in veterinary services.

"I would be responsible for collaborating with other state and federal entities to develop plans for emergency response in the event of a disease outbreak," she said. "If one were to occur, I would be a first responder, implementing quarantines and testing animals. I would also help train public officials regarding their role in such an event."

Last summer Sents interned with the White House liaison office within the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. She was able to visit the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service headquarters while there.

Sents said she has long been involved with organizations to serve the community. When choosing a career, she wanted to combine her passion for volunteering with her interests in disease and health.

"My parents impressed upon me from a young age the need to serve others," Sents said. "Through my activities on the farm and in 4-H and FFA, I developed a true passion for animals. Through safeguarding the health of livestock, I aspire to help make this world a safer place for everyone to live."

At K-State, Sents is the current webmaster and past vice president and secretary of Alpha of Clovia 4-H Scholarship House. She has competed on K-State's meats and horse judging teams and the meat quiz bowl team. She also has participated in the local and regional animal sciences and industry academic quadrathlon and attends University Christian Church. She will represent Kansas as an international 4-H youth exchange delegate to Germany and Switzerland from June to December. Sents has received K-State's Putnam Scholarship, the Fort Dodge Animal Health Scholarship, the Cargill Genuinely Better Scholarship, the Agriculture Future of America Scholarship, the Robert J. Dole Scholarship, national FFA scholarships and state and county 4-H scholarships. A 2007 graduate of McPherson High School, she is the daughter of Allan and Deanna Sents of McPherson.


President Schulz gives leadership lessons to SCAVMA

K-State President Kirk Schulz visited Mosier Hall March 21 to talk to the K-State Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association (SCAVMA). Dr. Schulz gave a lecture on leadership, outlining 16 principles that he has gathered over the course of his career from being an associate professor, departmental chair, college dean to being a university president. He explained that while he finds a lot of guidance in leadership and organizational/management books, that his principles were based on his own observations.

Among his principles was the importance of being an effective communicator, putting critical decisions in writing, using a time-life management system and surrounding yourself with people who will help you be a better person.



Dr. Kirk Schulz, Adam Lukert and Dr. Meredyth JonesK-State President Kirk Schulz answers some questions from SCAVMA President Adam Lukert and Dr. Meredyth Jones, assistant professor in agricultural practices, after giving a lecture on leadership principles. Dr. Schulz was a chemical engineering professor and administrator prior to working in upper administration.


Join us for Kind Hearts Caring Hands Day

White Coat Ceremony celebrates its 10th year at K-State

Kind Hearts - Caring Hands Day is being held April 16. This is a day to celebrate teaching and learning. The events are designed to encourage students’ families, alumni and friends to become better informed about the activities and heritage of the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine. Activities will include an Open House, Quiz Bowl sponsored by the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Convocation Address, White Coat Ceremony and Honors Banquet.

This year's All-College Convocation Address will be delivered by Dr. W. Ron DeHaven, executive vice president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Dr. DeHaven has more than two decades of experience with the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and gained national prominence in 2003 and 2004 when chronic wasting disease and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE/"Mad Cow" disease) were making headlines. Dr. DeHaven received the President's Rank Awards (Meritorious and Distinguished) for his leadership. He also received the Secretary's Honor Award twice. The AVMA honored Dr. DeHaven's contributions to the veterinary profession with the Meritorious Service Award in 2004. He also received the Roswell Award from the Scientists Center for Animal Welfare, and an honorary degree from Purdue University.

As APHIS administrator, Dr. DeHaven was ultimately responsible for the protection of U.S. agriculture and natural resources from exotic pests and diseases, administering the Animal Welfare Act, and carrying out wildlife damage management activities. Prior to being selected APHIS Administrator, Dr. DeHaven served as deputy administrator for APHIS' Veterinary Services program. Dr. DeHaven also served as acting associate administrator for APHIS from October 2001 through April 2002. From 1996 to 2001, he was the deputy administrator for the Animal Care Unit of APHIS, administering the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act. Before assuming the deputy administrator's position, Dr. DeHaven served as the Animal Care Unit's western regional director in Sacramento, Calif., for seven years. Prior to starting work at APHIS, Dr. DeHaven was commissioned into the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps and served in the U.S. Army Reserves and National Guard.

Dr. DeHaven obtained his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Purdue University in 1975 and a master's degree in business administration from Millsaps College in 1989.

A schedule of activities is posted at


White Coat Ceremony.
2009 White Coat Ceremony
Dr. W. Ron DeHaven
Dr. W. Ron DeHaven, executive vice president of the AVMA, will deliver the All-College Convocation Address April 16 at noon in Frick Auditorium.

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Veterinary Medicine Online goes live

Series of 30 new CE seminars are now available

Kansas State University’s Veterinary Medicine Online has recently introduced a series of 30 new online seminars as part of its existing Bovine, Small Ruminant, Camelid and new Equine Seminar Series.

As of March 1, the new online seminars provide a convenient way for veterinarians to earn continuing-education hours without leaving their homes or practices. Users will be able to log in and watch recorded seminars presented by faculty from the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine and guest speakers.

The new Equine Seminar Series is offered in six segments focusing on equine laminitis. These seminars feature contributions from Dr. Raul Bras, an associate veterinarian in the podiatry department at the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky.

Among the programs are 13 new bovine seminars emphasizing bull evaluation and management. These include five presentations by Dr. Albert Barth, professor of theriogenology at the University of Saskatchewan.

Also, there are 11 new sheep and goat seminars adding to the existing programs previously available as part of the Small Ruminant Seminar Series. Topics range from parasite management and nutrition to C-sections and medicine of sheep and goats.

Veterinary Medicine Online
Veterinary Medical Continuing Education now has 30 new seminars available at Veterinary Medicine Online.

A large array of topics are available covering nutrition, reproduction, medicine, neonatology, and surgery of llamas and alpacas. These seminars feature recognized experts in the care and management of camelids.

Veterinarians who use K-State’s Veterinary Medicine Online programs earn CE credit by watching a captured seminar and taking a short quiz. Once the user passes the quiz, they are then provided with certificates confirming their completed CE hours.

The programs are available as individual seminars or in three new certificate-of-completion programs that allow users to purchase a package of seminars for a reduced price.

Users are granted access to individual seminars for 14 days and certificate-of-completion programs for 28 days.

In order to renew a veterinary license, a veterinarian is required to earn a certain number of hours of continuing education each year. Each state has different requirements for the number of hours a veterinarian must complete.

K-State’s Veterinary Medicine Online is produced by the College of Veterinary Medicine. Visit for more information.



April Fool's pranks greet development office

April Fool's cups
Staff in the alumni and development office arrived to work on April Fool's morning to find a few pranks had been played on them. In this prank, cups are stapled together and filled with water so that the prankee has difficulty removing the obstacle from her workspace.

Cheeseburger Cake makes for interesting April Fool's prank
In addition to a unique cup formation, an unidentified prankster left a layered cake that oddly resembles a cheeseburger. In an unphotographed prank, staff members received phone messages to call Mr. Behr or Mr. Lyon, with the phone numbers going to the Omaha and Atlanta zoos.


Under the Microscope

Dr. Barbara Lutjemeier, Special Projects Assistant, Anatomy and Physiology

Dr. Barbara Lutjemeier

Place of birth: Marysville, Kan.

Family Information: I am married to Joe Hodson, a recently retired conductor for the Union Pacific railroad. My daughter, Jessica, is a graduate from Emporia State, is married, living in Wichita and continuing her education in interpretive sign language. My son Jacob, is a fall graduate of Kansas University and has moved to Manhattan to start his own business.

Pets: Two dogs, Spike and Buster, and one cat, Peeper Roo.

Under the Microscope logoWhat is something new you have always wanted to do or try? I believe we should embrace each new decade of our lives instead of dreading them. So during my 30th decade I ran three marathons, for my 40th, I went skydiving (and I threw in scuba diving for good measure), for my 50th decade I want to run 50 miles. Not that I am anywhere near 50 years old!!!

When have you had a moment when you surprised yourself? The first time I ran 10 miles without stopping.

What is your favorite time of the day and why? Sunset. I love running at sunset and if I can finish my run when the sun is just dipping below the horizon, all the better. It is the perfect way to end the day.

What was an April Fool's prank that didn't quite work? My husband retired on March 31, after being on call for the railroad for 37 years. The next morning — April Fools Day — I was going to call our house phone letting him know he was called to work for two in the morning (which had happened often over the years). But I figured that would be way too cruel, so I let him sleep in on his first day of freedom.

What is your favorite spring activity? Anything outdoors, especially working in my gardens.



Check it Out at the Library

Agricultural Network Information Center

by Carol Elmore

Carol Elmore Last month I discussed the National Agricultural Library’s online resources. Another important information resource for agriculture and veterinary medicine is the Agriculture Network Information Center (AgNIC). It is maintained and governed by the AgNIC Alliance which includes the National Agricultural Library as well as 60+ other institutions and organizations including Kansas State University. AgNIC provides agricultural information and resources in areas such as rural sociology, agribusiness, and food safety in addition to many other areas. Kansas State’s partners include Beef Cattle (a collaboration of the Beef Cattle Institute and Hale Libraries) and also Grain Milling & Processing, Kansas Rangelands, and Kansas Wildflowers & Grasses. Through AgNIC Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Beef Cattle Institute is accessible to a national as well as international audience.

Specific services that are available through the AgNIC portal are Web sites, databases, institutional repository resources, image collections, documents and publications all dealing with agriculture, environmental, and food related disciplines. Many of the articles in the databases are full-text. AgNIC also has a calendar and news links that are continually updated. What is not included in the portal are proprietary, most commercially supported information, fee-based resources, and highly sensitive information that might impact national security. The resources that are presented are selected by member standards and are objective and authoritative. What sets AgNIC apart from other agricultural Web sites is that it is composed primarily of academic and research institutions and government agencies.

Please visit the Veterinary Medical Library Web site: for help on this and other subjects.


News Ticker

Dr. Mike Apley presented at the NCBA Beef Safety Summit in Dallas on March 4. Topic: "Current knowledge on the impact of antibiotic use in cattle production on resistance development."

Dr. James Carpenter presented at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater on April 6. Topic: "International Opportunities: Wildlife Adventures in Africa ... from Immobilizing Rhinos to the 'Big Swing.'"

Dr. Kerry Bilicki, former resident, passed all parts of the ACVS exam on her first attempt! She is the eighth consecutive small animal surgery resident to pass on the first try.

Dr. Greg Grauer presented at the Wilmington Area VMA on March 16.. Topic: "Renoprotective treatment for CKD: ACEI and beyond." He also presented March 18 at the Portland Area VMA. Topic: "Renoprotective treatment for CKD: ACEI and beyond."

Dr. Dan Thomson was invited to talk with CVM faculty and students at Iowa State University on April 5. Topic: "Raising beef for a 1st World Country." He also presented at Oklahoma State University in the College of Agriculture on April 9. Topic: "Making changes in beef cattle welfare: benchmarking and moving forward."

Dr. David Anderson, professor and head of Agricultural Practices, was honored in February as a Coughlin Visiting Professor at the University of Tennessee’s Annual Conference for Veterinarians. The Coughlin Professor series is made possible through a generous donation to the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Tennessee by the Coughlin family and recognizes leaders in veterinary medicine.

Dr. Anderson gave four seminars on bovine surgery and two seminars on diseases of llamas and alpacas during the conference.

Dr. David Anderson
Dr. David Anderson (far left), joins other Coughlin Recipients,
Dr. Matt Read (Western Veterinary Specialist and Emergency
Centre), Dr. Michelle Henry Barton (University of Georgia)
and Dr. Karen Tobias (University of Tennessee). In the center
are the presenters Dr. James P. Thompson, dean at the
University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine and
Mrs. Ruth Coughlin.




Calendar of events

April 16: Kind Hearts/Caring Hands Celebration, Mosier Hall, Trotter Hall, K-State Student Union

April 21-22: Rabies Immunology Workshop*, K-State Alumni Center

April 24: All-University Open House, several activities planned in Trotter and Mosier Halls.

April 25: 27th Annual Frank W. Jordan Seminar*, Frick Auditorium, Mosier Hall.

May 14: Commencement, McCain Auditorium.

June 6-9: 72nd Annual Conference for Veterinarians, K-State Student Union

* More information about Veterinary Medical Continuing Education events can be found at the VMCE Web site.


New Arrivals/Recent Departures

Welcome to:

Dr. Gayathri Krishnamoorthy - A&P
Francisco Velazaquez Jr. - KSVDL
Elisabeth Perchellet - KSVDL
Anna Wiest - KSVDL
Heather Wedel - KSVDL
Katherine Brower - KSVDL

Thanks and Goodbye to:

Trevor Scholl - VMTH
Dr. Troy Holder - VMTH
Samantha Swank - VMTH
Zhihong Wu - A&P
Lori Spanel - VMTH
Dr. Sarla Aggarwal - DM/P


Lifelines is published each month by the Development and Alumni Affairs Office at the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Editors are Tyler Nelssen, and Joe Montgomery,