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Kansas State University


The official newsletter of the College of Veterinary Medicine

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July 2011 - Vol. 6, No. 7

Top Stories

An Artist’s TouchMal Hoover displays some of her medical illustrations.

Mal Hoover, medical illustrator, earns national certification.
The process takes time

Behind the scenes

See how things work at the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.
What services does the lab provide?

Recognizing dedication

The CVM holds a ceremony to dedicate a new learning center.
Who was the center named for?

Veterinary Research Scholars Program offers experience

VMTH welcomes its new interns

Regular features

Michael ParrettUnder the Microscope
Michael Parrett, Senior Administrative Assistant, KSVDL

News Ticker

Calendar of events

New Arrivals/Recent Departures

Lifelines back issues

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An Artist’s Touch

CVM medical illustrator earns national certification

Story by Dana Avery

Sometimes life doesn’t go according to plans. For Mal Hoover, a change of plans led to a 30-year career and recent national certification as a medical illustrator.

Mal earned her bachelor’s degree at K-State in pre-veterinary medicine. She had applied for veterinary school the next year with her best friend. Unfortunately, Mal did not get in, but her friend did. Instead, she decided to take a job as a student worker at the CVM with the intentions of re-applying to veterinary school. After a couple of years, the medical illustrator at the time accepted a position at the K-State Student Union. The position was then offered to Mal.

“When the medical illustrator position opened up, I had the intention of only doing it for a few years,” Mal said. “It turns out, I loved it! It involves art and science, which I really like both subjects. It’s always changing and I have had the opportunity to work with some fabulous people.”

While working at the CVM, Mal was given the opportunity to go to the Association of Medical Illustrators annual conference. This was the first time she had heard about getting certified.

“Getting certified was partly a bucket list thing,” Mal said. “I was diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and while I was at the conference, I had heard about getting certified. I thought ‘Why not?’ It took a lot of hard work, but I’m glad I did it.”

The process to get certified can take many years to complete and is very difficult. There are only 250 certified medical illustrators in the world, and Mal is the only one in Kansas. Most participants have a master’s degree in medical illustration, but Mal did not. She had gained enough experience from working at the college which gave her the confidence to take the certification test.The test consists of two components, the first being a four-part test with questions over business practices, ethics, biomedical sciences and drawing skills. After passing, the applicant must submit a portfolio, that is reviewed by other certified medical illustrators for techniques and accuracy. After this process, the board will make the decision about certification. Mal became certified in June 2011.

Several faculty members have recently used Mal’s services for their projects. Dr. Amy Rankin, assistant professor in ophthalmology, used Mal’s talents for a schematic drawing of the flow of fluid through the eye that she will use for a book chapter and class lectures.

“Her schematic drawing of the eye is amazing,” said Dr. Rankin. “She drew one for us last year that we use to teach students. It is beautiful and accurate. I am very proud of Mal for achieving her goal. Her professionalism, friendly attitude, artistic talent and knowledge of veterinary medicine is what makes her great!”

Dr. Michael Kenney, graduate studies director, shares his gratitude for Mal’s assistance. She is currently working on a diagrammatic representation of an experiment apparatus using computer graphics for him.

“Mal has been a huge help with our work,” Dr. Kenney said. “We appreciate her enthusiasm, creativity and talent. She is a highly talented person and the output of her work is always excellent.”

To maintain certification, Mal will have to participate in Continuing Education coursework in art/illustration techniques and biomedical science. Currently, Mal is using for its video tutorials. She felt that the site has been extremely useful in teaching new methods and refreshing computer graphic techniques.

“Being located in the library has helped out a lot,” Mal said. “It is a wonderful resource. If I need to look something up for a project, the library has the most current texts on every veterinary subject.”

Mal hopes to go to the AMI conference next year. She said she is glad she had the opportunity at the CVM because it combines everything she enjoys.

Congratulations to Mal on her achievement! Remember, CVM faculty and staff can add original medical illustrations to their presentations at no cost.

Celebrating her accomplishment, the library held an open house for Mal Hoover on June 16. Mal’s work was featured during the event along with displays from other library staff members.
Celebrating her accomplishment, the library held an open house for Mal Hoover on June 16. Mal’s work was featured during the event along with displays from other library staff members.
Inner ear illustration
This medical illustration by Mal shows the inner ear on a canine.

Cheri Ubel looks at Mal's artwork.
Mal Hoover explains her techniques to Cheri Ubel. Currently, Mal is the only certified medical illustrator in Kansas.
Mal's horse drawing.
Mal displayed several pieces at an open house held in the Veterinary Medical Library in June.






Behind the scenes:

Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Lab

With education and research being primary goals at the CVM, service is the defining purpose for the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Lab (KSVDL).

The lab is located in the VMTH, it is a full-service lab that works to provide veterinarians specialized tests suitable for animals of all sizes.

See the story below for a full report on the KSVDL.


Testing samples at the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab.

Video produced by Joseph Chapes and Kent Nelson, technology coordinators from
Veterinary Medical Continuing Education.


Lechtenberg Family Learning Center makes its debut

The Lechtenberg Family Learning Center, formerly known as Coles 343, was dedicated on June 28. Through their generous donation and support, the learning center was made possible by Dr. Kelly Lechtenberg, DVM 1987, and his wife Marci. Dr. Lechtenberg is the founder and CEO of Central States Research Centre and Logan Valley Feeders, located in Oakland, Neb. In 2005, Dr. Lechtenberg was selected as the CVM Alumni Fellow. The room allows new opportunities for video and audio conferences. Some of the upgrades include Skype technology, polycom and many other features for conferences and small-size classroom lectures.

Lechtenbergs demonstrate video technology.
The Lechtenbergs helps demonstrate the new video technology in the learning center.
Dean Ralph Richardson visits with Marci Lechtenberg. The room
Dean Ralph Richardson visits with Marci Lechtenberg.
Drs. Lechtenberg, Minocha and Nagaraja.
Dr. Lechtenberg greets mentor and professor emeritus Dr. Harish Minocha and Dr. T.G. Nagaraja.

Moments after the dedication,
Dr. Lechtenberg meets basketball legend Ernie Barrett, aka “Mr. K-State.”
Dr. Kelly Lechtenberg shares his appreciation for K-State during the dedication ceremony. In 2005,
Dr. Kelly Lechtenberg shares his appreciation for K-State during the dedication ceremony.

Dr. Kelly Lechtenberg shares this day with his wife Marci and their three daughters Jana, Brooke and Paige.



Veterinary Scholars Research Program offers experience

This summer, 15 students were selected for the Veterinary Scholars Research Program. The program started in mid-May and will run through mid-August. The program matches students with a faculty member to gain valuable research experience. In addition to their work, students will be expected to attend weekly workshops, participate in a poster session and attend the Merial National Institutes of Health Veterinary Scholars Symposium in Orlando, Fla.

Crystal Drakes, third-year student, observes test results  while working for Dr. T.G. Nagaraja. To be in the
Crystal Drakes, third-year student, observes test results while working for Dr. T.G. Nagaraja. To be in the
program, students must have completed at least one year of veterinary school.



Adelaide Delahaye, visiting student from the National School of Veterinary Medicine in Lyon, France, is working with
Adelaide Delahaye, visiting student from the National School of Veterinary Medicine in Lyon, France, is working with Dr. Annelise Nguyen. Since the program began in 1998, approximately 15 students are selected each year.



Centennial Plaza bricks ad



VMTH welcomes its new interns

The new group of interns
Welcome the new interns. Back row (left to right): Nancy Adams, Lionel Sebbag, Alecia DuCharme, Alexandra Bianco and Dan Fredholm. Front row: Kimberly Loyd, Sara Fritz, Marlene Townsell and Rick Lanuza.



150 Years of Kansas Beef

Donít forget to order your '150 Year of Kansas Beef' commemorative book!

150 Years of Kansas Beef celebrates the people and institutions that have made Kansas beef what it is today. The historical and photograph-rich book will take readers through the hardships, changes, and triumphs of the Kansas beef industry over the last century and a half.

The book can be ordered online at, and will be printed by Donning Company Publishers and delivered in summer 2011.


150 Years of Kansas Beef



Under the Microscope

Michael Parrett, Senior Administrative Assistant, KSVDL


Michael Parrett What is your hometown? Topeka, Kansas

Family information: My loving family consists of my dear wife Claire, my oldest daughter Brynn (8 years old), and our youngest daughter Brooke (3 years old)

Do you have any pets? Enyas (Doberman Pinscher), Duke (Cavalier King Charles), Sasha (Chihuahua), Hammer and Toad (two frogs), and Rosie and Bluie (two fish)

What is your most memorable summer vacation? I enjoy all vacations, but would pick my last trip to England as the most memorable. The people, sites, and food were excellent.

What do you enjoy most about your job? I enjoy making a difference from day-to-day while continuing to challenge myself throughout work.

What was your first car? 1977 Mustang Cobra II

What are some hobbies you have? Boating, chess, fire, judo, family, fishing, mountain biking, outdoors, politics, reading, swimming, and writing.

With the recent celebration of Independence Day, how do you define patriotism? I believe patriotism can be defined by the understanding of our country’s history, struggles, accomplishments, pride, and lives lost to gain our standing in the world today, plus any contributions to those listed. America is a country many generations, ethnicities, and cultures can be proud of and rely on. America is brave, beautiful, and free.Also, my wife is from Nottingham, England, so July 4 is always an entertaining time at the Parrett household.

What is the most rewarding experience you have had and why? Losing in judo. The loss exposes mistakes made and ways to improve within the art, but also within yourself. Winning lasts about six seconds; then you get a trophy to help you collect dust.



News Ticker


Dr. David Anderson recently completed a 16-day international CE and discovery tour in Peru. During his tour, he visited several cities, gave six hours of CE classes in medicine, surgery, anesthesia and reproduction of llamas and alpacas. While visiting, he went on several hikes, the hikes ranged from 12,000 to 16,000 feet above sea level, such as pictured here at Machu Picchu. Below are some other pictures from Dr. Anderson's tour. Dr. David Anderson at Machu Picchu.



Peruvian garb

Congratulations to Ashley Talley, fourth-year veterinary student, on obtaining an internship at the National
Institutes of Health (NIH)!

Dr. Kate KuKanich presented at the ACVIM Forum in Denver, Colo., on June 18. Her topic was "Role of Enterococci in veterinary medicine."

Dr. Michele Borgarelli also presented at the ACVIM Forum on the topic: "Pre-Clinical chronic degenerative mitral valve disease in the dog."

Dr. Nicole Smee won one of the resident abstract presentation awards at the ACVIM Forum for her abstract entitled “Investigations into the effect of cranberry extract on the bacterial adhesion to canine uroepithelial cells.”

Dr. Dan Thomson has been selected to serve on an advisory committee for the 2011 governor's Animal Agricultural Summit. The committee will help develop plans for the summit including speakers and discussion items. This committee will also be tasked with developing action items and observe accountability of follow through after the summit convenes. The five-person committee has representatives from the private sector, university/research and allied agencies. The summit will be Sept. 28 in Garden City.




Calendar of events


Continuing Education events

Aug. 19: 5th Annual Conference for Care of Llamas and Alpacas (focused for veterinarians and breeders)

Sept. 24: SCAAEP Fall Equine Conference: A Focus on Reproduction.

Oct. 14: Ophthalmology Conference and Wet Lab

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



New Arrivals/Recent Departures

Welcome to:

Morgan Fyffe, Accountant I - DM/P
Deepti Pillai,
Microbiologist III - DM/P
Dr. O. Shawn Cupp,
Adjunct Faculty - DM/P

Thanks and Goodbye to:

Laura O'Brien, Research Assistant - DM/P
Eugene DeDonder,
Pharmacist - VMTH


Lifelines is published each month by the Development and Alumni Affairs Office at the College of Veterinary Medicine.
The editors are Joe Montgomery,, and Dana Avery,