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Kansas State University


The official newsletter of the College of Veterinary Medicine

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August 2012 - Vol. 7, No. 8

Top Stories

Second-year student Hillary Wolfe performs an ultrasound on a bottlenose dolphin.Wet & Wild

Second-year student Hillary Wolfe interns at marine park.
Where is the park?

Scholarly Students

Learn about the activities of the Veterinary Research Scholars Program.
What projects did they work on?

Meet baby colobus

Dr. Jim Carpenter delivers a new addition at Manhattan's Sunset Zoo.
How big is the baby?

Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases receives project funding

Record fundraising year for CVM and university

K-State day at the Kansas State Fair planned for Sept. 9

CVM unveils new 'Pet Friendly' license plate

Introducing the new residents

Keeping dogs safe and comfortable in summer heat

VMAA honors Dr. David S. Rolfe at AVMA convention

Regular features

Janel KoonsUnder the Microscope
Janel Koons, Admissions Administrative Assistant, Dean's Office

News Ticker

Calendar of events

New Arrivals/Recent Departures

Lifelines back issues

Hard copy version of Lifelines (printable)
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Wet & Wild

Second-year student Hillary Wolfe interns at marine park

  Hillary Wolfe provides surgical assistance on a turtle.
  Second-year student Hillary Wolfe provides surgical assistance to remove a hook, line and sinker from a turtle’s GI tract. (Photos courtesy of Gulf World Marine Park photography center.)  

A summer vacation at home doesn’t necessarily sound exotic, but second-year student Hillary Wolfe can throw water all over that notion. That’s because she spent summer on an eight-week internship at the Gulf World Marine Park in Panama City Beach, Fl.

“I grew up in Florida so I've always had an interest in sea life, but it wasn't until I interned at Sea World in 2009 that I decided to pursue aquatic animal medicine,” Hillary said. “I've been hooked ever since.”

After an internship last summer for the Navy's Marine Mammal Program in San Diego, she learned about the internship opportunity at the marine park in Florida.

“I'm learning all the basics of medical care of bottlenose and rough toothed dolphins, California sea lions, birds and many species of reptiles,” Hillary said. “Recently I was involved in the rehabilitation of an endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtle named Captain Hook. I was able to assist in a very delicate surgery led by Dr. Lydia Staggs to remove a hook, line and sinker from the GI tract of the turtle. Being involved in the recovery of Captain Hook has been such a rewarding experience that I will never forget.”

Ultimately, Hillary hopes to make the most of this experience as she continues her education at K-State.

“My career goal is to work as a marine mammal veterinarian for the Navy,” she said. “I also have a special interest in researching kidney stones and respiratory disease in marine mammals. I look forward to applying what I learn during my second year to what I learned through my internship about marine mammals, especially the disease processes. I also plan to pursue continuing education courses next summer, such as SeaVet.”

 Second-year student Hillary Wolfe assists Stephen, a dolphin trainer, in performing ultrasound on a bottlenose dolphin.
Second-year student Hillary Wolfe assists Stephen Fischer, a dolphin trainer, in performing ultrasound on a bottlenose dolphin.



Video Report

Veterinary scholars present results of research program

With temperatures soaring this summer, 12 veterinary students discovered that the laboratory was the cool place to be. On July 31, the students presented the results of research they had completed as part of the Veterinary Research Scholars Program, or VRSP. This program aims to give first and second year students with limited lab experience an introduction to biomedical research.

“This program provides the students with an opportunity to learn what goes into a research project and to generate a manuscript,” said Dr. Elizabeth Davis, associate professor in Clinical Sciences. “For some students, that will allow them an opportunity — perhaps a career opportunity — to choose that they may otherwise would not have selected.”

The Veterinary Research Scholars Program is an intensive research-oriented experience directed towards attracting our most talented professional students into biomedical research careers.

Watch the full report in the video below:


Second-year student Michael White checks samples in a centrifuge, while working on a project in the Veterinary Research Scholars Program.
Second-year student Michael White checks samples in a centrifuge, while working on a project in the Veterinary Research Scholars Program.

Video produced by Joseph Chapes and Kent Nelson, technology coordinators from
Computing and Technical Support (CATS).



Dr. Carpenter delivers addition at Manhattan's Sunset Zoo

  Colobus monkey mother and baby  
Blinkin, a colobus monkey, holds her newborn infant, whose name will be chosen through a contest at the Sunset Zoo.

On July 6, the K-State Zoological Medicine Service with its three senior veterinary students made one of its semi-weekly visits to Manhattan’s Sunset Zoo. The purpose of the trip was to chemically immobilize Blinkin, a female black and white colobus monkey, for her annual healthy examination and to extract numerous teeth (performed by Dr. Doug Winters, a veterinary dentist from Wichita). However, the visit turned into a more exciting trip than envisioned and became a great learning experience for the students.

Blinkin’s examination revealed an unexpected, but surprising finding: Blinkin had a large mass in her abdomen. Each of the fourth year veterinary students was able to palpate the mass, which was roughly the size and shape of a baseball, and make diagnostic recommendations. Prior to the immobilization, Blinkin appeared to be clinically healthy, and gave no outward signs that she was sick. Hoping for the best, but fearing the worse, the Radiology Service was consulted. Cody Steffey, a radiology technician, quickly arrived and set up the portable radiographic unit with the help of the students. One quick radiograph revealed what everyone had been hoping for, a baby!

The gestation period for a colobus monkey is approximately five months, but since there was no record of her breeding, we relied on our Radiology Service to predict the due date. Based on the position of the fetus’ head in the birth canal and the fully ossified skeleton, Dr. David Biller predicted that birth would take place very soon. Just weeks later, a little white colobus baby was born.

The keeper staff at the zoo has carefully observed Blinkin and her baby, and reported that she is being a great first-time mom. Both mother and baby are now on exhibit!

The colobus is indigenous to Africa and is a very popular zoo primate, in large part because of its beauty and agility. Interestingly, the word “colobus” means “mutilated one” because this monkey does not have a thumb. This species has black fur with a white beard and a white “U” shape over its shoulders to its lower back. The newborn is covered with white fur, which starts to change color at 2 months of age and gains adult coloration by 3 months. Unfortunately, the colobus population has declined over the last 100 years because of the international fur trade and then later because of habitat destruction.

Colobus radiograph
This radiograph reveals the pregnancy of the mother colobus monkey in great detail.

Colobus monkeys at Sunset Zoo.
Colobus monkeys play in their enclosure at Manhattan's Sunset Zoo. These monkeys are noted by their coloring and long fluffy tails.



CEEZAD receives project funding

  Dr. Jürgen Richt  
  Dr. Jürgen Richt will lead a a research team on a project seeking ways to diagnose and control the Schmallenberg virus.  

The Kansas Bioscience Authority board of directors approved more than $860,000 for a Kansas State University collaborative research initiative. The Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases, or CEEZAD, will receive funding of $868,515 to support work to develop ways to diagnose and control Schmallenberg virus, an emerging animal disease causing considerable losses in European cattle, goat and sheep herds.

While Schmallenberg virus is not yet present in the United States, its recent emergence and rapid spread make it a global animal health and economic threat. CEEZAD director Dr. Jürgen Richt, and Dr. William Wilson of the U.S. Department of Agriculture will lead the research team. Dr. Richt is a regents distinguished professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and a Kansas Bioscience Authority eminent scholar.

The Biosecurity Research Institute at Pat Roberts Hall will provide biocontainment necessary for the project.

Approved investments are subject to final agreements between the Kansas Bioscience Authority and investees, with payments made only as the recipients achieve specified milestones.

The Kansas Bioscience Authority was created by the Kansas Economic Growth Act of 2004 to accelerate growth in the bioscience sector. Funded by Kansas income taxes generated by bioscience jobs, the Kansas Bioscience Authority investments help create high-paying jobs, fuel capital expenditures, spur outside grants, and encourage private capital investments in Kansas bioscience companies.






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Record fundraising year for CVM and university

  Dr. Lindy Schirado and Dr. Harish Minocha  
  Professor emeritus Dr. Harish Minocha presents a scholarship to Dr. Lindy Schirado, class of 2012. The Minocha scholarship was created through a philanthropic gift by Dr. Minocha.  

The College of Veterinary Medicine just celebrated a record year with the university as a whole. Alumni, friends and corporate partners of Kansas State University made philanthropic gifts and commitments totaling $121 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30. Of that total, a little more than $8 million was raised just in the veterinary college. These figures set a new record in fundraising activity in the 68-year history of the KSU Foundation, surpassing the previous record of $107 million in fiscal year 2011.

“We are thankful to all our generous alumni and friends,” said Dr. Ralph Richardson, dean of the college. “The gifts that have been made to this college will help to provide scholarships and opportunities for deserving students. In addition, we will be able to enhance and supplement other programs within the college that contribute to the learning environment.”

Curt Frasier, chairman of the KSU Foundation Board of Directors, noted that the number of gifts and donors has increased. “This achievement is a testament to the 51,400 donors who contributed this year, which is up from 44,700 donors last year,” he said.

Of the $121 million total, $76 million was received in outright gifts, and $45 million was committed through pledges and deferred gifts, which will come to the university at a later date. These figures represent a total increase of $14 million from the previous year., including a $3 million increase in the CVM.

Overall, there were 13 gifts or commitments of $1 million or more included in the total. Other highlights included the establishment of 92 new scholarships and four professorships or chairs.

“This is a new milestone for Kansas State University, and it is an honor to thank the donors who expressed their support of K-State so generously,” said Kirk Schulz, president of Kansas State University. “There is no question that this level of support by the K-State family will assist the university in our quest to be recognized among the top 50 public research universities.”

Philanthropic contributions to K-State are coordinated by the Kansas State University Foundation. The foundation staff works with university partners to build lifelong relationships with alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students through involvement and investment in the university.




New ‘Pet Friendly’ License Plate

The College of Veterinary Medicine has unveiled a new way to support Kansas Shelter Medicine. The Pet Friendly license plate will be made available to Kansas residents early/mid summer 2012. For information, see, call 1-855-269-7387 or e-mail:

Pet Friendly license plate



K-State day at the Kansas State Fair planned for Sept. 9

  CVM Birthing Center at the State Fair  
  The CVM helps host the Birthing Center every year at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson. This year the CVM will also host a booth for K-State day at the fair.  

Kansas State University will roll out the purple carpet at the 2012 Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson. The first Sunday of the fair, Sept. 9, is designated as K-State Day with the university being recognized as the day’s official sponsor. The College of Veterinary Medicine will join several other academic colleges and units in hosting information booths at the fair.

Special outdoor exhibits set up south of 4-H Centennial Hall will share university information, including K-State’s goal to become a top 50 public research university by 2025. Performances on the adjacent Lake Talbott Stage will showcase university musical groups, and pep rallies will feature members of the Kansas State University Bands, Willie the Wildcat and cheerleaders. K-State items also will be given away throughout the day on the fairgrounds.

“Kansas State University has a proud tradition of partnership with the state fair since it began 100 years ago,” said K-State President Kirk Schulz. “The university has turned this opportunity into a strong part of our heritage in providing Kansans with knowledge important to them. Integrating research and education with engagement and outreach is one of our strengths as we move forward to become a top 50 public research university by 2025.”

During K-State Day, university representatives will be present at fair gates to welcome visitors and hand out maps, including schedules of performances for Sept. 9 and locations of K-State exhibits and booths for the entire 10-day state fair.





Introducing the new residents

The new residents
A new group of residents has joined the Veterinary Health Center. Back row (from left): Dr. Rick Lanuza, Dr. Courtney Boysen, Dr. Heather Patterson and Dr. Eric Garcia. Front row: Dr. Patrick Loftin, Dr. David Upchurch, Dr. Lynda Miller and Dr. Christopher Norkus.



Keeping dogs safe and comfortable in summer heat

  Dr. Susan Nelson  
Dr. Susan Nelson shares tips on keeping on your dog comfortable and safe through the end of the summer.

Soaring temperatures are prompting scheduling changes for many activities, and should be considered a signal for pet owners to make adjustments in their pet care.

If the family’s dog typically stays outside while his or her owner is at work, it’s time to consider making a place for the dog in the home, said Dr. Susan Nelson, a veterinarian and clinical associate professor in the Pet Health Center at the Veterinary Health Center at Kansas State University.

Dr. Nelson, who describes herself as a "family doctor for pets," urges dog and other pet owners to limit their pet’s exposure to heat.

If a dog or other pet must remain outside, Dr. Nelson advised placing a dog house in a shaded area; the dog house should be large enough for air to circulate, and, large enough for the dog to stand up and turn around inside.

If a shaded area isn’t available, she suggested securing a tarp to shade an area, or providing access to shaded space underneath an elevated deck.
Dr. Nelson also advises:

* Place fresh water in a spill-proof dish or container, and checking and replenishing the water supply several times a day.

* Provide fresh food daily, and removing uneaten food that can spoil or attract other animals.

* Make sure that a dog has a place to relieve his or herself, while also keeping the area as clean as possible; older dogs may, for example, sit or roll in feces, which will stick in their coat and attract flies.

* If taking a pet on errands, do not leave the pet in the car or the back of the truck.

* Time a walk, run or a trip to the park during early morning hours with cooler temperatures, or at dusk, when temperatures typically cool. Avoid concrete, which can hold the heat of the day; tar, which can melt and stick to paw pads; and asphalt, which also can retain heat and cause burns to the pads of the feet.

Nelson explained: Dogs cool themselves by panting, air flowing across their body, and laying on cooler surface. If a dog should become overheated, gums will become bright red, and drool will thicken.

“We do lose dogs to heat stroke,” said Dr. Nelson, who advised if a dog appears to be overheating to immediately offer water, wet the coat down with cool water, and take him or her to a veterinary clinic.

A dog’s breed, size, age and health will be factors in deciding how much exercise a dog should have. For example, a dog with a short (stubby) nose is unable to pant as effectively and can overheat more easily.

Generally, in favorable weather conditions, a smaller, healthy dog will have the capacity to walk 20 to 30 minutes or more, and a larger, healthy dog, at least 30 to 40 minutes, she said.

More information about caring for a dog or other pet during seasonal weather changes is available at:





10th Annual Samuel Kelsall III Memorial Hunt


Please join us for this special event planned just for you — our valued alumni and friends

Hosted by Ralph Richardson, DVM, Dean of the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Oct. 7–8, 2012, Before, during and after the K-State vs. Kansas home football game
Ringneck Ranch, Tipton, Kansas

Get ready for upland bird season with this exclusive opportunity to benefit the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Samuel Kelsall III Memorial Scholarship. Plans include a trap shooting competition, country gourmet meals, a guided hunt and a chance to win a shotgun.

Cost per person is $725. This includes all hunting fees, professional guides with dogs, overnight lodge accommodations, meals, refreshments during the hunt, field transportation, processed and packaged game with free cooler, and a Ringneck Ranch cap.

Cost also includes a $230 tax-deductible contribution to support scholarships for students interested in food safety/inspection.

Act fast — space is limited! To reserve your spot, please complete and return the attached reservation form. A confirmation and detailed schedule will be sent to you.

Deadline to register is September 26.






VMAA honors Dr. David S. Rolfe at AVMA convention

Dr. David S. Rolfe, Dallas, is the recipient of the 2012 Alumni Recognition Award presented at the annual convention of the American Veterinary Medical Association held Aug. 6 in San Diego. The award is given to veterinarians whose career has served as an exemplary role model for future alumni in a professional and community setting.

Dr. Rolfe earned his DVM from K-State in 1986 and a master’s degree in veterinary clinical science from Colorado State University in 1994. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Colorado State in 1994 and achieved board certification in Small Animal Internal Medicine in 1995. He also holds a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Penn. After graduating from K-State, Dr. Rolfe joined the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps. He has had tours to a variety of locations including: California, Germany, Colorado, Korea, Hawaii and Texas.

“I have been blessed in life with a wonderful, loving wife and family and friends; a wide diversity of enriching travel and life experiences; and a very rewarding profession and career,” Dr. Rolfe said. “My training at K-State, as well as the teachers and friends who carried me through it, ensured whatever success I have had by developing in me the foundations of critical thinking, problem solving, and determination.”

“Through this award we honor an outstanding K-State veterinary alumnus who has truly had a global impact throughout his military career,” said Dr. Ralph Richardson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “Dr. Rolfe served with great distinction in the wide variety of roles that animal health plays within the Veterinary Corps. By continuing to practice veterinary medicine past military retirement, he inspires us with his great dedication to the veterinary profession.”

In 2003, Dr. Rolfe served as the director of the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Veterinary Service. Two years later, he became the chief of the Department of Veterinary Science at the Army Medical Department Center and School, where they train all DOD veterinary career fields including: veterinarians, warrant officers, animal care specialists and veterinary food inspectors. In 2003, Dr. Rolfe became the Consultant to the Army Surgeon General for Veterinary Clinical Medicine for the next seven years . In 2007, he served as the Commander of the U.S. Army Veterinary Command, providing full-spectrum veterinary support to the DOD. After nearly 25 years of military service, Dr. Rolfe retired in 2011. He is currently the chief operations officer and senior internist for Veterinary Specialists of North Texas.

Dr. Rolfe has been active in the AVMA and the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. He has received several military honors including: Legion of Merit with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (6 OLC), Army Commendation Medal (1 OLC), Army Achievement Medal (2 OLC), Expert Field Medical Badge, Order of Military Medical Merit and the “A” Proficiency Designator.

Dr. Rolfe is married to Brenda and they have six children; Laura, Lindsey, Eric, Levi, Ian and Lilianne.

Rolfe family
Dr. David S. Rolfe, center, and his family.





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Under the Microscope

Janel Koons, Admissions Administrative Assistant, Dean's Office


Janel Koons Hometown:  Manhattan, Kan.

Family information: My wonderful husband of four years: J.D.

Pets: Nym - a rambunctious, yet sweet, 4-month-old calico kitten.

Where is an ideal place to escape the hot summer? For a summer like this, I would head for the cooler temperatures of the Portland, Ore., area. I would spend my time enjoying the beaches, the mountains and the rain.

What’s a special talent or skill that you have that your co-workers would be surprised to learn about? I have numerous hobbies. One of the hobbies I really enjoy, but never seem to make or have the time to do is watercolor painting. It’s amazing to me how you can take different amounts of water and a little bit of paint and create vivid images of color and light. Watercolors are also surprisingly easy when you grasp the basic techniques. You can be as loose or restrained as you want to be; i.e. you really don’t have to be that talented!

How do you get inspired when you have a project that is very challenging? I usually approach a project one of two ways. Either I dig in and work the kinks out as I go, or I plan and brainstorm before I get started, so that hopefully the project runs smoothly through the whole process. It really depends on the project and the time constraints involved.

What has been your favorite moment so far in the Olympics? We don’t have TV, so I will only get to see tidbits of the Olympics. I love watching sand volleyball. I did get to see the Kazakhstanian break ahead to win the men’s road race during the beginning of the games. I think he is almost 50 years old — very impressive!

What is a favorite YouTube video that you’ve shared with your friends? I steer clear of YouTube unless someone physically puts it in my face. It’s been awhile (so maybe I’m maturing), but has hilarious videos! Check out "Teen Girl Squad." I also saw a cute video on the e-mail circuit with a bunch of real goats bouncing around, but I don’t know where that one came from. I sent that one to my niece — she loves farm animals!

Will you watch the Olympics and which sport is your favorite? I don’t think I have a favorite Olympic sport, but the sand volleyball competitions are always fun to watch.




News Ticker

Dr. Amy Rankin was awarded the KVMA K-State Distinguished Service Award for providing exceptional clinical service to our referring veterinarians.

Drs. David Andrus, Bruce Prince, Kevin Gwinner and Dan Thomson have received funding from the National Food Animal Veterinary Institute (NFAVI) for five courses, twenty-five modules on a business best-practice sequence for rural food animal veterinarians.

Dr. David Eshar will join the exotics section on Aug. 6.

Dr. Jessica Slack will start working in the ophthalmology section Aug. 20.




Calendar of events

Aug. 22-28: Central Veterinary Conference, Kansas City, Mo.
Sept. 1: Cat Town - K-State vs. Missouri State, 4:00 p.m.
Sept. 8: Cat Town - K-State vs. Miami, 9:00 a.m.
Sept. 9: K-State Day at the Kansas State Fair
Sept. 10-14: Biosafety and Biocontainment Training for BSL-3 Laboratory Workers, More at:
Sept. 15: Cat Town - K-State vs. North Texas, 4:00 p.m.
Oct. 7-8: 10th Annual Samuel Kelsall III Memorial Hunt, Contact Cheri Ubel to register: 785-532-4043



New Arrivals/Recent Departures

Welcome to:

Joanna Berg, Agricultural Technician, VHC
Trina LaBarre, Senior Administrative Assistant, VHC
Jacqueline Anders, Senior Administrative Assistant, VHC
Betty Gathers, Director of Surgical Support Services, VHC
Dr. Stephanie Oursler, Clinical Research Associate, Clinical Sciences

Thanks and Goodbye to:

Justyne Hughes, Veterinary Technician, VHC
Brian Willis, Research Technician, A&P
Kevin Skarbek, Research Assistant, KSVDL
Dr. Lalitha Peddireddi,
Research Assistant Professor, KSVDL
Andrea Parrish, Senior Administrative Assistant, VHC


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