Lifelines - November 2012

The official newsletter of the College of Veterinary Medicine

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November 2012 - Vol. 7, No. 11

Top Stories

Dr. Mark Weiss and Phuoc BuiA Surprised Mentor

Dr. Mark Weiss receives unexpected recognition from an undergrad in his lab.
How was Dr. Weiss honored?

East Meets West

K-State welcomes a group of pre-veterinary students through a new partnership.
Where are the students from?

Success Story

Dr. Pat Payne's former KSDS trainee graduates to next assignment.
What will Barstow be doing?

Second year student receives Marshall Scholarship nod

CVM pets show Halloween spirit

SCAVMA hosts Dr. Temple Grandin for noon lecture

CVM unveils new 'Pet Friendly' license plate

Veterinary Health Center communications update


Regular features

Florence WangUnder the Microscope
Florence Wang, Research Technologist, Anatomy & Physiology

Check it out at the Library
Help with research databases

News Ticker

Calendar of events

New Arrivals/Recent Departures

Lifelines back issues

Hard copy version of Lifelines (printable)
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A Surprised Mentor

Dr. Mark Weiss receives unexpected campus recognition
  Dr. Mark Weiss and Phuoc Bui
  Dr. Mark Weiss demonstrates research lab techniques to undergraduate assistant Phuoc Bui, a senior in microbiology. Phuoc nominated Dr. Weiss for mentor recognition at the Mortar Board banquet in October.

A lunch invitation turned serendipitous for Dr. Mark Weiss, professor in the Department of Anatomy and Physiology. In mid-October, he was recognized for being a mentor at a K-State Mortar Board banquet by an undergraduate student who works in his research laboratory: Phuoc Bui, senior in microbiology.

“Dr. Weiss believes in his students, whether they’re undergrads or graduate students,” Phuoc said. “He devotes his full attention to them and inspires them. He has an open door policy. Anytime I have any kind of question or need help, I can come and ask. Whatever he’s working on, he usually drops it, and gives me his attention.”

Phuoc is a member of K-State’s chapter of the Mortar Board National Senior College Honor Society, which was founded on the values of scholarship, leadership and service. This organization models its beliefs based on assisting others.

“We have a list of past members who’ve been recognized, and I noticed there weren’t many faculty from veterinary medicine,” Phuoc said. “I couldn’t think of anybody else who exemplifies those three pillars besides Dr. Weiss. I wanted to get his name out there and show everybody what a great person he is, and try to integrate veterinary medicine more with the main campus.”

Several faculty members from across campus were distinguished for recognition at the banquet, but Dr. Weiss said his inclusion was a surprise.

“When I was invited, I thought it was just a thank-you lunch from the students in the society,” Dr. Weiss said. “Each of the students went through and introduced the professor they brought with them and told the audience what it was about that professor that got them energized. Those other professors – they’re really impressive, highly motivated instructors who are creative – I was honored to be considered one of them. I don’t think of myself like that. I just try to share what I love, which is my research, with my students.”

The banquet was also attended by the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Associate Dean of Research, Dr. Frank Blecha.

“It was a privilege to represent the college at the Mortar Board Senior Honor Society Faculty Recognition Banquet,” Dr. Blecha said. “Dr. Weiss has mentored many undergraduate students in his laboratory, and it is truly an honor for Mark and the college that Mortar Board selected him for this award. The research relationship that Dr. Weiss and Phuoc have developed is an outstanding example of what is possible for undergraduates working in a research laboratory.”

Phuoc originally came to K-State in the Kansas Bridges to the Future program, which is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. It recruits under-represented minority students who are interested in biomedical sciences from community colleges in Kansas, providing them scholarships to attend K-State. Participants are integrated into the Developing Scholars Program and then given the opportunity to work with research mentors in one of the many research labs across campus.

“I remember listing stem cell research as one of the fields I was interested in because it’s a new, emerging field,” Phuoc said. “That’s how I came to meet Dr. Weiss, because his lab conducts stem cell research.”

Dr. Weiss said that he currently employs four undergraduate students, three graduate students, a post doc and two technicians.

“Phuoc is kind of my ‘top dog,’” Dr. Weiss said. “We are one of less than 10 labs in the world that have bred embryonic stem cells [Editor’s note: See the Lifelines video about Dr. Weiss and chimeric rats in the November 2011 issue].

“Phuoc can do virtually any step in the protocol to produce a chimera. I almost consider him like a national resource, because there are not that many people who can understand, do and troubleshoot all the different parts of the protocol to make that happen. “

Dr. Weiss explains that it takes a couple of years to train undergraduate students to reach a level where they can perform research. The process begins with a year of learning how the lab functions and then to a point of performing projects under supervision from one of the graduate students, post docs or technicians. In the third year, undergraduate students know how to formulate plans and how to execute and achieve their research goals.

“It’s really exciting to encounter these undergraduates who have reached this third tier because they can be at the same basic level of training as master’s level students,” Dr. Weiss said. “Really, at this point, the word undergraduate is a failure at describing what these people are. They are scientists. They are scholars.”

Phuoc is applying to medical schools and hopes to conduct translational research and go into academic medicine. If past experience is an indicator, Dr. Weiss is confident Phuoc will be successful.

“I’ve been involved with the Bridges program since it started,” Dr. Weiss said. “I’ve probably worked with about a half dozen students. They are usually pretty motivated and some have been really phenomenal. Part of my job is doing research and part of my job is training the next generation of researchers. I get joy in doing both things.”


East Meets West

New K-State partnership hosts pre-veterinary students from China

Chinese pre-veterinary students at K-State

Meet the four students who are part of the new U.S.-China program. They are, left to right: Jing Li, Bo Liu, Yaoqin Shen and Yi Ding. After they complete a year of pre-veterinary courses, they will then apply for admission to veterinary college, either at K-State or at one of several partner colleges in the United States. Learn more about it in this month's video. Joining the students are, left to right, Dean Ralph Richardson, Dr. Frank Blecha, associate dean for research, Dr. Ronnie Elmore, associate dean for academic programs, admissions and diversity programs, and Dr. Jishu Shi, director of the U.S.-China Center for Animal Health.

Loading the player ...

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


A proud Dr. Payne graduates another service dog

  Barstows listens while children read.  
Barstow will be helping Teresa McVey (pictured) work with autistic students by providing a calming presence.
  Barstow and Tersa McVey  

by Rebecca Martineau

Barstow, puppy in training, will no longer be accompanying Dr. Pat Payne through the CVM halls. Training completed, he now has a new duty as a companion to Teresa McVey, an autism consultant in Caney, Kan. Barstow will be assisting Teresa’s work with students, calming them while utilizing positive behavior. The job is an excellent fit for his friendly character.

“I’m pretty sure they made up this job specifically for him,” said Dr. Payne, “he instantly falls in love with any child.”

Dr. Payne and her KSDS service dogs have been a common sight at CVM for the past few years. Each dog stays with her from 18 months up to two years while she teaches them basic obedience, manners and socialization. KSDS is a Kansas based program that trains guide, service and social dogs for implementation into the lives of people in need. Dr. Payne believes that her involvement with KSDS has resulted in a positive impact on her life, as well as the entire veterinary college.

“I learn something every day because of this program, it has brought amazing people into my life,” said Dr. Payne. She explained that people are likely to stop and talk to her, even if they wouldn’t have otherwise, because of the service dogs. Students are often willing to lend a helping hand, and the Veterinary Health Center takes care of the dogs’ medical needs.

Barstow and Dr. Payne were brought together by unique circumstances. The nine month old puppy was returned to KSDS when his original trainer became sick, therefore unable to train him properly.

Dr. Payne, on the other hand, had just lost her previous trainee, Kelly, to an unexpected death. Taking on an older puppy for training is a bigger risk that may have deterred other potential trainers, but she took on the challenge.

Although Barstow will be missed, a new yellow Labrador puppy is in training with Dr. Payne. Champagne, like Barstow and the puppies before him, will be a common sight around campus for the next few months, until he too finds his career path.


Second year student receives Marshall Scholarship nod

  Amy Sents  
  Second-year student Amy Sents has been recognized many times for her hard work and determination.  

Second-year student Amy Sents is one of three students nominated by K-State for the 2012 Marshall Scholarship.

“These nominees were selected competitively from a strong field of campus applicants. Their nominations reflect not only their talents and abilities, but also the countless hours of hard work they have dedicated to achieving excellence and reaching their goals,” said Jim Hohenbary, assistant dean for nationally competitive scholarships. “We are proud to have them represent Kansas State University in the national competitions.”

Marshall scholarships are awarded to as many as 40 students each year and provide full funding for one or two years of study in the United Kingdom. Nominees selected as competition finalists for either scholarship will interview in November.

Amy is active in the university’s Public Health and Bovine clubs, as well as the Frontier program. She was awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship in 2010 and was named the university’s outstanding senior in animal science in 2011. She won first prize in the 2012 American Veterinary Medical Historical Society Smithcors Essay Contest and was an International Farm Youth Exchange Association representative to Germany and Switzerland for six months in 2010. She would like to study science and security at King’s College London or security and terrorism at the University of Nottingham, both in the United Kingdom. A 2007 graduate of McPherson High School, she is the daughter of Deanna and Allan Sents.




Centennial Plaza bricks ad


CVM pets show Halloween spirit

From Batman to football stars, the CVM pets dressed up to participate in the Halloween festivities.

Tesla, Mitt and Mosby
Tesla cheers on her athletic companions, Mitt and Mosby.

Cricket models her home-made costume
Cricket models her homemade mermaid costume with third-year student Kellie Lewis.
Tuna in a clown hoodie
Tuna appears unexcited about his clown-like hoodie outfit.
Second-year student Maura Drake with Lucy and Nate.
Second-year student Maura Drake has some "sweet" costumes for her kid, Lucy and Nate.

Jett is ready to save the town as a canine batman.

Maverick is certain to terrify as the headless horseman.


SCAVMA hosts Dr. Temple Grandin for noon lecture

Dr. Temple Grandin Dr. Temple Grandin

Famed animal behaviorist Dr. Temple Grandin spoke at Frick Auditorium on Nov. 7 as a guest of K-State's SCAVMA group. In the photo on the left above, Dr. Grandin explains how a horse becomes distracted by a black cowboy hat on the ground. She gave several tips and strategies based on typical animal behaviors.


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. For information, see, call 1-855-269-7387 or e-mail:

Pet Friendly license plate



Veterinary Health Center communications update

VHC is now on Facebook

The Veterinary Health Center is taking new initiatives to provide client education and communication opportunities online.

The VHC has established a Facebook page with the goal of increasing interactions between clients, donors, friends and referring veterinarians. The page will highlight daily happenings, as well as provide information from our expert veterinarians on animal health care. We encourage faculty, staff and students to go online and “like” the new page at

In addition to the Facebook page, the Pet Health Center is beginning an e-newsletter “PawPads” for monthly distribution to Pet Health Center clients. This will feature advice from our PHC veterinarians, as well as news, tips and events. Join the list by subscribing at or on the VHC Facebook page.


New landscaping adorns buildings

Northwest corner of Trotter Hall

Kelly Guilfoyle and Northeast corner of Trotter Hall

Agricultural Technician Senior Kelly Guilfoyle, with K-State’s Division of Facilities, shows off some of the landscaping he designed and installed next to Trotter Hall. He worked with Dr. Roger Fingland, executive associate dean and director of the Veterinary Health Center, to get approval for redesigning these areas as well as areas next to Mosier Hall. Guilfoyle said a variety of plants will be used depending on the seasons and that flowering plants will be purple and white in conjunction with the university’s upcoming sesquicentennial celebration in 2013.

South side of Mosier Hall


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Under the Microscope

Florence WangFlorence Wang, Research Technologist, Anatomy & Physiology

Hometown: Taipei, Taiwan, and now Manhattan, Kan. 

Family: John Wu (husband) and Hera Wu (daughter).

What is your favorite part of your job? Research experiments and cell culture.

What is your favorite winter activity? Drama and shopping because it is fulfilling.

If you could visit anywhere in the world where would you go? Thailand and Italy.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? A human being or angry bird.

What is something you’re afraid of? My daughter or saying, "No."

What is your favorite restaurant here in Manhattan? Happy Valley.



Check it Out at the Library

Help with research databases
By Carol Elmore
Carol Elmore

Have you ever wanted to be better known as a researcher? Have you ever wondered what your publications impact is? Have you wanted to find researchers for collaborative projects? Have you ever wondered what your H-index value is? Do you even know what H-index means?

These are questions that can be answered by the database Web of Knowledge ( ), one of the many subscriptions that KSU Libraries provides for faculty, students, and staff. One of the resources available through this database is ( ) which is a place where you can manage and store your professional information. It can also help prevent author identity problems and help you determine your citation metrics such as that mysterious H-index that was mentioned above.

Author identity, author ambiguity, or author attribution as this problem is called has been a continuing problem in the research community. Common surnames, publishers’ use of only first initials with last names, frequent job changes by authors, or names changes have caused much of the confusion. Thomson Reuters which publishes Web of Knowledge is a founding member of ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID). This organization will be launching a registry of unique identifiers that will enable authors to be linked with various author identification schemes. Through Web of Knowledge you have the ability to receive a unique researcher ID number and or a researcher badge (an icon that will link to your publications).

To create your own ID number go to the Web of Knowledge database ( ) and click on the tab at near the middle of the top that says “additional resources,” then move down to the link that says “Researcher ID” and go to the tab on the left top that says “Join now it’s free.” You will have to provide some information. Once this is completed you will be assigned a unique ID number. You can also request a badge to put as an icon on your publications that will be an instant link to all of your publications that you have added to Web of Knowledge through using EndNotes or by uploading a file of your publications.

Once you have your ID number and have linked your publications to Web of Knowledge, you can find your mysterious or not so mysterious H-index factor. You can also find your own individual citation distribution per year, your total times cited count, and your average times cited count. Several of our faculty already created their ID’s and their H-index number is calculated. If you’d like to see if a researcher has received an ID, just go to ( and go down to the third link on the left where it says Search. If you don’t know a name, just search under Kansas State for people who have listed that affiliation.

If you are still worried about what H-index means, go to this article ( for a complicated explanation or take the Wikipedia definition — “The h-index is an index that attempts to measure both the productivity and impact of the published work of a scientist or scholar.” The index was named after J. E. Hirsch, the author of the article.

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


News Ticker

Apple to Capital Relay team

Congratulations to the team in the Apple to Capital Relay, a 73 mile race from Manhattan to Topeka. The team, named Run Like an Animal, included Amy Brusk, Mindy Strick, Dr. Bonnie Rush, Sophia Wharton (race organizer), Dr. Amy Rankin, Kristin Clement, Ruth Hester and Lindsay Gehring.

Ag Secretary Dale Rodman delivers the Upson Lecture

Kansas Secretary of Agriculture speaks at the Upson Lecture Series

On Monday, Nov. 5, the student group Food For Thought hosted Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman for the bi-annual Upson Lecture Series event. In attendance were more than 250 students and community members who listened intently as Secretary Rodman presented his thoughts on Kansas Agriculture in 2025.

The series, named for Dr. Dan Upson, DVM class of 1952, was initiated by the group to strive towards bridging the gap between food production and consumers. Previous Upson Lecture Series speakers have included renowned animal behaviorist, Dr. Temple Grandin, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran and former Miss America, Teresa Scanlan. The goal of the lectures is to attract a diverse crowd so that people removed from the farm can gain a better insight into the world of agriculture and food production.

Secretary Rodman addressed the issues of feeding a growing population and how agriculture will have to increase food production to meet future needs. Rodman said “We must produce more with less land, fewer resources and meet the diverse needs of consumers.” He also broached the topic of Kansas needing to be open to new industries entering the marketplace, his emphasis being on the poultry industry.

Rodman stressed the importance of change and advancement by saying that “If we are going to meet the needs of the future of agriculture we need technology.” He attested that continued incoroporation of technology into the production system will help Kansas and the US continue to be a global leader in agriculture. Rodman maintained that Kansas has strength in energy, agriculture and education which will prepare the state’s producers and leaders to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

For more information about Food For Thought, get involved or to contact the group, you can visit their blog, follow them on Twitter @fftgroup or look them up on Facebook.

Article courtesy of Food For Thought


Calendar of events

General College/Alumni Events

Dec. 1: Cat Town - K-State vs. Texas, TBA


Continuing Education events

Nov. 17: Inaugural Kansas Horse Council Equine Clinic: Horse Care 101

Nov. 29-30: International PRRS Symposium and National Swine Improvement Federation Conference Kansas City, Mo.


A&P Seminar Series

Seminars start at 3:30P.M. in the Mara Conference Center, 4th Floor, Trotter Hall, Phone: 532-5666 for more information

Nov. 26: Katrina Fox, Kansas State University

Dec. 3: John Hirt, Kansas State University


Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

Feb. 9: 2nd Annual Conference on Animal Diagnostics and Field Applications: Food Animal Medicine, Frick Auditorium,


New Arrivals/Recent Departures

Welcome to:

Dr. Philip Hardwidge, Associate Professor, DM/P
Dr. Leigh Feuerbacher, Fellow (Post Doc), DM/P
Dr. Thanh Pham, Fellow (Post Doc), DM/P
Ni Wang, Research Assistant, DM/P
Erin Moore, Public Service Administrator, A&P

Thanks and Goodbye to:

Ryan Engel, Medical Technologistt, VHC


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