Lifelines - January 2013 The official newsletter of the College of Veterinary Medicine

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January 2013 - Vol. 8, No. 1

Top Stories

Sue Chavey (center) with Jenny Joubert and Khosi MathebulaSerum testing in Africa

Sue Chavey retired not long after a trip that will provide lasting memories.
What animal did she work with?

At Your Service

The Veterinary Medical Library provides a special service for those needing help finding medical research.
See what to do.

Field Trip

Frontier program takes students to a neighboring state for a special field experience.
Which state did they visit?

Two K-Staters make list of 25 veterinarians to watch

Pet Friendly license tag launches

Veterinary Health Center communications update

Provost welcomes first Regents Distinguished Research Scholar

CVM joins K-State in celebrating its sesquicentennial year

K-State 150: Remembering Dr. Helen Richt, first woman veterinary grad


Regular features

Rhonda CoffmanUnder the Microscope
Mal Hoover, Medical Illustrator/Graphic Design Specialist,
Instructional Technology and Design

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.
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Serum testing the black rhinoceros in Africa

Unusual project gives Sue Chavey a wild experience before retirement
  Sue Chavey, center, with two helpers: Jenny Joubert and Khosi Mathebula
  Sue Chavey, center, trains a couple of veterinary technologists (wearing CVM T-shirts) in South Africa. Dean Ralph Richardson gave Sue 14 shirts to give to the staff at Wildlife Veterinary Services for Kruger National Park.
  Dr. Peter Buss runs some tests on a blakc rhinoceros  
  Dr. Peter Buss, right, runs some tests on of the black rhinoceros from Kruger National Park. Dr. Buss is the manager of Veterinary Wildlife Services.  
  Pillow-case dresses  

Residents of Huntington village show off their new dresses, which were made from pillow cases by Sue's mother, Aurelia Pacey. Sue's mother made 30 dresses for her to take to Africa.


What’s an exciting way to finish one’s career? For Sue Chavey, former medical technologist in the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, this meant traveling to the Kruger National Park in South Africa this past October to establish a ferritin assay for black rhinoceros at the Veterinary Wildlife Unit near Skukuza Rest Camp. The assay for rhinoceros ferritin was developed at Kansas State University more than twenty years ago while Sue was working with former professor Dr. Joseph Smith.

“Captive black rhinoceros have problems with iron overload, (hemachromatosis) and free-ranging black rhinos were unable to be studied, since they are an endangered species and importing serum samples into the United States is a complex and expensive endeavor,” Sue said.

Sue worked on this project under Michele Miller, DVM, PhD, director of conservation medicine at the Palm Beach Zoo in West Palm Beach, Fla., who received a grant for travel expenses, reagents and equipment needed for the assay to be transferred to South Africa. Dr. Miller has traveled to South Africa numerous times and is the black rhino veterinary advisor for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in the U.S.

“We successfully trained two technologists at the Veterinary Wildlife Unit to test the black rhinoceros serum samples for ferritin,” Sue said. “The Veterinary Wildlife Unit had several hundred black rhinoceros serum samples that had been collected over the last six years. The samples are stored frozen until they can be tested.”

Sue traveled with her husband Tom and stayed at Camp Waswitshaka near the Veterinary Wildlife Unit. Their home for two weeks was a thatched roof duplex in a gated community. The gate was needed to keep out large wild animals.

“The first week we were there, we were able to see the darting of four young white rhinoceros, which were living in a large Boma, (corral),” Sue said. “This was part of a research study of 5-year-old white rhinoceros before they would be sold to large animal reserves. The money received from the sale of the young rhinoceros is used to help support the Kruger National Park.”

The rhinoceros were darted from a catwalk above the Boma by Dr. Peter Buss, manager of the Veterinary Wildlife Services for Kruger National Park, then roped, and gently lowered onto their side where they were tested. A coordinated team of 30 people measured the blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen level, CO2, temperature and respiration. A fecal sample, and both arterial and venous blood samples were taken. They also weighed each rhinoceros using a large metal box, which required a truck with a crane to lift.

Sue and Tom drove several hours each day at the park in a rental car to see the wildlife, including hundreds of elephant, zebra, Cape buffalo and antelope. They also saw cheetahs, lions, wild dogs, hyenas, baboons, monkeys, hippopotamus, giraffe, rhinoceros, wildebeest, crocodiles, mongooses and numerous species of birds.

Sue Chavey earned a bachelor’s degree in medical technology from K-State in 1985. She worked for Dr. Joseph Smith from 1988 to 1998, and then worked for Dr. Gordon Andrews, professor of veterinary pathology in DM/P, until her retirement on Dec. 4, 2012. She was with the veterinary college for more than 24 years.

Pulling arterial blod
Dr. Michele Miller (standing) watches as Wildlife Services staff pull arterial blood from a rhinoceros.
Dr. Miller wrote a grant to pay for Sue's travel expenses to establish a ferritin assay on the trip.

Elelpants cross the river
Elephant cross a river in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. Sue and her husband, Tom, stayed
in a gated community within the park and said they literally saw hundreds of wildlife throughout the


At Your Service

Library Research Services: A resource for all researchers


Today’s practicing veterinarians and other public health specialists need the latest information and medical research. The Veterinary Medical Library at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine is a valuable source for this material. Alumni, practitioners and other researchers can order documents from this collection through the Library’s Research Services.

“Library Research Services is a service that we provide to people who are not currently with the university,” said Carol Elmore, research services librarian. “In other words, they’re not faculty, staff or students, and they need library materials.”

This fee-based service provides database searching, document delivery and reference assistance. The service is open to veterinary practitioners, industry, corporations and anyone interested in research assistance.

To learn more about accessing this service, watch the video below:

Loading the player ...

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


Field trip fuels Frontier with food for thought

  Mark Fulmer speaks to the Frontier students  
  Mark S. Fulmer, president and official agency manager for the Lincoln Inspection Service, speaks to Frontier students about the critical role played in our food system by the Federal Grain Inspection Service.  

  Frontier students tour a corn processing plant  
  Participants in the Frontier program tour a processing plant in Nebraska to see how it corn is processed to create food, feed (such as for cattle) and fuel (ethanol).  
  Dr. Galen Erickson talks about feed options  

Dr. Galen Erickson, University of Nebraska professor and beef feedlot extension specialist, discusses with Frontier students the range of feed options available to beef producers in Nebraska.

  A feedlot in Nebraska  

Corn plays an important role in feeding cattle, as the Frontier students learned by visiting a feedlot in Nebraska.


North – to Nebraska – this is the direction taken by the Frontier program on a field trip in December. This is a state where corn is king and plays a vital, global role in terms of food, feed and fuel.

Dr. Justin Kastner, associate professor of food safety and security, said this was the 19th trip in the history of the Frontier program.

“We try to give students an in-person experience with the complexity of the food system and international trade,” Dr. Kastner said. “On this most recent trip, we did just that by looking through the lens of the commodity of corn, which is why we went to Nebraska.”

He said Frontier provides experiential learning opportunities at for students at K-State, New Mexico State University and other universities affiliated with the University of Minnesota’s National Center for Food Protection and Defense, which is a center of excellence under the Department of Homeland Security. Nine K-State students participated along with students from North Carolina AT&T, University of Kentucky, North Dakota State University, University of Nebraska and University of Wisconsin.

“We went to an ADM corn processing plant [in Columbus, Nebraska] involved in processing corn for food, feed and fuel,” Dr. Kastner said. “We also met with officials from Samson LLC, a company involved in certifying beef for export to Europe. This was a good trip because our students are interested in learning about international trade.”

After returning, Kassie Curran, senior in food science and industry, said, “There is a deeply complex relationship between the corn and cattle industries. By visiting with people who are involved in these industries in different ways, we were able to understand some of this complexity and begin to uncover just how connected they are.”

On the second day in Nebraska, the group toured the Federal Grain Inspection Service in Lincoln. They also had guest speakers: Dr. Tamra Jackson-Ziems, an extension plant pathologist who studies diseases and pathogens that threaten corn, and Dr. Galen Erickson, a professor at the University of Nebraska who works with beef feedlots.

Dr. Kastner added, “It’s important to consider the biosecurity of corn because it’s such an important commodity in our food system. That’s something Dr. Jackson-Ziems emphasized in her talk; we must be vigilant in guarding against the introduction of pathogens and pests that threaten corn crops.”

Dr. Kastner said he challenged the students in Frontier to describe why the U.S. and global food system is dependent upon corn, why a multidisciplinary approach helps to appreciate the three-fold role that corn plays in society and to note at least one biosecurity issue facing Nebraska agriculture.

“It is clear to me after this trip that the United States as a whole is very dependent on corn,” said Eric Zeak, junior in food science and industry. “The use of corn as food, feed and fuel impacts political, economic, and social issues. The government’s ethanol mandate has contributed to the demand for corn, thus increasing the price.”

Megan Kulas, graduate student in biomedical science, pointed out a serious biosecurity issue that faces Nebraska agriculture. “There is a potential for unintentional contamination of the beef cattle population with foot and mouth disease (FMD),” she said. “FMD is highly contagious and can be spread throughout the state and entire country in a very short period of time. Due to the densely populated area of cattle in the high plains, which includes western Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, FMD is an issue for all of these states.”

Dr. Kastner said the Frontier program organizes at least four field trips each year. The trips are funded in part through the National Center for Food Protection and Defense and also in part through Department of Homeland Security Career Development Grants (CDGs) obtained by Frontier, which helps pay travel expenses. The next trip will be at the Port of Los Angeles in early later this spring. For more information, visit the website:



Two K-Staters make list of 25 veterinarians to watch

  Dr. Micah Kohles  
  Dr. Micah Kohles works in private practice in Lincoln. He was picked as one of 25 veterinarians to watch because of his 'flair for the exotic.'  
  Second-year student Michael White  
  A winning essay on human exceptionalism and veterinary medical ethics puts second-year student Michael White on the veterinarian watch list published by Veterinary Practice News.  

K-State fans have been growing accustomed to seeing K-State in the top 25 rankings, but this time, instead of sports, the list is veterinary-related. Two K-Staters, an alumnus and a current veterinary student, were identified by Veterinary Practice News on a list of the top 25 veterinarians to watch in its 25th year.

The publication decided to try to identify 25 up-and-coming veterinarians based on skill, talent and perseverance, and being “poised to do great things for veterinary medicine.” This process was based on soliciting suggestions from the veterinary community.

This was the rationale given for each of the two K-State choices as published in the Dec. 21 issue of Veterinary Practice News (portions are reprinted with permission).

Dr. Micah Kohles, earned his DVM from K-State in 2001. He is the technical services director at Oxbow Animal Health, Murdock, Neb.

“A flair for the exotic plus veterinary medical and administrative knowledge makes an interesting package, and he’s named Dr. Micah Kohles.

“A member of the first AVMA Future Leaders program, Dr. Kohles graduated from Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and also works in private practice at Nebraska Medical Center in Lincoln. Besides directing technical services at Oxbow, an exotic animal food and supply company, Dr. Kohles lectures regularly on exotic animal topics at veterinary schools and conferences in and out of the United States.

“Oh, and if your guinea pig Number Advertiser Number should develop a swollen index finger, Dr. Kohles will make the time to analyze the case in his ‘Vet Speak’ column on Oxbow’s website. Or catch him at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo, where he volunteers.”

Second-year student Michael White was the other choice from K-State. Two other veterinary students were selected, so Michael joins rare company in making this list.

“Animal welfare and rights is a topic that continues to generate heat. It would be hard to find a more balanced, reasoned view of the issues than Michael’s winning essay for the Society of Veterinary Medical Ethics. Asked to expound “On the Question of ‘Human Exceptionalism’ and Its Bearing upon Veterinary Medical Ethics,” Michael bested 87 other entries and waxed eloquently on the importance to veterinarians of the animal rights movement:

“'Some change is inevitable. For this reason, we must become involved with pet owners and work to assure that such legal change does not put veterinary medicine out of business by saddling it with enormous insurance costs of the sort that have plagued human medicine. As veterinarians, we are privileged in that we can actually do much good for those creatures that we count on as friends and as providers of food, fiber, and pleasure, as well as for those that give their lives for science.

"‘But,’ he added, ‘respect and appreciation do not imply equality, and we must remember that there is a significant difference between a human and an animal. To forget this distinction would greatly undermine our role as veterinarians in society and challenge the many wonderful characteristics that make our profession so unique.’”



Centennial Plaza bricks ad



Pet Friendly license tag launches

Richardsons get Pet Friendly license plate
Dean Ralph Richardson and his wife Bev purchase the first Pet Friendly license tag in Riley County from its treasurer, Eileen King. Proceeds will support education for spaying and neutering in Kansas
and veterinary student externships at animal shelters in Kansas. For information, call 1-855-269-7387 or e-mail, or visit the Pet Friendly website. See more photos of the Richardsons getting their Pet Friendly plate on our Facebook page. Be sure to 'like' our page while you are there!



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.


Provost welcomes K-State's first Regents Distinguished Research Scholar

Mason and Monteiro-Riviere

K-State Provost April Mason (left) congratulates and welcomes Dr. Nancy Monteiro-Riviere as K-State's first Distinguished Research Scholar at a reception in December. Dr. Monteiro-Riviere is a professor in nanotechnology in the Department of Anatomy and Physiology. She will direct the Nanotechnology Innovation Center of Kansas State (NICKS).


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CVM joins K-State in celebrating its sesquicentennial year

  K-State Sesquicentennial Logo  
  The university's sesquicentennial logo will become a common sight in 2013.  
  Class of 1919  
  The class of 1919 poses in front of Veterinary Hall, later renamed Leasure Hall in honor of Dr. E.E. Leasure, dean from 1948-1964.  

The year 2013 marks a milestone for Kansas State University. The CVM is joining the university in celebrating 150 years of excellence with a birthday bash on Feb. 14 at Ahearn Field House, along with activities and features to continue throughout this sesquicentennial year. This will be a celebration of the past, present and future for America’s first land grant institution and Kansas’ first public university.

The sesquicentennial will be a time for friends, alumni, students, faculty and staff to honor the proud history of the university and look to the future. It’s no wonder Kansas State has become an international leader in teaching, learning, service and research. The founders started the university with a vision for innovative education, and the university opened in 1863 with 52 students as the first fully operational land-grant university in the country.

K-State invites the entire family to celebrate its achievements and its Wildcat spirit. Visit for a full calendar of activities and events. Watch upcoming issues of Lifelines and Healing Hands as we will help by celebrating the CVM’s proud role at K-State.




K-State 150: Remembering Dr. Helen Richt, first woman veterinary grad

  Dr. Helen Richt  
  Dr. Helen Richt, DVM 1932, K-State’s first female veterinary graduate and the first woman licensed to practice veterinary medicine in Kansas. Below, she is shown in her first lab course in 1928.  
  Dr. Helen Richt's first lab class  

Editor's Note: In honor of K-State's sesquicentennial, 1863-2013, Lifelines and Healing Hands will be running a series of articles on notable moments and people in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Since this issue helps to welcome Dr. Nancy Monteiro-Riviere as K-State's first Regents Distinguished Research Scholar, we felt it was appropriate to recognize another first in K-State's history. The following is borrowed from the book, "A Century of Excellence: Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine" by Dr. Ronnie G. Elmore and Dr. Howard H. Erickson, published in 2005, plus a list of factoids from Dr. Erickson’s course on the history of veterinary medicine.

Helen Sophie Richt was the first female to receive her D.V.M. degree from the Kansas State College of Agriculture and Applied Science. Newspaper accounts regarding Miss Richt stated the pretty, shy, 17-old freshman female veterinary student didn't much like the publicity given her. Her professors stated that she handled all the required laboratory work required of her. However, she was not required to work on large animal cases. Dr. Richt was the first female to obtain a license to practice veterinary medicine in Kansas. At the time of her graduation [in 1932], there were only 25 to 30 female veterinarians in the United States.

In 1935, Dr. Helen Richt Irwin and her husband, Dr. W.F. Irwin, DVM 1933, opened the City Veterinary Hospital in Tulsa, Okla. Newspaper articles stated that her long slender hands were considered very deft on the table where she weekly undertook several dog tonsillectomies, appendectomies and Caesarean sections. She was quoted as saying, "Oh my yes! Dogs need to have their tonsils out more often than humans. A dog without tonsils is a much better dog than one with the throat accessories." Dr. Irwin also promoted the practices of bitches whelping in her hospital in lieu of giving birth at home. Dr. Irwin died in March 1990 in Omaha, Neb.

  • From South Omaha
  • First female graduate
  • 1932: D.V.M. degree
  • 1932: “Nebraska Girl Pioneers at Kansas State College”
  • 1932: “Omaha Girl is First to Appear Before Kansas Veterinary Board”
  • 1932: City Veterinary Hospital in Tulsa
  • 1932: “Girl to Open Pet Hospital”
  • 1937: “Lone woman delegate at OVMA”
  • 1937: “Only woman at AVMA convention in Omaha”


Under the Microscope

Mall HooverMal Hoover, Medical Illustrator/Graphic Design Specialist, Instructional Technology and Design

Hometown: Manhattan, Kan.

Family Information: Husband (30 plus years) two sons and a granddaughter

Pets: Spike (9-year-old Jack Russell terrier), Slate (new gray kitten), Toby and Maggie (12-year-old sister kitties)

What is your New Year’s resolution for 2013? Enjoy each day.

How are you spending the holidays? I am working on one of the Wildcat March sculptures (part of the 150 year celebration of K-State).

If you had a time machine, would you go into the past or the future? I would go back to Ireland in the 1700s to meet my ancestors.

As a child, what was your dream job? Being an animator at Disney Studios! I thought hand painting the cels (celluloids) would be the best job ever!

What is your favorite holiday movie? "It's a Wonderful Life."

What do you do for creative inspiration? Sit outside and observe everything around me. Squirrels are always a source of inspiration!


News Ticker

Kara Smith and Dr. Bonnie Rush
Congratulations to Kara Smith (left), laboratory technician in Clincal Sciences for 20 years of service. She is receiving her pin from department head Dr. Bonnie Rush.

Other News

Susan Rose will be a featured artist at South Wind Gallery in Topeka, Kan. They will be featuring her “Birds of the Mid-West” series. The opening reception will be during Topeka’s First Friday Art Walk, Feb.1.

The winning essays written by two of our veterinary students have been published recently in the November issue of Veterinary Heritage, Bulletin of the American Veterinary Medical History Society. Amy Sents, class of 2015, is the author of “The Covert Arsenal of Biological Agents throughout History,” published in Veterinary Heritage 35:37-44, 2012. Amy won first prize in the 2012 J. Fred Smithcors Veterinary History Essay Contest.  Amy is also an MPH Candidate, December, 2013, Kansas State University. Tracey L. Mullins, class of 2015, is the author of “The Humble Beginnings of the Corporate Companion Animal Hospital,” published in Veterinary Heritage 35:59-62, 2012. Tracey won second prize in the 2012 J. Fred Smithcors Veterinary History Essay contest.

Dr. Howard Erickson attended the AVMA Leadership Conference in Chicago, Jan 3-6, 2013, for the kick off of the AVMA's sesquicentennial. He helped prepare an exhibit on the history of the AVMA, which was on display, and he said the display will travel to the North American Conference in Orlando, Fla., to the Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas, and then back to Chicago for the AVMA convention this year.


Calendar of events

General College/Alumni Events

Jan. 20: Alumni Reception, North American Veterinary Conference, Orlando, Fla.,

Alumni recognition award to be presented to Dr. Bill McBeth, DVM 1981
Reception from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., Grand Ballroom 7A, Orlando World Center Marriott


Continuing Education events

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

March 2: Veterinary Technician Conference


Instructional Technology and Design Workshops/Seminars

Workshops/seminars start at 3:30 pm in the Mara Conference Center, 4th floor, Trotter Hall except the one on March 8 in Mosier E-107. Go to  or call 532-4335 for more information and online registration.

Jan. 17: Re-Using K-State Online Courses: Tips and Tricks, by Gina Scott

Jan. 30: Camtasia Relay and DyKnow in the Classroom, by Gina Scott and Dr. Hong Wang,

Feb. 15: Using Adobe Connect to Enhance Teaching and Learning, by Dr. Hong Wang, Gina Scott, Dr. David Renter and Dr. Matt Miesner

Feb. 19: Quick Tips on Microsoft Office 2010 to Enhance Productivity, by Gina Scott

March 8: Exploring Online Instruction: Rethinking Teaching in the Digital Age, by Dr. Hong Wang

March 26: Using a Template to Format Thesis and Dissertation, by Gina Scott

April 2: Using EndNote to Manage Bibliographies and References, by Gina Scott

April 19: Facilitating Teaching and Learning with Concept Maps, by Dr. Hong Wang


New Arrivals/Recent Departures

Welcome to:

Dr. Junjie (Mary) Ma, Post-doctoral Fellow, DM/P
Dr. Leshuai Zhang, Post-doctoral Fellow, A&P
Steven Bartle, Research Associate, Clinical Sciences
Catherine Ewen, Research Associate, DM/P
Kelsey Mugler, Medical Technologist, KSVDL

Thanks and Goodbye to:

Peggy Howerton, Manager/Administrator, Dean's Office
Christopher Miller, Administrative Assistant, DM/P
Trina LaBarre
, Senior Admin Assistant, VHC
Aradhana Gupta
, Instructor, KSVDL
Rachel Appelhans, Accountant, Dean's Office
Dr. Pritpal Malhi, Medical Resident, DM/P


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,