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

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February 2013 - Vol. 8, No. 2

Top Stories

Dr. Bob Larson explains BVD Consult to Dr. Shelie Laflin New tool for BVD

Drs. Bob Larson and Brad White unveil a new tool for managing this disease in cow-calf operations.
How does it work?

A new 'Center of Excellence'
The CVM's Institute of Computational Comparative Medicine gets some special recognition.
Who is providing this recognition?

A marching wildcat?

CVM joins 150th 'Wildcat March' celebration and decorates one of 30 special wildcat statues.
What does it look like?

Susan Rose goes on an 'Art Walk' in Topeka'

Dr. William McBeth receives alumni award at NAVC

VMAA recognizes Dr. Megan Ehlers at NVMA winter meeting

Pet Friendly license tag launches

Veterinary Health Center communications update

Dr. Bob Rowland receives K-State graduate faculty award

CVM joins K-State in celebrating its sesquicentennial year

K-State 150: A new building and three notable alumni from 1923


Regular features

Debra RitchieUnder the Microscope
Debra Ritchie, Research Technician - Parasitology,
Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

News Ticker

Calendar of events

New Arrivals/Recent Departures

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Helping control BVD in real world scenarios

Doctors develop online tool for managing the virus in cow-calf operations
  Dr. Bob Larson and Dr. Shelie Laflin
  Dr. Bob Larson explains to Dr. Shelie Laflin how the tool works to help manage BVD in cow-calf operations.  

Maintaining and managing the health of any type of herd animal can present some daunting challenges for producers and veterinarians, when considering diseases such as bovine viral diarrhea, or BVD, in cow-calf operations. Now, those trying to develop strategies to control BVD can rely on a new Internet-based tool developed at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine called BVD CONSULT. This BVD management aid was created after Drs. Bob Larson and Brad White decided that there was need for the results of BVD research to be more accessible.

“One of the struggles that we have is how do you implement treatment in the different types of herd situations that you run into in the real word,” Dr. Larson said. “And so we wanted to develop a tool that takes a lot of the works that’s been done by scientists all over the world, and make that into a decision aid that producers and their veterinarians can come up with the best specific protocol for them.”

Drs. Larson and White worked with faculty from the University of Nebraska, Mississippi State University and Auburn University and developed a basic structure for the program. Envisioning the tool to mimic a conversation between a veterinarian and a client, K-State veterinary graduate Dr. Sherri Merrill was hired to help guide the development of the final program.

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




Certara names ICCM at K-State a ‘Center of Excellence’

  Examining a specimen under the microscope  
  Dr. Jim Riviere  
  Dr. Jim Riviere  

Certara™, a leading provider of software and scientific consulting services to improve productivity and decision-making from drug discovery through clinical development, announced that the Institute of Computational Comparative Medicine (ICCM) at Kansas State University has been named a Phoenix Center of Excellence.

Certara has developed Phoenix, the leading pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PKPD) modeling and simulation platform, to support non-compartmental analysis, population PKPD modeling and simulation and in vitro-in vivo correlation (IVIVC) analysis. This partnership will focus on the application, validation and extension of the Phoenix platform to support studies in veterinary medicine, from toxicology to animal health. Dr. Jim Riviere recently formed the Institute of Computational Comparative Medicine (ICCM) to develop unique computational medicine capabilities that will apply to animal studies and to advance the general state of the field.

“The work we are focused on could reduce the number of animal studies required for drug approval,” said Dr. Jim Riviere, director of the ICCM. “It could improve the determination of withdrawal times of drugs in animals with diseases; it could support the modeling of chemical risk assessment.”

Certara currently has six Phoenix Centers of Excellence that are focused on leveraging Phoenix to support clinical pharmacology and to train the next generation of practitioners,” said Dr. Daniel Weiner, senior vice president and general manager of Certara. “We are pleased to work with Kansas State University to begin advancing the use of Phoenix to support animal health studies, aimed at both improving animal medicine as well as the reduction of animals used in clinical trials.”



A CVM statue joins the ‘Wildcat March’

Medical Illustrator Mal Hoover tells the 'tail' of a special K-State sesquicentennial project
  Mal Hoover and her Wildcat March statue
  Mal Hoover displays the finished wildcat statue. She adorned it with torn paper, soaked in a Modge-Podge solution and applied over the fiberglass mold. The many layers of torn paper dictate the evolution of the design, and the creation of a unique piece of art.  
  Wildcat March statue - face  

The CVM’s own medical illustrator, Mal Hoover, recently took on the task of decorating a fiberglass Wildcat statue to represent the veterinary college at the K-State Sesquicentennial. The CVM Wildcat will be one of 30 Wildcats exhibited during the 9-month “Wildcat March” sesquicentennial celebration, starting Feb. 14. After the conclusion of the celebration in October, all Wildcats will be auctioned, and the proceeds will go toward a student academic scholarship fund.

The CVM wildcat was created with a torn paper mosaic technique, otherwise known as papier-mâché. The base of the statue represents everyone at the CVM who contributes to veterinary education, symbolizing the foundation of the college at K-State.

“Veterinary education involves every single person at the CVM, and I hope that the base will give the audience an idea of how many folks are included in the overall picture,” Mal said.

She further explained, “The purple middle section represents the professional student curriculum and includes all of the student groups within the college. The scope of student education is mind boggling. I hope that by listing everything that the students learn, the audience will grasp the variety and depth of the students’ education.”
Finally, the Aesculapius design features a compilation of words submitted by faculty, staff and students to represent veterinary education as a whole.

The creation of the CVM Wildcat was funded by Dr. Jane Brunt, who earned her DVM from K-State in 1980, before going on to open a feline exclusive hospital in Baltimore in 1984. Cat Hospital at Towson (CHAT) was the only feline specialty clinic in the Baltimore metropolitan area at the time of its opening. In 2000, she opened a second clinic, the Cat Hospital Eastern Shore in Cordova, Md. A national adviser on feline medicine, she is also an active supporter of local, state and national feline organizations, especially of the new generation of veterinary professionals.

“My goal with the statue was to bring awareness of the role of veterinary medicine – most especially the activities and education of the CVM – in global animal and human health,” Dr. Brunt said. “I hope to showcase CVM to the rest of the university, across the state, and even the nation!”

The CVM’s wildcat will be on display in the dean’s lobby and then at the K-State Alumni Center for the kickoff. More information on the Wildcat March can be found online at:



Susan Rose goes on an 'Art Walk' in Topeka

  Susan Rose says "tada!"  
  Susan Rose proudly exhibits her hard work.  
  Susan Rose's artwork  
  Some of the Susan's paintings in her "Birds of the Mid-West” gallery.  

A long-time bird enthusiast, photographer and painter, Susan Rose, facility manager for the Comparative Medicine Group, has often turned to art to relax after a long day. She never expected to be the featured artist at SouthWind Gallery in Topeka, Kan. Nonetheless, on Feb. 1, her series, “Birds of the Mid-West,” held an opening reception during Topeka’s First Friday Art Walk.

“The idea for this bird series grew out of a suggestion by the gallery owner, Gary Blitsch, a year ago when he saw one of my paintings of a meadowlark and suggested it would be a good theme to a series,” Susan said.

She then spent the last year capturing photographs of interesting bird species around the area. Once she had a significant body of work she picked a gallery — SouthWind — to represent her.

“This was an exciting new experience for me to be the featured artist in a well-established gallery,” Susan added. “I really enjoy seeing people’s reactions to the work, and engaging people in conversation either about art techniques, or the subject, in this case — birds and bird watching.”

Susan is an active member in the local Columbian Artist Group, the Missouri Valley Impressionist Society, The National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society and the International Acrylic Painters Society. If you don’t have a chance to visit SouthWind Gallery, you can find her work on her website:



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Dr. William McBeth receives alumni award at NAVC

  Dr. William McBeth  
  Dr. William McBeth, DVM class of 1981  

Dr. Bill McBeth, Morgantown, Pa., is the recipient of the 2013 Alumni Recognition Award at the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando, Fla., presented Jan. 20 by the Kansas State University Veterinary Medical Alumni Association.

Prior to attending K-State, Dr. McBeth was appointed from Nebraska to the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 1970. He then served in the Army Corps of Engineers for six years serving in Korea and Germany. After leaving the military, Dr. McBeth earned his DVM at K-State graduating 1981, and then entered private practice. He practiced as an associate for one year with the Metzger Veterinary Clinic, Gordon, Neb., a mixed practice in the Nebraska Panhandle. In 1982, he left Nebraska for Northeast Colorado where he served first as an associate, then partner, and then sole owner of his own mixed practice, Sun Prairie Veterinary Clinic, in Wray, Colo. In 2001, while still in private practice, Dr. McBeth was engaged by Pfizer Animal Health as a livestock consultant. In 2003 he left private practice and became a full time Pfizer employee, first as a drug safety livestock veterinarian and then as a manager of the Pfizer Veterinary Medical Information and Product Support Livestock-Equine team, a group of food animal and equine veterinarians taking technical service calls from food animal and equine veterinarians, producers and owners. His public health experiences in the Veterinary Corps combined with the focus on food quality and safety by food animal veterinarians motivated him to pursue a master’s degree in food safety from Michigan State University, which he completed in 2010.

“This award means the world to me,” Dr. McBeth said. “Kansas State took a long shot on a Nebraska soldier back in 1976, and I’ll never forget it. The scientific education I was offered was second to none, but the people I was associated with – Dr. Dan Upson, Dr. Keith Beeman, Dr. John Noordsy and most of all, the class of 1981 – really prepared me for a career in the best profession in the world – veterinary medicine.”

“This award helps recognize a very diverse and distinguished career, but one with a common theme of service both to the nation and to the veterinary profession,” said Dr. Ralph C. Richardson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “Beef cattle medicine is an important part of the curriculum and mission at Kansas State University, so it’s very appropriate for us to recognize an alumnus who has been such an outstanding leader in this field of veterinary medicine, where Dr. McBeth has made a great impact in many different parts of the world.”

Alongside his clinical practice, Dr. McBeth has dedicated 26 years of service to the U.S. Army Reserve, first in the Corp of Engineers and then in the Veterinary Corps. He has served in Costa Rica, Panama, Turkey, Italy and Malaysia. He also served on the board of directors for the Wray Community District Hospital from 1992 to 2000, six years as president of the board.

Dr. McBeth is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, and the Academy of Veterinary Consultants.

Dr. McBeth is married to Anneliese R. McBeth and has two sons, Rick Fernandez and Ian McBeth, two daughters, Eleanor and Aislinn McBeth, and six grandchildren.



VMAA recognizes Dr. Megan Ehlers at NVMA winter meeting

  Dr. Megan Ehlers  
  Dr. Megan Ehlers  

Dr. Megan M. Ehlers, Lincoln, Neb., is the recipient of the 2013 Alumni Recognition Award for the winter meeting of the Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association on Jan. 25 at Kearney, Neb. The award is presented in recognition for the time and effort devoted to advancing veterinary medicine and for being an exemplary role model for future alumni in a professional and community setting.

Dr. Ehlers has practiced small animal medicine since earning her DVM from K-State in 1999. For eight years she was part-owner of a practice. While there, she specialized in orthopedics, oncology and rehabilitation. Dr. Ehlers described the core of her practice to be the human-animal bond, determining that quality medicine follows true concern for the animals. In 2007, with the help of her classmate Dr. Kevin Christensen, Dr. Ehlers organized an emergency hospital in Lincoln. She served on the board of directors for this clinic for its first five years. Last year, she left her previous practice and opened a small clinic of her own.

“It doesn’t matter whether it is a couple without kids who treat their pet as their child, an elderly man who has a dog as his primary companion or a hunter with his dog, each relationship is special and moving,” Dr. Ehlers said. “I could never say that I love animals more than someone else, but I do appreciate and empathize with the emotional connection that people have with their pets. And that is the reason why I love practicing veterinary medicine.”

“Dr. Ehlers’ professionalism, vision, energy and dynamic personality have helped make her a valued leader in her community,” said Dr. Ralph C. Richardson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “Dr. Ehlers is part of a very large group of K-State alumni who practice veterinary medicine in the state of Nebraska, so we’re very proud of how she has represented herself through her career as well as our college, the university and our profession.”

Dr. Ehlers and her husband, Britt, recently founded the nonprofit organization Runners with a Reason. The organization motivates hundreds of runners to raise money for their passions. Over the past five years, runners associated with the organization have raised more than $150,000 for local and national charities . She has coached multiple sports teams, at both Hill Elementary School and the local YMCA, and has dedicated much of her time to helping at-risk children through mentorships and urban ministries. In addition, Dr. Ehlers helped the Arbor Day Foundation launch a “Trees for Pets” campaign to memorialize loved pets. The program allows veterinarians to plant a tree in a national forest in memory of a client’s pet that has passed. The program has encouraged involvement from hundreds of veterinary practices and tens of thousands of trees have been planted.

Recently, Dr. Ehlers was awarded the Lincoln Business Journal “40 Under 40” Award. This award recognizes 40 Lincoln-area professionals under 40 years of age who are having a notable impact on the community.

Dr. Ehlers is a member of the NVMA and American Animal Hospital Association. She and her husband have two daughters, Elizabeth and Addison, as well as one son, Benjamin.



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! And check out our video too.




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.


Dr. Bob Rowland receives K-State graduate faculty award

Dr. Bob Rowland and Dr. Carol Shanklin

Dr. Bob Rowland accepts the 2012-2013 Commerce Bank Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award presented by Dr. Carol Shanklin, dean of the Graduate School. The award, which comes with a $2,500 honorarium, is supported by the William T. Kemper Foundation and the Commerce Bancshares Foundation. It is coordinated through the Kansas State University Foundation and the president’s office.


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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.  

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: A new building and three notable alumni from 1923

  Veterinary Science Hall  
  Veterinary Science Hall was completed in 1923. It was renamed Burt Hall in 1958 in honor of Dr. James H. Burt.  

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. The following passage was compiled in part with information 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.

During 1923. the Division of Veterinary Medicine (which was part of the College of Agriculture) received substantial recognition of its rapidly growing importance by the construction of the central portion and north wing of a new veterinary hospital, formerly known as Veterinary Science Hall. It was built at a cost of $100,000 and was equipped for housing sick animals of all species, operating rooms, laboratories and a hydraulic elevator. Following a building fire in 1946, Veterinary Science Hall underwent remodeling, followed by partial upgrades in 1981. It is currently used for research facilities. A new veterinary hospital was built in 1955 (now called Dykstra Hall).

Dr. James H. BurtIn 1958, Veterinary Science Hall was renamed in honor of Dr. James H. Burt, who served as the head of the Department of Anatomy and Physiology from 1919 to 1944. Dr. Burt earned his V.S. degree from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1895 and his DVM degree from Ohio State University in 1905. Dr. Burt joined the Kansas State Agricultural College faculty in 1909, first serving as the inspector for the livestock registration board, was appointed assistant professor of veterinary medicine in 1910, associate professor in 1916, and professor in 1919. He was one of the pillars of of the Division of Veterinary Medicine, a member of the first graduate council appointed by President William Jardine in 1919. He retired in 1947 after 38 years of service to K-State.


And while we're look at the year 1923 — 90 years ago — at least three of the members of the DVM class of 1923 went on to serve as deans of veterinary colleges during their professional careers:

Dr. Elden Emanuel (E.E.) Leasure, at K-State from 1948-1964.

Dean Leasure

Dr. Carl Alfred Brandly, at the University of Illinois from 1956-1968.

Dean Brandly

Dr. Ching Sheng Lo, at the College of Agriculture at China Central University in the1940s (he also was provost of the university).

Dr. Ching Sheng Lo

A photo of the Senior Class of 1923 from Dr. Lo's family:

Senior Class of 1923


Under the Microscope

Debra RitchieDebra Ritchie, Research Technician - Parasitology, Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

Hometown: St. George, Kan.

Family: No kids, just my husband. I also have three sisters all married with kids.

Pets: We have a zoo at our house. Dogs, cats, parrots, horses, goats, chickens and geese.

What is your favorite type of candy? Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, but I love anything chocolate.

If you could stay a certain age forever, what would it be? I would be 33, old enough to have some sense but young enough to be very active and healthy.

What is the last book you read? “Journey” by Wanda Brunstetter.

What is your favorite day of the week? I don’t really have a favorite, but Fridays are nice because the weekend is close.

What exotic pet would you most like to have? I love all kinds of animals, probably anything with fur or feathers. I don’t care for the reptile types.


News Ticker

Dr. Justin Kastner

Dr. Justin Kastner
, associate professor of food safety and security, speaks about the history of beef cattle at a Kansas Day event, Jan. 29, in Hale Library. Two years ago, Dr. Kastner led a joint project to produce the book, “150 Years of Kansas Beef,” in conjunction with the state’s sesquicentennial celebration. This year’s Kansas Day celebration at K-State was organized by Dr. Jana Fallin, interim director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. Dr. Kastner was one of several speakers whose presentations focused on the state’s history, agriculture, music and poetry.

Dr. James Coffman, former dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at K-State and an expert in leadership development, has been chosen to deliver the 2013 Recognition Lecture at the AAVMC Annual Conference in Alexandria, Va., on Sunday, March 10.

Congratulations to Dr. Landa Colvin-Marion, VHC Pharmacist, and Dr. Chris Marion on the birth of their baby boy, Evan James Marion. Evan was born on Jan. 2, and is 9 pounds, 13.5 ounces and 21.5 inches long.

Congratulations to Drs. Chris and Lindsey Blevins, Clinical Sciences, as they also welcome a son, Aaron Allen Blevins, born on Jan. 4. Aaron joins his big sister, Clara, at home.

We would also like to congratulate Dean Ralph Richardson for his reappointment as the dean for the College of Veterinary Medicine for the next five years!


Calendar of events

General College/Alumni Events

Feb. 21: Alumni Fellow All-College Seminar, delivered at noon in Frick Auditorium by Dr. Terry McElwain, DVM class of 1980 and executive director of the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, at Pullman, Wash. His presentation will be entitled: "The Many Faces Of Disease Surveillance In Global Health." A pizza lunch will be provided starting at 11:40 a.m. See for more information about Dr. McElwain and his upcoming visit to K-State.

March 13: Meet the Authors of ‘Zoobiquity,’ Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers, at 12:00 p.m. in Frick and at 1:30 in the Mara Conference Center. (Schedule subject to change.)


Continuing Education events

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.

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. Amit Kumar, Post-doctoral Fellow, DM/P
Dr. Dana Vanlandingham, Assistant Professor, DM/P
Dr. Juraj Koci, Post-doctoral Fellow, A&P
Angela Long-Claycamp, Senior Administrative Specialist , Dean's Office
Mary Cross, Senior Administrative Assistant, VHC
Amanda Hedrick, Administrative Officer, Dean's Office
Leeanna Oxios, Senior Administrative Assistant, VHC
Dr. Chanran Ganta, Research Assistant Professor, A&P and Assistant Professor, KSVDL

Thanks and Goodbye to:

Alfred Inman III, Research Associate, A&P
Dr. Ying Chen, Post-doctoral Fellow, 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,