Alumni Notes


Dr. David Biller ’80 was named recipient of the 2017 Award of Excellence in Resident Mentoring for the Department of Clinical Sciences in the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. 

Dr. Biller, a Kansas State professor and section head of radiology, is a 1980 graduate of Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine. 

“The Department of Clinical Sciences believes mentoring is critical to the growth of individual members and the department as a whole,” said Dr. Elizabeth Davis, interim department head. “Faculty mentors provide the foundation for development of the next generation of leading veterinary medical educators. The award allows our clinical residents and interns to honor faculty mentors who embody both the letter and spirit of mentoring.” 

Dr. Biller was nominated by Drs. Pax Harness and Katie Tucker-Mohl, who wrote, “Dr. Biller is deliberate with his demonstrated commitment to fostering intellectual, creative, scholarly and professional growth of mentees so they may function effectively with measurable success in the organization, resulting in career growth and personal development.” 


Dr. Carolyn Henry ’90 has been named interim dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri. 

Dr. Henry earned her doctor of veterinary medicine and master of science degrees, as well as completed a residency in veterinary oncology, at Auburn. She is one of four Auburn veterinary alumni currently serving in top administrative positions at colleges of veterinary medicine—the others are: Dean Calvin Johnson ’86 at Auburn; Dr. Jason Johnson ’03 at Lincoln Memorial; and Dr. Eleanor Greene ’73 at Texas A&M. 

Dr. Henry held a faculty appointment at Washington State University before joining the University of Missouri in 1997. 

While at Missouri, she has held a number of faculty and administrative positions and was MU’s first board-certified oncologist. Since 2010, she has served as the faculty facilitator for the Mizzou Advantage One Health/One Medicine initiative within the Office of the Provost, fostering multidisciplinary research opportunities between human and veterinary medicine. She was appointed associate director of research for the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center in 2012, and has served as Missouri’s associate dean for the Office of Research and Graduate Studies since 2013. 

Dr. Henry has served on the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) Board of Regents and is past president of both the Veterinary Cancer Society and the ACVIM Specialty of Oncology. In 2014, she was elected to the National Academies of Practice as a distinguished fellow and the Veterinary Medicine Academy as a distinguished practitioner and fellow. 

She is the 2017 recipient of the Robert W. Kirk Award for Professional Excellence from the ACVIM which recognizes outstanding achievements and dedicated service to the veterinary profession. 



Dr. Calvin Johnson ’86, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, recently was installed as president-elect of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC). 

Dr. Johnson is a 1986 graduate (DVM) of Auburn University and, in 1992, earned the Ph.D. in pathology and biotechnology from North Carolina State University. He achieved board certification in anatomic pathology by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP) in 1993. Dr. Johnson served on the faculty of the University of Florida for 11 years before returning to Auburn. He served for six years as department head of Pathobiology and one year as acting dean before being named dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn in 2013. 

Other AAVMC leadership includes: Dr. Phillip Nelson, dean of the Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine in Pomona, California, as president; University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine Dean Dr. Mark Markel continues as treasurer and North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Dr. Paul Lunn was named secretary. Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan Dean Dr. Douglas A. Freeman transitioned to the immediate past-president position. 

At-large board members include Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Dr. Susan Tornquist, Region 1 (U.S.); University of Melbourne School of Veterinary Medicine Head Dr. Ted Whittem, Region III (Australia, New Zealand, Asia); and Pennsylvania State University Assistant Professor of Comparative Medicine Dr. Tiffany Whitcomb, representing departments of comparative medicine. New board liaisons (non-voting) include Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Dr. Bryan Slinker, representing the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU); and Mr. Aaron Colwell, representing the Student American Veterinary Medical Association. 

The AAVMC is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment around the world by advancing academic veterinary medicine. Members include 49 accredited veterinary medical colleges in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean Basin, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico. 

The member institutions of the AAVMC promote and protect the health and well-being of people, animals and the environment by advancing the profession of veterinary medicine and preparing new generations of veterinarians to meet the evolving needs of a changing world. 



Dr. Robert Gukich ’76 was presented the Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) Excellence in Preventive Medicine-Beef Award in recognition of his outstanding performance and contributions to veterinary medicine during the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) annual meeting. 

As part of the award, BI donated $1,500 to a veterinary program of Dr. Gukich’s choice, Auburn’s CVM, to support student scholarships. 

“We are proud to sponsor the Preventive Medicine Awards,” said Dr. Andy Bennett, dairy professional services veterinarian at Boehringer Ingelheim. “Dr. Gukich is a great asset to the industry and is very deserving of this award.” 

Dr. Gukich founded Lake Wales (Florida) Large Animal Services, which focuses on bovine and equine species. His practice serves cattlemen who own more than 50,000 brood cows, and most of his clients started with him more than 40 years ago. 

Dr. Gukich’s cattle clients are considered among the “Who’s Who” in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. As a founding member of Florida Cattle Ranchers, LLC, Dr. Gukich also raises fresh-from-Florida beef. 

Dr. Gukich earned a bachelor’s in animal science in 1972 and his DVM from the College of Veterinary Medicine in 1976. 

Following graduation, he started Lake Wales Veterinary Hospital, which expanded into a six-man, mixed-animal practice. After 25 years, Dr. Gukich sold his interest in the practice to focus on bovine and equine species as the owner of Lake Wales Large Animal Services. 

The G7 ranch, named for himself, his wife Doris, and their five daughters, has more than 1,300 head of cattle on 6,500 acres. He also oversees a second property, a 4,000-acre ranch in South Florida. 

That ranch has been designated as a Florida Panther Mitigation Bank through the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife. “The focus of his practice has always been preventive medicine,” said Dr. John Crews ’75, associate professor of Agricultural Studies at Warner University and Dr. Gukich’s research partner. 

Dr. Gukich serves on drug advisory councils with nationally recognized pharmaceutical corporations. He has hosted numerous client educational meetings and has appeared on RFD channel’s “Cattlemen to Cattlemen” program as a featured guest to explain animal vaccines and vaccination protocol. 

He is a long-standing member of the AABP as well as the Society for Theriogenology, AAEP, AVMA, Florida Veterinary Medical Association, and the Academy of Veterinary Consultants. 



Dr. Misty Edmondson ’01 has been named to the International Council for Veterinary Assessment (ICVA) Board of Directors by the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges. 

The ICVA provides standardized examinations for use by state and provincial licensing boards as part of their licensure procedure for veterinarians. Established in 1948, it is charged with developing a standardized licensing examination for use by state licensing boards. 

Currently an associate professor of large animal medicine in the Department of Clinical Sciences, Dr. Edmondson joined the college faculty in 2006. Prior to that, she worked in a mixed animal practice in rural Alabama for two years before returning to Auburn University to complete a residency in food animal theriogenology under the supervision of the late Dr. Bob Carson, and Drs. Dwight Wolfe and Gatz Riddell. 

A native of Elmore County where she grew up on a commercial cattle farm, she received an undergraduate degree from Auburn in 1997 and the DVM in 2001. She completed her residency and master’s degree in 2006 and became a Diplomate of the American College of theriogenologists in 2005. 

Dr. Edmondson teaches numerous courses (including theriogenology, reproductive anatomy, urogenital surgery, production medicine, and others) to veterinary students as well as clinical rotations in food animal medicine and surgery, and advanced rotations in advanced beef production and advanced small ruminant medicine and surgery. She is also involved in therio-genology resident training through clinical instruction and graduate lectures and laboratories. 

Dr. Edmondson’s clinical interests include infectious causes of infertility in ruminants (trichomoniasis and BVDV), urogenital surgery, advanced reproductive technologies, and pain management. 

She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Bovine Practitioners, American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners, Alabama Veterinary Medical Association, and the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association. She has been actively involved in research in the area of bovine and small ruminant reproductive health and pain management. 



During the American Association of Avian Pathologists Inc. meeting in July as part of AVMA, Dr. Rodrigo Gallardo ’11 received the Bayer-Snoeyenbos New Investigator Award for his research contributions to the field of avian medicine. Dr. Gallardo earned his veterinary degree from the University of Chile in 2004 and his doctorate in poultry molecular virology from the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2011. He serves as an assistant professor of population health and reproduction at the University of California-Davis. Dr. Gallardo is a diplomate of the ACPV. 



A filly owned by Auburn College of Veterinary Medicine alumnus Dr. Bryan Waldridge ’91 recently won in her inaugural race at Keeneland in something of a Cinderella story. 

War Eagle’s Love was purchased by Dr. Waldridge last year for just $2,700 and considered to be a longshot. She ran in a claiming race where all the fillies were eligible to be bought and were non-winners. While Birdie, as she is nicknamed, is nominated for Breeders’ Cup races, no one is sure if her career will take her higher in the sport. 

She won the 1 1/16-mile race more than two lengths ahead of some fillies who’d had racing experience. This race ran around two turns, a difficult task for a first-time starter. 

“We knew that she had a shot in this race, but you never know because the competition at Keeneland is tough,” Dr. Waldridge said. “We’re so proud of how she ran and came out of the race. Being able to share the win with so many others made it even more special. It’s fun to see my orange and blue silks on race day.” 

Dr. Waldridge, an internal medicine specialist at Park Equine Hospital at Woodford, volunteers as a veterinarian at Old Friends, a non-profit retirement center providing a dignified retirement for Thoroughbreds whose racing and breeding careers have come to an end. Founded in 2003 by former Boston Globe film critic Michael Blowen, Old Friends cares for more than 100 horses and is a living history museum of horse racing, attracting nearly 20,000 tourists annually. 

When the filly ran, she had an entourage from Old Friends Equine: trainer Tim Wilson, farm manager at Old Friends, and a number of the nearly 40 people who crowded the winner’s circle for the filly’s win were staff and volunteers at Old Friends. 

The nickname came with the horse and is a reference to the filly’s sire, Birdstone, winner of the 2004 Belmont Stakes. Her breeder is philanthropist, socialite and racehorse owner Marylou Whitney, who keeps her horses at Gainesway Farm. Ms. Whitney included a note with the filly’s registration papers that stated if she didn’t work out, then she would buy her back. 

Dr. Waldridge said he was surprised to acquire War Eagle’s Love last year, as he had been searching for an offspring of Birdstone. “My other racehorse was a Birdstone, so I decided to look for another during the sale,” he said. “Birdie had good confirmation and seemed to have a good temperament. 

“Luckily, her radiographs and upper airway scope were alright, and she sold for less than I expected.”