Alumni Find You Can Go Home Again

When author Thomas Wolfe wrote You Can’t Go Home Again, he obviously was not talking about Auburn alumni, and he certainly was not aware of the professional and often life-long bonds formed by Auburn veterinary graduates. Sometimes, those bonds are discovered in unlikely ways, as was the case with Drs. Anne Hale and Sarah Musulin.

Drs. Hale and Musulin got their DVM degrees at Auburn in 1988 and 2004, respectively. While they never knew each other as veterinary students, years later, their careers crossed paths. They formed a profes-sional and research bond, and it was not until sometime after their collaborations had begun to produce some promising results that they realized they both got their foundation and start at Auburn CVM.

After her graduation as a DVM from Auburn, Dr. Hale completed an internship at Michigan State University, as well as an internal medicine residency there; then she went on to a progressively advancing professional career of more than 30 years in industry veterinary research. She founded and guided Midwest Animal Blood Services, the first commercial blood bank for cats and dogs and a leader for some 25 years in providing state-of-the-art veterinary transfusion and blood-banking products. She is licensed as a veterinarian in the states of Michigan, New Mexico and California, and has conducted numerous funded research projects focused on canine blood transfusion.

Presently residing in New Mexico, Dr. Hale is the chief technical officer for the Rockville, Maryland-based firm BodeVet, a company that develops and markets freeze-dried blood platelet products to veterinary hospitals nationwide.

Dr. Musulin moved on to a rotating internship at the University of Florida after graduation from Auburn, then to a residency in Emergency & Critical Care at North Carolina State University, where she serves on the university’s ECC faculty as a clinical assistant professor, director of Emergency Services, and director of the NCSU Blood Bank. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care.

Moreover, she is the current president of the Association of Veterinary Hematology and Transfusion Medicine (AVHTM), which Dr. Hale helped found in 1995 as an organization dedicated to scientific advancement and education in veterinary hematology and transfusion medicine. As part of AVHTM’s continuing education focus, the AVHTM partners with both the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) Forum and International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium (IVECCS). Drs. Hale and Musulin have provided lectures and participated in panel discussions at these conferences on topics such as leukoreduction, red cell storage lesion and controversies in veterinary blood banking.

And both were AU College of Veterinary Medicine Young Achiever Award recipients.

Their mutual research interest in veterinary transfusion, continuing education, and giving back to the veterinary community brought them together.“

I first met Anne at a meeting of the AVHTM in 2015,” Dr. Musulin said. “We struck up a conversation and when we realized that we both were interested in a common research area, we began to talk about collaborating. We are currently working on projects evaluating both lyophilized canine albumin (funded by HemoSolutions) and platelet products (funded by BodeVet).”

That started a productive and long-lasting working relationship, and at some point in their working together, they discovered that they both were Auburn veterinary graduates.

“It just made our work better, more interesting, more productive and more fun, once we discovered that we both were Auburn veterinary graduates,” Dr. Musulin added.

The colleagues enjoy talking about their memories of their days as veterinary students at Auburn.“

I have got to say that it was the faculty mentors that I worked with at Auburn and the encouragement that they gave me that drove me to the rewarding career that I am enjoying,” Dr. Hale said. She recalls working as a student with retired faculty member Dr. Cindy Brunner in her lab.

She also speaks about the influence she received from recently retired faculty member Dr. Ray Dillon.

“That experience gave me my leg up in the immunology world,” Dr. Hale said. “It shaped my interest in moving forward in internal medicine and toward something in my career that gives back to the veterinary community. But the small-town atmosphere is what I remember most fondly about being a part of the community at Auburn. Although it was intense, we also had great fun. The interacting with faculty and staff was a great time for me.

”Dr. Musulin also speaks with respect and appreciation about her Auburn faculty mentors.

“I had the opportunity to work as a student resident and ICU nurse with (the late) Dr. Dougie Macintire,” Dr. Musulin said. “She was one of my strongest influences in Emergency and Critical Care, and as a student resident, I gained a stronger interest in caring for the blood-donor dogs.

”Another retired faculty member, Dr. Charles Hendrix, also is among Dr. Musulin’s Auburn influences.

“Dr. Hendrix made me aware of the importance of veterinary professionals in public health as well as ‘One Health’ initiatives,” Dr. Musulin said. “But above all, he really taught me to think outside the box and to teach with enthusiasm.”

Dr. Musulin echoes Dr. Hale’s opinion and fond memories of the small, close-knit community.“

It was the kind of setting where everyone knew your name from the dean on down,” she said. “There is much to be said for that as a student and for fostering an environment for success.

”Wolfe also writes in You Can’t Go Home Again: “Some things will never change. Some things will always be the same.” In this professional friendship—the unlikely reunion of two veterinary alumni with a love of their alma mater—Thomas Wolfe may have summed the situation up perfectly.

Dr. Daniel Receives Board Certification

Dr. R. McKenzie Daniel ’04 recently became a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Canine and Feline Practice), one of only four in the State of Georgia. Dr. Daniel, the grandson of the late Dr. Arthur Ralph Chambers ’49, and his wife, Dr. Lindsey McCraney Daniel ’04, reside in Athens, Georgia, with their two children. They own and operate Mobile Veterinary Ultrasound, and Dr. Daniel also reads ultrasounds for Sonopath (