Around The College



The Auburn College of Veterinary Medicine has graduated untold numbers of individuals who have achieved at the highest levels of the profession and whose contributions have made a difference in every area of One Health. To recognize these individuals for their achievements and success, the Wilford S. Bailey Distinguished Alumni Award was established as the college’s highest alumni award. Each year, one recipient is awarded in each of three categories: Research / Public Policy / Other.

Eligible candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • must be an alumnus of Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine who holds either a professional or advanced degree;
  • must be known for his or her accomplishments in veterinary medicine; and/or
  • must have made outstanding contributions to his or her community and the advancement of animal and human health.

Nominees may be DVM, MS or Ph.D. graduates of the college whose actions have made a difference in their community or beyond in advancing animal and human health. The 2023 award recipients will be honored during a special ceremony in Spring 2023. Completed nomination materials must be submitted via electronic form submission no later than January 23, 2023, to be considered for the 2023 awards presentation.

Visit for submission and nomination information.



Seven faculty, staff and students from the College of Veterinary Medicine were recently recognized by the Auburn University Graduate School and the Auburn University Libraries as 2022 Auburn Author Awards recipients. The awards recognize faculty, staff and students who published a book-length scholarly work during the previous calendar year. 

Among those recognized from the CVM during a ceremony celebrating their publications over the past year were: Dr. Maureen McMichael, Department of Clinical Sciences faculty member; Pia LaPorte, anatomy laboratory coordinator in the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology (APP); Theresa Sosby, fourth-year APP student; and APP faculty members Dr. Mahmoud Mansour, Dr. Melissa Singletary, Dr. Ya-xiong Tao and Dr. Ray Wilhite. 



Dr. Melinda Camus, associate professor and associate dean for academic affairs in the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, has been elected president-elect of the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology (ASVCP). 

The ASVCP is a nonprofit scientific organization dedicated to the promotion of scientific advancement, education and standards in veterinary laboratory medicine. Members include veterinary clinical pathologists and trainees, certified laboratory professionals, specialty veterinarians and diagnosticians in veterinary and medical schools, biomedical and pharmaceutical companies, diagnostic and government laboratories and private veterinary practices throughout the United States and in more than 20 countries worldwide. 



Dr. Erin Groover, an associate clinical professor in the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Clinical Sciences, was recently named the 2022 North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) Veterinary Meeting and Expo Equine Speaker of the Year. 

Six honorees in different subject areas are chosen by veterinary professionals from around the world each year from a field of more than 350 veterinary speakers presenting more than 1,200 different sessions at the annual VMX meeting, which this year was held in Orlando, Florida. 



Dr. Bruce Smith, professor in the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Scott-Ritchey Research Center, was recently named to the Medical Advisory Council of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama (BCRFA). The advisory council reviews funding requests, confirms the science behind them is sound and ensures that BCRFA investments will have the maximum impact.

“The Medical Advisory Council members are BCRFA’s boots on the ground within the medical community,” said Beth Davis, BCRFA president and CEO of the 10-member council. “They are the megaphones at their respective research institutes, spreading the word about our mission and encouraging investigators who are focusing on breast cancer to pursue BCRFA funding.”


Miria Criado
Assistant Professor Pathobiology

Cristopher Young
Professor of Practice Vet Med Admin

Scarlett Sumner
Assistant Professor APP

Timothy Braden Visiting
Associate Professor, APP

Laura Lee
Assistant Clinical Professor Pathobiology

Chance Armstrong
Associate Clinical Professor Clinical Sciences

Jessica Klabnik
Assistant Professor Clinical Sciences

Andrew Leisewitz
Clinical Sciences

Shollie Falkenberg
Associate Professor Pathobiology

Rachel Neto
Assistant Clinical Professor, Pathobiology

Anna Catherine Bowden
Assistant Professor Clinical Sciences

Mariano Mora Pereira
Assistant Professor Clinical Sciences


Herris Maxwell Clinical
Professor Clinical Sciences 

Dawn Boothe
Alumni Professor APP 

Elizabeth Spangler
Associate Professor Pathobiology 

Stephanie Ostrowski
Professor Pathobiology 

Herris Maxwell Clinical
Professor Clinical Sciences 

Dawn Boothe Alumni
Professor APP 

Elizabeth Spangler
Associate Professor Pathobiology 

Stephanie Ostrowski
Professor Pathobiology 


The Auburn Vet Med Staff Recognition Awards Ceremony is held annually to recognize how vital administrative staff and employees are to the college’s success in student education, animal healthcare and research initiatives. The college established an employee committee to recognize and honor employees who consistently and consciously go beyond their normal work activities in support of the college’s mission.

Staff Recognition Award 
George Chisholm
Ben Driggers
Hayden Hamby 

Deborah Hatch Czerkawski Award 
Ashley Bogovich

Regina Rodriguez Williams Award 
Crisanta Cruz Espinola

Dean’s Award 
Brian Stinson


CAAHA Award for Proficiency in Primary Care
James Mackey

ACVP Proficiency Award
Kendall Helbert

American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology Award
Aubrey Gould

American Association of Feline Practitioners Outstanding Senior Award
Camille Woods

American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Large Animal Award of Excellence
Caitlyn McCaulley

American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Small Animal Award of Excellence
Kate Hovious

American College of Veterinary Ophthalmology Award
Grace Duer

American College of Veterinary Radiology Senior Veterinary Student Award
Devin Osterhoudt

American College of Veterinary Surgery Large Animal Award of Excellence Proficiency Award
Abigail Foose

American College of Veterinary Surgery Small Animal Award of Excellence Proficiency Award
Sarah Ezell

Clinician of the Year
Kathy Gerken

Dean’s Award
Sarah Ezell

Dechra Excellence in Dermatology
Liz Thoreson

Dechra Excellence in Equine Sports Medicine
Caroline Dyrdek

Dechra Excellence in Small Animal Internal Medicine
Grace Duer

Gentle Doctor Award
Ian Gilson

Jamie Bellah Excellence in Raptor Rehabilitation Clinical Student Award
Hayley Healan

Large Animal Ophthalmology Clinical Proficiency Award
Sarah Ezell

President’s Award
Jordan Farrell

SAVMA Outstanding
Senior Award

Savana Gandy

SGA Outstanding Student Award
Bailey Reed

Small Animal Medical Proficiency Award
Brianna Grandprey

Small Animal Ophthalmology Clinical Proficiency Award
Kate Hovious

Society for Theriogenology Proficiency Award
Joshua Trumble

Society for Theriogenology Proficiency Award
Jordan Farrell

Veterinary Cancer Society Award
Nic Shugarts

Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Society Award
Alexa Simmons



Wade F. Stevens, a veteran of 26 years in municipal government — including extensive work in wildlife rehabilitation and conservation — was recently named director of the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Southeastern Raptor Center (SRC). The center is a non-profit rehabilitation and education facility for injured raptors that provides high-quality medical care and rehabilitation for wild raptors, supports raptor conservation efforts and expands the public’s knowledge about raptors and their ecosystems. The SRC is also home to golden eagle Aurea, War Eagle VIII, and bald eagle Independence, raptors that have become nationally known for the pregame eagle flights at Jordan-Hare Stadium prior to Auburn football games.

Prior to coming to Auburn, Stevens served as facilities director for Alabama Farm Credit in Cullman, Alabama. That followed his 26-year career with the City of Orange Beach, Alabama, in a variety of leadership and wildlife rehabilitation roles. During his tenure there, he expanded Orange Beach’s Coastal Operations Division into an independent department.

As manager of the city’s Department of Coastal Operations from 2015 to 2021, Stevens also led a team that was responsible for human resources, budgeting, strategic planning, physical assets, facility maintenance, special projects, investigations, data management, communications and special events. Other functions included his team’s oversight and management of nine miles of public beach on the Gulf of Mexico, portions of a nationally recognized trail system and a number of independent facilities providing public access to natural resources.

Stevens was also integral to the Coastal Bird Stewardship Program in Orange Beach, which included habitat restoration projects for gopher tortoises in conjunction with the Alabama State Parks System and a sea turtle triage and treatment facility. In addition, he served as incident management team leader for the city during its responses to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Hurricane Sally. Earlier in his city career, he served as administrative chief for the Orange Beach Fire Department.

Stevens is a recognized speaker at public events and a subject matter expert recognized at the state and regional levels. A graduate of Waldorf College, he has completed rehabilitation training with the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association, the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council, the University
of Minnesota Raptor Center, the Wildlife Center of Virginia and the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies. He and his team also founded and hosted the Gulf Coast Wildlife Symposium, an annual educational and networking conference for wildlife rehabilitators, veterinary technicians and veterinarians in Orange Beach.



Are you an Auburn Vet Med alumnus interested in using your time and talents to help support our students and shape the future of the college?

The College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Advisory Council is essential in guiding the college and raising private support for our students. We are seeking nominations to fill open four-year-term council seats through self-nomination or by nominating a fellow alumnus for terms beginning January 2023. The council consists of 15 Auburn Vet Med alumni, each elected for four years on a staggered-term basis. Time requirements for members include semi-annual meetings (spring and fall) and committee participation to support various programs and/or areas of the college.

Nominees must provide a current curriculum vitae including evidence of their support for Auburn University and the College of Veterinary Medicine and at least two letters of support from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine alumni. When nominating a fellow alumnus for a position, please carefully consider the nominee and discuss the opportunity with him/her prior to submitting a nomination. The nominations committee will present recommendations to the full council for election and the dean will formally notify the selected individual(s). Complete nomination materials must be received by October 26, 2022, for consideration.

Visit for details and submission information.



Dr. Amanda Gross, research fellow in the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Scott-Ritchey Research Center, has been awarded a two-year, $140,000 grant from the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association (NTSAD). The grant will fund further study into the most effective way to administer an Auburn-developed gene therapy for GM1 gangliosidosis disease in cats. The NTSAD supports — and is directly supported by — families affected by GM1. 

GM1 gangliosidosis, which also affects humans, is a rare and fatal genetic disorder in which gene defects cause impaired enzyme activity, leading to a gradual toxic accumulation of lipids, called gangliosides, in the brain. Over time, this accumulation results in brain degeneration, causing cognitive impairment, paralysis and early death. 

Gene therapy treatments such as that developed at Auburn’s Scott-Ritchey Research Center use adeno-associated viruses (AAV) that can be engineered to deliver DNA to target cells. The NTSAD grant award notes that AAV therapy “represents one of the most promising paths toward life changing treatments for GM1, as well as Tay-Sachs, Canavan and Sandhoff diseases. Results from the study, while not directly applicable to the other disorders, may nevertheless provide insights that are valuable beyond GM1 research.” 

According to Gross, “My research uses AAV gene therapy to deliver functional genes to cells. In the case of GM1, we deliver the gene that enables the cell to break down the GM1 ganglioside. While the preliminary results from the clinical trials are promising, it is imperative to begin evaluating the next options for treating GM1.” 

In addition, the research will also help determine the best delivery system for the gene therapy. In ongoing GM1 clinical trials, the treatment has either been administered intravenously (IV) or via the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). However, each of these treatment routes has shown certain deficiencies and there is debate on which one is most effective. Gross hopes to show that dual-site administration (IV and CSF) will have a cumulative effect. 

“The project funded by the NTSAD looks to evaluate a dual site administration of AAV for the treatment of GM1,” Gross explained. “In the three ongoing clinical trials, AAV is administered either intravenously (IV) or into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). By combining these two injection locations, we theorize that there will be an additive effect that will further increase the efficacy of AAV gene therapy for GM1.
“Additionally,” she added, “we want to evaluate the effect AAV has on brain inflammation and other negative effects associated with GM1. By further studying these processes, we will better understand their role in GM1 and the part AAV plays in correcting or potentially exacerbating them.”

“This project is the next step in developing an optimal gene therapy for GM1 gangliosidosis,” noted Dr. Doug Martin, professor and Scott-Ritchey director. “While preliminary results from the first clinical trial are very positive, Dr. Gross’ study aims to enhance treatment delivery to the brain as well as to learn more about the disease itself. When gene therapy is ultimately approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, her study will make sure that it is delivered to patients in the most effective way possible.”



Jordan Farrell, a senior in the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, recently received a $10,000 award thanks to his selection as one of four national 2022 Nandi Scholars by the Theriogenology Foundation. The Foundation supports education and research in animal reproductive medicine.

At Auburn, Farrell has served as captain of the bovine palpation team that finished first at the national student competition and has served in leadership positions with a number of other student organizations, including Block and Bridle, the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, the American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners and Society for Theriogenology.

He has also worked as a summer research scholar with the Auburn Canine Performance Sciences program. Farrell plans to work in a private rural mixed practice and to compete for a theriogenology residency in the near future.



Dr. . Megan Grobman, assistant clinical professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences of the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, was recently selected as one of two recipients of 2021-22 pharmacology research grants from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) and the Veterinary Pharmacology Research Foundation (VPRF). The AVMF and VPRF funding supports research projects designed to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases in animals.

As an assistant professor of small animal internal medicine, her research project will focus on the impact of single-dose trazodone administration on endogenous adrenocorticotropic hormone and serum cortisol concentrations in healthy dogs.



Dr. Sophie Boorman, a third-year equine surgery resident in the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, was recently named as one of seven resident students from around the nation selected as winners of the 2022 Mark S. Bloomberg Resident Research Awards. Boorman was recognized by the Veterinary Orthopedic Society (VOS) for her abstract entitled “Effect of Rest Between Sequential Treatments of Local Anesthetic and Corticosteroid on Inflamed Equine Articular Tissues.”

The annual awards honor Dr. Mark S. Bloomberg, “a tremendous contributor to the VOS as a former president, longstanding member, contributor and supporter.” Each award paid travel expenses for presenting the abstracts at the 2022 World Veterinary Orthopedic Congress held in Snowmass, Colorado.

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