Employee and Student Updates and Awards
Around The College
Referall Center Conerstone of Auburn Educational Complex in Gulf Shores
A veterinary medical referral center to be operated by the College of Veterinary Medicine will be the centerpiece of the Auburn Education Complex in Gulf Shores, an academic satellite complex for Auburn and a resource for Gulf Coast veterinarians and residents.
Auburn University and the City of Gulf Shores are moving forward with plans to build a 24,000-square-foot educational complex in Gulf Shores. It will be located at the corner of the Beach Express and County Road 8, adjacent to land acquired by the City of Gulf Shores for a new high school and the planned Coastal Alabama Center for Educational Excellence.
The referral center will serve as an extension of the college’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Auburn, and will provide specialty veterinary services as well as expanded educational opportunities for Auburn veterinary students in south Alabama and the surrounding region.
Calvin Johnson, dean of the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, said its Veter- inary Teaching Hospital has engaged south Alabama and the Gulf Coast region for many years with specialty veterinary services and continuing education for veterinarians.
“We see this as an opportunity to more efficiently serve regional veterinarians and advance animal health while providing an expanded educational experience for our students and residents,” he said.
Johnson said while many details regarding the referral center are yet to be defined, there are core principles, including establishing an external advisory board of local veterinarians, to govern decisions:
- Specialty services will operate on a referral-only basis and primary care will not be provided;
- Patients will be returned to the primary veterinarian after the presenting problem has been satisfactorily addressed or the emergency patient has been stabilized; and
- Center professionals will work hard to establish a trusting, mutually beneficial relationship that will be viewed as an asset to the region’s practice community.
Foley veterinarian Dr. David Dykes ’82 said he welcomes the referral center to south Alabama, as it will mean faster medical care for critically ill patients. It will be 15 minutes away versus four hours away and that is important when dealing with critical healthcare issues.
“That will allow us to treat cases we can manage and send cases to Auburn’s new facility that we are not equipped to handle, and that will be fantastic. I think it will be a great resource for us.”
Dr. Dykes also said he sees the benefit for veterinary students, to receive hands-on education through expanded rotations.
“It will benefit the students, technicians and animal healthcare.”
Patti Hall, director of the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, sees the facility as a win-win for animals at the zoo and for veterinary students to expand their exotic animal education.
“Having specialty services in our backyard versus a six- or eight-hour drive [roundtrip] will be huge for us,” she said. “The opportunity to partner with Auburn, while continuing to work with our primary care veterinarian, in the healthcare of our animals and the possibility of expanding hands-on education for students at our facility, we couldn’t be more pleased.”
By having a base of operations in Gulf Shores, Auburn will enhance its student engagement in veterinary clinical education and laboratory training in disciplines unique to Alabama’s Gulf Coast, including marine mammal medicine, aquatic animal pathology, zoological and wildlife medicine and emergency response.
“We appreciate the opportunity to engage in Auburn University’s educational initiative in Baldwin County and to better serve the veter- inary community along the Gulf Coast,” added Dr. Johnson. “We look forward to being a good academic neighbor for the Coastal Alabama Center for Education Excellence and a strong community partner for the City of Gulf Shores.”
The Coastal Alabama Center for Educational Excellence is part of a strategic plan, “Small Town, Big Beach Vision 2025 for Sustain- ability,” adopted by Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft and the Gulf Shores City Council in 2014. With education as a top priority, Gulf Shores plans to establish the Coastal Alabama Center for Educational Excellence to promote access to higher education. The academic campus will feature a new high school and a new location for Faulkner State Community College, and will encourage affiliations with four-year universities.
Additional Auburn programs expected to use the facility include the College of Agriculture, the Auburn Aviation Center, the Office of Research and Economic Development, and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.
The Auburn University Board of Trustees agreed at its September meeting to authorize President Jay Gogue to execute a lease agreement with the Gulf Shores Public Education Finance Authority, which will purchase the property in Gulf Shores, build a structure and lease it to Auburn for the university’s needs.
Emergency and Critical Care Service Earns Veterinary Trauma Center Designation
The American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care has designated the Wilford and Kate Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital as a Veterinary Trauma Center, making it the only recognized 24/7 veterinary trauma center in the Southeast.
The veterinary trauma center designation is part of an effort by the ACVECC Veterinary Committee on Trauma to create a network of lead hospitals to play a significant role in the development of trauma systems nationally. These hospitals will work collaboratively to define high standards of care and disseminate information that improves trauma patient management efficiencies and outcomes.
“We are fortunate to have a new hospital with state-of-the-art facilities to support trauma patients that are referred to us from our local and regional veterinary practitioners,” said Dr. Doug Allen, teaching hospital director. “But, more importantly, we have a team of excellent critical care clinicians and residents who provide dedicated, state-of-the-art support for our trauma and critical care patients.”
The criteria and expectations for Veterinary Trauma Centers include:
- The ability, on a 24/7 basis, to provide total care for every aspect of management of the small animal trauma patient, from emergency stabilization through definitive medical and surgical care and rehabilitation.
- The availability of board-certified specialists for consultation seven days per week in the fields of emergency and critical care, surgery and radiology.
“As a hospital, we’re very excited to receive this designation as a trauma center,” said
Dr. Lenore Bacek, assistant clinical professor in Emergency and Critical Care in the Department of Clinical Sciences. “The ACVECC Veterinary Committee on Trauma recognizes the highest level of emergency and critical care in treating pets with trauma-related injuries, and reflects the dedication and expertise provided by Auburn faculty, staff and students.
“Our trauma case load is high and continues to grow, and we think our collaborative team approach contributes to patients surviving complex and life-threatening injuries.”
Similar to human trauma centers, veterinary trauma centers also provide leadership in education and research. One of the goals of the veterinary trauma center network is to create a database of information related to animals sustaining trauma that can be used for multi- center veterinary trauma research.
This designation joins the Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital’s existing ranking of being a Level-I rated hospital by the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, the highest rating that can be awarded to a veterinary emergency and critical care facility. The Auburn University Veterinary Teaching Hospital is the only designated center to earn this ranking in Alabama, one of three in the Southeast and 18 nationwide. The Emergency and Critical Care Service strives to provide the highest level of patient care through collaboration with other services within the teaching hospital. A state-of-the-art Intensive Care Unit operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for patients requiring careful monitoring and extensive care.
Teaching Hospital Expands to Offer Farm Animal Ambulatory Service
Auburn College of Veterinary Medicine has begun offering an ambulatory service to farms in central Alabama and west Georgia.
The Farm Animal Ambulatory Service, led by Dr. Ricardo Stockler, an assistant clinical professor who is a board-certified Diplomate, is providing on-location care to farm animals— beef and dairy cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, camelids and chickens—as well as consultations to producers, clients and referring veterinarians.
“While we have always offered farm animal ambulatory services to the local area, the primary focus has been equine medicine and care,” said Dr. Thomas Passler, Farm Animal section head. “I am very excited that with this new service, Dr. Stockler will renew the focus on food animal veterinary medicine. He is a very talented veterinarian and will provide state-of-the art care to meet the needs of farm animal clients, regardless of herd size.”
The service provides individual animal medicine, reproduction and surgery, as well as herd-level disease investigation. The service offers 24-hour veterinary emergency care on the farm, as well as access to the J.T. Vaughan Large Animal Teaching Hospital at the College of Veterinary Medicine.
“The opportunity to expand the Ambulatory Service and offer exclusive on-farm veterinary care for farm animals is humbling and of great responsibility. Having the ability to help farmers across the state of Alabama and Georgia and expose the new generation of Auburn veterinarians to agriculture are goals I take seriously,” Dr. Stockler said.
Senior-level veterinary students will gain valuable knowledge through the service as it will be part of their clinical rotations, providing a hands-on education to students who, one day, will provide similar care as veterinarians.
The Farm Animal Ambulatory Services will be able to transport a portable cattle chute system to farms to efficiently and economically help the producers work cattle.
The Farm Animal Ambulatory Service is a program of the J.T. Vaughan Large Animal Teaching Hospital at Auburn. Its mission is to provide exceptional medical care to animals and clinical, hands-on education to senior-level veterinary students. For on-farm visits or appointments, call (334) 844-4490.
CVM’s Reproductive Science and Health Online Course Launched in China
Reproductive Science & Health, a resource developed through a partnership between the College of Veterinary Medicine and Current Conceptions, Inc., for teaching and learning about reproductive biology and physiology, has been licensed in China.
Based on the most widely used textbook in the field, Pathways to Pregnancy & Parturition (3rd Edition), by Dr. P.L. Senger, RSH online is a unique resource that can be used by specialists in the reproductive sciences and medicine to augment teaching effectiveness, as well as independently by other profes- sionals and students seeking to advance their knowledge of this important discipline while earning certificate or academic credit.
China’s initial launch of RSH online was this past summer, led by Dr. Aixin Liang, a member of the faculty in the College of Animal Science and Technology and College of Veterinary Medicine at Huazhong Agricultural University in Wuhan, China.
Dr. Juming Zhong, professor of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology at the CVM, was invited to travel to Wuhan to assist Dr. Liang in the launch of RSH.
“This course was offered to those Chinese students as a summer elective English profes- sional course, which promotes the students to learn English vocabulary of reproductive science,” Dr. Zhong said. “The Chinese students were excited at the opportunity of learning the professional reproductive science in a different language environment.”
Dr. Zhong said the course was “a new way of study. Combining online learning with classroom discussion further enhanced students’ interest as well as understanding of subject content in this course. They all felt that the course design was concise and logical. All students actively participated in the discussion and passed the final exam.”
Drs. Liang and Zhong mentored the first Chinese class to license RSH online as students navigated and discussed the 16 content units. They were assisted by Dr. Angela Oki, CVM affiliate instructor and vice president of Current Conceptions, Inc.; Dr. Senger, president of Current Conceptions, Inc., and an affiliate professor; and Dr. Frank F. Bartol, associate dean for Research and Graduate Studies.
Dr. Pat Ryners Named Leischuck Distinguished Companion Animal Shelter Medicine Professor
Dr. Pat Rynders, University Veterinarian and director of the Division of Laboratory Animal Health, has been named the Emily Reaves Leischuck Endowed Distinguished Professor in Companion Animal Shelter Medicine at the College of Veterinary Medicine.
“Dr. Rynders is an exemplary veterinarian who has an unwavering commitment to the health and well-being of all animals at Auburn University. She sets a high standard of care for all animals at Auburn, and we are proud that her efforts have sustained our accreditation by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International,” said Dean Calvin Johnson.
“She has excelled in all aspects of her assignment as University Veterinarian and as the director of the Division of Laboratory Animal Health at the college,” he added.
“Beyond her clinical skills and knowledge, Dr. Rynders provides consistent and effective administrative leadership necessary to support a remarkably diverse program of research involving animals of all kinds across the entirety of the AU campus and throughout the state.
She is a problem solver, and for that she is very much appreciated by all who depend upon our animal care programs,” remarked Dr. Frank Bartol, associate dean for Research and Graduate Studies.
“The College of Veterinary Medicine is deeply grateful for the support provided by Dr. Gerald Leischuck in establishing the Emily Reaves Leischuck Endowed Distinguished Profes- sorship,” Dr. Johnson said. “The Leischuck family has trusted our hospital in the treatment of their beloved cats, Kitty and Tiger, which are memorialized on the Teaching Hospital’s Tree of Life.
“Through Gerald’s generosity, we will be able to instill in students a greater understanding of the impact that veterinarians can play in providing a high standard of care for companion animals residing in shelters.
This was Emily’s passion, and because of their shared interests, there could be no better inaugural recipient than Dr. Pat Rynders.”
As the University Veterinarian, Dr. Rynders provides institutional-level guidance and oversight which is consistent with federal, state and local laws and regulations related to university veterinary care, animal facilities and animal welfare for Auburn University’s
Animal Care and Use Program, and provides leadership for AAALAC accreditation for relevant colleges.
As the director of the Division of Laboratory Animal Health, she is responsible for supervision, coordination and oversight of that division within the College of Veterinary Medicine. She serves as an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences.
For the past 17 years, Dr. Rynders has served in a leadership position with the Lee County Humane Society, as an ambassador for companion animal health and welfare in the community and a liaison between the college and the shelter. She served as president from 2007 to 2011.
She has facilitated a strong working relationship among the Lee County Humane Society, the Glyde Memorial Shelter and the College of Veterinary Medicine, working to develop and sustain academic courses designed to both benefit shelter animals and to provide shelter-based educational opportunities for veterinary students.
It was in this role that Dr. Rynders met, served with and came to know Emily Leischuck.
“I saw Emily in action and watched her strike an effective balance between gentility and strength,” Dr. Rynders said. “When she needed to speak up, she did, but always in a way that was professional, respected and got the job done. I would like to emulate that.”
Emily Reaves Leischuck served Auburn University and the community as an administrator and active service volunteer and philanthropist. Her service to Auburn University began in 1974, spanned more than 20 years, first as Panhellenic Advisor in the Office of the Dean of Women, and for 13 years as Assistant to the President and Board of Trustees, with primary responsibility for planning, organizing and executing a wide variety of commemorative, ceremonial and social events. She passed away in 2013.
Her life was characterized by a warm, graceful and humane outward-directed personality that endeared her to those around her. These traits and her work were recognized formally in 1996 when she was presented the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for her “continuing expression of those high qualities which ennoble and beautify living and bind man to man in mutual love and helpfulness.” Her service to Auburn University and the broader community was more visibly commemorated in 1998 when Emily Reaves Leischuck Hall, a residence hall for women, was dedicated in her honor.
She devoted considerable time and energy to numerous community and professional interests, including the Lee County Humane Society.
She and her husband, Gerald, both former educators, met while they were students at Auburn and earned graduate degrees in education from the university in 1964. Gerald began his 35-year Auburn University career in the Office of Institutional Research and also worked with the Office of Planning and Analysis. He served as executive assistant to the president and secretary to the board of trustees.
In 2005, the couple endowed the Gerald and Emily Leischuck Endowed Presidential Awards for Excellence in Teaching to recognize and reward the university’s best teachers. The annual awards recognize faculty members who have demonstrated effective and innovative teaching methods and a continuing commitment to student success through advising and mentoring inside and outside the classroom. The 2016 recipient of this award was CVM faculty member Dr. Elaine Coleman. In 2009, they endowed the Emily R. and Gerald S. Leischuck Endowed Professorship for Educational Leadership, which enables the College of Education to recruit and retain educational leadership faculty.
Workshop Promoted Women’s Leadership in Veterinary Medicine and STEM
A one-day Women’s Leadership Development Workshop at the college in October focused on developing leadership skills and highlighting the importance of mentoring for veterinary students, faculty, veterinarians and graduate students.
Veterinary students from Auburn and Tuskegee University attended the workshop, developed by Dr. Marike Visser, a CVM graduate student, with guidance from Julie Kumble, a researcher, writer and board member with the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative; and the late Dr. Don Smith, dean emeritus at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Stacy Pritt, vice president of the AVMA, opened the conference with a keynote lecture, “Leadership: One Size Does Not Fit All.” Three CVM alumni from the class of 2012 moderated the sessions: Drs. Seth Oster, Cheryl Lawson and Melissa Singletary.
The workshop focused on helping veterinary students identify leadership roles and highlighted a challenging subject, the present wage gap, which also has been emphasized by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
“The AVMA has recognized the need to promote women’s leadership with the establishment of the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative (WVLDI), which promotes female veterinarians and veterinary students to become more active in organized veterinary medicine,” Dr. Visser said.
“It is important for women to step up to the plate and take on leadership roles in our profession and the Women’s Leadership Workshop at AUCVM did an amazing job addressing a wide variety of challenges that women face which often test our fortitude to fulfill those roles,” said Dr. Margaret Ferrell ‘09, board member of the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.
During the workshop, students engaged in topics about leadership, the wage gap in veterinary medicine and the importance of diversity in veterinary medicine. Students participated in round- table discussion about mentoring, the perfection complexion and managing their careers with Dr. Ferrell; Dr. Rachel Cezar, president-elect of the WVLDI; and faculty from Auburn and Tuskegee.
The faculty and veterinary tract focused on the importance of mentoring both younger faculty as well as young veterinarians. Dr. Lorrie Gaschen, associate dean for Diversity and Faculty Affairs at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, discussed the importance of mentoring and outlined a structured mentoring program.
Veterinary medicine and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields face similar challenges. Bonnie Wilson, Diversity Initiatives coordinator for Auburn’s Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program, led talks on wage negotiation and achieving success in academia. College faculty, as well as Dr. Melissa Baumann, assistant provost and director of Auburn’s Honors College, led a discussion on establishing mentoring relationships.
The workshop ended with a tribute to Dr. Don Smith. Dr. Lorrie Gaschen said: “Don Smith and Julie Kumble were speakers at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine’s first Women’s Leadership Seminar earlier this year and I had the great opportunity to ask Don a number of questions and pick his brain on the topic. I asked Don if he thought that we would get to a point in time where we could all just be veterinarians, and not have to be labeled as woman, African American, Hispanic, etc. Here is what Don told me: ‘Lorrie, I hope that never happens; this is actually one of the reasons I began promoting women’s leadership in veterinary medicine. Women have something incredible to offer our profession and they should feel proud to say I am a woman veterinarian. A person’s gender, race or culturebrings a unique aspect to our profession which will make it greater. We should be proud of our label and how it makes the veterinary profession stronger through the unique experiences that we have to offer and learn from.’ At the end of our conversation, Don asked me to agree to focus on the things that women provide to the profession and be proud to say that I am a woman veterinarian.”
The workshop was sponsored, in part, by Zoetis, Merial and Royal Canin, as well as Auburn SCAVMA, VBMA, AVESS, Women in Science and Engineering(WISE), the Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory and the Departments of Clinical Sciences and Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology.
Veterinary Outreach Elective Supports Underserved Communities
College of Veterinary Medicine third-year students are learning how their profession can serve the community through a new elective course, Veterinary Service Learning and Outreach, in which they partner with local veterinarians in under-served communities to provide veterinary services and education to pet owners.
The class of 10 students took the first of three outreach trips to Centre, Ala., where they partnered with Dr. Jeremy Deaton in a one-day free veterinary clinic at Kilpatrick Hispanic Church. The students provided free wellness exams, vaccines, spay and neuter certificates, heartworm testing, nail trims and other basic pet care.
“This course is designed to enable future veterinarians to meet the challenges and rewards associated with veterinary healthcare to underserved communities,” said course coordinator Dr. Dawn Boothe, an Alumni professor at Auburn who teaches in the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology.
“The overall goal is to expose future veterinarians to the challenges encountered in the implementation of high-quality veterinary outreach to local and distant underserved communities.”
The clinic served as a resource to the community not only to help animals through basic veterinary care, but also to nurture the community. Activities and games were available to children and families, aiming to connect the community and its people and animals.
“All of the clients I saw were incredibly happy for our help, and I was touched by how one gentleman was so glad that he hugged [another student] and me after we took care of his puppies. It’s difficult to not be changed by experiences like these, and I will remember them for a long time,” said Keshley Allen, a student in the class of 2018.
The clinic was made possible by Dr. Deaton’s partnership with the college and his veterinary clinic in Centre, Cherokee County Pet Clinic, and Deaton Veterinary Services, a mobile veterinary service he operates for both companion animals and livestock.
This year marks the second time this class has been offered, and while it is not required in the curriculum, students benefit from it. “Being a part of this experience helped me realize, even in an underdeveloped community, owners still find compassion in their animals’ medical needs and are very grateful when we come in to help,” said Katharine Kehrt, class of 2018.
The class plans to take two more outreach trips to under- served communities in Alabama.