In The Spotlight

From the Dean An Exceptional
Auburn Experience

We strive to create an exceptional Auburn experience in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

For veterinary students, they are surrounded by dedicated faculty who excel as teachers and mentors to prepare them as competent, practice-ready graduates. For graduate students, residents, and interns, they gain the highest level of knowledge and specialized training through one-on-one interaction with faculty experts. When achieved, students are well prepared to excel in their careers.

For faculty and staff, an exceptional Auburn experience is initiated by our institutional commitment to career success by prioritizing their academic work. This includes providing state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, surrounding faculty with skilled personnel and students and maintaining a supportive culture that promotes productivity and career advancement. When achieved, our talented people are promoted through the academic ranks and job families and enjoy productive careers that lead to recognition as experts in their discipline and influencers of the next generation.

Our college’s culture is to achieve harmony between these two perspectives and to produce accomplished and exemplary members of the Auburn family, a sample being featured in this issue.

When you read the article on the Alabama Rural Grant Program, note the exceptional Auburn experience that has unveiled solutions to the shortage of rural food animal veterinarians. In fact, when the aims of a recent USDA grant were achieved, 19 of 20 students (95%) with an initial interest in rural practice joined rural practices after graduation. Steps toward this success included comprehensive knowledge and clinical training, faculty-intensive mentorship in practice management, immersive

summer employment and preceptorships with our successful practice partners. These results indicate that precision in an individual student’s experience — and not necessarily large classes of students — is the key.

Likewise, faculty, staff and students in Auburn’s research laboratories are working purposefully to advance knowledge and create innovations in biomedical science. Discoveries range from predictive models for influenza virus evolution, to the identification of strategies for alleviation of pain, to new therapies for cancer, to new methods to combat rabies virus infection of humans.

We are focused on developing a pipeline of skilled students to enter the workforce, as illustrated by a feature on the college’s very successful Summer Veterinary Intensive Program (VIP). We are also committed to supporting our alumni by providing the most engaging and valuable continuing education available on the market through Annual Conference, the J.T. Vaughan Equine Conference, and the Auburn Veterinary Academy.

Finally, we pay special tribute to the contributions of three exceptional faculty (Dr. Jay M. Humburg, Dr. Ram C. Purohit and Dr. Vitaly Vodyanoy) and two remarkable centenarian Auburn veterinary alumni (Drs. Irven R. “Buddy” Cooper ’44, Dr. Billie Pennings ’58) and Dr. Samuel H. Woods, Jr ’45 who departed over the past year. Like Dean Emeritus J.T. Vaughan, whose clever perspective is remembered in a reprinted 2003 Apocrypha, their influential lives propelled us toward success and continue to inspire us to perpetuate the Auburn experience for those yet to come.

War Eagle!

Dean Johnson's Signature

Dean Calvin Johnson '86

Dean Johnson Dean Johnson

In This Issue