Campus News

UGA College of Veterinary Medicine presents Phi Zeta honors to faculty and students

Phi Zeta Honorary Society - 4.8.2011
Phi Zeta Inductees 2011. Front row: Mr. Glenn Caldwell (Honorary Inductee); Dr. Rabindranath de la Fuente; Carolyn Hodo (Class of 2011); Catherine Ray (2012); Amanda Bergren (2012); Jessica Mobley (2012); Olivia Lamberth (2012); Elizabeth Jobe (2012); Dr. Paula Krimer; Mr. Bob Storey (Honorary Inductee). Second row: Dr. Kevin Keel; Dr. Tamas Nagy; Sylvia Ferguson (2011); Koren Moore (2011); Lindsey Hammond Wilkins (2011); Ashley Embly (2011); Charlotte Tate (2011); Andrew Crouch (2011); Dr. Uriel Blas-Machado; Dr. Joerg Mayer; Dr. Francis Milward (back). Back row

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine recognized outstanding faculty and students with honors for excellence in teaching, research and service at its recent annual Phi Zeta Veterinary Honor Society induction ceremony. The keynote speaker for this year’s ceremony was Dr. Frank W. Milward, Merial’s senior director for bio development in North America.

Research awards were presented to Dr. Robert Gogal, Andrew W. Park and Dr. Chad Schmiedt.

Dr. Gogal received the Pfizer Award for Research Excellence for the quantity and quality of the research manuscripts he has produced in the last three years, as well as the service he provides to the scientific community. Since 2008, Dr. Gogal has published 15 peer-reviewed manuscripts, one of which was chosen by the publishing journal as “Manuscript of the Year.” An associate professor in the department of anatomy and radiology, Gogal’s research is focused on developmental immunotoxicology and autoimmunity.

Park received the John M. Bowen Award for Excellence in Research. Much of Park’s work aims to describe observed patterns in animal diseases. Park is an assistant professor in the Odum School of Ecology, with a joint appointment in the department of infectious diseases in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Schmiedt was presented with the Clinical Research Award in recognition of the progress he has made towards understanding the mechanisms of post-transplantation hypertension, a finding that will benefit both animals and people. He is an assistant professor of soft tissue surgery in the department of small animal medicine and surgery.

Drs. Shannon Holmes and David Jimenez, both assistant professors in the department of anatomy and radiology, won the Outstanding Hospital Service Award. The team was recognized for providing a “remarkable level of service … during the present shortfall of faculty” and for implementing new technologies in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s radiology service, such as voice-recognition software that directly transcribes clinical records to the hospital’s electronically-based medical records. Drs. Holmes and Jimenez joined the faculty in fall 2009.

Dr. Murray Hines, who is a professor in the department of pathology and head of the Tifton Veterinary Diagnostic and Investigational Laboratory, received the Charles Dobbins Award for Excellence in Service. He was recognized for strengthening the laboratory’s historically solid relationship with producer groups and veterinarians by maintaining a “customer focused” culture at the TVDIL as well as his involvement and leadership in a number of outreach activities. Dr. Hines organizes continuing education courses for South Georgia veterinarians, and coordinates the Southeastern Veterinary Pathology Conference, one of the most successful and renowned regional veterinary pathology conferences in North America. In addition, Dr. Hines has had research funding as a principal investigator or co-principal investigator during 16 of his 17 years at UGA.

Dr. Sreekumari Rajeev, an assistant professor in the department of infectious diseases based at TVDIL, won the Outstanding Laboratory Service Award. She heads the bacteriology and mycology sections of TVDIL, and her laboratory is the only one in Georgia approved by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory for performing culture of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (the cause of Johne’s disease in ruminants). She has been active in the creation of quality control measures and training tools, and significantly contributed to the writing of TVDIL’s quality manual, which resulted in successful AAVLD accreditation of the laboratory through 2012.

The David Tyler Award for Advances in Teaching was awarded to Dr. Michelle Barton, the Fuller Callaway professor of large animal internal medicine in the department of large animal medicine. Dr. Barton was recognized for being instrumental in implementing the automated response systems in the college’s classrooms and for being a leader in implementing new technologies for instructional use.

The Morrow B. Thompson Award was presented this year to Dr. Shawn Zimmerman, who is a third-year resident in clinical pathology. Sponsored by Dr. Dolores Kunze, the Thompson Award is presented to a senior student or resident who excels in veterinary clinical pathology.
Student Leadership, Service and Outreach Awards were presented to:Wade Edwards and Alan Power, both of the Class of 2014; Jessica Brown Beck, Shaylin Duncan, Alec Davern and Jennifer Trzcinski, all of the Class of 2013; and Sara Cato and Abbie Speas, both from the Class of 2011.

Elizabeth Antley (DVM ’13) received the Outstanding Sophomore Student Award for having the highest cumulative grade point average in the second-year class. As part of her award, Antley will serve as vice president on the Phi Zeta Committee for one year.

New inductees into the Phi Zeta Honorary Society included:Andrew Crouch, Ashley Embly, Sylvia Ferguson, Katherine Fisher, Christine Haisfield, Carolyn Hodo, Salina Locke, Koren Moore, Alison Reed, Charlotte Tate, Caroline Webb, Lindsey Wilkins, Jaime Wilson, all from the Class of 2011; Amanda Bergren, Amanda Brown, Theresa Fike, Jeremy Hansford, Elizabeth Jobe, Olivia Lamberth, Jessica Mobley, Danielle Pollio, Catherine Ray and Caroline Salter, all from the Class of 2012.

Faculty inductees included:Dr. Uriel Blas-Machado an associate professor of pathology for the Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory; Dr. Christina Braun, an assistant professor of anesthesiology; Dr. Rabindranath De La Fuente, an associate professor in the department of physiology and pharmacology; Dr. Stephen Harvey, assistant director of lab animal medicine; Dr. Murray Hines; Dr. M. Kevin Keel, an assistant research scientist for the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study; Dr. Paula Krimer, an assistant professor of pathology for AVDL; Dr. Joerg Mayer, an associate professor of zoological medicine in the department of small animal medicine and surgery; Dr. Tamas Nagy an assistant professor of pathology; Dr. Elizabeth Uhl, an associate professor of pathology; Dr. Moges Woldemskel, an assistant professor of pathology and head of TVDIL’s histopathology section; and Dr. Sonja Zabel, an assistant professor of dermatology in the department of small animal medicine and surgery.

Dr. Kelsey Hart, who recently completed a combined residency/Ph.D. program in large animal internal medicine and physiology, also was inducted into the society; Dr. Hart is now an assistant professor of large animal medicine.

The Phi Zeta Veterinary Honor Society was formally established in 1929 in Detroit, Mich. for the advancement of the veterinary profession, higher educational requirements and high scholarship. Phi Zeta recognizes and promotes scholarship and research in matters pertaining to the welfare and diseases of animals. With 27 chapters of Phi Zeta throughout the United States, the Xi chapter of Phi Zeta was established in at UGA in 1959.

The UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, founded in 1946, is dedicated to training future veterinarians, to conducting research related to animal and human diseases, and to providing veterinary services for animals and their owners. Research efforts are aimed at enhancing the quality of life for animals and people, improving the productivity of poultry and livestock, and preserving a healthy interface between wildlife and people in the environment they share. The college enrolls 102 students each fall out of more than 560 who apply. For more information, see