UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine awards faculty and students with Phi Zeta honors

UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine awards faculty and students with Phi Zeta honors

Athens, Ga. – The College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia has awarded exceptional faculty and students with honors for excellence in teaching, research, and service at the annual Phi Zeta Veterinary Honor Society Induction Ceremony on April 18. Zhen Fu, a pathology professor and president of UGA’s Phi Zeta chapter, conducted the ceremony.

“We have such a talented and dedicated group of professionals and students at the College of Veterinary Medicine,” said Paige Carmichael, associate dean for academic affairs. “The Phi Zeta awards are among the most prestigious honors an academic veterinary professional or student can receive from a school or college of veterinary medicine.”

The Phi Zeta Veterinary Honor Society was established in 1929 in Detroit, Mich., for the advancement of the veterinary profession, for higher educational requirements, and for high scholarship. Phi Zeta recognizes and promotes scholarship and research in matters pertaining to the welfare and diseases of animals. There are 27 chapters of Phi Zeta throughout the U.S. The Xi chapter of Phi Zeta was established in 1959 at the University of Georgia.

Faculty recognized for excellence in service to the college included Charles L. Hofacre, Pauline M. Rakich, and Catherine E. Kosarek. Hofacre was awarded the Charles Dobbins Award for Excellence in Service for his work as director of clinical services for the Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center. For her 25 years of committed service to the Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Rakich received the Outstanding Laboratory Service Award. Kosarek, an oncologist in the Small Animal Teaching Hospital, was awarded the Outstanding Hospital Service Award for her compassionate work with clients and colleagues.

Ray M. Kaplan, Michael Yabsley, and Erik Hofmeister were honored for their commitment to research. Kaplan, an associate professor in infectious diseases, received the Pfizer Award for Excellence in Research for his research in parasitology. Yabsley, an assistant professor in the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, received the John M. Bowen Award for Excellence in Animal Research. Hofmeister, an assistant professor in small animal medicine, received the Clinical Research Award.

Typically awarded to a veterinary resident, the Morrow Thompson Award was given to senior veterinary student Heather Sheppard for her exceptional work completed toward her D.V.M. degree she will receive at graduation on May 3.

Student Leadership, Service and Outreach Awards were given to Owen Fink, Dessie Carter, Casey Neary, Vans Randell Kinsey, Shirin Modaresi, Andrew Verdin, David Dawkins, Kate Fisher, and Mason Savage. The Outstanding Sophomore Student Award was presented to Megan Branham.

New inductees into the Phi Zeta Honorary Society included veterinary students Dustin Adams, Stanley Baker, Grace Chan, Lara Collins, Diane Cross, Virginia Hall, Cecily Haught, Mitchell Kaye, Elizabeth Marlow, Jeremiah Moorer, Shelly Olin, Angela Taylor, Sarah Walter, Jena Wickman, Sarah Clay, Mara Holland, Steven Kubiski, Joel Landrum, Katherine Lott, Kelly McCarty, Casey Neary, Amanda Rainey, Andrea Smith, and Jessica Stewart. Graduate student inductees were Julie Webb and Tomislav Jelesijevic.

Two faculty members, Steffen Sum, an instructor in small animal medicine, and Susan Sanchez, an associate professor in infectious diseases, also were inducted into Phi Zeta.

“These awards are a true testament to the depth of knowledge and expertise our college produces, from the classroom to the lab to the teaching hospital,” said Carmichael. “We are fortunate to have these extraordinary individuals at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.”

See www.vet.uga.edu/go/newsphotos for images of Phi Zeta honorees.

Founded in 1946, the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine is dedicated to training future veterinarians, providing services to animal owners and veterinarians, and conducting research to improve the health of animals as well as people. The college has more than 135 faculty members and enrolls 96 students each fall out of more than 500 who apply. Through its hospital and diagnostic laboratories, the college benefits pets and their owners, food-producing animals, and wildlife, as well as safeguarding public health through disease surveillance. Research conducted at the college improves the health and quality of life for companion animals and improves the productivity and health of poultry and livestock.