The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine held an awards reception for faculty who have excelled in outreach, teaching, the advancement of veterinary medicine, innovation, and entrepreneurial thinking.

The college is committed to protecting and enhancing animal, human, and environmental health and welfare through the education of professional, postgraduate, and undergraduate students, and this would not be possible without the excellence shown by faculty.

The faculty awards ceremony was established to formally thank faculty in person and to be an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the past year. Since COVID-19 affected the ability to celebrate in-person the awards in previous years, the event covered both 2020 and 2021 for some awards.

The faculty and awards recognized were:

College Award for Outreach Excellence

Kevin Lahmers, clinical associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, was awarded the College Award for Outreach Excellence.

The award recognizes the importance of relationships that enhance the economic and social well-being of individuals, families, businesses, and communities around Virginia and also enrich and strengthen the university's discovery, learning, and engagement missions.

This award acknowledges the considerable time and effort Lahmers puts into educating the different groups about the discovery of the Asian longhorned tick in the United States.

Dr. Edward E. Thompson Professorial Award

This award is for a faculty who has made significant, creative contributions to the advancement of veterinary medicine as demonstrated by a body of scholarship in one or more areas of reputational excellence.

The 2020-21 award went to Kurt Zimmerman, professor of pathology and informatics in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology.  

Zimmerman's 31-year veterinary career is an exemplary demonstration of professionalism and humanitarianism. He has served as a faculty member at Virginia Tech for 18 years and has helped launch the health-related career of many students through his advising efforts, including 15 pathology residents, nine master's degeree and eight Ph.D. students.

Gregory B. Daniel, professor of radiology in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, was awarded for 2021-22.

Daniel is ideally suited for this award as his life has embodied the high standards of professionalism and humanitarian values of Edward E. Thompson. Daniel has made unique and significant contributions to the area of veterinary nuclear medicine  with outstanding advancements in veterinary radiology, leading to his global reputation as an expert. He is the epitome of the ethical, professional, and dedicated clinician-scientist as well as enthusiastic and dedicated to providing the highest standard of care to all his patients in radiology.

Grant Turnwald Innovation Award

Grant Turnwald, past dean of professional programs, graciously established the Grant Turnwald Innovation Award. The fund was created to inspire change within the culture of the college and to recognize innovation, entrepreneurial thinking, actions, and effectiveness.

Lijuan Yuan, professor of virology and immunology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, was awarded the Grant Turnwald Innovation Award for 2020-21.

Her presence in the college has fostered innovative and multidisciplinary unities that have profoundly impacted the college's culture and global recognition. Since her initial appointment as an assistant professor in 2007, Yuan has become a world-renowned expert in human-centric diseases, spanning many research fields, including viral pathogenesis, immunity, prophylactics, therapeutics, vaccines, and pre/probiotics.

Michael T. Nappier, clinical associate professor of community practice in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, was awarded the 2021-22 Grant Turnwald Innovation Award for his innovative way of developing virtual-reality animal programs and incorporating them into the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) curriculum. His creative ideas led to the development of a large virtual-reality dog for teaching skeletal anatomy, major organ anatomy, and physical examination.

Certificates of Teaching Excellence

Certificates of Teaching Excellence are awarded annually by the university to 21 Virginia Tech faculty members, selected by the individual colleges and proportionate to the number of instructional faculty positions allotted to each college. The veterinary college can award two Certificates of Teaching Excellence each year. Teaching excellence is recognized through evidence of effective student learning, exemplary curriculum design, professional development, and impact beyond Virginia Tech.

Fawzy Elnady, associate professor of anatomy and embryology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, and Jennifer Davis '94, DVM '98, associate professor of clinical pharmacology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, were awarded a Certificate of Teaching Excellence for 2020-21.

The award recognizes Elnady's development of new innovative teaching and training alternative preserved models, production of exotic species and wild animal anatomical models, development of multimedia educational software, layered anatomical charts, and virtual-reality models.

This award also recognizes Davis' research into pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and population modeling and her work on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, analgesics, and the judicious use of antimicrobial drugs in veterinary medicine. She also investigates adverse drug effects, diagnosis, prevention, and pharmacokinetic drug-drug interactions.

Virginia Buechner-Maxwell, professor of large animal internal medicine in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, and Thomas E. Cecere, associate professor of anatomic pathology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, were each awarded a Certificate of Teaching Excellence for 2021-22.

Maxwell has been a faculty member in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences for over 25 years and a vital contributor to the delivery of equine education in the DVM and graduate student curriculum.

Cecere is one of the college's most engaged faculty in teaching. He was previously awarded the Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award and named Instructor of the Year and Mentor of the Year. He has been selected by the graduating DVM class as a commencement speaker. 


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