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2016 Rising Star and Outstanding Alumni

The Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) honored five of its alumni at a dinner held on April 1, 2016 at the Miramont Country Club. The recipients of the 2016 Rising Star Award and the 2016 Outstanding Alumni Awards are all leaders in their communities, and the awards recognize them for their contributions and service.

“We take great pride in recognizing our former students and the impacts of their contributions on our college, our state, our nation, and the world,” said Dr. Eleanor M. Green, the Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine. “Through their ongoing commitments to service, leadership, and education, these incredible veterinarians are outstanding ambassadors not only for the CVM but also for our profession.”

To receive a nomination form and eligibility criteria, please call 979.845.9043 or email Noell Vance at

Casey B. Behravesh, DVM ’05

2016 Rising Star

Dr. Casey B. BehraveshCaptain Casey Barton Behravesh earned her B.S. in biomedical sciences in 1997 and her M.S. in veterinary parasitology in 1999 from Texas A&M University. She went on to earn her doctor of public health (DrPH) degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health in 2005 and her DVM from Texas A&M University that same year.

Currently, Barton Behravesh serves as the director for the One Health Office of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where she provides direction and advice on aspects of public health issues related to zoonotic diseases at the intersection between animals, humans, and the ecosystem. From 2014 to 2015, Barton Behravesh served as the chief of epidemiology activity in the Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, Division of Vector-borne Diseases at the CDC. Her work in both domestic and international One Health projects highlight the critical importance of disease control efforts for human, animal, and environmental health.

From 2006 to 2014, Barton Behravesh worked in the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases (DFWED), where she served as the Deputy Branch Chief of the Outbreak Response and Prevention Branch (ORPB) and as the DFWED coordinator for Enteric Zoonoses and One Health. At DFWED she investigated outbreaks of human illnesses caused by enteric bacteria. In addition, her work with the poultry and pet industries led to the formation of an Enteric Zoonoses Team in the ORPB.
Barton Behravesh has also been recognized for her exemplary service to her country. She was recently one of six CDC commissioned corps officers to be selected for a prestigious Early Proficiency Promotion, promoting her to the rank of captain in the United States Public Health Service in 2015.

Outside of work, Barton Behravesh continues her education through annual conventions and conferences. She presents her research in the United States through numerous presentations and various scholarly articles and books. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Texas A&M and as a mentor to epidemiology students who study at the CDC for internships and externships. In her spare time, Barton Behravesh enjoys spending time with her husband, Essy, and two daughters, Gia, who is 9, and Lila, who is 5. She also helps care for the other members of her family: a dog, a cat, a gerbil, hamsters, rabbits, hermit crabs, and fish.

Jason D. Jennings ’95 MBA

2016 Outstanding Alumnus

Jason D. JenningsJason D. Jennings is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where he earned his B.S. in biomedical sciences. He also holds an M.S. in physical therapy from the University of Texas Medical Branch and an MBA in business administration from the University of Texas at Tyler. He currently serves as the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Baylor Scott & White Health: College Station Region, where he directs the day-to-day operations of two hospitals and nine regional clinics in the area.

Jennings was a critical component in the planning and preparation for the first hospital built by the company in College Station. Baylor Scott & White Health in College Station was a $200 million investment for the community. The new hospital in College Station has a successful open-heart program, an ICU, a neonatal ICU, neurosurgery, cancer care, endoscopy, and specialty services. His hard work and leadership in executing medical strategies in the College Station region is evident in the satisfaction of patients and clients in the community.

Prior to becoming the CEO of Baylor Scott & White in College Station, Jennings was the chief operating officer and senior executive vice president for the Hillcrest Health System and Scott & White Healthcare. He was an operations and quality specialist for Tenet Health System, the director of rehabilitation for Bowie Memorial Hospital, the clinical programs coordinator for Good Shepherd Health System, and a practicing physical and senior therapist. In each of these positions, he has helped to expand the capacity of hospital and clinics, reduce costs, recruit strong employees, and influence the community in which each hospital functioned.

Jennings is committed to giving back to his community. Just a few of his roles include being a member of the executive council for the American Heart Association, a round table member of the Wounded Warrior Program, and a Mobile Meals volunteer.

Additionally, Jennings is a guest lecturer at the Texas A&M University Mays Business School, a board member of the Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce, and a proud member of Grace Bible Church. He enjoys hunting, fishing, and playing soccer as well as spending time with his wife, Jennifer, and daughters, Reagan, who is 13, and Taylor, who is 10.

Duane C. Kraemer, DVM ’66

2016 Outstanding Alumnus

Dr. Duane C. KraemerDr. Duane Carl Kraemer earned his B.S. in animal husbandry from the University of Wisconsin in 1955. Additionally, he went on to earn his M.S. in physiology of reproduction in 1960 and a B.S. in veterinary science in 1965 from Texas A&M University. Kraemer then decided to attend veterinary school while earning a Ph.D. in physiology of reproduction. He graduated with his DVM and Ph.D. in 1966 from Texas A&M University.

Currently, Kraemer is a senior professor in the Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM). He was recruited in 1975 as an associate professor at the CVM, where he continued his work developing methods for the collection and transfer of embryos in a variety of species. Today, he is recognized for his work in developing methods for assisted reproduction in more animal species than any other person in the world. His research has played a critical role in the conservation of many mammalian species, including wild and exotic animals.

A few of the accomplishments of Kraemer, his colleagues, and students at Texas A&M include producing the first horse that was the product of embryo transfer in the United States, being the first to demonstrate the birth of live offspring following embryo transfer in deer, cats, and dogs, and conducting the first embryo transfer in the cattle industry for commercial purposes. Kraemer is also responsible for producing the first cloned cat, CC. The successful cloning of CC was big news in the scientific community and the world in general, garnering many headlines.

In addition to his contributions to reproductive physiology, Kraemer has dedicated himself to selflessly serving students, his college, his university, and many other people and organizations. He even served his country in the army as a commanding officer for the military police in 1958-1959. As a part of devoting his life to teaching and research, Kraemer has served as chair or co-chair for 32 Ph.D. students and 45 M.S. students. In addition, he has served on committees for 88 more graduate students. He is also an author of many publications, abstracts, and book chapters.

Outside of work, Kraemer may be found working with the Lions Club or at home with his wife, Shirley, of 54 years. They have two lovely daughters, Pam and Cyndi. He also enjoys spending time with his favorite pet, CC.

Gary L. Norwood, DVM ’65

2016 Outstanding Alumnus

Dr. Gary L. NorwoodDr. Gary Norwood received his B.S. in animal science in 1964 and his DVM in 1965 from Texas A&M University. His journey to become a successful equine practitioner was both unique and adventurous. After earning his DVM, he joined the thoroughbred racetrack of Dr. Joe Burch based in Miami, Florida and New England. In 1966, Norwood was drafted into the Army Veterinary Corps as a first lieutenant and served in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. He inspected food at the Saigon Portland, held rabies clinics in and around Saigon, and treated livestock in the Montagnard villages located in the central highlands of the country. Norwood was promoted to the rank of captain during his service. After returning to the United States, he continued to work at thoroughbred racetracks.

In 1972, Norwood joined Dr. Tom David, who had established Backstretch Surgery and Medicine, lnc.—a private racetrack practice based in New Orleans and with offices in Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Illinois, and Texas. For over 40 years, Norwood served the equine community and promoted organized veterinary medicine through his private practice. He has encouraged and supported countless young veterinarians with interests in equine medicine. Norwood is also proud of his veterinary assistants, who became involved in the racing industry as trainers and racing officials. He, along with colleague Dr. Peter Haynes, expanded the Louisiana Equine Veterinary Committee’s activities to include a popular fall continuing education program in Shreveport, LA.

Norwood has been an active member of the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association for 35 years, the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) for over 50 years, and the World Equine Veterinary Association (WEVA) for over 15 years. His activities in the AAEP were especially extensive and resulted in his presidency of AAEP in 1998. He was instrumental in the formation of the Texas Equine Veterinary Association in 2008 and served as the organization’s president in 2010. He was also president of WEVA from 2008 to 2009.

Norwood has kept in touch with Texas A&M and the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, returning as a guest speaker for veterinary students. Over the course of his career, the fondest memories Norwood has is of the friends he has made and the horses he has helped. He is now retired from active veterinary practice and resides in McKinney, Texas with his wife Nancy of over 40 years. They have a son, Justin Norwood, a daughter, Kelly Luckett, and two grandchildren, Elizabeth and Emily Luckett.

Robert A. Taylor, DVM ’70

2016 Outstanding Alumnus

Dr. Robert A. TaylorDr. Robert A. Taylor grew up in South Texas and earned a B.S. in animal science in 1968 and the DVM degree with honors in 1970 from Texas A&M University. Following graduation, he served as a captain in the United States Air Force. He earned an M.S in surgery from the Foothills Surgical Laboratory at Colorado State University. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgery and the founding president of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Taylor and his family own and operate Lonetree Ranch in Wyoming. The ranch is certified organic and is considered a national standard for organic cattle ranching. Before owning Longtree Ranch, he established Alameda East Veterinary Hospital in Denver, which he operated for 37 years. Alameda East Veterinary Hospital became the first veterinary hospital to be featured on Animal Planet as part of the TV show, Emergency Vets. The show aired for 10 seasons, had 125 million viewers, and exhibited a real veterinary emergency setting. He was also co-founder of Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology.

For 15 years, Taylor was treasurer of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS). He guided ACVS in the purchase of their national headquarters. As a long-term Denver Zoo Board member, he helped form the Research and Conservation Committee. He represented the zoo on many projects, including population studies on cinereous vultures and argali sheep. He also provided pro bono surgical support to the Denver Zoo. Additionally, he developed the Colorado Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinic replete with a dexascanner, swimming pools, water therapy pools, motion analysis, and force plate equipment.

Taylor has written three books and many chapters for veterinary texts as well as articles for the scientific literature. He has contributed internationally to animal sports injuries and physical therapy. Taylor has worked as a board member with many professional and community organizations. He has been recognized nationally and internationally for his professional work and his community service.

Currently, Taylor strives to be a great steward of the land. He works closely with state and federal entities, universities, and other organizations to improve his land, water, and animals. He works with Trout Unlimited and Wyoming Fish and Game on population studies, animal relocations, and fish habitat in Wyoming. He is also raising his first litter of black Labrador puppies. Taylor and Margueritte, his wife of 38 years, have two children, Marissa and Sam. Taylor also has two daughters from his first marriage, Tegan and Baye.