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August 30, 2011

  • You can see it on campus, on the roadways, and throughout Bryan and College Station. The Fall semester has arrived, the summer heat will dissipate soon, and conversations about Texas A&M football expand daily. The fish bowl has been too empty and too quiet, so I couldn't be more excited to see the buzz in the fishbowl and in hallways of the CVM. The student presence makes us whole and reminds us once again why we are here. Welcome back students! We are excited to kick off another year.
  • Kudos go to Associate Dean Rogers, Dr. Dan Posey, and Ms. Yolanda Brinkman for a very successful orientation for our first year DVM students and to the faculty who participated. There were many new, creative ideas and activities added to the program for the class of 2015. In addition to learning what to expect as they enter the veterinary curriculum, our first year students traveled to the Texas A&M Recreation Center and participated in team building activities designed to enrich the orientation experience and their upcoming experiences with classmates. They immersed themselves immediately into life as a veterinary student by visiting the simulation center of the Health Science Center to participate in mock interviews with clients (actors). To help make this transition into the DVM program as smooth as possible, nearly 30 faculty members volunteered their time to the orientation. Our faculty is the best. Their commitment to students is treasured.
  • On the morning of Tuesday, August 16th, our college recognized a new set of staff award winners during the annual celebration of excellence among our staff. This is truly one of my favorite days of the year for a number of reasons. Most importantly, we pause to acknowledge the staff, without which we could not be successful. Congratulations to all who earned awards this year: Lessa Block, VMTH; Dana Cornett, VTPB; Betty Gaston, VMTH; Julie Harris, VMTH; David Kindt, VMTH; Jennie Lamb, CLVM; Lynn Mayton, VMTH; Carin Ponder, VSCS; Rebecca Simmons, VTPP; Vickie Weir, VMTH; and our new Pearl Enfield Staff Leadership Award Winner, Linda Fillip, CLVM. In addition, the emcee, Dr. Kenita Rogers, knows how to draw a crowd. Her creativity, spontaneity, and humor add a special touch to the event (despite being the target of her humor). I'd also like to thank our talented entertainers, Dr. Bert Dodd, James Sessum, RVT, and Amanda Mills, 4th year DVM student. A huge round of applause goes to the awards committee and all others who helped plan this event (kolaches are always a hit). The smoother running the event, the better the planning and the work behind the scenes. So thank you to our 2011 CVM Awards Committee - Carrie Berry, Karen Russell, Corey Wall, Patricia Green, Katherine Scott, Tim St. Martin, Sangeetha Balaji, Chair-elect Debra Turner, and especially our Committee Chair Wanda Hoelscher.
  • Congratulations are extended to Dr. Michael Criscitiello for his selection as a 2011-12 Montague-Center for Teaching Excellence Scholar. Dr. Criscitiello continues the tradition of award-winning faculty here at the CVM that are recognized for excellence in teaching. We are proud of this accomplishment and appreciate his dedication to students. The award will be presented to Dr. Criscitiello at a special luncheon in the fall.
  • As many of you may recall, in preparation for predicted budget reductions by the state legislature, Texas A&M University asked each college to plan their budgets and reductions according to the predicted budget reductions. These funds were to prepare for a similar request from the state, plus to create a "contingency fund" in case the budget cuts were deeper than anticipated. By being proactive, Texas A&M was able to retain most of the contingency money set aside and has developed a plan to reallocate that money to the colleges in support of programs. Proposals have been submitted to the CVM leadership team and are currently under review according to the guidelines set forth by the Office of the Provost. As soon as we have more information as to the dollar amounts and programs selected for support here at the CVM, we will share that information with the college. In addition, if you wish to learn more about the process and upcoming deadlines for future proposals, please see the attached document.
  • Over the past two weeks, the CVM has had the opportunity to play a part in a compelling story. Two pit bulls which had been severely abused and burned were presented by a Good Samaritan, Christie Wuthrich, to the Aggieland Animal Health Center. Dr. Barbara Hannes of Aggieland Animal Health Center recognized that one of them, a young male, would need more extensive care than her clinic could provide, so she contacted the clinicians here at the CVM. Dr. James Barr went to the clinic to do an assessment and recognized the need to transfer the dog to our care here at the VMTH. The puppy, named Vonn (a Viking word for warrior), has required extensive treatment, including surgery to remove dead tissue and to treat his wounds. Vonn is doing well, and while facing a continued uphill battle, he has shown to be a survivor. He has endeared himself to the CVM staff, and his story and that of his dam, has created an outpouring of support from the community. Updates have been posted on our own CVM homepage, and donations from caring individuals have continued to come in to help to offset the cost of Vonn's care. Many thanks to our clinicians, technicians, staff, and students who have worked tirelessly in the last week to give Vonn the best chance at recovery possible. You are all truly amazing!
  • The 2011 Freshman Convocation was held on Sunday, August 28th at 2:30 pm in Reed Arena. This tradition represents the first welcome to new students at Texas A&M. This year's convocation speaker was the CVM's own Dr. Ian Tizard. Dr. Tizard's selection is an honor. His performance was impeccable, as he welcomed these students to our family of scholars and learners . His message of the inextricable link between research and teaching at a major research university, far different from what they had experienced before, was powerful.
  • Fall is a busy time of year for everyone, and the CVM is no exception. On September 12th, we will welcome back former student and Veterinary News Network founder, Dr. Jim Humphries. Dr. Humphries will be giving a media training seminar on Crisis Communication from 8 am to noon in the Mark Francis Room. All faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to attend. The value of lessons learned in this interactive session go far beyond interactions with the media. They advance communications is all facets of life.
  • On September 17th, we will host our inaugural Beat the Hell Outta Cancer 3K/5K run to kick-off the grand opening celebration of our Diagnostic Imaging and Cancer Treatment Center. The run is scheduled to start at 8 am with the ceremony following immediately after at 9 am. Texas A&M University President R. Bowen Loftin will speak at the ceremony. After the ceremony, the center will be open for tours. For more information on the walk, and to find out how you and your pet can put your "Paws to the Pavement", visit the official BTHO Cancer website. The race is open to everyone and their pets, so we encourage you to register and come join the celebration!

Eleanor M. Green, DVM, DACVIM, DABVP
Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine
College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
Texas A&M University
(979) 845-5053