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CVM Honors Four Faculty Members During Retirement Receptions

Posted August 25, 2017



Dr. Mike Willard

The Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) celebrated the long, distinguished careers of four professors who have said “goodbye” to the university after a combined 144 years of service.

The Small Animal Clinical Sciences department bid a fond farewell on Aug. 5 to professor Mike Willard, who retires after 29 years at Texas A&M and more than 37 years in veterinary medicine.

An Aggie alumnus, clinician, clinical teacher—both on the clinic floor and the classroom—and a clinical researcher, Willard focused on clinical gastroenterology, including pathology of the gastrointestinal tract. His contributions to the field also include providing more than 3,200 hours of invited post-graduate education, not including lectures at other universities, as well as contributing to more than 140 published veterinary textbooks and serving as an associate editor of the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine for the past 10 years.

The Department of Veterinary Pathobiology (VTPB) celebrated the contributions of Drs. Thomas Craig, George Stoica, and James Womack during a retirement reception on Aug. 14.

Craig, a professor of VTPB, worked in the CVM for 42 years. An Aggie alumnus, his scholarly interests included the transmission patterns and the control of diseases caused by parasites, and the pharmaceutical susceptibility of parasites, as well as drug-resistant parasites.


Drs. Thomas Craig, George Stoica, and James Womack

Stoica, a professor of VTPB, worked in the CVM for 33 years, during which time he taught in both Israel and Romania, participated in exchanges of scholars, gave international seminar presentations, and served as a reviewer of international journals. His research interests included the mechanisms of retro viral-induced neurodegeneration, the pathogenesis of brain and bone cancer, chemical carcinogens, and animal models for cancers, among many others.

Womack, a distinguished professor of VTPB, worked in the CVM for 40 years, studying comparative mammalian genomics, the evolution of gene families and the genomic variation underlying disease resistance, and the genetic mechanisms in innate immunity.

“In all these years, these professors have made exceptional academic, scientific, and scholarly contributions through their ground-breaking discoveries, solving the grand challenges for which they have received several honors, awards, and accolades,” said Ramesh Vemulapalli, VTPB head.

As importantly, Vemulapalli said, the three have made a tremendous impact on the people around them.

“During their 115 years (of combined service), these professors have touched and transformed the lives of so many students, staff, and other faculty members,” he said. “They have inspired and mentored numerous students. Many of their students have become accomplished scholars, teachers, and leaders in their own right.”

To see more pictures from Dr. Willard’s retirement party, click here, and for more pictures from the retirement reception for Drs. Craig, Stoica, and Womack, click here.

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