The Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) recognized five alumni for their commitment, service, and leadership in the veterinary and biomedical sciences fields, as well as to their communities.
The annual Outstanding Alumni reception and dinner, held on April 27 at Bryan’s Miramont Country Club, honored 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award winners Dr. L. Garry Adams, Dr. Claire Buchanan Andreasen, Dr. Scott Echols, and Dr. Robert Clay Stubbs, as well as Rising Star Award winner Dr. Mary Anne Wegenhoft White.
“These alumni are ambassadors for the CVM, and we are proud of their commitment to service, education, and leadership,” said Dr. Eleanor M. Green, the Carl B. King dean of veterinary medicine. “We are honored and privileged to recognize our former students and the impact of their work on our college, our state, our nation, and the world.”
Dr. L. Garry Adams ’64
Dr. Garry Adams’ career has centered around Texas A&M, but the implications of his work have been felt around the world.
A senior professor in the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences’ Department of Veterinary Pathobiology (VTPB) and a faculty fellow at Texas AgriLife Research, Adams earned his bachelor’s and DVM degrees at Texas A&M before completing a National Institutes of Health post-doctoral fellowship at the CVM while he obtained his Ph.D. in anatomic pathology.
Joining the Texas A&M faculty in 1968, Adams has devoted his career to researching animal diseases from the molecular and genetic perspective, with an emphasis on diagnostics and the immunological response. His work has led to more than 260 authored or co-authored original scientific publications in refereed journals on infectious diseases such as salmonellosis, brucellosis, Johne’s Disease, Rift Valley Fever, and African Swine Fever.
His research also has led him to Colombia, where he directed Rockefeller Foundation- and United States Agency for International Development-sponsored teams in working to develop diagnostic assays and vaccines for anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and trypanosomiasis.
His research teams’ results have been implemented to improve the scientific basis of the two largest U.S. animal health regulatory problems—brucellosis and tuberculosis—and he has been very active in leading the development and implementation of biodefense and emerging disease research initiatives.
“Garry is a kind-hearted, easy-going, unpretentious gentleman whose unassuming demeanor belies his 60-plus page curriculum vitae. He has done research in Mexico, South America, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom, but managed to find his way home to College Station and TAMU,” one nominator said.
“He epitomizes what is best about the veterinary profession,” the nominator continued. “His efforts in the research laboratory allow those of us in practice to better prevent and treat disease when those preventative measures were not used. This is no small contribution.”
A devoted servant-leader to his family, church, community, and the veterinary profession, Adams’ passion for research has led him to offer his expertise on national research committees and councils, as well as in training students, serving as a committee advisor for more than 130 Texas A&M graduate and Ph.D. students.
“Dr. Adams’ positive and unselfish personal attributes continue to have a lasting impact on all who have had the privilege to know and work with him,” another nominator said. “Garry is a wonderful example of what a veterinarian should be and what makes veterinary medicine such a noble profession.”
A Diplomate of the American College Veterinary Pathologists (Anatomic), Adams has been recognized with a variety accolades from Texas A&M, the NIH, the USDA, the Academia Veterinaria Mexicana, and the United Kingdom’s Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. He was recently honored with the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Lifetime Excellence in Research Award and its AVMA award, the highest bestowed upon a member.
Adams and his wife, Gerry Jane, have been married since 1965; they have two children, Alison Paige, an Aggie veterinarian, and Thaddeus Hunter, who earned his Ph.D. in nutrition from Texas A&M.
Dr. Claire Buchanan Andreasen ’82
Throughout Dr. Claire Buchanan Andreasen’s meteoric career in academia, she has made a tremendous impact on the veterinary profession.
A Texas A&M graduate with two bachelor’s degrees and a DVM, Andreasen practiced veterinary medicine for three years before returning to school, this time at the University of Georgia, to complete her pathology residency and Ph.D. In 1994, she became board certified as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists.
Andreasen’s journey to her current position as a professor and director of One Health at the Iowa State University (ISU) College of Veterinary Medicine started at Oregon State University, where she was a faculty member. In 1996, she joined ISU, and over the course of 20 years, she served in positions advocating for faculty advancement and diversity, as a department chair, and as associate dean for academic and student affairs.
During her time as an administrator, Andreasen continued to focus on research, publishing numerous articles, abstracts, and book chapters on comparative cell function in infectious disease and emerging and zoonotic disease education.
“In her current role, she serves and supports ISU’s One Health program as they work to achieve optimal health for humans, animals, and the environment across multiple disciplines,” a nominator said. “Dr. Andreasen’s unique background in food security and public health, along with her expertise in pathology, make her the ideal director for this important program, as we, as a global community, work to combat zoonotic and infectious diseases, as well as safe animal-sourced food products.”
Her work also has allowed her to improve the intersections of animal and human health through collaborations with the ISU CVM’s Center for Food Security and Public Health, the Kansas State Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases, and the Texas A&M Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases, with funding from the Department of Homeland Security and the USDA in the areas of emerging and transboundary animal disease education, pathology, and secure food continuity during disease outbreaks.
“Dr. Andreasen is making a tremendous impact in the critical areas of disease prevention and the maintenance of secure and safe animal food products,” another nominator said. “She has impressed upon her colleagues the importance of animal health and the important role of veterinarians to the international animal community through her leadership roles in veterinary medicine, research, and development.”
A former president of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology, Andreasen has been recognized with the SmithKline Beecham (Pfizer) Award for Research Excellence, the Student Chapter of the American Medical Association’s Clinical Science Teaching Award, and ISU’s Foundation Outstanding Achievement Award in Developmental Leadership.
“Dr. Andreasen is inspirational, inclusive, nationally recognized, and a leader in pathology and education within the profession,” a nominator said. “She is a wonderful mentor, role model, and colleague.”
Dr. Scott Echols ’95
Dr. Scott Echols’ innovative approach to imaging has professionals in both veterinary and human medicine taking a second look at what is known about the body.
A 1993 and 1995 Texas A&M graduate, Echols’ passion for avian medicine took flight as an associate at a private practice in Oakley, California, where he completed a residency and was certified as a diplomate in avian practice.
The evolution of that passion has led Echols to open a number of businesses, including an avian mobile service that provides phone and email consultation and traveling surgical services in the U.S. and abroad, and Avian Studios, which provides video production services to create educational media in Salt Lake City, Utah.
But it is his latest venture—the product he developed as founder, CEO, and president of Scarlet Imaging—that is revolutionizing thoughts on imaging in both human and veterinary medicine, as well as in the anatomy of all species.
That product, BriteVu®, is an easy-to-use, high radiodensity intravascular contrast agent that penetrates to the capillary level. Better still, BriteVu® is non-toxic and environmentally friendly.
Echols also is working on several other projects, including one that is pressing the veterinary profession to better understand and utilize advanced imaging like CT and MRI; another includes developing new techniques for nerve staining that will allow for a better understanding of nerve and brain injuries; and yet another to develop a means to measure bone density through a radiograph, which is critically needed in human and animal medicine.
To be forward-thinking isn’t enough for Echols; over the years, he has developed a strong desire to share his passion for the veterinary profession via collaboration and volunteering his services, all to improve the care of veterinary patients.
An internationally known speaker, he has been invited to Australia, Europe, South America and Asia to speak on avian medicine and imaging technology, and Echols is currently collaborating with numerous universities and entities across the globe, including NASA and the U.S. military, to share his expertise, products, and services.
His latest research is the Grey Parrot Anatomy Project, a collaboration between the University of Utah’s departments of bioengineering, biology, and its Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute, along with more than 20 other institutions around the world.
“A singular, distinguishing feature of Dr. Echols’ career, and contributions to our profession and the scientific world as a whole, has been his selflessness, honesty, and openness to collaboration,” a nominator said. “These characteristics are special, unique, and embody the goodness of what I hope we all can aspire to as professionals, scientists, and health care professionals.”
Among his accolades, Echols has been honored with the TJ Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year Award, the Texas Veterinary Medical Association’s 2007 Non-Traditional Species Practitioner of the Year award, and last year, he was a finalist for the prestigious international Wellcome Images Award 2017, which recognizes images that communicate significant aspects of healthcare and biomedical science.
When he’s not working, his interests include playing guitar, artwork, and just about any outdoor activity.
Dr. Robert Clay Stubbs ’65 (Posthumous)
It is said that necessity is the mother of invention.
It was both necessity and a determination to improve equine dentistry that led Dr. Robert Clay Stubbs to create tools and techniques that would revolutionize his field.
Stubbs attended Tarleton State University before transferring to Texas A&M.
After graduating in 1965, Stubbs served for four years in the United States Air Force and then began what would become a lifelong career as a veterinarian. He worked in Austin and Coleman, Texas, before building his first private practice in Burnet and, later, practices in Blanco and Johnson City, where he and his family settled.
At age 50, Stubbs followed his dream to establish a mobile equine practice; to do so, he had to tackle the obstacle of taking a one-man operation on the road. His first invention—a stock trailer that would allow him to travel to his patients—was followed by many others, including six U.S. patents for equine dental tools that are now used by veterinarians across the country.
“Years ago, when equine dentistry was the stepchild of veterinary medicine, Dr. Stubbs was looking for a ‘better way’ to bring dentistry from the back of the barn, where a strong back and a weak mind were considered the equine dental professional trademark,” one nominator said. “Clay, through trial and error, patience, and common sense invented a dental system that today is considered to be unmatched in the industry.”
In addition to pioneering modern equine dental procedures and selling more than 65 of the mobile and stationary equine stocks he created, Stubbs’ contribution to the equine medical field includes creating a protocol for the safe sedation and reversal of an equine patient, performing USDA-approved clinical vaccine studies for six years, and giving many educational presentations and live demonstrations to both horse trainers and owners.
Highlighting his dedication to the profession, Stubbs also taught his theory and the use of dental equipment and techniques to veterinarians across the country and was well-respected by his clients all over the state.
His expertise led him to testify before the Texas Legislature on equine dentistry issues, and in 2010, he was named Equine Practitioner of the Year by the Texas Veterinary Medical Association.
“What he has done for equine dentistry is truly remarkable. He really changed equine dentistry with the instruments and the methodology he has created,” said another nominator. “He certainly has made the lives of horses better through his own work and the work of many who have followed his methods.”
Stubbs passed away on Nov. 25, 2016, at the age of 74. He is survived by his wife Linette; his daughter, Jacqueline Dana Lewis; his son, Evan; and five grandchildren.
Outside of his veterinary work, he loved spending time with his family and friends, being outdoors, creating bronze sculptures of western art, dancing, writing poetry, building things in his shop, and he always enjoyed a good laugh or a funny story.
Rising Star Award
Dr. Mary Anne Wegenhoft White ’09
When Dr. Mary Anne Wegenhoft White joined the Texas Veterinary Medical Association as the class of 2009’s representative during her first year as a veterinary student, it was the beginning of what would become a more than 10-year commitment to service that would span beyond the TVMA and into her community.
White’s remarkable service to the TVMA during her student years, including two additional terms as a student delegate, led her to develop a stellar reputation within the organization for her ability to handle the complexities of TVMA governance, her passion for assisting staff with events, and her ability to handle issues facing the TVMA.
Following her graduation in 2009, White accepted a position at private practice in San Angelo, where she now serves as the managing veterinarian. She also serves as a rotating emergency medicine veterinarian with the Concho Valley Veterinary Emergency Association.
“It didn’t take long for Dr. White’s reputation to grow as an excellent practitioner and community leader,” a nominator said. “Dr. White has a great passion and compassion for the care of her feline patients. She is currently on the quest to establish her clinic as an American Association of Feline Practitioners-recognized Cat Friendly Practice. This is not an easy task, to train all technicians and veterinarians in cat-friendly restraint techniques. It takes a very determined individual to accomplish this feat.”
Her professional endeavors, however, have not slowed her commitment to service, both within the TVMA—where she has played an integral role in the organization’s Strategic Planning Committee, on the board of directors as a Permian Basin District representative, and on its membership committee, which she chaired for three years—and in her community—where she has served as secretary for the Sierra Vista United Methodist Church Board of Trustees and as a member of the church’s 2017 Visioning Team, as well as chairing two subcommittees as a member of the City of San Angelo’s Animal Shelter Advisory Committee.
“Dr. White has only been a practitioner for eight and a half years and her level of service has been extraordinary for a young practitioner,” the nominator said. “While out of veterinary school for less than five years, TVMA was comfortable handing her one of its biggest challenges—and Dr. White has been more than up for the test. Her career accomplishments will serve as a beckon for younger practitioners and guide them on their path toward leadership.”
Her selflessness, humility, and thoughtfulness have earned her many accolades, including the Buck Weirus Spirit Award, presented by Texas A&M’s Association of Former Students; the Gamma Sigma Delta Outstanding Graduating Senior Award for Animal Science; and the Memorial Student Center Harold W. Gaines Award for Distinguished Service.
“She is also one of the brightest individuals that I know,” another nominator said. “To me, Dr. White is more a constant star, giving guidance quietly but consistently. Dr. White is not a star that will rise, burnout, and fade. Because of her deep personal convictions, strength of character, and desire to constantly improve and grow, she is someone who will continue to build up those around her and lead our profession and her community.”
To view photos from the event, visit: tx.ag/2018OARSPhotos.
Contact Information: Megan Palsa, Executive Director of Communications, Media & Public Relations, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Science; firstname.lastname@example.org; 979-862-4216; 979-421-3121 (cell)