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Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Honors Outstanding Alumni

Posted April 16, 2015

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) honored six of its alumni at a dinner held on April 10, 2015 at the Miramont Country Club. The recipients of the 2015 Rising Star Award and the 2015 Outstanding Alumni Awards are all leaders in the veterinary profession, and the awards recognize them for their contributions and service.

“Recognizing our former students and the impact of their contributions on our college, our state, our nation, and the world is an honor and privilege,” said Dr. Eleanor M. Green, the Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine. “These incredible veterinarians are outstanding ambassadors for the CVM and our profession. We are proud of their ongoing commitments to serve, lead, and educate.”

Rising Star Award Recipient

Dr. Nancy TurnerDr. Nancy Turner, of Dallas, Texas, graduated with her B.S. in 2002 and her DVM in 2007 from Texas A&M University. She has already accomplished a great deal in the veterinary profession during her relatively short career. During professional school, Turner served as the student representative to the Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) board of directors. Turner has worked for seven years in small animal medicine and surgery at various practices in Dallas, such as Love Field Pet Hospital and Bent Tree Animal Hospital. She has also worked in relief and emergency veterinary practices since 2010.

Turner is still an active member of the TVMA, where she has served as a committee member on the Governmental Relations Committee, Animal Welfare Committee, and Student/Recent Graduate Committee. In 2009, she became the Dallas County district director. She also previously served on the Council on Veterinary Service for the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Turner was awarded both the Recent Graduate of the Year in 2011 and the President’s Award in 2013 from the TVMA.

She is also an author. Her article “German Shorthairs: How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend” was published as part of 101 Publishing: Pet Series for Demand Media.

Outstanding Alumni Award Recipients

Dr. Buddy Faries Jr.Floron C. "Buddy" Faries Jr. graduated from Texas A&M with a B.S. in veterinary science in 1964, and earned his DVM from Texas A&M in 1965. He obtained his certificate in acarology from The Ohio State University in 1967, and an M.S. in veterinary parasitology from Oklahoma State University in 1968.

Faries has spent 50 years as a practicing veterinarian and educator. With a special focus in beef cattle production and horse health management, public health, and foreign animal and zoonotic disease defense, Faries' research, experience, influence, and contributions have been varied and widespread. From risk assessment and animal emergency management procedures to controlling parasites in livestock and preventing the spread of infectious diseases of economic and public health significance, his expertise and advice have set a standard in care and management of livestock herds.

Faries has been involved in and received recognition from many agricultural agencies and associations, including Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas 4-H, Texas and National Future Farmers of America, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and the Independent Cattlemen's Association. Through his membership and association with these varied groups, he has been influential in promoting food safety through preventing drug and pesticide residue in livestock production.

Dr. James L. ForgasonDr. James L. Forgason earned his DVM with honors from Texas A&M University in 1957, serving as the president of the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association during his fourth year. He holds membership in both the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA). After his graduation from the CVM, Forgason served as staff veterinarian at Winrock Farm, Governor Winthrop Rockefeller’s Santa Gertrudis cattle farm in Arkansas.

In 1963, Forgason was called home to manage the family division of J.D. Hudgins, Inc., founded by his great-grandfather, J.D. Hudgins, in 1908. Having returned to Texas, Forgason joined Dr. R.O. Berry at the Wortham Research Laboratory to study reproduction in Santa Gertrudis, a breed developed by the King Ranch beginning in 1929 by crossing 500 Hudgins Brahman bulls with Shorthorn cows.

Along with Berry, Forgason helped persuade the Texas Legislature to establish the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory. Forgason served as secretary of J.D. Hudgins, Inc. for 23 years and president for 19 years, promoting the sale of Hudgins Brahman cattle and sharing his knowledge of cattle fertility and health around the world.

Dr. Charles R. PipesDr. Charles R. Pipes entered Texas A&M in 1972 as a proud member of the Corps of Cadets and a pre-veterinary student and earned his DVM in 1978. After working for South Oak Cliff Animal Hospital in Dallas, Charlie and his wife, Carolyn, along with Charlie’s parents, opened Country Brook Animal Hospital in Garland, Texas, in 1987.

Since 1978, Pipes has been a continuous member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA), and the Dallas County Veterinary Medical Association. Pipes has Lifetime Member status with the TVMA. He is a 29-year diplomate, American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. Having served on several TVMA committees during the last 33 years, his favorite committee has been the Historical Committee and its dedicated efforts towards the Mark Francis Museum of Veterinary History and the Texas Veterinary Heritage Practice Program.

Pipes was nominated twice for TVMA’s Companion Animal Practitioner Award. He received the TVMA President’s Award in 2009, the TVMA Distinguished Career Achievement Award in 2014, and he is a Mark Francis Fellow.

In addition to being consistent financial supporters of TVMA and the A&M Foundation, Pipes and his wife established the Carolyn and Dr. Charles Pipes ’78 Endowment in Veterinary Medicine in 2013. They are also committed to the Small Animal Hospital Construction Fund.

Dr. Sharon J. SpierDr. Sharon J. Spier graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in 1981 and a DVM in 1983, after which she attended a large animal residency at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), where she earned her certification from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and completed her Ph.D. in comparative pathology in 1989. Spier was hired afterwards as a faculty member, eventually attaining the rank of professor in UC Davis’s Department of Medicine and Epidemiology.

Spier's special focus on equine medicine has led to a variety of leadership roles as a researcher, teacher, and clinician. She was appointed as an Emergency Treating Veterinarian for 5 Olympic games (1988-2008) and multiple World Equestrian Games and is active in a number of equine groups. Her extensive research, knowledge, and experience have led to worldwide speaking engagements and ongoing contributions to many research publications.

One of Spier's most important contributions to the field of equine medicine was her role in the research of hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP) in Quarter Horses, and her subsequent role in the development of a genetic test for identifying horses that carry this potentially fatal gene mutation. Her collaborations and unique combination of focus, training, and experience as a veterinary internal medicine specialist enabled her to shed new light on the diagnosis, manifestation, progression, and management of this devastating disease. She was awarded the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Excellence in Equine Research Award for her contribution in this area..

Dr. Jim WardDr. James Edward (Jim) Ward Jr. graduated with his DVM from Texas A&M University in 1965. After graduation, he joined Dr. Buddy Smith at Bayshore Animal Hospital in Pasadena, Texas. In 1975, Ward and his brother, Mike, opened Ward Animal Hospital, in Nacogdoches, Texas, with Jim concentrating on equine reproduction. He practiced there until 1993 and now serves as a consultant. Ward also serves as a consultant and in a management role at Center Ranch and Center Veterinary & Reproductive Services in Centerville, Texas. In addition, Ward has owned and managed two commercial horse farms: Rio Medina Ranch in San Antonio and Pineywoods Stallion Station in Nacogdoches.

Since 2000, Ward has been the Equine Management Consultant for Cargill, Inc., and a member of the national product development team and the Cargill Equine Enterprise Team. Through his career and his studies at Rio Medina Ranch and other ranches, Ward observed the devastation of colic on horses.  This led him to develop the premium horse feed, SafeChoiceTM, which earned him the Innovation Award from Cargill’s Southwest District in 2004.

Ward served as a director of the Texas Thoroughbred Association from 1998 through 2006, was Member of the Year in 2000 and president in 2001-2002. He served as a board member for The Breeders’ Cup Limited in 2001-2002. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the Texas Veterinary Medical Association, and the Texas Equine Veterinary Association.

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Contact Information: Megan Palsa, mpalsa@cvm.tamu.edu, 979-862-4216, 979-421-3121 (cell)

Angela G. Clendenin, aclendenin@cvm.tamu.edu, 979-862-2675, 979-739-5718 (cell)



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