VMBS Professor, Technician Receive Statewide Awards For Veterinary Medicine Excellence

Story by Abagail Chartier, VMBS Communications

Stephanie Wertman receiving her award on stage
TVMA Immediate Past President Dr. Tamra Walthall and Wertman

Two members of the Texas A&M University School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (VMBS) were among seven recipients honored with awards during the 2023 Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) Annual Conference & Expo.

Stephanie Wertman, a licensed veterinary technician in the Texas A&M Large Animal Teaching Hospital (LATH), and Dr. Murl Bailey, a senior professor in the Department of Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology, were recognized as the Licensed Veterinary Technician of the Year and with the Distinguished Career Achievement Award, respectively.

“The TVMA Awards represent a special moment in the year when colleagues seek to honor their own profession. These awards represent so very many impacted people and animals that have been extraordinarily cared for,” said Troy Alexander, TVMA executive director.

Wertman, who joined the VMBS staff in 2011, has worked within the veterinary medicine field for 35 years, with duties ranging from being an animal care specialist in the U.S. Army to a technician specializing in equine internal medicine at Texas A&M.

Wertman now supervises a team of full-time equine technicians and part-time student assistants in the LATH.

“She is the glue that keeps the team going,” said one of Wertman’s nominators. “I can’t possibly think of a more deserving person for this award.”

As the TVMA’s Licensed Veterinary Technician of the Year, she was recognized for her outstanding professional performance, including distinctive contributions to advancing the standards of technical practice, involvement in community life outside veterinary medicine, education of animal owners about the care and welfare of animals, and contributions to refining techniques.

With the Distinguished Veterinary Career Achievement Award, Bailey was recognized and celebrated for his outstanding achievements attained over his almost 60-year career in veterinary medicine.

Murl Bailey headshot

Bailey’s veterinary medicine career began in the U.S. Army in 1963, when he joined the Veterinary Corps. While with the Veterinary Corps, he became director of the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Natick, Massachusetts, serving in the role from 1968-1970. 

Afterward, Bailey moved into the Army Reserves and took a position teaching veterinary medicine at Texas A&M. Now a senior professor, Bailey has been teaching for the past 53 years.

“(It was) so impactful seeing the large number of veterinarians trained by Dr. Bailey,” said TVMA President Dr. Jodi Long, adding that Bailey received a standing ovation upon being awarded the Distinguished Career Achievement Award. “He is a very influential teacher.”

“His decades of service to Texas A&M students are unequaled,” agreed Dr. Rosemary Lindsey, a veterinarian specializing in canine and feline care in Fort Worth. “He’s a mentor and friend to all.”

The Distinguished Career Achievement Award recognizes a veterinarian for their cumulative record of accomplishments, recognitions, and professional contributions made; continued strong involvement in organized veterinary medicine at the local, state, or national levels; and the degree to which the award nominee has aided in educating or informing the public about veterinary medicine over the course of their career.

Wertman and Bailey received their awards during the TVMA 2023 Awards and Installation Banquet on March 4.


For more information about the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, please visit our website at vetmed.tamu.edu or join us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Contact Information: Jennifer Gauntt, Director of VMBS Communications, Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, jgauntt@cvm.tamu.edu, 979-862-4216

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