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Willard Recognized with Prestigious Bourgelat Award

Posted April 29, 2015

Dr. Michael Willard
Dr. Michael Willard

COLLEGE STATION, Texas –Dr. Michael Willard of the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) earned recognition for his outstanding contributions to the field of small animal practice as a recipient of the prestigious Bourgelat Award. The Bourgelat, given by the British Small Animal Veterinary Association, was first awarded in 1965, and its awardees include some of the most noteworthy names in veterinary medicine.

Willard, currently serving as a professor in the small animal clinical sciences department, joins current and former members of the CVM faculty—Drs. Alice Wolf, Joerg Steiner, and Joe Kornegay—as Bourgelat honorees.

“Dr. Willard has a world-wide reputation as an outstanding teacher and as a leader in clinical research,” said Dr. Sharon Kerwin, professor and interim department head for small animal clinical sciences. “Although he has broad general expertise in small animal internal medicine, he has published and lectured extensively in gastrointestinal (GI) disease and has, in many ways, pioneered the application of small animal endoscopy. He is well known not only within the specialist community, but also broadly through his many continuing education efforts.”

It was at one of his continuing education (CE) lectures that Willard learned of the award.

“I was giving a CE course in Bogor, Indonesia for the European School for Advanced Veterinary Studies,” said Willard. “It was a genuine shock. I had no idea I was even considered for this award. I am really honored that colleagues in Europe have even noticed my work.”

Willard has served on the CVM faculty since 1988 and earned his DVM from Texas A&M in 1975. Kerwin noted having a clinician, educator, and researcher of Dr. Willard’s caliber elevates the entire faculty.

“We are all pushed harder,” Kerwin said, “the bar is higher, and as a result we are able to recruit and retain faculty who share the same goals and purpose: to provide outstanding education for future veterinarians while delivering cutting edge patient care that is driven by evidence-based research.”

Highlights of Willard’s career include working with the World Small Animal Veterinary Association to develop standards for GI endoscopy and histologic interpretation of GI biopsies, and working with Dr. Mike Davis on the GI ulceration in Alaskan sled dogs. However, Willard is quick to point out that he most appreciates the privilege of teaching veterinary students.

“Dr. Willard is exceptional,” said Dr. Eleanor M. Green, the Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine. “He is an exceptional teacher, clinician, and researcher. Not only has he advanced the field of small animal medicine with his work on gastrointestinal disease, but he has also challenged students to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills and has supported veterinarians from around the state of Texas and around the world in the treatment of difficult cases. We are proud of Dr. Willard and this well-deserved recognition of his contributions to veterinary medicine.”


Contact Information: Megan Palsa,, 979-862-4216, 979-421-3121 (cell)

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