To recognize outstanding alumni accomplishments, we present two annual awards.
- Outstanding Recent Alumni Award - For alumni who have graduated within the last 10 years.
- Lifetime Achievement Alumni Award - For alumni who graduated more than 10 years ago and have made significant contributions to society throughout their careers.
If you know of a VA-MD graduate who deserves recognition but is not eligible for one of these awards, tell us about them. They may be recognized in a press release, “A Closer Look” feature, our Vital Signs e-newsletter, and our social media feeds.
2018 Alumni Award Winners
Sharon Deem (DVM '88)2018 Lifetime Achievement Alumni Award
Deem, an accomplished clinician, epidemiologist, and wildlife veterinarian, has served as director for the Institute for Conservation Medicine at the Saint Louis Zoo since 2011. Previously, she worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Smithsonian National Zoo. Her career has focused on diseases shared between domestic animals, wildlife, and people, and the impact of environmental change and human interactions on the health of wildlife populations. She has conducted conservation and research projects in over 30 countries, from Argentina to Zimbabwe.
With a One Health perspective as the cornerstone of her career, she has served in a leadership capacity on many national, and international, committees and organizations. Most recently, she held the position of president for the American College of Zoological Medicine. In addition, Deem has received 38 fellowships and grants and authored over 125 referred articles, 25 book chapters, and numerous non-referred papers.
In June of this year, she became a Tedx Talk speaker. In her talk, entitled “The Ties that Bind: One Health,” she shared stories that demonstrated the concept of One Health, which emphasizes the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health, and the need for an interdisciplinary holistic approach to solve the health challenges of today.
Bom Harris (DVM '08)2018 Outstanding Recent Alumni Award
Since graduating with her DVM in 2008, Harris has been practicing in central and eastern Virginia. She opened her own practice, Old Dominion Veterinary Services in Ruther Glen, Virginia, in 2016, and operates as the sole veterinarian. The practice serves primarily beef and dairy cattle, as well as sheep, goats, swine, and camelids in 23 counties in Central and Eastern Virginia with a focus on herd health and preventive care.
Harris is credited with having a positive impact on veterinary students through active participation in the Mentor Program, which is a partnership between the college and the Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia veterinary medical associations. She has also given back to her alma mater through participation in the college's admissions interview process.
Harris is a member of numerous veterinary associations and works closely with the local 4H organization. She has served as president and president-elect for the Virginia Academy of Food Animal Practitioners. She holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Virginia.