2014 Featured Story Archive

Veterinarian offers pet care and house calls at new Pennsylvania clinic
Alumni SpotlightOctober 2014

profile by Melody Asper;
reprinted with permission from The Evening Sun

Dogs and cats are important members of many families, said veterinarian Dr. Robert Ratcliffe (DVM ’01), and his goal is to support his clients’ special relationship with their pets by offering compassionate and quality health care in his new clinic or by house calls. Full story →

First-hand experience with wounded warriors and their canine companions
Student SpotlightOctober 2014

“During my time in veterinary school, I have learned to have a profound respect for the healing power of the human-animal bond. We all understand the beneficial effects of having animals in our lives (otherwise we would not be in the veterinary profession!), and we know how emotionally connected we can be with our pets. I strongly believe in harnessing this healing power for the greater good, particularly with regard to service animals and animal-assisted therapy.” Full story →

Focus on Faculty: Dr. Sherrie Clark
Focus on FacultyOctober 2014

Dr. Sherrie Clark is an associate professor of theriogenology in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences. After finishing a bachelor’s degree in animal science at Virginia Tech, Clark earned her doctor of veterinary medicine degree from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in 1996. She also completed a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in animal science at the University of Illinois in Urbana. Clark is board-certified with the American College of Theriogenologists. Full story →

Ted Smusz, the “voice” of the veterinary college, donates animal art to teaching hospital
News FeatureOctober 2014

If you’ve ever called the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, there’s a good chance you’ve talked to Ted Smusz. As a communications assistant for the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Smusz works with a six-person team that answers more than 500 calls a day to the hospital switchboard. But Smusz, who has spent more than 30 years with the college, is more than just a dedicated employee. He’s also a self-taught digital photographer and editor who recently donated some of his unique animal art to the teaching hospital’s newly renovated examination rooms. Full story →

Dr. Carling Sitterley studies One Health in the “Land of Smiles” for public health practicum
Student SpotlightSeptember 2014

“Traveling over 15,000 miles and visiting both Europe and Asia for the first time, I was both excited and nervous about my five-week journey to Italy and Thailand as part of my Master of Public Health practicum experience. I was excited to see amazing things, taste delicious food, and meet remarkable people. I was nervous about traveling so far by myself to new locations where the predominant language was not my own. Ultimately, this trip would become one of the most enriching, impactful, and humbling experiences of my life.” Full story →

Madison County’s newest large animal vet is
no stranger to the area

Alumni SpotlightSeptember 2014

Profile reprinted with permission from the Madison Eagle

While other little girls were focused on dolls and dresses, Amanda Weakley was focused on animals.

What was once a childhood interest is now a vocation as Dr. Weakley has recently joined Virginia Herd Health Management as a large animal veterinarian. Even before her fifth birthday, Weakley, who was born and raised on a farm in Brightwood, had decided she wanted to be a veterinarian. Full story →

National Cattlemen’s chief veterinarian hails from the college’s charter class
Alumni SpotlightAugust 2014

Dr. Kathy Simmons has worked in an animal hospital, on her family’s West Virginia farm, and on Capitol Hill. For the past two years, she has been a leading voice for animal care and health regulatory issues in her role as chief veterinarian for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).

Simmons is also a proud graduate of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine’s founding Class of 1984. Full story →

Jimmy Shatt, rookie international traveler, looks back on Italy
Student SpotlightJuly 2014

Jimmy Shatt had never been overseas before he signed up for an 18-day study abroad experience in Italy this summer. The second-year veterinary student from Baltimore, Maryland, not only experienced his first international flight, but also had an opportunity to tour Italy’s local veterinary schools, farms, wineries, and art galleries. Full story →

Focus on Faculty: Dr. David Grant
Focus on FacultyJuly 2014

Dr. David Grant is an associate professor of internal medicine in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences. He graduated summa cum laude from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in 1994 and completed a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from the University of Florida in 1999. After joining the college as a small animal internal medicine resident in 2000, Grant was a clinical instructor and assistant professor before holding his current title. He is board-certified with the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Full story →

College Celebrates Class of 2014 Commencement
NEWS FEATUREMay 2014

Ninety-five new doctors of veterinary medicine have finished their professional training at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. The college held a commencement ceremony for the Class of 2014 in the Commonwealth Ballroom of Squires Student Center on Friday, May 16. Full story →

Student spotlight:
Science geek Catharine Cowan does it all (no, really)

Student SpotlightMay 2014

To say that Catharine (Cat) Cowan is an overachiever is a bit of an understatement. The Michigan native is a dual DVM/Ph.D. student, researcher extraordinaire, a Stamps Family Foundation Scholar, an alumna of Tech's Global Perspectives Program, and she completed the Virginia Tech Graduate School Future Professoriate Certificate. Full story →

North Carolina canine officers
have alumna to thank for bulletproof vests

Alumni SpotlightMay 2014

When Dr. Karla Frazier (DVM ’94) saw the news reports about Gorky, a K-9 officer who lost his life in the line of duty, she knew that she had to help.

Back in January, German shepherd Gorky joined Davie County sheriff’s deputies in serving an arrest warrant to a man who first tried to get away and then took hostages. The situation escalated and both Gorky and his handler, Deputy Chris Fleming, were shot. Fleming recovered, but 5-year-old Gorky died from his injuries the next morning. Full story →

Grad Students Showcase their Research
News FeatureApril 2014

Forty-five graduate students at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine participated in the college’s 25th annual Research Symposium on Thursday, March 20, 2014. Full story →

Behind the scenes:
Staff members excel in fast-paced diagnostic laboratory

News FeatureApril 2014

When a 15-year-old Tennessee Walking Horse named Coco came to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital last year, Dr. Katie Wilson knew the answer to her sudden lethargy was just down the hall. The horse’s North Carolina owners brought her in because of suspected bleeding, but Wilson, a clinical assistant professor of large animal medicine in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, suspected that a toxic substance was to blame. Full story →

Sara Waltz reflects on SAVMA Symposium experience
Student SpotlightApril 2014

Sara Waltz, a second-year veterinary student and vice president of the Class of 2016, joined about 20 students from the college for the Student American Veterinary Medical Association Symposium at Colorado State University on March 20-22. Full story →

Keren Rozensher follows the veterinary road less traveled
Focus on FacultyMarch 2014

Keren Rozensher thought she wanted to pursue a typical veterinary career as a small animal practitioner. This brought her to the veterinary college, where Dr. Valerie Ragan, director of the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine, introduced her to the profession’s many opportunities outside of traditional private practice.

“After that moment, I found myself taking an unexpected turn off of the well-defined veterinary path I had once happily followed,” Rozensher wrote in a recent travelogue. “This new path took me on an adventure through France.” Full story →

A Look Back at the first black graduates of VA-MD Vet Med
NEWS FEATURE • February 2014

African-Americans have played an important role in the veterinary profession since the early 1900’s. As Black History Month draws to a close, the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine takes a look back at its first black graduates and at some of the profession’s most influential black veterinarians. Full story →

Outside the box: Dr. John Herrity has success with innovative treatments at Northern Virginia practice
Alumni SpotlightFebruary 2014

Dr. John Herrity, a practice owner at Burke Animal Clinic located 20 miles south of Washington, D.C., has been taking care of pets in Northern Virginia for more than 25 years. In recent years, he had introduced alternative and holistic therapies — such as stem cell treatments and cold laser therapy — into his practice so that his patients have access to the latest advances in veterinary medicine. Full story →

Focus on Faculty: Dr. Tom Cecere
Focus on FacultyFebruary 2014

Dr. Tom Cecere (DVM ’05) is an assistant professor of anatomic pathology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology. He completed a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at Virginia Tech before pursuing his doctor of veterinary medicine degree at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary College. After completing an anatomic pathology residency at North Carolina State University, Cecere earned a doctorate in viral immunology at the veterinary college. He joined the college faculty in 2012 and holds a board certification in anatomic pathology from the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. Full story →

Students experience day of learning at the CDC
News FeatureFebruary 2014

Every two years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) invites veterinary students from across North America to visit their Atlanta headquarters for a one-day conference on veterinary inputs in public health. The 5th biennial “Day at CDC for Veterinary Students” was held on January 27, and 10 students from the veterinary college were selected to attend. Full story →

A Marriage Made in Vet School
Alumni SpotlightFebruary 2014

It’s not an uncommon story at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine: Two classmates meet at the college and leave as engaged sweethearts. That’s exactly what happened to alumni Dr. Bart Kite and Dr. Stacie Crain Katie, who both graduated with the Class of 2007 and now work at the Banfield Hospitals in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, Va., respectively. Full story →

Equine Nurse Amanda Compton: Driven to Succeed
News FeatureJanuary 2014

For veterinary nurse Amanda Compton, 2013 was a year to remember. Not only did she receive numerous academic and career accolades, but she also achieved national success in the sport of competitive carriage driving. Full story →

Focus on Faculty: Dr. Julie Settlage
Focus on FacultyJanuary 2014

Dr. Julie Settlage (DVM ’00) is a clinical assistant professor of large animal surgery in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences. After earning a bachelor’s degree in biology from the College of William and Mary, she pursued her doctor of veterinary medicine degree from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, Settlage completed an equine surgery residency at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va. She worked at veterinary clinics in New Jersey before returning to her alma mater in her current position in 2009. In both 2009 and 2013, the fourth-year classes elected Settlage as their Teacher of the Year. Full story →