Vital Signs: December 2017 Vol. 6, Issue 12

A look back at 2017

A message from Interim Dean Gregory Daniel

The Year in Review

Dear friends and colleagues,

In my new role as interim Dean, I have the privilege of sharing with you a few highlights of the many accomplishments of our college community this year. These achievements would not be possible without the collective commitment and efforts of faculty and staff, students, alumni, donors, referring veterinarians, and friends of the college.

  • The college embarked on an exciting initiative to develop a Comparative Oncology Research Center (CORC) on the Virginia Tech Carilion Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke, Virginia. Reflecting the college's commitment to improving animal and human lives, CORC will serve as an innovative model for accelerating the development of diagnostic prodedures and treatments for cancer in pets and people.
  • The college maintained its position as one of the top-ranked colleges in the nation in the number of applications for veterinary program admission. We received more than 1,600 applications for 120 positions available in the Class of 2021 — the second largest applicant pool in North American for the third year in a row.
  • The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approved a resolution to create a new bachelor of science degree program in public health through the college's Department of Population Health Sciences.
  • John Rossmeisl, professor of neurology and neurosurgery, is among the members of an interdisciplinary research team from Virginia Tech and Wake Forest University that received a $9.2 million NIH grant to continue their promising research targeting glioblastoma, the most common and deadliest form of brain cancer in adults.
  • The generosity of the college's alumni and friends and our hospitals’ grateful clients provided critical support this year to fund facility improvements, groundbreaking clinical research, and state-of-the-art equipment, allowing our college to expand knowledge and deliver innovative treatments that improve animal lives.
  • The college and Alumni Society hosted a festive weekend this fall to celebrate reunions for all DVM program milestone classes. We are thankful for the continued engagement and support of our alumni and appreciate the critical role they play in advancing the college and shaping the next generation of students and professionals.
  • The college hosted its third annual VetTRAC Summer Program, which featured a week of tours, lectures, and hands-on experiences for students from underrepresented populations who are interested in veterinary medicine. The program is one of three initiatives developed by the college as part of InclusiveVT, Virginia Tech’s approach to diversity and inclusion.
  • The college community continued taking action to address the issue of student educational debt. This year, the college’s Executive Board approved a new initiative to develop a task force charged with drafting an action plan for addressing this problem and establishing metrics to measure progress. In addition, the college’s chapter of the Student American Veterinary Medical Association organized and sponsored a week-long series of events to address this issue and enhance student financial literacy.
  • The Advisory Board for the college's Public Health Program held its innaugural meeting this fall. We are grateful for the critical role the board will play in guidance, advocacy, and identifying resources to support the program.
  • Virginia Tech Animal Laboratory Services (ViTALS), our full-service veterinary diagnostic laboratory, became the first in Virginia to earn full accreditation through the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians.

We thank the members of our college family for their support and contributions that made 2017 a successful year, and we look forward to working together to build on this success in 2018.

Have a happy holiday and a prosperous New Year!

Dr. Gregory B. Daniel, Interim Dean


Vital Signs is published throughout the year by the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.

  • Interim Dean: Gregory B. Daniel
  • Assistant Dean for Advancement: Alison Wainwright Davitt
  • Managing & Web Editor: Alison Elward
Subscribe to Vital Signs!