The mission of the EFS team is to:
Dr. Scott Pleasant, associate professor of equine field service and equine extension and director of the equine podiatry unit, is a 1980 graduate of Virginia Tech and a member of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine’s charter class of 1984. Pleasant spent the first four years of his career in private practice in eastern Virginia. He then went to the University of Illinois where he completed a three-year large animal surgery residency. He returned to the college in 1991 as an assistant professor and equine field service clinician. Pleasant was appointed the college’s equine Extension specialist in 2005. In this position he participates as a member of the college’s equine field service section, provides equine outreach throughout the state, teaches undergraduate and professional students, and performs clinical research.
Pleasant is board certified in veterinary surgery by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. His clinical and research interests include equine lameness, nutrition and podiatry. In 2005, he received the National Teaching Excellence Award – Clinical Sciences, from the American Veterinary Medical Association. He has authored or co authored over 75 manuscripts, abstracts, and book chapters. He has given more than 100 presentations to professional and lay groups in Virginia as well as other states and internationally. Pleasant resides in Blacksburg, Va. with his wife Kelly. They have two sons, Nash and Troy.
Visit Dr. Pleasant's bio page for more information.
Dr. Dana Cook, clinical assistant professor, graduated from Virginia Tech in 1994 with a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering. She received her DVM from Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. After graduation, she worked for Valley Equine Associates PLLC in Charles Town, WV, until joining the college in 2009. In 2011, she became board certified in the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, Equine Specialty.
Cook has also prepared show horses for competition at the highest level and has participated in fox hunting and trail riding. She is an avid endurance rider who trains, shoes, and competes on her own horses. In addition, she and her horses have thousands of miles of competitive endurance riding experience.
Visit Dr. Cook's bio page for more information.
Dr. Sharon Witonsky, associate professor, graduated from University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in 1993. She completed her internship in large animal medicine and surgery and her residency in large animal internal medicine at the University of Tennessee. While there, she simultaneously completed her Ph.D. and post-doctorate in immunology. She came to Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in July 2000 as an assistant professor in the equine field services group. In 2003, she became board certified in large animal internal medicine by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Her interests include Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM) neurology, neonatology, recurrent airway obstruction (heaves), immunology, and infectious diseases. Her research interests include host-pathogen interactions and she has active research projects on EPM as well as Brucella.
Witonsky is a member of American Association of Equine Practitioners, the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, and the EPM Society. She enjoys playing soccer and running in her spare time.
Visit Dr. Witonsky's bio page for more information.
Dr. Rebecca Funk, clinical assistant professor of equine field service, received her DVM from Oklahoma State University in 2006. She then completed a theriogenology internship at Oklahoma State University. She completed her internal medicine residency and her Master’s degree at Auburn University in 2010. She is board certified in large animal internal medicine by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
Visit Dr. Funk's bio page for more information.
Dr. Amy Santonastaso, Equine Field Service resident, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2011. Since then, she has completed a large animal rotating internship at Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine and practiced as an equine veterinarian in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Amy grew up in New Jersey where she became an avid equestrian and enjoyed caring for and schooling horses of various ages and disciplines. She enjoys all aspects of general equine practice, especially medicine and lameness. She looks forward to providing high quality care for the horses in the area and learning from the veterinary team at Virginia Tech.
Dr. Kathryn Williams, Equine Field Service intern, graduated from North Carolina State University with an undergraduate degree in biochemistry and received her DVM from NC State's College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. She is a Pony Club "B" graduate who has in the past enjoyed eventing, dressage and training young horses. Her special interests include sport horses and integrative medicine in addition to providing general wellness care.
Amanda Radcliffe joined the college in 2006 as the equine field services’ administrative assistant. Her primary duties include scheduling appointments, handling telephone inquiries, and completing billing. Amanda is currently working towards an associate's degree in health care management.
Ashley Snider joined the college in 2010 as the equine field services' administrative assistant. Her primary duties include scheduling appointments, handling telephone inquiries, and completing billing. Ashley is currently working towards a degree in business management.
Ellen Coleman is a 2012 Virginia Tech graduate with a B.S. in biological sciences concentration of molecular biology, and a minor in equine science. Ellen competed with Virginia Tech's Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Western Riding Team in the Open Division. Prior to college, Ellen competed with her appendix quarter horse "Ben" to numerous year-end championships in western pleasure, hunter pleasure, and barrel racing. Ben is currently being leased by Virginia Tech for use by the Western Riding Team. Future horse plans include moving her Arabian "Kamal" to the area as well as competing in Dressage.