College announces winners of 2011 Distinguished Awards

By Sarah Carey

Dr. Jim Thompson

A longtime former UF administrator, two young veterinarians with promising careers in private practice and avian health studies, a small animal hospital owner who trains service dogs and a key leader in organized veterinary medicine were selected as 2011 Distinguished Award winners by the UF College of Veterinary Medicine.

Sponsored by the college’s alumni council, the program offers recognition to deserving alumni, faculty and others who have contributed meaningfully to UF and/or to the veterinary profession.

Dr. James P. Thompson received the college’s Alumni Achievement Award. Thompson graduated from the UF veterinary college in 1981 and later also received his Ph.D. at UF, followed by completion of a small animal medicine residency.

Board-certified in small animal internal medicine, oncology and immunology, Thompson was a member of the college’s faculty for several years before becoming an administrator. He served for 10 years as the college’s associate dean for academic affairs, becoming interim dean of the college in 2006. He then became executive associate dean and held that position until leaving UF in 2008 to become dean of the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

Drs. Dana K. Juillerat and Samantha Gibbs received Outstanding Young Alumni awards this year.

Dr. Dana Jullierat

Juillerat graduated from the UF CVM in 2003. He is the owner of Tri-County Animal Hospital and Pet Health Care Center in Ft. Pierce. Juillerat received a Florida Veterinary Medical Association’s Gold Star Award in 2008 and has been honored within his community for his volunteer efforts. He has been active in the St. Lucie County Humane Society and helped to unify preventive medicine programs for K-9 working dogs from various law enforcement agencies in his region. He has chaired the Westwood High School Veterinary Assisting Academy since 2003.

Dr. Samantha Gibbs

Gibbs is a 2001 graduate of the UF CVM. She received her Ph.D. in virology in 2005 from the University of Georgia. Gibbs worked extensively in Indonesia from 2006-2008 as a veterinary epidemiologist, research scientist and duty veterinarian employed by the Australian Animal Health Laboratory. Since 2008, she has worked as an avian disease coordinator and wildlife biologist for the Division of Migratory Bird Management with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, coordinating avian influenza surveillance programs and other avian health efforts.

Moody McCall, D.V.M., owner of San Pablo Animal Hospital in Jacksonville, received the Distinguished Service Award. A past president of the Jacksonville Veterinary Medical Association, McCall is active in the college’s alumni council as well as its admissions committee.

Dr. Moody McCall

He has coordinated class reunions for the Class of ’86 for 25 years, serves on the board of directors for Canine Companions for Independence and has been a “puppy raiser” for three successfully placed service dogs. He volunteers for the Beaches Baptist Hospital’s pet therapy program and coordinates Jacksonville-area puppy raisers for CCI. McCall also provides free veterinary services for more than 15 dogs in the program and teaches weekly obedience classes for service dogs in training for CCI.

Ernest Godfrey, D.V.M., received the Special Service Award. Godfrey is a 1968 graduate of Auburn University’s veterinary college and serves as co-director of the St. Petersburg Animal Emergency Clinic. He is the owner of both the Pinellas Animal Hospital and Seminole Boulevard Animal Hospital. Godfrey has been active in organized veterinary medicine at both state and national levels, and has been a tireless supporter of the UF veterinary college for many years. He has received key awards from many groups, including the FVMA, which honored him with its Distinguished Service Award, in 2001. He also was the FVMA’s Veterinarian of the Year in 1990, its Champion of Veterinary Medicine in 2008 and received the group’s President’s Award in 2010.

Dr. Ernest Godfrey

He has been a leader within FVMA and the American Veterinary Medical Association and has volunteered his time with such groups as Pinellas Animal Partners, the Central Florida Academy of Veterinary Medicine and the Pinellas Animal Foundation.

The awards will be presented May 28 at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts during college commencement exercises.

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