A message from our interim dean


Dr. Dana Zimmel

Dr. Dana Zimmel

Greetings all,

As we approach two full months of life in the COVID-19 era, I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on what we’ve all been through together in this period. Yet, how does one condense into a few paragraphs, the weeks of constant change, adaptation to change, modification of old routines into whatever we would define as our “new normal?” I’m not sure I can.

I overheard someone say recently, “This last month has been the longest year in my life.” I could relate to that, and I’m sure many of you can, as well. On one hand, time seemed to stand still, with the pace of life as we experienced it at the college, and in our personal lives, having slowed or even stopped in some areas. The canceling, postponement or online transformation of many traditional college events held at this time of year created a sense of absence, of time hollowed out. And yet, the college has never stopped responding amidst the rapidly changing nature of events and public health forecasts. There was no time to look back, as the events of the moment have needed constant attention from all of us. From that perspective, the past two months have raced by.

The UF Veterinary Hospitals have remained open throughout the pandemic, treating emergent and urgent care cases and going to great lengths to protect staff and clients through the implementation of curbside service for clients and social distancing. Some house officers moved from different services to support the emergency and critical care team, providing a deeper bench of clinical support. Staff and their friends and family members made masks for their coworkers. Faculty from throughout the college were faced with having to move course content entirely online in a timeline of roughly one week. All of our students dealt with the upheaval of being sent home from UF and having to navigate the new reality of classrooms and examinations delivered by Zoom. And yet, they have persevered.

Led by the talented scientists and epidemiologists at UF Health, along with much of the state and the nation, the college and the UF Veterinary Hospitals are beginning the process of carefully and gradually phasing back operations. This next stage will hold its own challenges, but we will meet them, keeping the safety of our faculty, staff, students and clients our top priority every step of the way.

This issue contains several stories relating to the college’s COVID-19 response. These stories represent only a few examples of college life since the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, but offer a sense of what life at UF CVM has been like in this unprecedented period.

Please keep taking care of yourselves. I appreciate you all so very much.


Dr. Dana Zimmel
Professor and Interim Dean
UF College of Veterinary Medicine

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May 2020

Dr. Zimmel

A message from our interim dean

A message from the college’s interim dean, Dr. Dana Zimmel.

Dr. Lejeune and Kenzie

College responds to COVID-19 pandemic

The college and the UF Veterinary Hospitals have responded in a variety of ways during the pandemic.

Johnson anatomy

Transformation of anatomy lab to online format created unprecedented challenges

Twelve anatomy dissection videos, each taking hours to produce, were finished just in time for freshman veterinary students’ final exam.


Congratulations to our spring graduates

We congratulate our new M.S. and Ph.D. recipients for their achievement in a video tribute.

UF CVM sign

Research excellence acknowledged in virtual Phi Zeta Day ceremony

The college’s best research was recognized at a virtual Phi Zeta Day ceremony this year.

Riley and Melonie

UF veterinary student receives AKC scholarship

A third-year UF veterinary student has received the AKC’s 2020-2021 Veterinary Outreach Scholarship.

Dr. Chris Sanchez, Gordy Braund and Dr. Sally DeNotta stand outside Limerock on April 23, 2020.

UF veterinary college faculty thank co-workers, support local businesses by donating lunches

Faculty from the UF Veterinary Hospitals donated lunches to thank staff for keeping the hospitals running and supported local restaurants in the process.

Packed minivan

UF veterinary college’s efforts yield vehicles loaded with protective gear for front-line teams

Carloads of protective gear gathered from UFCVM research labs and a student teaching lab were delivered to UF Health to aid health care workers.

Vice Rounds battlestation

Virtual rounds initiative started at UF provides veterinary students online clinical learning across university lines

A UF-led initiative to offer veterinary students a virtual clinical experience now has participants from multiple universities and private practices.

Dr. Nancy Denslow and Maite de Muletand director of aquatic toxicology at UF, is shown with Maite De Maria Mulet, center, and another of her graduate students in UF's Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory. Denslow worked with Mulet and other graduate students in a class project that evolved into a critical review published recently in a peer-reviewed journal. (File photo)

Critical review: more study needed to assess impact of cancer drugs on aquatic ecosystems

A group of graduate students’ class project in toxicology evolved to become a critical review in a scientific journal.


2020 Superior Accomplishment Award winners named

Five employees of UFCVM received 2020 Superior Accomplishment Awards.

...also in this issue



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