A message from our interim dean

Dr. Zimmel

Dr. Dana Zimmel

Greetings all,

For many, the holidays represent an opportunity to reflect on events that have taken place over the past year and the meaning of those events. While we may often feel as if there’s never time to “hit the pause button” in our busy lives, whether we like it or not, the holidays present themselves, year after year, with traditions and memories that can affect us in significant and sometimes unexpected ways.

No matter how we celebrate the holidays, both individually and as part of a larger group — at home and within our CVM family — I think we can all agree that this holiday season will be unlike any other we have experienced. Despite all that 2020 has held, however, with the coronavirus pandemic affecting so many aspects of our lives, we have managed to accomplish things we never thought we would and have met and navigated challenges we never thought we could.

Everything about the way we fulfill our college mission, from how we teach our students, care for our animal patients, conduct research and serve our community, had to change this past year. The new COVID-19 environment has meant being constantly mindful of how best to keep ourselves, our colleagues, our students and our clients safe and has been stressful in ways we certainly couldn’t have imagined a year ago. Staying abreast of the latest developments with the coronavirus and adapting to those developments at home and at work has had a cumulative impact that is more than significant and difficult to assess. Adaptations we have made to accommodate changing safety considerations have affected all of us emotionally as well as physically, in some cases, and have been life changing. Yet as a college made up of many diverse individuals with different roles, perspectives, insights and strengths, we have persevered. I know we will continue to do so in the coming year.

Serving as your interim dean has afforded me the opportunity to see first-hand the ways in which so many of you have come together to keep the college going in the most challenging of times. I am humbled to have been able to witness the sacrifices I know many of you have made and the inspiring ways in which you have helped one another throughout this pandemic.

Some of you have lost family members, friends and colleagues due to COVID-19, and for that reason this holiday season will be unusually painful. I offer my sincere condolences to all of you in our college family who are dealing with personal loss at this time, along with my hope that the coming year will be a better one. As I reflect on the past year, it is with deep gratitude for all of you and pride in all you have done, not just for the college, but for each other. I am confident that we will meet 2021 with hope and optimism, because we are stronger together.

Please take care of yourselves. You are the college’s greatest resource, and I value each of you more than I can say.

Happy holidays!


Dana N. Zimmel
Interim Dean and Professor

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December 2020

Dr. Zimmel

A message from our interim dean

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

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