A message from our dean

Dr. Dana Zimmel

Dr. Dana Zimmel


This time of year is always exciting, as we find ourselves on the cusp of two key college traditions: the sophomore professional coating ceremony and D.V.M. commencement.

There’s so much to celebrate! For these students, these events are the culmination of years of training — in classrooms, in clinics, in externships that have taken them all over the state, the nation and the world, and in other creative learning opportunities they have taken advantage of through student clubs and other venues.

The coating ceremony marks the sophomore students’ completion of the first two years of veterinary school, and their transition into clinical rotations as juniors. This event will take place May 13 at 2 p.m. at the University of Florida Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Commencement exercises for the Class of 2022 are set for May 28 at 2 p.m., also in the Phillips Center. I hope you will join in congratulating these wonderful achievers you know as classmates, learners and friends.

On April 28-29, UF’s spring commencement will be held at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, during which four of our graduate students will receive M.S. or Ph.D. degrees. We’re so proud of them and wish them all the best in wherever their careers in biomedical science take them.

By early May, we expect to have seated the Class of 2026, consisting of 150 veterinary students with bright futures ahead of them. We were able to expand our class size by 20 students this year in order to better meet the well-documented national demand for veterinarians in the workplace, and I look forward to welcoming these students to UF and the Gator Nation later this summer.

Following a national search, I recently announced the appointment of two associate deans for clinical services, Dr. Michael Mison and Dr. Chris Sanchez, who will jointly oversee operations at the UF Veterinary Hospitals. Dr. Mison will be responsible for our Small Animal Hospital in Gainesville, UF Pet Emergency Treatment Services in Ocala and the veterinary hospital pharmacy. Dr. Sanchez, who has led the UFVH as interim associate dean for clinical services since December 2019, will lead large animal operations, and will be responsible for our Large Animal Hospital in Gainesville, the UF Veterinary Hospital at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala and the UF Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories. The new organizational structure will take place in June. Please join me in congratulating Drs. Mison and Sanchez on their new roles.

I’d also like to thank Dr. Dan Lewis, who lead the search committee for the associate dean positions, and the entire committee for their active participation and engagement.

In other administrative news, we are now conducting a national search for a new executive associate dean for the college, a position held most recently by Dr. Tom Vickroy until his retirement in June 2020. Dr. Julie Moore will be leading the search committee and I will keep everyone posted as we begin narrowing candidates for the interview process.

While each season and cycle of life at UFCVM brings excitement of a different nature, a constant throughout is the bedrock of who and what we are as a college: our people. Thank you for celebrating each other in all of your successes and milestones, and for encouraging growth among your colleagues, your mentors, your students and others you have the ability to impact. We are all “works in progress,” as we aim to achieve our goals and to help the foundation of the college — our key missions of teaching, research, patient care and outreach – remain relevant and strong.

Happy spring!


Dana Zimmel, DVM, DACVIM
Dean and Professor

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March-April 2022

Dr. Dana Zimmel

A message from our dean

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

Dr. Aaron Mickle

Researcher receives award for pain research

Dr. Mickle’s research is aimed at developing treatments for interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome.

Dr. Wendy Mandese

Clinician honored by BSAVA for journal article

Dr. Wendy Mandese received the BSAVA’s Dunkin Award for an article she wrote that appeared in the Journal of Small Animal Practice in 2021.

Dr. Michael Mison and Dr. Chris Sanchez

New associate deans for clinical services appointed

Drs. Michael Mison and Chris Sanchez will jointly oversee clinical operations at the UF Veterinary Hospitals.

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