A message from the dean

Dr. Zimmel

Dr. Dana Zimmel


In the thick of the fall semester, our plate is quite full here at the college … and in such a good way! Between special events and recurring ones, we find ourselves learning more about each other and our colleagues, both within the college and outside of it.

Several of our research scientists were honored Oct. 18, along with other scientists campuswide at an event billed as “Standing InnOvation,” sponsored by UF Innovate’s Tech Licensing group. The event was an occasion to celebrate faculty members who have licensed, disclosed or optioned a form of technology during the prior fiscal year. In addition to several of our faculty members being recognized in that capacity, others shared their research at display tables and presentations. It was a special event, and our participation, along with others’, was highlighted in a story featured in the Gainesville Sun.

Our annual Career Day, a career fair-styled event at which a variety of prospective employers visit the college to speak to our students about career opportunities, was held Oct. 19 and was a huge success. We had 245 students attend this event, with 148 of them participating in resume reviews, mock interviews and lunch panels in the morning, followed by the career fair in the afternoon. Seventy-nine potential employers, including privately owned, corporations, nonprofits and government agencies, came from all over Florida as well as out of state to participate in the event.

It was deeply gratifying to witness the high level of student engagement and to hear the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received from employers who attended. Special thanks to Rachel Koepsel, our career services director, for her efforts in coordinating Career Day and to her fellow staff members in the Office for Academic and Student Affairs for their support and help.

From Oct. 18-21, we had the huge honor of hosting the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges’ Primary Care Veterinary Educators’ Symposium at our college. This group is focused on helping improve instructional practices in veterinary medical clinical education and convenes each year to explore and share best practices in an area of academic veterinary medicine that helps faculty members best prepare students with the skills they need to be day-one practice ready. We hosted 97 individuals, representing the AAVMC, industry and universities, and attendees came from across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Dr. Julia Wuerz took the lead in coordinating this event, which was a great success. Huge thanks to Dr. Wuerz and our Primary Care and Dentistry Service team for all   they did to make it so.

Other October activities included our celebration of National Veterinary Technicians Week Oct. 15-21, during which we recognize the contributions of our veterinary nurses. As is our tradition, we hosted our annual UF Veterinary Technician Continuing Education Conference on Oct. 21, and drew nearly 200 attendees! Morning talks and afternoon hands-on and interactive sessions highlighted specialties throughout our hospitals and provided information targeted specifically at nursing teams.  Our participants included staff from regional referring practices, technician schools, and our own teams. My sincere thanks to everyone involved in helping to coordinate the day and in making everything run so smoothly.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Charles Vite, who began his new role as chair of our department of small animal clinical sciences on Oct. 1. I also want to sincerely thank Dr. Caryn Plummer for her hard work as interim department chair in the months leading up to Dr. Vite’s appointment.

In addition, I’d like to again welcome Dr. Janet Robishaw, who began her new role as associate dean for research and graduate studies on Aug. 15, and give my heartfelt appreciation to Dr. David Pascual for his previous service in this role. Dr. Pascual provided key leadership for five years in this position, and I will always be grateful for his help during very challenging times, well as for his assistance with the transition.

On Nov. 4, we will be holding our annual UFCVM Alumni Celebration and biannual meeting. Rather than host this event during UF’s traditional Homecoming event, we thought we would try something a little different and invite alumni back for a home game (UF vs. Arkansas) at a different time of year. We always look forward to reconnecting with our fellow alumni, and providing updates on college activities.

Amidst all of our hectic fall activities, I hope everyone is making at least some space for friends, families, and whatever else is soothing in your lives and brings you joy.



Dana Zimmel, D.V.M., D.A.C.V.I.M.
Dean and Professor

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September-October 2023

Dr. Zimmel

A message from the dean

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

shine a spotlight on the wide swath of research taking place at the university and its impact.

College researchers honored for innovations, discoveries, at recent event

The event spotlighted the wide swath of research taking place at the university and its impact.

Cover of JAVMA from Nov. 1, 2018, featuring a painting of two dogs by Dr. Elodie Huguet.

Faculty member’s artwork noted as one of top 12 national journal covers

Dr. Elodie Huguet’s oil-on-canvas painting, titled “A Toy for Two”, was among 12 covers from over the past 50 years highlighted by JAVMA.

Cody, an Irish draft horse, with Drs. Moyer and Bauch before discharge.

Emergency colic surgery at UF during Hurricane Idalia saves horse’s life

An 1,800-pound Irish sport horse came to UF’s Large Animal Hospital the morning the hurricane swept through the region.

Dr. Carrera-Justiz, in "Women In Neuro"

Faculty member included in UF’s McKnight Brain Institute’s “Women in Neuro” campaign

Dr. Sheila Carrera-Justiz has been recognized in UF’s McKnight Brain Institute’s “Women of Neuro” campaign.

Student Molly Cohen with her award-winning poster, presented at the AVMA annual meeting.

Student receives award from national journal for manuscript

Molly Cohen received the 2023 Outstanding AJVR Student Manuscript Award for her research project.

Dr. Liang Zhou in his laboratory.

UF researchers discover iron plays key role in immune system health

The discovery suggests that iron deficiency may contribute to the development of IBD and other immunological disorders.

Dr. Jim Bogan, left, president of the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians, presents Dr. Jim Wellehan with the Reptile and Amphibian Veterinary Excellence, or RAVE, Award.

Professor honored by reptile and amphibian association

Dr. Jim Wellehan was honored for his outstanding contributions in advancing the care of reptile and amphibian medicine and conservation.

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