A message from our dean

Dr. Dana Zimmel

Dr. Dana Zimmel


The start of any new year might conjure the concept of turning a page, whether that means approaching the future with renewed optimism or purpose, or involves a slate of specific goals to aim for. Some might approach existing commitments with fresh fervor, some might view the new year as an opportunity to let go of unfruitful pursuits or expectations.

Now that we’re already two full months into 2024, I hope all of you are on track with whatever goals you have set for yourself, even if those involve simply digging deeper into your existing passions and commitment to excellence, in whatever part of our college community you might find yourself.

Speaking of our college community, I want to note the four longtime college employees whose years of service were acknowledged during a UF ceremony held earlier this month. From the hospital, Lynn Varner, CVT, our RDVM coordinator and Wendy Davies, CVT, who works with the integrative medicine service, were honored, along with Kelly Kirkendall-Merritt, a biological scientist with the department of large animal sciences and Carolyn Whitford, who also was associated with LACS and worked specifically with the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank, or FARAD program prior to her recent retirement. We are fortunate to have such committed people working with us and are grateful for their many contributions to their respective programs.

I also would like to acknowledge several longtime faculty members who recently retired after many years of service with the college. These individuals were, and always will be, a part of our rich college fabric, having impacted hundreds, even thousands of students in the course of their time with us, nurturing the seeds of knowledge and fostering a spirit of endless curiosity and dedication in our veterinarians of the future.

Turning the page on their next chapter of life, which hopefully will involve at least some combination of fun, family, relaxation and rest, are Dr. Rick Johnson, Dr. Owen Rae, Dr. Maureen Long and Dr. Dan Brown and Dr. David Allred. Please join me in gratitude for their many contributions and in wishing all of them the very best as they embark on this new phase of their lives.

Our college community as a whole will celebrate several spring traditions in the coming months. The traditional UFCVM Research and Phi Zeta Celebration will take place April 18-19. A presentation will be held on April 18 from 4-6 p.m. with competitors in multiple categories. The next day, we’ll have our Top Dog and Best-in-Show competitions and a guest lecture from Dr. Charles Vite, our new chair of small animal clinical sciences.

The college’s annual Open House will be held April 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and I encourage everyone to consider attending; the effort put forth on the part of students, faculty and staff is considerable, and it’s always a great time. Moving to May, the Sophomore Professional Coating Ceremony for the Class of 2026, celebrating completion of the first two years of veterinary school, will be held May 10th at 2 p.m. at the UF Phillips Performing Arts Center. Commencement for the Class of 2024 will be held May 24th at 2 p.m. at the Phillips Center.

For those of you who may have missed our previous town hall discussions of the college’s new strategic plan, “Transforming through Innovation,” an overview is now on our website.

Thanks to all of you for everything you’re doing to keep our college vibrant and our goals meaningful. No matter what your role is in our community, the work you’re doing really matters.



Dana N. Zimmel, D.V.M.
Professor and Dean

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January-February 2024

Dr. Zimmel

A message from our dean

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

Employees honored during UF recognition ceremony held 2/1/2024.

Longtime CVM employees honored for service

Four longtime CVM employees were honored for their years of service to the university during a ceremony held Feb. 1.

Dr. Robin Bell

Meet Dr. Robin Bell of UF Equine Hospital at World Equestrian Center

An interview with Dr. Robin Bell, a specialist in equine surgery, rehabilitation and sports medicine, who came from Australia to join the UF Veterinary Hospital at World Equestrian Center.

UF CVM sign

College welcomes new faculty, administrators

We’re pleased to welcome several new faculty members to the college and congratulate others who were promoted within or hired into administration.

Open House 2015

College’s annual Open House to be held April 6

The college’s popular Open House, a longtime spring tradition in the Gainesville community, will be held April 6 this year.

Dr. Galvao's Editor's Choice article graphic

Professor’s paper named “Editor’s Choice” in journal

Dr. Klibs Galvão’s article relating to metritis in dairy cows appeared in December in the Journal of Dairy Science.

Statue of Honey, the emotional support dog we treated and a memorial to service dogs everywhere.

Statue honoring “Honey” and all service dogs unveiled outside UF Small Animal Hospital

Honey was a certified medical service dog who had been a patient at UF’s Small Animal Hospital. She provided lifesaving support to her now-deceased owner, a veteran, for many years.

Dr. Walsh and members of the UF Marine Animal Rescue team and students from the Aquatic Animal Health club during a training session held in December.

UF Marine Animal Rescue team leads training session for students

Members of the student Aquatic Animal Health club received training from UF’s Marine Animal Rescue team to show how the group responds to rescues of dolphins, manatees and sea turtles.

Denae Witte vaccinates an animal in Africa

UF students are first in Veterinary Scholars Program to conduct field work abroad 

Only UF’s Denae Witte and Nicole Perry had the opportunity to travel internationally to do fieldwork in Africa, where they assisted with research and monitoring of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever.

...also in this issue



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