A message from our dean

Dr. ZimmelGreetings!

Spring is upon us once again, bringing with it a sense of renewal and new beginnings. This special season of growth and transformation manifests itself in many milestones and achievements we can celebrate within our college community.

As the academic year draws to a close, we find ourselves immersed in a flurry of events and ceremonies that mark significant transitions and accomplishments. Just as spring ushers in vibrant blooms after winter’s dormancy, our students have blossomed through their educational pursuits, gaining knowledge, skills and experiences that will shape their future endeavors. The excitement and energy surrounding this season are palpable, invigorating us all with a renewed sense of purpose and possibility.

On April 18-19, we celebrated our traditional Phi Zeta Research Celebration, during which members of our community from a variety of categories, including students, faculty, residents and interns, graduate students, postdocs and research staff showcased their research accomplishments from the past year. Faculty judges selected the winners in each poster presentation category, as well as winners for the oral presentations, which included the “Top Dog” D.V.M. student competition and the “Best in Show” presentations by graduate students representing each of our five academic departments. Dr. Charles Vite, chair of our small animal clinical sciences department, gave the keynote presentation before the awards were presented, highlighting some of his research, how he progressed through different phases of his work and the importance of collaborations. We had a great turnout for all of our events, which were held at the UF-IFAS Straughn Center.

Next month, our second-year D.V.M. students will be honored for completion of their first two years of veterinary school during the Sophomore Professional Coating ceremony at 2 p.m. on May 10 at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. During the ceremony, these students will receive their professional white coats to symbolize their transition into clinical rotations. Just two weeks later, at 2 p.m. May 24., we will hold commencement for the Class of 2024, sending our newest veterinary graduates into the world with their new D.V.M. degrees and all of their hopes and dreams. Their journey has not always been easy, but they have stayed the course. I am confident that whatever path our new graduates pursue, be it further education through additional degrees, internships, private practice, industry employment, military service or something entirely different, they will excel.

Looking at some of the stories we’ve round up over the past few months for this issue, I’m especially proud of the article focusing on the 10th anniversary of our Business Management Certificate Program. I helped initiate this program years ago because I have always believed in the importance of providing critical business awareness and training for our veterinary students to prepare them for the world of veterinary practice and practice ownership, should that be a path they choose to pursue. The story of a ram that received lifesaving care at our Large Animal Hospital is a great example of how collaboration between services can result in a positive outcome and great learning experience for all involved.

Dr. Dan Lewis, an eminent scholar, longtime professor and chief of the UF small animal orthopedic surgery service, recently received the 2024 Steve Fox Lifetime Achievement Award from the Veterinary Orthopedic Society. The Fox Award is considered as the society’s most prestigious award, and Dr. Lewis is such a deserving recipient! We are all proud of him and grateful for the hard work he has performed, and continues to perform, to help better the lives of animals, particularly dogs with orthopaedic issues.

Thanks to all of you, whatever role you serve, for your ongoing efforts to make this college great and for the many ways you support one another along the way. As Dr. Vite pointed out in his Phi Zeta speech, none of us achieve success on our own; it truly takes a village. I appreciate you!



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

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March-April 2024

Dr. Zimmel

A message from our dean

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

Dr. Taylor Curley, back row, second from right, with members her UF College of Veterinary Medicine emergency and critical care team before the Key West Half Marathon on Jan. 14.

Quick action from UF veterinary emergency and critical care resident saves life of human runner

Performing CPR on animals is routine for Dr. Taylor Curley, but when a fellow runner collapsed during a race, her instincts kicked into gear.

Dr. Jeff Gruntmeier with his poster at EPI early stage investigator competition.

Scientist receives 1st place in EPI poster competition

Dr. Jeff Gruntmeier’s poster detailed progress in sample collection from mammals in wildlife rehab facilities. His project involves testing these samples for the presence of the SARSCoV2 virus.

Dr. Taylor McLendon performs a hind limb flexion during a lameness examination on a horse.

UF’s veterinary business management certificate program thrives in first 10 years

The program is unique among veterinary colleges nationwide.

Dr. Kari Hancock, Dr. Sally DeNotta and Dr. Lisa Edwards of UF's large animal medicine team ware shown with Lionel in his pen a few days prior to his discharge from UF's Large Animal Hospital. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Sally DeNotta)

Young ram back on his feet after months of treatment by UF veterinarians

The ram, named Lionel, is continuing his recovery at the UF-IFAS sheep unit and is doing well, UF veterinarians said.

Dr. Dan Lewis surrounded by several current and former UF small animal surgery residents.

Faculty member honored by national surgery group

Dr. Dan Lewis has received the 2024 Steve Fox Lifetime Achievement Award from the Veterinary Orthopedic Society.

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