November 15, 2011


 Community Accolades

Posted Oct. 26, 2011


Dr. Bieritz

Dr. Wesley G. Bieritz

Dr. Schaer

Dr. Michael Schaer

Dr. Dahlem

Andrew M. Dahlem, PhD

The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and its alumni association presented four alumni with the Dr. Erwin Small Distinguished Alumnus Award and a Special Service Award Sept. 15 during the annual Fall Conference for Veterinarians.

Recipients of the 2011 Dr. Erwin Small Distinguished Alumnus Award are Dr. Wesley G. Bieritz (IL '63), Dr. Dennis E. Brooks (IL '80), Dr. Michael Schaer (IL '70), and Andrew Michael Dahlem, PhD (IL '89). The award is given to Illinois graduates who've made significant contributions to the veterinary profession or the college.

Dr. Bieritz is a retired practice owner who has supported Illinois veterinary students and recent graduates for several years. As Illinois State VMA president, he established the Illinois Veterinary Medical Foundation, which currently funds four student scholarships at the veterinary college. Dr. Bieritz also worked to develop a program that sends recent Illinois graduates to the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference as part of the emerging leaders initiative.

Dr. Brooks is widely regarded as an authority on corneal transplantation and glaucoma as well as infectious corneal ulcers in horses. The diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists has mentored and taught numerous ophthalmology residents and advanced-degree students at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, where he is a professor.

Dr. Schaer is professor and small animal medicine service chief at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. He was one of the first candidates to pass the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine written examination for certification and is a charter diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. Dr. Schaer has held offices with the ACVIM, ACVECC, and American Association of Veterinary Clinicians.

Dr. Dahlem earned his doctorate at the University of Illinois' Department of Veterinary Biosciences and is currently vice president and chief operating officer of Eli Lilly Research Laboratories. He was instrumental in the development of the Eli Lilly fellowships in toxicologic pathobiology and toxicology/pharmacology. Dr. Dahlem is also an adjunct professor at Illinois, Purdue, and The Ohio State universities.

Karen Koenig received the Special Service Award for her work at the veterinary college's Wildlife Medical Clinic, where she cares for resident raptors.