September 01, 2016


 University of Florida presents awards to alumnae

​Posted Aug. 17, 2016

The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine recognized three alumnae May 28 with its 2016 Distinguished Awards.

Dr. Mary Gardner (Florida ’08) received the Alumni Achievement Award. She is co-founder of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice, which now operates in three states and employs more than 60 veterinarians nationwide, and has expertise in software development and management. She serves as co-chair of the Florida VMA Young Veterinary Medical Council. She created a website for pet owners to journal about their pet’s quality-of-life issues during hospice, has been a video blogger for the AVMA, and has co-written articles about veterinary hospice for veterinary publications.

Dr. Leigh Sawyer (Florida ’85) received the Distinguished Service Award. She retired in 2015 after 30 years in the U.S. Public Health Service and now is a clinical research manager for Emmes Corp., a research organization. She founded the National Biodefense Science Board and established the Food and Waterborne Diseases Integrated Research Network. She served as clinical laboratory director in the Monrovia Medical Unit in Liberia, providing care to health care workers responding to the Ebola outbreak and providing diagnostic testing for malaria and HIV.

Dr. Julia Conway (Florida ’06) received the Special Service Award. Certified as an anatomical pathologist by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, she is a clinical assistant professor in the veterinary college’s Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathology.

Dr. Conway served previously as clerkship coordinator and resident coordinator for anatomic pathology, chief of the dermatopathology service, board member of the International Society for Veterinary Dermatopathology, and director of veterinary medical admissions. While president of the Alumni Council, she helped create a program that provides alumni mentorship for new graduates.