Ten individuals devoted to advancing the care of animals received awards at a special ceremony during the AVMA General Session, July 22 in Salt Lake City. Dr. Leonard F. Seda, AVMA president, also honored three special guests with the President's Award (see related story, page 640).
Dr. Owen R. Stevens Jr (ONT '56) received the AVMA Award for distinguished contributions to the advancement of veterinary medical organizations. Dr. Stevens has served in numerous offices in state, local, and national veterinary organizations. He was president of the Maine VMA and the New England VMA, AVMA treasurer, and AVMA alternate delegate representing Maine. During his six years as treasurer of the AVMA, he also served as chairman of the Facilities Planning Committee.
Dr. Owen R. Stevens Jr
Dr. Stevens owns and directs an AAHA member hospital that serves as a teaching facility for the University of Maine Animal Medical Technology Program.
As a member and former vice chairman, chairman, and finance committee chairman of the AVMA Group Health and Life Insurance Trust, Dr. Stevens monitored the trust reserves. While chairman of the GHLIT, area ratings were established, allowing California veterinarians to be incorporated into the trust for the first time.
Dr. David W. Dreesen (GA '60) received the AVMA Public Service Award for contributions to public health and regulatory veterinary medicine. In 1967, he became state public health veterinarian in Georgia. He worked with the Atlanta Humane Society, and in 1971 assumed full responsibility for shelter operations.
Dr. David W. Dreesen
In 1975 Dr. Dreesen joined the Pan American Health Organization of the World Health Organization and was stationed in Port of Spain, Trinidad, and Tobago. Dr. Dreesen became the University of Georgia's first biosafety officer and in 1977, head of the Department of Environmental Safety Services. In 1980, he became a full-time member of the College of Veterinary Medicine faculty. During this time, Dr. Dreesen conducted trials on a new regimen for the use of rabies human-diploid cell vaccine for preexposure prophylaxis. Through his efforts, the FDA approved the first use of an intradermal rabies vaccine for preexposure vaccination. He also worked for FDA approval of a new purified chick-embryo rabies vaccine for use in humans. In the past 20 years, Dr. Dreesen has assisted the national Center's for Disease Control and Prevention with major clinical trials on rabies vaccines for humans. These studies led to changes in recommendations for prophylactic immunizations for individuals at risk for multiple disease agents.
Dr. Leon H. Russell
Dr. Leon H. Russell Jr (MO '56) received the XIIth International Veterinary Congress Prize for contributions to international understanding of veterinary medicine. Dr. Russell has been active in organized veterinary medicine and local, national, and international activities relating to public health and food safety.
He currently, is a professor of Veterinary Public Health, Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Food Science and Technology, Toxicology, Rural Public Health, and Epidemiology at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Russell is a distinguished diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.
Dr. Daniel H. Ringler
Dr. Russell served on the Texas VMA board of directors and held other elected offices, including that of president in 1984-1985. He was District VIII AVMA Executive Board member from 1985-1991, board chairman in 1990-1991, and AVMA president in 1993-1994. Dr. Russell also served for six years as a member of the AVMA Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Daniel H. Ringler (OSU '65) received the Charles River Prize for contributions to laboratory animal science. Currently professor and director of the Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, Dr. Ringler joined the faculty in 1970 and molded the postgraduate training program in laboratory animal medicine.
He has served for nearly 30 years in the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, holding many positions and serving as president in 1979. He also was involved with the Michigan Society for Medical Research, the Michigan VMA Research Animal Welfare Committee, and AAALAC International Council on Accreditation, and was president of the Michigan Academy of Laboratory Animal Medicine.
Dr. Bennie I. Osburn
Dr. Bennie I. Osburn (KSU '61), dean of the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, received the American Feed Industry Award in recognition of outstanding research by a veterinarian on nutrition or disease affecting livestock or poultry production.
National and international health and agriculture agencies rely on him for scientific advice, project reviews, and coordination of educational and research activities taking place in partnership with the USDA, National Institutes of Health, US Agency for International Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency. He is director/chairman of the Executive Advisory Board of the Shanghai Yongsun Modern Agriculture Development Co Ltd, working to develop collaborative research and instructional programs with the Chinese government in Beijing.
He has served as president of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and the American Association of Veterinary Immunologists. He has been actively involved in the AVMA, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, and World Association of Veterinary Microbiologists.
From 1964-1968 he served on the faculty at the Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and from 1968-1970, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University Medical School. In 1970 Dr. Osburn returned to the faculty of the UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. He served as head of the infectious disease and immunology unit at the California Regional Primate Research Center from 1975-1983 and as associate dean for research and graduate programs from 1975-1996 before becoming dean in 1996.
Brigadier General Thomas G. Murnane (TEX '47) received the American Veterinary Epidemiology Society K. F. Meyer/James H. Steele Gold-Headed Cane Award. This honor is conferred on an individual concerned with animal health who has advanced human health through the practice of veterinary epidemiology and public health.
He served as a laboratory adviser with the US Army Mission in Panama and as an area veterinarian with the Interamerican Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture in Central America. He also aided the establishment of collaborative research between animal health scientists of Mexico and Texas. From 1983-1984 Dr. Murnane was chairman of a National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences committee that assessed the USDA's resources for research and diagnosis of foreign animal diseases. From 1984-1993 Dr. Murnane was with the Texas Department of Health.
Brig Gen Thomas G. Murnane
Dr. Murnane is a diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine and an ACVPM past president. He is an honorary diplomate of the American Veterinary Epidemiology Society. He has served in the AVMA House of Delegates and on the House Advisory Committee, Scientific Program Committee, and American Board of Veterinary Specialties.
Dr. Donald E. Thrall (PUR '69) received the AKC Career Achievement Award in Canine Research for extraordinary contributions in the field of canine research.
A professor of radiology at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Thrall conducted research that has made an impact on the way in which cancer in dogs and humans is treated. At the University of Georgia, his focus on canine heartworm disease resulted in information that aided in assessment of radiographic changes caused by heartworms. Dr. Thrall then joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, where the focal point of his research turned to clinical and investigational radiation oncology.
Dr. Donald E. Thrall
Dr. Thrall joined the faculty of North Carolina State University in 1982. He became part of a team of investigators from the Duke University Medical Center Department of Radiation Oncology and the University of North Carolina. Currently he is studying tumor biology and effects of tumor cell hypoxia on radiation response.
Along with three other charter diplomates, Dr. Thrall assisted in developing the Radiation Oncology affiliate within the American College of Veterinary Radiology, and he served as its first president.
Richard Avanzino received the AVMA Humane Award. Avanzino is president and chief executive officer of Maddie's Fund, a program with a goal of making the nation's animal shelters no-kill. As president and CEO of Maddie's Fund, Avanzino has worked closely with the California VMA to develop and approve the CVMA Feral Cat Altering Program.
Prior to joining Maddie's Fund, he served as president of the San Francisco SPCA from 1976-1999. Under Avanzino's leadership, the San Francisco SPCA's membership base shot from 3,500 to 86,900. In 1994, San Francisco was distinguished as the only city in the nation that does not kill adoptable dogs and cats. Avanzino's guarantee of a home for every adoptable cat and dog prompted statewide legislation and sparked other cities, counties, and states to follow his example. In 1998, Avanzino opened Maddie's Pet Adoption Center, which houses cats and dogs in cozy apartments.
The Student AVMA Teaching Excellence Award in Basic Sciences was awarded to Sue Dawson, PhD, for excellence, innovation, and enthusiasm in the field of basic veterinary science and education.
An assistant professor of anatomy, Dr. Dawson brings an effective mix of teaching methods to her students at the University of Prince Edward Island's Atlantic Veterinary College. Dr. Dawson received her PhD degree in anatomy and structural biology from the University of Pennsylvania. She reaches students by appealing to various learning styles and portraying anatomy as a dynamic, visual, hands-on field.
Dr. Sue Dawson
Dr. Dawson is a member of the faculty team that developed and teaches a first-year, case-based course integrating gross and microscopic anatomy and physiology. She also teaches review sessions for third-and fourth-year students.
Prior to her current position, Dr. Dawson was an instructor/postdoctoral researcher at the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University. There, she was a veterinary anatomist and also served as a tutor in their problem-based curriculum.
Dr. W. Mark Hilton (PUR '83) received the Student AVMA Teaching Excellence Award in Clinical Sciences for excellence, innovation, and enthusiasm in the field of clinical veterinary science and education. He a is diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Specialty, Beef Cattle Practice).
Dr. W. Mark Hilton
As a practitioner in Iowa, he served primarily beef cow-calf, feedlot, and swine clients. During this time he initiated "The Total Beef Herd Health Program," a comprehensive approach to combined health, genetics, nutrition, herd records, and fertility. In 1998, Dr. Hilton joined the large animal clinic at Purdue University. His current responsibilities at Purdue allow him to interact with students and include responding to food animal ambulatory calls, teaching beef production medicine, and giving lectures on bovine medicine and surgery.
He is a member of the Purdue Beef Team. In 1999, the organization began a pre-conditioning program for beef quality assurance and food safety, the Indiana Quality Plus Beef Program. Dr. Hilton served as chairman of the Animal Health Committee of the Iowa Cattlemen's Association.