Meet the 2003-2004 Class of AVMA/AVMF Congressional Science Fellows

Bringing veterinary intelligence to the policy-making table By Susan Goldberg, program associate, American Veterinary Medical Foundation Posted June 1, 2003
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  The AVMF Congressional Science Fellowship Selection Committee is pleased to announce the Congressional Science Fellows for the 2003-2004 year. "The nine applications we reviewed showed a remarkable range of experience and talent," said Dr. Roger K. Mahr, chairman of the selection committee and member of the AVMF Board of Directors.

"The expertise these three fellows bring is relevant to the Hill today—we are finding that sometimes the veterinarian fellow is the only scientist in a Congressman's office."

Dr. Michael Q. Bailey is currently a professor of veterinary clinical sciences and the director of diagnostic imaging at Tuskegee University's School of Veterinary Medicine, where he earned his DVM degree in 1982. Between teaching positions at Michigan State, Ohio State, and Tuskegee, Dr. Bailey was an owner/practitioner of a diagnostic imaging and consultation corporation, and earned board certification with the American College of Veterinary Radiology.

A Norton Professor of the Year (2001), Dr. Bailey loves teaching and knows it is the most important work he performs. "I am now hoping that by participating in the Congressional Science Fellowship, I may learn how to influence policy in such a way that I can help create programs with a focus on the motivational needs of underrepresented populations."

Also a professor, Dr. Derek A. Mosier joins the fellowship program from the Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Mosier received his DVM degree from Kansas State in 1978 and a PhD degree in veterinary pathology from Oklahoma State, where he was an assistant professor. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, Dr. Mosier sought out the fellowship as a venue to address the many issues that revolve around animal health and well-being.

Dr. Mosier's commitment to the veterinary profession stems from a long family history—five uncles and three cousins are all veterinarians, as is his wife, Dr. Jessica Green. "Serving as a fellow in the Congressional Science Fellowship Program would not only be personally rewarding," Dr. Mosier said, "but the experience would give me an additional perspective from which to help train and encourage future veterinarians."

A resident of Washington, D.C., Dr. Rebecca Walton will start her fellowship with a newly earned Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University. With a focus on international health policy and international peace building, Dr. Walton has worked in such diverse populations as Mexico, Africa, and the Navajo Nation, making her "deeply aware of the...impact these issues have in the United States as globalization continues to shrink our planet."

Dr. Walton has practiced for 18 years in Washington, D.C., most recently as the executive director and veterinarian of Relief Veterinary Services Inc. Among her clients were U.S. diplomats, foreign dignitaries, and immigrants from all continents. "My hope is that this fellowship will ... introduce me to practicalities of the policy-making process, such that I can effectively work on issues affecting many communities throughout the world today," she said.

"We are establishing a strong tradition of bringing veterinary intelligence to the policy-making table in Washington, D.C.," said Dr. William Van Dresser, AVMF chair and former director of the AVMA Governmental Relations Division. "For the second year now, the generosity and continued support of the AVMA, allied groups, and member donors has enabled us to put three veterinarians on the Hill."

Serving with Dr. Mahr on this year's selection committee were Drs. James H. Brandt, AVMA Executive Board chair; Robert Dietl, member of the AVMF Board of Directors; Deborah Kochevar, former fellow and Professor at Texas A&M University; and April Demert, program and legislative manager at the AVMA Governmental Relations Division in Washington, D.C.