Georgia alumni recognized for contributions

Published on May 28, 2014
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The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine recently recognized five alumni for service to the college and the veterinary profession.  

 ​Dr. Wesley Roach ​ Dr. Esco Hall Jr. ​ Dr. Susan M. LaRue

​ Dr. Jan Sosnowski Nichol Dr. Gary Brown

Dr. Wesley Roach (GA ’05) of Nashville, Tenn., received the Young Achiever Award for 2014.

Dr. Roach is a veterinary surgeon at Nashville Veterinary Specialists, where he practices all aspects of veterinary surgery, including orthopedic, oncology, soft tissue, and neurologic.

In 2011, Dr. Roach established a fund to help provide surgery and aftercare for injured homeless dogs and cats that have reparable injuries. Named after his dog, the Merle’s Angels Advised Fund has helped many animals, all of which moved on to permanent homes. The fund can send grants only to other nonprofit organizations, so all the animals in the program are associated with local rescue agencies and nonprofit groups.

Dr. Esco Hall Jr. (GA ’73) of Baxley, Ga., was honored with a Distinguished Alumnus Award. He bought a mixed animal practice in Baxley a week after he received his DVM degree. Dr. Hall has owned and operated Appling Animal Hospital since 1973 and Baxley Funeral Home since 1991.

Since 1982, Dr. Hall has served Baxley as a city councilman and, since 1997, as its mayor pro tem. He has been part of the Appling County Development Authority, the Heart of Georgia Alta­maha Regional Commission, and the Georgia Secretary of State Advisory Board on Rural Development.

From 1979-1997, he was president of the Appling County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and from 1980-1996, he served as president and secretary of the Progressive Club.

Dr. Susan M. LaRue (GA ’77) of Fort Collins, Colo., received a Distinguished Alumna Award. She is professor of radiation oncology at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Bio­medical Sciences.

Dr. LaRue joined Colorado State as a research associate in 1989 and by 1992 was an assistant professor of radiation oncology.

Dr. LaRue earned a doctorate in radiation biology in 1992 with a focus on tumor cell kinetics in canine osteosarcoma and lymphoma. Today, her research with the canine spontaneous tumor model focuses on experimental therapeutics and tumor microenvironment.

She has served on numerous committees within the veterinary college and the campus at large. Dr. LaRue is diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and the American College of Veterinary Radiology in the specialty of radiation oncology. She was a charter diplomate of ACVR’s radiation oncology specialty and has served as president of the radiation oncology specialty.

Dr. Jan Sosnowski Nichol (GA ’80) of Dover, Del., was honored with a Distinguished Alumna Award.

In 1986, Dr. Sosnowski Nichol founded Delmarva Equine Clinic in Dover, which has grown from a solo practice to a five-veterinarian clinic.

In her community, Dr. Sosnowski Nichol participates in school career days and has organized fundraisers to benefit the Kent County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and other organizations. She travels to retirement homes to perform low-cost examinations and vaccinations for pets of seniors who have difficulty transporting them. 

Dr. Sosnowski Nichol has been an active member of the Delaware VMA since 1982, serving as vice president, as president, and in other capacities. For 10 years, she served as either the association’s delegate or alternate delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates. 

She has served on state committees to address the issue of dangerous dogs as well as dog and cat overpopulation in Delaware. She also has appeared before state and local legislative bodies to discuss issues such as various animal regulations, horse racing legislation, and controlled substance regulations.

Dr. Gary Brown (GA ’84) of Princeton, W.Va., currently serves as the District V representative to the AVMA Executive Board, which encompasses Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia; his term expires in July 2019.

Dr. Brown has been an active member of the West Virginia VMA, serving as its president and on numerous committees as well as its delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates for seven years.

In 2008, he was elected as vice president of the AVMA and served two terms.

He has served on multiple boards for high schools and colleges, including 16 years on the veterinary technology program board for Fairmont State College in Fairmont, W.Va., and 22 years on the board of a vocational program for nurses. For many years, he has served as a judge for the West Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair.

Dr. Brown owns the Animal Care Center in Princeton.