Dr. Laura Adamovicz, DVM, PhD
More information coming soon!
Dr. Stevie Aitken, DVM, VEG ER Doctor
More information coming soon!
Dr. Anne Barger, DVM, MS, DACVP
Anne Barger joined the faculty at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2002, specializing in clinical pathology. She received her DVM in 1996 from UIUC and did her residency training in clinical pathology at North Carolina State University. Prior to taking on the role of Department Head of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, she served as Service Head for Clinical Pathology in the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Dr. Barger enjoys teaching and has received more than 15 teaching awards including recognition by the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology as an educator. Her research interests include cancer diagnostics, particularly osteosarcoma.
Dr. Tony Bartels, DVM, MBA
Tony Bartels graduated in 2012 from the Colorado State University combined MBA/DVM program and is an employee of the Veterinary Information Network (VIN). He and his wife, a small-animal internal medicine specialist practicing in Denver, have more than $400,000 in veterinary-school debt that they manage using federal income-driven repayment plans. By necessity (and now obsession), his professional activities include researching and speaking on veterinary student debt, providing guidance to colleagues on loan-repayment strategies and contributing to VIN Foundation resources. Beyond debt, his professional interests include small- and exotic-animal practice. When he’s not staring holes into his colleagues’ student-loan data, Tony enjoys fly fishing, ice hockey, camping and exploring Colorado with his wife, Audra, and their two rescued canines, Addi and Maggie.
Dr. Andrea Belcher, DVM
Dr. Andrea Belcher is a 2018 graduate from the University of Illinois. After 2 years in general practice, she became the Medical Director of a 6 1/2 doctor practice in the suburbs of Chicago. You can usually find her in the surgery suite at the clinic, and her true passion lies in orthopedic surgery. Andrea also loves mentoring new graduate veterinarians and helping them discover the joys of veterinary medicine. When Andrea is not in the clinic, she enjoys spending time playing bass and singing in her band, playing disc golf, and snuggling with her pitbull Violet.
Dr. Priya Bhatt, DVM, MS, CVA, CVMMP, CVFT
Dr. Bhatt is an integrative veterinarian who received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2009 from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. She became Certified in Acupuncture (CVA) through the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. She is also certified in Level II Reiki and Chiropractic / Manipulation. In addition, Dr. Bhatt sits on the Board of Directors for Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association.
Dr. Bhatt strongly believes in empowering individuals through education and communication, stating, ”In order for people to help their pets, they must know how. Many people are unaware of how advanced veterinary is and all the various healing options out there. Knowledge is power and can open doors to many healing pathways. I am passionate about what I do and love engaging with clients/patients. I truly believe in a team based approach to treating a patient. Multiple minds are better than one.”
Dr. Audrey Billhymer, DVM, DACVR
She is originally from the suburbs of Chicago (Schaumburg), and went to undergrad at a small liberal arts college in Minnesota, St. Olaf College. She actually majored in English literature.
Dr. Billhymer attended the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and graduated in 2016. She then completed a rotating internship in Washington, D.C., and a diagnostic imaging residency at the University of Florida.
Dr. Billhymer's interest in diagnostic imaging was sparked during her first year of veterinary school while rotating through the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and observing small animal ultrasounds.
Dr. Billhymer really enjoys the fact that diagnostic imaging is integrated into all specialties and provides continuous case variety. She has special interests in vascular computed tomography and all abdominal imaging.
Dr. Bailey Brame, DVM, DACVD
Dr. Bailey Brame is a clinical assistant professor in dermatology. She earned a DVM at North Carolina State University and completed her dermatology and allergy residency at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Brame has always had a special interest in feline dermatology and completed her residency research in feline allergy and pruritus.
Dr. Christine D. Calder, DVM, DACVB
Dr. Maria Cattai De Godoy, MS, PhD
Dr. Maria R. C. de Godoy is an Associate Professor and was selected to be a recipient of the 2021 Campus Distinguished Promotion Award at the University of Illinois. The focus of her research program is on companion animal and comparative nutrition with 3 main overarching goals: 1. analytical methods and animal models for evaluation of nutritional adequacy of novel ingredients; 2. the effects of processing on pet food quality, nutritional value, and safety; and 3. the role of nutraceuticals in health and wellness of pets. Dr. Godoy has an internationally recognized program highlighted by over $ 7 million in extramural funding, internal grants, and donations to support research, 40 invited lectures nationally and internationally, and more than 70 peer-reviewed publications. She has an outstanding teaching record and has been consistently named to the Univ. of IL “List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students”. In 2020, she was the recipient of the Corbin Award in Companion Animal Biology, National Award American Society of Animal Science and this year also received the Paul A. Funk Award, College of ACES, Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Godoy’s academic program showcases her innovative approach to science that further advances the pet food industry and the nutritional sciences community.
Dr. Sara Connolly, DVM, MS, DACVP
Dr. Sara Connolly is a Clinical Assistant Professor in Clinical Pathology and has been a member of the University of Illinois faculty since 2015. Dr. Connolly did her DVM and residency training at Purdue University. Her diagnostic area of interest is bone marrow evaluation and her research area of interest is canine aging.
Dr. Peter Constable, BVSc, MS, Ph.D., Dipl. ACVIM
Dr. Peter Constable earned his BVSc (1982) from the University of Melbourne. He then completed an internship in Equine Field Services (1985), a residency and MS (1989) in Food Animal Medicine and Surgery, and PhD (1992) at The Ohio State University. Peter begin on faculty at the University of Illinois where he rose through the ranks to professor also becoming the head of Food Animal Services and serving as interim Chair of the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine.
In 2006, Peter was recruited to serve as Department Chair of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Purdue University for 8 years until 2014 when he returned to the University of Illinois to become Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. As an administrative leader, Dr. Constable has continually worked to advance the impact of the profession including influencing the role of veterinary medicine in public affairs.
Peter is an accomplished clinician and researcher who has studied acid-base physiology, fluid therapy, shock, calf diarrhea, surgical conditions of the bovine abdomen, biostatistics, pharmacokinetic modeling, veterinary education and the cardiovascular response to endurance training. He is unique in the diversity of species he has studied including dairy cattle, other ruminants, horses, and sled-dogs. Has received the ‘Legends of Large Animal Medicine’ Award by his peers for his contributions to large animal practice.
Dr. Constable has been awarded over 50 grants totaling over $1.8 million from funding agencies including Boehringer, Department of Health and Human Services, International Life Science Institute, USDA, Pharmacia, American Heart Association, Alaska Science and Technology Foundation, and the AVMA foundation. Peter has published nearly 230 peer reviewed manuscripts, and has authored over 40 book chapters. He is a co-author of the tenth edition of Veterinary Medicine: A Textbook of the Diseases of Cattle, Horses, Sheep, Pigs, and Goats which serves as a key resource for large animal practitioners throughout the world.
Peter is also an accomplished teacher, mentor, and a world renowned speaker and lecturer. He has given over 60 National and International Scientific Presentations, and he has been invited to speak all over the world. He has instructed countless professional veterinary students and has advised over 30 graduate students, residents, and interns and residents. Even as Dean he continues to mentor students and visiting scholars.
Dr. Kathleen Cooney, DVM, CHPV, DACAW Resident
Dr. Kathleen Cooney has been practicing advanced end-of-life care since 2006. She is CEO and Director of Education for the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA). Dr. Cooney is well-known for her work in companion animal euthanasia and is an author and international speaker on the subject. She is a strong advocate for best practices in all aspects of end-of-life care and loves all things old and gray.
Dr. Latonia Craig, Ed.D
Dr. Latonia Craig is the inaugural chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer for the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Prior to this appointment, Dr. Craig led the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine. She has devoted most of her career to providing educational programs in social change and changing the conversation from diversity and inclusion to inclusive excellence. As assistant dean for inclusive excellence, she led the development of programming and initiatives, modeling innovative practices that introduce diversity into the College of Veterinary Medicine's systems, structure, and culture. Dr. Craig’s work has focused on recruiting and retaining underrepresented students with intentionality by transitioning them from undergraduate to graduate school and attaining terminal degrees through her award-winning Vet Up! and Check-in and Connect programs. Under Dr. Craig's leadership, Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine is ranked “Top College for Diversity” by Insight to Diversity magazine and named a “Diversity Champion,” the first distinction given to a veterinary school.
Dr. Craig has been featured on the cover of Today's Woman magazine and selected as a “Top Forty” professional in Louisville Business First Magazine.
She earned a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's degree in Pan-African studies from the University of Louisville, a master's degree in
educational leadership from the University of Cincinnati, and a doctorate in leadership education from Spalding University.
Dr. Tannetjé Crocker, DVM
More information coming soon!
Dr. Juanmahel Dávila, PhD
Dr. Juanmahel Dávila is an Assistant Professor and Assistant Director of Graduates Studies in the Department of Comparative Biosciences at the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM). Dr. Dávila was born and raised in Puerto Rico and completed his undergraduate studies in General Biology at the University, Bayamón campus. Then, he completed his Ph.D. and postdoctoral studies in Reproductive Biology and Toxicology CVM, before joining the faculty in 2016. Dr. Dávila is heavily involved in the instruction of students, and he teaches Veterinary Anatomy and Spanish, focusing on communication with clients, among other graduate and professional courses, and serves as a translator for Spanish-speaking clients in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, CVM.
Mr. Brian Davis
Brian Davis is the Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator with the AVMA. Brian works in Washington, D.C. on AVMA’s Government Relations Division developing advocacy campaigns to effectively bring about effective legislative change for veterinary advocates. Prior to his work with the AVMA, Brian worked with the American Nurses Association where he led the advocacy efforts to ensure nurses received proper resources and equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has been working to make advocacy easier for all for over seven years. Brian is a graduate of Tulane University, has nearly a one-year-old daughter named Nora and a Cavachon named Waffles.
Dr. Jane Desmond, MFA, PhD
Jane Desmond, Ph.D., is Professor of Anthropology and Affiliate Faculty at the College of Veterinary Medicine at UIUC. A specialist in the study of human-animal relations, she is Director of Human-Animal Studies@Illinois, a campus-wide initiative through the Center for Advanced Study. The author or editor of five books, and numerous articles, she has also written for the public on CNN.com, Newsweek, the Washington Post, and Scientific American as a national Public Voices Fellow. A former Fulbright Professor in Germany, she has held invited posts in China, Hungary and Scotland, and has been on the faculties of Duke, Cornell and the University of Iowa. She is currently writing a book on the cultural dimensions of veterinary medicine, titled Medicine Across the Species Line, and holds degrees from Brown University and Yale University.
Dr. Caitlin DeWilde, DVM
Dr. Caitlin DeWilde is the founder of The Social DVM, a consulting firm devoted to helping veterinary professionals learn how to manage and grow their social media, online reputation and marketing strategies. Working with large industry groups and individual practices alike, Caitlin and her team are passionate about translating the “geek speak” to “veterinary speak,” and helping vets reach more clients and pets.
Caitlin is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and a recipient of their Outstanding Young Alumni Award, and also an alum of the AVMA’s Future Leaders Program. She served as medical director for a large AAHA/Fear Free/Cat-Friendly certified hospital in St. Louis before stepping back to focus on her marketing passion. Today, she divides her time between practice, consulting, and writing. She is the author of a new book, “Social Media and Marketing for Veterinary Professionals,” and a columnist for Today’s Veterinary Business.
Dr. Steve Dullard, DVM, DABVP
Dr. Dullard is a 1986 graduate of Distinction from Iowa State University. He practiced for 5 years in Sandwich, Il upon graduation. He currently owns 3 practices in Mendota, LaSalle and Spring Valley, IL. He is boarded in Canine and Feline Practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. He has served as past president of both the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Feline Practitioners. Currently, he represents Illinois in the AVMA House of Delegates and is the ISVMA Legislative Committee Chairman.
Mrs. Coleen Ellis
In 2004, the death of her dog, Mico, guided Coleen Ellis to start Pet Angel Memorial Center. In 2009 Coleen founded Two Hearts Pet Loss Center, assisting others in providing meaningful pet death care services, as well to be an educational resource in the pet grief discipline. She is Certified in Thanatology, a Certified Pet Loss Professional, and is a recognized international speaker, blogger and mentor/coach for others looking to elevate their end-of-life skills. She also teaches Pet Loss & Grief Certification courses. In 2011, Coleen released her first book Pet Parents: A Journey Through Unconditional Love and Grief and in 2022 she co-authored with Dr. Mary Gardner two children’s books focused on dog and cat loss, Forever Friend. In 2014, she helped found The Pet Loss Center, now a Gateway operation.
She is a founder and past co-chair of the Pet Loss Professionals Alliance, past president and current Executive Director of the IAAHPC, and currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science and her alma mater Fort Hays State University’s Board where she was also the 2018 Alumni Achievement Award recipient. She lives in Dallas with her rockstar husband, Chris Burke, and the owners of the house the three animals, Rudy, Beulah and Albert.
Dr. Sandra Faeh, DVM
Dr. Sandra Faeh is a 1996 graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has been a small animal practitioner in the Chicagoland area for over 25 years where she resides with her husband and three boys. Dr. Faeh has owned part of as many as 4 animal hospitals, and currently leads a nationwide mentorship program for new graduates. Dr. Faeh has been involved with organized veterinary medicine since she was a student and continues this 27 years later. Her involvement began as a junior in veterinary school when she was the national SAVMA President and Chair of the SAVMA Symposium hosted at the University of Illinois. As a recent graduate, Dr. Faeh proudly served on the Veterinary Leadership Conference Planning Committee from 2000-2005. She was awarded the ISVMA Erwin Small First Decade Award in 1999. Shortly after graduation, Dr. Faeh joined the Executive Board of the Chicago VMA and the Illinois State VMA Board, as well as serving on the Board for the Chicago Veterinary Medical Foundation. In 2017, she was awarded the Chicago VMA Merit Award. In 2012, Dr. Faeh began to represent Illinois in the AVMA House of Delegates. She was elected Chair of the House Advisory Committee in 2018 and just finished her term as the AVMA Vice President (2020-2022) where she acted as the AVMA liaison to the students and faculty at all AVMA accredited veterinary colleges. She currently is a candidate for AVMA President-elect. In her free time, Dr. Faeh enjoys long distance running, showing her horse, Ace, and reading a good book.
Mrs. Amanda Fark, MSA, MBA
Amanda recently joined the AVMA as the Assistant Director, Veterinary Career Services. She is responsible for the development, implementation and ongoing management of career development programs, tools and resources for AVMA members, veterinary students, pre-veterinary students, veterinary technicians, and the veterinary profession. Amanda received her MBA and Master of Sport Administration at Ohio University and her B.A. in Sociology from Elmhurst College. She brings a wealth of career related-knowledge and experience to the AVMA! In her most recent position, she was the Director, Office of Professional Success at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine where she spent over 10 years working with veterinary students, early career veterinary graduates and employers in all areas of career development by providing individual career coaching, delivery and oversight of the Professional Development curriculum, employer outreach and engagement, career events, and professional networking opportunities.
Dr. Megan Fick, DVM, MS, DACVECC
While still a student at Iowa State, Meghan Fick knew she wanted a career hat involved teaching. A position as a clinical assistant professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine has allowed Fick the opportunity to not only teach students, but technicians, interns and residents. “It’s my favorite part of my job,” she says. At the University of Illinois Fick works in emergency and critical care, a job she says she is well suited for. “I actually didn’t realize it myself, but one of my intern mentors had to point it out to me. I was thriving on the excitement and unpredictability of life in the ER – and after just a few months of being a new doctor, I was hooked!”
Dr. Jodi Flaws, MS, PhD
Jodi A. Flaws is a Professor in Comparative Biosciences at the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign. She received a B.S. in Biology from St. Xavier University, a M.S. in Biology from Loyola University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Arizona. Following completion of the Ph.D. degree, Dr. Flaws performed postdoctoral research at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland. Following postdoctoral training, Dr. Flaws accepted an Assistant Professor position at the University of Maryland, where she subsequently was promoted to Associate Professor. In 2006, Dr. Flaws accepted a position as Professor of Comparative Biosciences at the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign. Dr. Flaws’ research program is focused on determining the mechanisms by which environmental chemicals affect the development and function of the ovary. Her research is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health. She has published over 300 peer-reviewed papers that have involved extensive participation and authorship by graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, veterinary medical students, and undergraduate students. She is the recipient of the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland Student Mentoring Award, the Patricia Sokolove Outstanding Mentor Award, the Dr. Gordon and Mrs. Helen Kruger Research Excellence Award, the Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence, the University Scholar Award, the 2017 Women in Toxicology Mentoring Award from the Society of Toxicology, and the 2017 Society for the Study of Reproduction Trainee Mentor Award.
Dr. Sally Foote, DVM
Dr. Sally J Foote is an international veterinary behavior consultant, writer and speaker. She has presented at national conferences including the AVMA, VMX and Midwest Veterinary Conference and is a guest lecturer at various Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and other universities. With over 35 years of practice experience, Dr Foote now focuses her time speaking and creating on- line education, heading the Bella Behavior learning center in Tuscola Il, continuing innovation in veterinary behavior.
Dr Foote received her DVM in 1984 from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a Certified Animal Behavior Consultant by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, Low Stress Handling Certified – Silver and Fear Free Elite Certified.
Dr Foote has served on multiple committees with the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association and is past president of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior. She was the executive director of Cattledog publishing, the veterinary publishing company founded by the late Sophia Yin. Dr Foote’s hobbies include hiking especially near her sister’s home in Switzerland, knitting and enjoying the quiet life in rural east central Illinois with her family.
Dr. Jonathan Foreman, DVM, DACVIM
Dr. Jonathan Foreman has served as the President of the Association for Equine Sports Medicine and as the Chair of the Sports Medicine Committee of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. He graduated from the College of William and Mary (BS, Biology, 1978), the University of Georgia (DVM, 1981), and Washington State University (MS, Exercise Physiology, 1984). He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Washington State University and became board-certified by the American College of Internal Medicine in 1986. His current position is Professor and Associate Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois. Dr. Foreman served as an official veterinarian at the 1996 and 2020 Olympic Summer Games, the 2019 Tokyo Test Event, and the 2010 and 2018 World Equestrian Games. His research on thermoregulation was instrumental in modifying the 1996 Olympic Three-Day Events in Atlanta to make them safer for horses competing in inhospitable southeastern summer heat conditions. Dr. Foreman also has studied extensively the responses of horses to various drugs used illegally to influence the outcome of races and horse shows. He currently studies the effects of single and multiple analgesics on horses at rest and during exercise.
Dr. Catherine Foreman-Hesterberg, DVM
Catherine "Cat" Foreman-Hesterberg grew up in central Illinois riding and competing in Hunter/Jumpers and Pony Club, including competing around the world. She earned a BA from Augustana College in Rock Island, IL then graduated with her DVM from the University of Illinois in 2016. Dr. Foreman-Hesterberg then completed a yearlong internship at Southern Equine Service in Aiken, SC. While in Aiken she gained vast experience in primary care, dentistry, internal medicine, reproduction, emergency care and sports medicine. After some time in private practice in central Indiana, she now serves as an Instructor in Equine Ambulatory Medicine at the University of Illinois' satellite clinic, Midwest Equine at Illinois, in Farmer City, IL. She is certified in animal chiropractic and provides chiropractic care to horses as well as dogs through the Small Animal Rehabilitation Service. She continues to compete in low level jumpers with her Thoroughbred gelding, Mac, and enjoys spending time at home with her husband and one-year old daughter, Charlotte.
Dr. Lauren Forsythe, PharmD, DICVP, FSVHP
Dr. Forsythe is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pharmacy and the Pharmacy Service Head at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital. She is also a diplomat of the International College of Veterinary Pharmacists. Dr. Forsythe graduated from the University of Findlay, College of Pharmacy in 2015 and completed her veterinary pharmacy residency at Purdue’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Following competition of her residency, Dr. Forsythe spent three years at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital as a Clinical Pharmacist before coming to UIUC in 2019.
Dr. Kari Foss, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Neurology)
Dr. Kari Foss is an assistant professor in the department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. She earned her DVM from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. After earning her DVM, she then completed a residency in Veterinary Neurology and Neurosurgery at The Ohio State University as well as earning a Master’s degree in Veterinary Clinical Sciences, also from The Ohio State University. Following completion of her residency, she was an associate veterinary neurologist at MedVet Medical Centers for Pets in Columbus Ohio before joining the faculty at the University of Illinois in 2016. Dr. Foss enjoys all aspects of veterinary neurology, with a particular interest in canine epilepsy. She also enjoys interacting with the veterinary students and helping them connect the puzzle pieces of veterinary medicine. Currently, Dr. Foss’s research interests focus on ways to improve patient care through advancing diagnostic techniques utilizing neuroimaging.
Dr. Laura Garrett, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)
Dr. Laura Garrett is a Clinical Professor in Oncology, Coordinator of Communication Training, and head of Specialty Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Her training includes a DVM degree from University of Illinois in 1991, internship at University of Minnesota, 2 years in private practice, and residency at University of Wisconsin-Madison. After working in a New Zealand specialty clinic, she was on faculty at Kansas State University prior to returning to Illinois in 2006. Topics of publications include lymphoma, mast cell tumors, cytology, and communication skills. She has served as the President of the Veterinary Cancer Society and the Chair of the Board of Regents for the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. She has five times received the student-nominated Mell Faculty Award for empathy and honoring the bond between owners and pets.
Dr. Ronald Gill, DVM
Dr. Ronald E. Gill is a mixed-animal practitioner at Three Rivers Veterinary Clinic in West Salem, Ill.
Dr. Gill has many years' experience in organized veterinary medicine at both the state and national levels, beginning with the Southern Illinois Veterinary Medical Association (SIVMA). He later represented SIVMA at the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association (ISVMA), where he held various leadership roles that culminated in his service as ISVMA president.
Dr. Gill has served on multiple entities within the AVMA, including the Council on Veterinary Services and the Governance Performance Review Committee, both of which he chaired for two years. He was also vice chair of the Board of Directors and the Council on Education.
Dr. Gill received his veterinary degree from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Hadley Gleason, VMD, MS, DACVS-SA
More information coming soon!
Dr. Sarah Gray, DVM, DACVS-LA
Dr. Sarah Gray is a 2015 graduate from Iowa State University. Originally from North Dakota, she did both her undergraduate and veterinary school in Iowa. Following graduation from veterinary school, she completed a private practice internship outside of San Antonio, Texas at Retama Equine Hospital, a busy primary care and referral practice. After completion of her general practice internship, Dr. Gray completed a large animal surgical internship at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Massachusetts. Dr. Gray then proceeded to the University of Illinois where she completed her large animal surgical residency. Following the completion of her residency, she was a locum surgeon at Virginia Tech for one year and a Clinical Instructor at Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine for one year. She returned back to the University of Illinois this past June as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Equine Surgery.
Dr. Adrienne Haley, DVM
More information coming soon!
Dr. Devon Hague, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology)
Dr. Devon Wallis Hague is currently a clinical associate professor and head of the neurology & neurosurgery service at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. At the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching hospital, she serves as the section head of the small animal surgery, anesthesia and neurology & neurosurgery, and dentistry services and is the immediate past president of the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association (ISVMA).
Dr. Hague graduated veterinary school from the Ohio State University and subsequently pursued her specialty training in private practice prior to landing in academia. Dr. Hague is fascinated in all facets of clinical neurology and neurosurgery. She also enjoys working with students in various aspects of clinical practice and especially in areas of critical thinking, leadership development, and resiliency.
Dr. Katie Harbach, DVM
Dr. Katie Harbach graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2005. She began working in small animal practice full time focusing on dogs, cats, and exotics. Dr. Harbach then became the lead program veterinarian instructing Certified Veterinary Technicians in 2008 while also working as a relief doctor. She returned full time to general practice in 2017 at Mulford Animal Hospital and purchased the practice in 2020. Since then she was grown her support staff from a total of 6 to 14 for 1 full time and 1 part time doctor. Dr. Harbach has been on the Northern Illinois Veterinary Medical association since 2016, serving multiple offices. She was elected to the ISVMA board for her district in 2021. When not working she enjoys time with her family, husband, Jeremy, two boys, Zane and Dexter, and her dog, Rayna.
Dr. Courtney Hayes, DVM
Dr. Hayes is a 1998 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Vet Med. She spent a year in cow-calf practice in North Dakota before coming back to the University of Illinois for a Residency in Large Animal Medicine & Surgery. Following that, she spent 15 years in practice in Upstate New York doing primarily dairy work. Dr. Hayes spent two years working for the USDA before coming back to the University of Illinois as a veterinarian for the Agricultural Animal Care and Use Program.
Dr. Julia Herman, DVM, MS, DACVPM
Dr. Julia Herman serves as the Beef Cattle Specialist Veterinarian at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. She leads education development and veterinary outreach for the Producer Education team and Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program. Her interests in animal behavior and welfare, biosecurity, and producer/employee education provide opportunities to improve food animal production systems that contribute to a safe food supply. Previously, she worked in a beef cattle practice on the Central Plains before joining the livestock faculty with Colorado State University’s veterinary school. She represents NCBA on cattle health and welfare advisory committees for national veterinary organizations and agricultural groups. Julia earned her DVM (2015) and MS (2013) with an emphasis in Epidemiology from Colorado State University and achieved board certification in veterinary preventive medicine in 2022.
Dr. Nicole Herndon, DVM, DACLAM
More information coming soon!
Dr. Matt Hull, DVM
A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Dr. Hull received his bachelor's degree in animal science from Kansas State University in 2013 and remained at his alma mater for his veterinary education, graduating with his DVM in 2017. Following graduation, he pursued a career in small animal specialty medicine with a rotating internship at Purdue, a specialty internship in small animal medicine at the University of Illinois, and an internal medicine residency at the University of Missouri before transitioning to a career in industry with Hill's Pet Nutrition in March 2020. He spent his first two years with Hill's as a veterinary digital education specialist, developing educational materials for veterinary health care professionals and serving as the host of their monthly Hill's@home CE symposium, which also afforded him an opportunity to interview two k-state idols: Jordy Nelson and Eric Stonestreet! He joined the Academic Affairs team in July of 2022 and now resides in Kansas City where he enjoys the world's best barbecue, chiefs football, and countless hiking/camping/kayaking expeditions with his significant other, 2 dogs, and 2 horses.
Detective Tara Hurless
Dr. Yvette Johnson-Walker, DVM, PhD
Dr. Yvette Johnson-Walker received bachelor’s degrees in Animal and Veterinary Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1987. She became the first African American woman to graduate from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine with a DVM in 1989. In 1993 she earned a Master’s in Veterinary Clinical Medicine from the University of Illinois. In 1998, she completed a PhD in Analytical Epidemiology from Michigan State University in Lansing, Michigan. She is currently a lecturer in clinical epidemiology at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine—Center for One Health Illinois. Her research has focused on risk factors for the transmission of pathogens between agricultural operations, companion animals, and humans. She has been awarded extramural funds exceeding $1.9 million for epidemiology, public health, and emergency preparedness education and training grants and cooperative agreements and served as PI or co-PI on more than 20 funded research projects, totaling an additional $1.08 million in awarded funds.
Dr. Johnson-Walker has served as Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion for the College of Veterinary Medicine since 2018. She serves as the faculty advisor for the University of Illinois Chapter of Veterinarians as One Inclusive Community for Empowerment (VOICE) and participate in the Multicultural Veterinary Medical Association and the Black DVM network. She is an active participant in the UIUC Senior Diversity Leadership group and the Faculty Senate Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. At the DVM professional organization-level, she serves on the Midwest regional Iverson Bell Symposium planning committee and the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee which is an Advisory Committee to the Board of Directors.
Dr. Megan Kees, DVM
Dr. Megan Kees is a 2011 graduate of the University of Illinois. She became interested in emergency medicine during her second year after completing an externship at an emergency clinic in St. Louis. This led her to seek a rotating internship opportunity after graduation and she matched at the Regional Veterinary Referral Center (RVRC) in Springfield, VA. During her internship she was encouraged to consider specialty certification and decided to go for it. She matched at the New England Animal Medical Center (NEAMC) in West Bridgewater, MA and began her three year temporary moment of insanity as an ECC Resident. She completed the residency in 2015 and was lucky enough to be able to return to RVRC as a staff veterinarian. She became a DACVECC in 2018 and was promoted to Medical Director of the ECC Department at RVRC in 2019. She shares her home with her spouse of 18 years, David, and their two three-legged cats, Hiccup and Toothless.
Dr. Krista Keller, DVM, Dipl ACZM
Krista Keller is an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Keller has also worked as an Avian and Exotics Telemedicine Specialist for Abaxis, Incorporated since 2014. Krista earned a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. She then completed an internship in companion animal medicine and surgery at Louisiana State University and a residency in zoological companion animal medicine at the University of California at Davis. Dr. Keller worked in private practice as an avian and exotic animal veterinary specialist for 2 years, and she has presented and published extensively on exotic animal medicine topics.
Dr. Samuel Kerby, DVM, Director of the 5th Year Mentorship Program
Dr. Kerby is the director of the 5th Year, both an online group and a non-traditional internship program dedicated to advancing veterinary mentorship. Having started in private practice emergency medicine right out of veterinary school in 2018, Dr. Kerby experienced both the good and the bad of a non-structured start to a veterinary career. Having a passion for teaching and mentorship himself, he jumped at the chance to start a new kind of internship program that focused on culture, work life balance and practical medicine while developing new graduates into all-star associate veterinarians. Dr. Kerby is a graduate of Washington State School of Veterinary medicine, live with his corgi Garrus, his orange tabby Bruce and spends his days off playing disc golf!
Dr. Marci Kirk, DVM
Dr. Marci Kirk is a 2011 graduate from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. She practiced small animal medicine for five years before joining the staff at the AVMA. Through her work at the AVMA, Dr. Kirk provides support to wellbeing, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and is a co-host of AVMA’s My Veterinary Life Podcast. Outside of work, Dr. Kirk is an avid runner and enjoys traveling with her husband, especially to Walt Disney World especially for a race weekend. She also shares her home and most of her social media posts with her dog Bucky, the aspiring good boy.
Kimberly Knap, BS, CVT, OACM
Kim Knap graduated from the University of Illinois College of ACES with a Bachelor’s Degree in animal science. She is also a certified veterinary technician. Kim Knap’s veterinary technician career began as the orthopedic surgery technician at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital. After completing further specialized training in rehabilitation and pain management, she was a member of the first graduating class of Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioners through the University of Tennessee and subsequently also an Osteoarthritis Case Manager certification in 2020. She also is one of a select few members of the Pfizer TECC program on pain management. She played a vital role in the development the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s companion animal rehabilitation program at a time when there were only a few active programs in veterinary teaching hospitals in the country. Kim’s passion is practicing and teaching rehabilitation and she has lectured nationally. She has been a key player in over 20 funded research projects involving rehabilitation. She is a coauthor of the rehabilitation chapter of the Fossum Small Animal Surgery textbook. Kim is currently the Rehabilitation coordinator at the University of Illinois, Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
Dr. Sharon Kuca, DVM
Dr. Kuca received her Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine from the Royal Veterinary College in London, UK. After practicing veterinary medicine at a small animal clinic in rural Illinois, she attended Tufts University where she completed a Master of Science in Animals and Public Policy. She is currently an Assistant Director in the Animal Welfare Division at the American Veterinary Medical Association. As assistant director she is primarily responsible for issues related to the welfare of farm animals and has served as the Coordinating Committee Chair for the Animal Welfare Assessment Contest (AWJAC) since 2017. In this role she has worked with host institutions, fellow coordinating committee members, and the AWJAC Advisory Board to organize and implement the annual AWJAC.
Dr. William Langhofer, DVM, President of the 5th Year and Hippo Veterinary Group
Dr. Langhofer grew up in Indiana as the son of a veterinarian. He graduated from Purdue University in 1998, as the youngest veterinarian in the nation. He works closely with many species of exotic pets, and is very interested in holistic medicine in dogs and cats. He and his wife have a beautiful daughter and 2 sons. His pets at home include 3 dogs, 2 cats, 3 birds, and a desert tortoise. In his spare time he enjoys hiking, spicy food, and is an avid whitewater kayaker.
Dr. Micaela LoConte, DVM
Originating from Central New York, Dr. LoConte grew up with a wide variety of veterinary experiences but found her passion in dairy medicine. She completed her BS in Biochemistry with a double major in Music at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 2016.
Dr. LoConte is a graduate of the Cornell Summer Dairy Institute and received her DVM from Cornell in 2020. She also completed a two week clinical rotation at Quality Milk Production Services. After graduation she spent a year at a mixed large animal practice in Central Pennsylvania seeing cows, sheep, goats and everything in between before returning to Geneva to join Keseca.
One of her favorite aspects of the profession is the people she gets to interact with on a daily basis, and the cows that they take care of. Milk quality and parlor evaluation has been a passion for Dr. LoConte, as well as cow comfort and facility management. There are many aspects of the dairy industry that she is excited to continue to learn about.
Dr. LoConte is excited to be back in the Finger Lakes with her husband, Trevor and two dogs, Rosie and Kojack. Some of her favorite things to do when not spending time with cows include hiking, kayaking and playing the flute.
Dr. Jim Lowe, DVM, MS, DABVP
Lowe is an Associate Professor and Interim Assistant Dean for Public Engagement and the i-Learning Center at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois. Prior to joining the University, he had a long career in consulting practice and swine production.
Dr. Lori Madsen, DVM
Dr. Madsen graduated from the University of Illinois in 2014. After graduation, Dr. Madsen completed an internship at New England Equine Medical and Surgical Center in New Hampshire. After her internship, she moved back to Illinois and began working at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Madsen has completed a residency in Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. In addition, she is a Certified Equine Rehabilitation Practitioner and is certified in animal chiropractics.
Dr. Odie Marcovici, DVM
Dr. Odie Marcovici has close to 30 years experience in almost every conceivable type of small-animal practice. He helped develop the Recruiting & Professional Relations Director role for VCA and in the ensuing 14 years has recruited every type of veterinary professional. Having interviewed thousands of candidates at schools and at hospitals, he has tried to effect positive change in the profession one hire at a time. He is passionate about finding new grads their ideal first job, finding candidates their "forever practice" and most importantly, "putting good people in good hospitals." He often presents about the nature of veterinary recruiting, both retrospectively and prospectively, as well as conducting resume and interview workshops at schools and events across the globe.
Dr. Todd Marlo, DVM, MS, DACVO
Todd Marlo, DVM, MS, DACVO obtained his degree in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois in 2013. He completed his small animal rotating internship at the University of Missouri. Following his internship, he remained at the University of Missouri to complete his Comparative Ophthalmology residency. He achieved board certification in 2018. He practiced at Veterinary Ophthalmology Services in Chattanooga, TN for several years following his residency, and currently works as a Clinical Assistant Professor at University of Illinois. During his free time, he enjoys outdoor sportsmanship and traveling with his wife.
Dr. Judilee Marrow, DVM, DACZM
Dr. Marrow is a board-certified specialist in zoological medicine with a passion for advancing veterinary care in wildlife and zoologically managed species. Her clinical interests include zoological species dentistry, anesthesia, and analgesia. Dr. Marrow’s favorite part of her job is finding innovative and often “MacGyvered’ solutions to treat managed wildlife species that improve their well-being.
Dr. Gary Marshall, DVM
Dr. Gary Marshall is a graduate of the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He continues to practice at the feline-exclusive clinic (Island Cats Veterinary Hospital) he founded on Mercer Island, Washington in 1996. His special areas of interest are feline geriatrics, client communication, and the training and mentorship of veterinary students and recent graduates. On Instagram as @it.might.get.weird he enjoys connecting with other veterinary professionals. Many of which he met through his virtual ‘Cat Class’ that provided dozens of hours of cat related content to students and new graduates at the onset of the Pandemic.
With his position as Adjunct Professor for Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, there are several veterinary students receiving part of their clinical training at Island Cats every year. With this connection to the students, Dr. Marshall had the tremendous honor of being invited to deliver the commencement address for the class of 2022 graduation ceremony.
Dr. Marshall is a Past-President of the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association and still serves on the Board of Directors. He currently serves as one of two representatives from Washington State in the House of Delegates for the American Veterinary Medical Association. In 2020 he was elected to serve on the Board of the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative, and was appointed to serve on the Advisory Group of the AVMA/AAVMC Commission for a Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Veterinary Profession.
Outside of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Marshall enjoys getting to all the corners of the Pacific Northwest to work on honing his landscape photography skills, and during the winter he participates in a local curling league.
Dr. Tessa Marshall, BVSc, MS, DABVP
Dr. Annette McCoy, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVS
Dr. Annette McCoy is an Associate Professor of Equine Surgery at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in Champaign, Illinois, where she has been since 2015. Dr. McCoy is a 2006 graduate of Michigan State University. Following graduation, she completed a rotating large animal medicine/surgery internship at the University of Minnesota. Following that, Dr. McCoy completed an equine surgery residency and earned a Master of Science degree at Colorado State University. She became board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2011. Following her residency, she completed a PhD in Comparative and Molecular Biosciences at the University of Minnesota. Her current research endeavors are focused on genetic factors influencing musculoskeletal disease and the role of early exercise on gait development, bone modeling, and fracture prevention. Dr. McCoy is the director of the equine internship and surgery residency programs at the University of Illinois and is passionate about training and educating the next generation of surgeons and clinician-scientists.
Dr. Richard Meadows, DVM, DABVP
Dr. Richard Meadows literally grew up in a mixed animal veterinary clinic in the panhandle of Texas. He graduated from veterinary school over 40 years ago. In his career he has worked in a dairy practice, done relief work and then owned a small animal practice for 10 years. During his practice owning years he became board certified in Canine and Feline Medicine and Surgery. After selling his practice he completed a residency in Clinical Pathology and an NIH sponsored Post-Doctoral fellowship in Inflammatory Pathology in a human medical/dental school. For the last 23 years he has been the section leader for small animal Primary Care, Dentistry, Dermatology and Shelter Medicine at the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He has been humbled to win 18 teaching awards (from Local to International awards) in the last 23 years. When he is not working he enjoys his four grandchildren, riding his Honda Goldwing motorcycle and being outdoors.
Dr. Rebecca Mears, DVM
Dr. Rebecca Mears grew up in Delaware before moving to Lexington, KY; where she completed her BS at University of Kentucky. She is a graduate of University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine. While in vet school, she served as the National Business Certificate Director for the Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA) and as a board member for Vets for Pets and People. During this time she took an active role in wellbeing awareness and access within the veterinary community. Dr. Mears was previously an equine practitioner and is now putting her non-clinical passions to work with the Veterinary Information Network (VIN) Student Team and the VIN Foundation Student Debt Education Team. Her additional non-clinical interests include improving financial literacy and encouraging wellbeing within the profession. In her time away from veterinary medicine, she can be found hiking, baking, and hosting impromptu dance parties. She is passionate about giving back to the profession and improving the lives of veterinarians, pre-veterinary and veterinary students.
Dr. Blaine Melody, DVM
Outside of work, Blaine enjoys hiking, rugby, weight-lifting, trying new foods and wine, and enjoying everything California has to offer with his partner, Veronica, and faithful feline, Harley Quinn. Since moving to California, Blaine has been proud to be a small part of the legacy of Lander Veterinary Clinic. He holds a great passion for helping their dairy clients identify major management opportunities and help achieve their farm’s individual goals. Areas of expertise include: bilingual technician training in Spanish and English, National Dairy FARM Program compliance and herd protocol development, transition cow program auditing and troubleshooting, herd fertility improvement and reproductive synchronization program implementation, disease outbreak investigation and diagnostics, milk quality analysis and parlor performance, culture-based mastitis therapy and selective dry cow therapy implementation, DairyComp 305 records analysis and monitoring, dairy replacement heifer program development and inventory management, and calf lung ultrasound and calf ranch consulting
Dr. Michael W. Miller, DVM
Dr. Michael W. Miller is the co-owner of Lakewood Animal Hospital, a small animal practice in Morris, Illinois. In addition to dogs and cats, he has a special interest in reptiles which led him to start a wildlife rescue at his practice for hit-by-car turtles. He is a 2011 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and currently serves on the Illinois Veterinary Medical Alumni Association executive board. After being a contributing author to veterinary websites, he started his blog called Harry Potter Vet, where he uses comparisons to the wizarding world to help veterinary professionals and himself discover the magic in veterinary medicine. Recently he has started sharing that magic through speaking engagements – most notably the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference and the Uncharted Veterinary Conference. Outside of vet med, he also is discovering the magic of parenthood as he and his wife raise their two young sons.
Dr. Elizabeth Johnson Million, DVM
In her role as the Assistant Director of Outreach and Engagement with the ICVA, Dr. Elizabeth Johnson Million works closely with the CEO and staff to promote the mission of the organization to all stakeholders. She plays an integral part in strategic outreach, especially for the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE).
Dr. Million grew up in the mountains of east Tennessee. She was very active in the Tennessee State 4-H Horse Project and was almost always on the back of a horse. After graduating from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Million worked at a busy small animal practice outside Houston, Texas before jumping back into the academic world and serving in a unique role as the first Assistant Dean of Student Success at Lincoln Memorial University CVM where she coordinated all NAVLE-related initiatives for the program. Dr. Million also practices in-home veterinary hospice and end-of-life care and enjoys staying involved with the Veterinary Leadership Initiative (VLI).
Dr. Million, her husband A.J., and daughter Annabeth live in Knoxville. They enjoy traveling, hosting crawfish boils, and spending time outdoors with their Labradors, Daisy and Jolene.
Dr. Ann Montague, DVM
Dr. Ann Montague is an Area Chief of Staff for Banfield Pet Hospital in Chicago. She is a 2003 graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. She enjoys mentoring veterinary students and new DVMs. She is also the housekeeper for two bossy cats.
Dr. Jesse Navatta, DVM
Jesse Navatta (they/them), DVM, received their doctorate from Cornell University in 2017. While in school, their focus moved from zoo and wildlife medicine to shelter and community medicine.
Taking many opportunities to work in access to care and community medicine abroad, Dr. Navatta studied and volunteered in many countries including South Africa, Bulgaria, Mexico, and Brazil. Completing Purdue's Human Centered Veterinary Care certificate program in 2016 shifted their focus completely to accessible veterinary care. After graduation, they continued to pursue this passion by working with community members on the South side of Chicago as well as teaching veterinary students high-volume, high-quality spay/neuter techniques through FARVets, an outreach program through Cornell University. Dr. Navatta acts as a mentor for the Pride Veterinary Medical Community through the Pawsibilities network and for MentorVet. They also volunteer on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committees for the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) and the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association (ISVMA). They are certified for veterinary educational outreach through Purdue's VetaHumanz program.
Born and raised in New York, Dr. Navatta has lived in Chicago since graduating from veterinary school. They enjoy exploring the city with their husband as well as gardening at home with their two cats and box turtle.
Dr. Susan Norris, DVM
More information coming soon!
Dr. Gene Pavlovsky, DVM
Dr. Pavlovsky is a 2003 graduate of Ontario Veterinary College of the University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada). He spent about 17 years in general practice before joining University of Illinois faculty 3 years ago. His interests lie in pain management, nutrition and behavior. He is currently the service head for the Small Animal Primary Care service of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and is currently working on certification by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (in canine/feline).
Dr. Sara Pearson, MPH, DVM
Sara Pearson received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2018. During this time, she became interested in the interconnectedness of animal and human health and completed her Master of Public Health degree with a focus on epidemiology and biostatistics through the University of Illinois at Chicago. Through an approach known as “One Health,” Pearson enjoys exploring ways that multiple disciplines can work collaboratively to improve human, animal, and environmental health.
After graduation, Dr. Pearson started out in small animal general and emergency practice. After moving back to U of I, she now holds a couple different roles which keeps her career interesting. When wearing her veterinarian hat, she works for the Agricultural Animal Care and Use Program. Her role is to ensure high quality care as well as promote health and well-being for agricultural animals used in research and teaching at UIUC. She also enjoys teaching veterinary students in the Clinical Skills Learning Center. When she wears her public health hat, she is a Teaching Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health. In her spare time, she enjoys doing crafts and trail riding with her mules.
Dr. Rose Peters, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology)
Dr. Rose Peters graduated from the University of Illinois in 2005 and went on to complete a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery with VCA. Afterwards, she worked as an emergency clinician for canine, feline, and non-traditional species in a New Orleans multi-specialty practice where she ultimately became the head of the department. She also became certified in veterinary acupuncture through CSU to expand the Rehabilitation department services during that time. Neurology has been a long-time passion, and Dr. Peters finally left New Orleans to complete a Neurology internship at a multispecialty practice in Virginia, and then completed a residency with board certification in Neurology at the University of Florida. She also holds the ACVIM certification in Neurosurgery and has enjoyed a broad range of medical and surgical cases in her time working in multispecialty private practices in New Orleans and South Florida. She is excited to return to the University of Illinois to join the clinical neurology team.
Dr. Makenzie Peterson, DSW, MSc
As a member of their senior program leadership team, Dr. Makenzie Peterson serves as the Director for Wellbeing at the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC). She works to advance AAVMC’s strategic goal of fostering a culture of wellbeing throughout academic veterinary medicine by promoting preventative, systems-based initiatives that positively impact people’s lives. Dr. Peterson provides subject-matter expertise on evidence-based health and wellbeing practices, as well as how organizations can improve overall wellbeing by addressing the root causes of distress. She speaks on a variety of wellbeing-related topics across the profession to drive positive change.
In Dr. Peterson’s current role, she leads efforts to improve the wellbeing of students, interns, residents, staff, and faculty at our member institutions by conducting national research on mental health and wellbeing and providing organizational recommendations and consultation for program development and implementation. She also provides oversight for AAVMC’s Academic Veterinary Wellbeing Professionals (AVWP) group. Beyond her role in academic veterinary medicine, Dr. Peterson also established the Wellbeing Coalition group for the Federation of the Allied Schools of the Health Professions (FASHP) to encourage cross-disciplinary efforts and resource sharing to collectively support the wellbeing of all the health professions.
A few of Dr. Peterson’s previous roles included being a health specialist for a joint MIT/Harvard-sponsored start-up located in Harvard Business School’s Innovation Lab focused on educating college students on health topics, and at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine as their first Wellbeing Program Director creating community wellbeing initiatives for students, staff, and faculty. She served on the Wellbeing Committee for the New York State Veterinary Medical Society and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative.
Born and raised in Alaska, Dr. Peterson completed her master’s degree from the University of Utah in Health Promotion & Health Education and her Doctorate of Social Work from the University of Southern California. When she’s not working to translate wellbeing research into practice, Dr. Peterson can be found enjoying time with her family and her wolfdog Odin, and fixing up her circa 1845 home in central New York (a never-ending endeavor).
Dr. Giorgia Podico, DVM, MSc
Dr. Podico hails from the beautiful Verbania, Italy, off the coast of Lake Maggiore. Growing up riding, she transformed her love of horses into a career and graduated with her doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Milan in 2013. She completed a residency in Equine Theriogenology at the University of Illinois in 2021 and stayed at the university as a clinical instructor. Dr. Podico enjoys reading books in her free time, especially Isabelle Alledale novels, and hiking with her Dachshund, Emma. In addition, she is an accomplished cook and likes to prepare authentic Italian meals for friends and family, including her famous Quiche.
Dr. Aaron Pospisil, DVM
Aaron graduated in 2017 from The Ohio State University and started at Sugarcreek Veterinary Clinic in northeast Ohio. He primarily focuses his attention on dairy cows, especially calves, and small animal medicine. After a difficult start to his career, Aaron has focused part of his professional efforts to working as a facilitator with Operators to Owners, a coaching company focused on creating teams of like minded individuals to leverage the tools of positive psychology. He was the 2020 AABP Emerging Leader, leading the 2021 Recent Graduate Conference. He currently is serving in his most difficult role yet, raising two sons with his wife.
Dr. Raymond J. Ramirez, DVM
Raymond J Ramirez graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 1986. After working in Schaumburg, IL Emergency Clinic the first year after graduation, he worked at an AHAA hospital in Milwaukee, WI. In 1989 started doing relief work in Wisconsin full time (before it was the 'thing' to do). He moved his entire relief practice to central Illinois, serving colleagues in Springfield, Champaign/Urbana, Bloomington/Normal, Decatur, Peoria and all areas in between. He had an 85% return rate request rate.
After working in over 100 practices in Wisconsin and Illinois, he finally found a practice to purchase in December 2007, just as the great recession of 2008-2009 hit. His CVT made more money than he did the first two years in practice.
Through utilizing the management skills learned in the many practices he served, the practice thrived, and currently is a two doctor practice in East Peoria, IL. Dr Ramirez is also on the board of the local shareholder owned Urgicare/ Emergency clinic in Peoria, IL., is incoming president of the Mississippi Valley VMA, and has been a mentor through the Illinois VMA mentor program. He is married to his wife Kelly (they met in ballroom dance class), and have five children.
Dr. Mackenzie Ruehl, DVM, MedVet Hilliard Medical Director and Emergency Doctor
Dr. Mackenzie Ruehl is the Medical Director for MedVet Hilliard. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of California San Diego in La Jolla, CA. She attended the University of California Davis in Davis, CA to earn her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. And she completed a rotating medicine & surgery internship at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. At The Ohio State University, Dr. Ruehl is enrolled in a master’s/PhD program for biomedical education with a focus on curricular design and implementation.
She has a special interest in teaching new skills and also helping pet owners make great decisions for their pet’s healthcare. Dr. Ruehl chose a career at MedVet because she loves that veterinarians get to be involved in every step from practicing medicine to training new veterinarians all the way to managing the business.
When not caring for animals, Dr. Ruehl likes to paddleboard, camp, hike, read, and watch baseball, especially if it’s the San Francisco Giants.
Dr. Kelly St. Denis, MSc, DVM, DABVP (Feline)
Dr. St. Denis is a practicing feline specialist, author and international speaker. In her early career she trained in molecular biology and immunology, working in the field of cancer research. She has co-authored a number of practice guidelines including the recent 2022 AAFP/ISFM Cat Friendly Interactions and the 2022 AAFP/ISFM Cat Friendly Veterinary Environment Guidelines. Dr. St. Denis is medical co-editor of the AAFP Feline Practitioner Magazine with Dr. Jessica Quimby and has recently joined Drs. Margie Scherk and Andy Sparkes as a co-editor of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.
Dr. Will Sander, DVM, MPH, DACVPM
Dr. Sander is assistant professor for preventive medicine and public health and director of the DVM/MPH joint degree program at University of Illinois – College of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to Illinois, he spent 6 years in Washington D.C. During that time, he spent 2 years at the U.S. EPA Office of Water as an AAAS Science and Technology Fellow and 3 years supporting the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Cooperative Biological Engagement Program. Additionally, he was a staff veterinarian for 5 years at City Wildlife, Washington D.C.’s only wildlife rehabilitation center, and practiced for 4 years at VCA small animal practices. He’s a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine and serves on their Executive Board. Additionally, he is the alternate Delegate for Illinois to the AVMA House of Delegates. He is a 2009 graduate of University of Wisconsin College of Veterinary Medicine and received a MPH from Yale University in 2011.
Dr. Amy Schnelle, DVM, MS, DACVP
Dr. Schnelle is a clinical assistant professor at the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a Cardinals fan (born in St. Louis, grew up in the Metro East area and souther Illinois). She completed veterinary school, a small animal internship, and clinical pathology residency at University of Illinois CVM.
Dr. Schnelle was an instructor at U of I for more than a year before beginnign work for a commercial diagnostic laboratory. After several years, she found that she missed the variety and engagement of academics, as well as working in a lab affiliated with a veterinary hospital, and was fortunate enough to return to U of I as a clinical assistant professor in September 2017.
She is interested in clinical problems, particularly knowledge gaps that lead to limitations and difficulties for clinicians and their patients. She has enjoyed collaborating on reptile hematology projects with U of I's exotics/zoo veterinarians, residents, and students, and looks forward to her continued involvement in this important area of reptilian and avian research.
Dr. Emily Singler, DVM
Dr. Emily Singler is a 2001 graduate of Penn State University and a 2005 graduate of University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. She has worked in shelter medicine, private practice, and as a relief veterinarian. She currently works as a veterinary writer and consultant and enjoys writing for both pet owners and veterinary professionals. She also mentors clinical year veterinary students.
Her writing interests include public health, preventive medicine, the human-animal bond, and life as a working mom. As a part of this, she has her own blog, www.vetmedbaby.com, and is currently working on a book for veterinary team members who are navigating pregnancy and postpartum life. She is married with 4 kids and lives in Orlando, Florida. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, horseback riding, and all things llama and alpaca.
Dr. Rebecca Smith, DVM, MS, PhD
Rebecca Smith is an infectious disease epidemiologist with a focus on modeling to predict control program efficacy. She is particularly interested in the potential interactions between multiple diseases in the same population, a problem that is highly applicable to tick-borne diseases. Her role in the center is to translate the prediction models for vector-borne diseases into recommendations for optimal control of both vectors and diseases.
Dr. Suzanna Storms, DVM
Dr. Storms, a 2022 PhD student in Veterinary Pathobiology focusing on infectious disease in swine. She is also a 2019 graduate from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. After receiving her DVM, Dr. Storms decided to continue her studies here at the college of veterinary medicine to focus on research and make an impact on how the industry manages infectious diseases. Dr. Storms helps manage the Applied Livestock Epidemiology Lab which strives to help producers solve problems in the areas of biosecurity and viral respiratory disease in food animals, and oversees veterinary student research in the summers. After completing two years of her PhD program, Dr. Storms moved into an instructor role based on her demonstrated ability and passion for leading learners through new content relative to food animal medicine. She currently teaches VCM 505, and has helped facilitate VCM 560, 561, 562, 568, as well as many veterinary student courses and food-animal electives.
Dr. Storms grew up in central Illinois on a sheep farm that fostered her interest in small ruminant reproduction. This work takes her around the central United States area to laparoscopically breed sheep and deer and has allowed her to work with many domestic and exotic species.
Dr. Storms doesn’t have much spare time since she is instructing courses, leading teaching assistants, and running a research lab, but when she does she enjoys spending time with Chip, her Border Collie, who thinks that every car in Champaign is an overgrown sheep to herd.
Dr. Drew Sullivan, DVM, MBA
Dr. Drew Sullivan graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2011. He began his career as an associate veterinarian at Northgate Pet Clinic in Decatur, Illinois. In 2012, he completed a special certification in small animal ultrasound. He joined the faculty at University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013 and was named medical director of Medical District Veterinary Clinic in 2014. In 2020 he completed his MBA, through the University of Illinois, Gies College of Business.
Dr. Sullivan’s Illini spirit runs deep. In addition to completing a double major in animal sciences and chemistry as an undergraduate at Illinois, he was also a cheerleader. During his veterinary studies, he found time to be the assistant varsity cheerleading coach. He says one of his most exciting moments was being right on the court when Illinois beat Arizona on the way to the 2005 Final Four & National Championship Game.
Dr. Sullivan enjoys spending time with his wife, who is also an Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine grad, their two children, and their dog Winnie.
When he’s not working, Dr. Sullivan enjoys working out and running. He loves Illinois athletics and is an avid Chicago sports fan.
Dr. Karen Terio, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVP
Karen Terio earned her DVM from Tufts University, PhD from the University of California and completed a residency in anatomic pathology in a joint program between the University of California, Davis and the Zoological Society of San Diego. She became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists in 2002. She is currently a Clinical Professor and Chief of Staff with the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine, Zoological Pathology Program (ZPP). With colleagues at ZPP, she provides comprehensive pathology diagnostic services to zoological institutions as well as to local, national and international wildlife agencies and conservation programs. Her research focuses on the impact of disease on free-ranging and managed wild animal populations. She is an editor of the textbook “Pathology of Wildlife and Zoo Animals” published by Academic Press, Elsevier that received the 2019 PROSE award for a Textbook in the Biological and Life Sciences.
Dr. Caroline Tonozzi, DVM, DACVECC
Dr. Tonozzi graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2003. She then completed a small animal rotating internship at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates in 2004, and went onto a residency in small animal emergency and critical care at Animal Emergency Center in Glendale, Wisconsin. She completed her residency in 2007, and became board certified in SA ECC in 2008. She was the director of Emergency Medicine at VCA Aurora Animal Hospital from 2007-2017, and then went on to become service head of SA ECC at University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. She currently is Regional Director in Illinois for Mission Veterinary Partners (MVP). Dr. Tonozzi has been published in Compendium, JAVMA, and JVECC, and has lectured at local and international conferences on various topics related to small animal emergency, critical care, and surgery. She has been a volunteer trail veterinarian for the Iditarod Sled Dog race since 2016.
Dr. Christina V. Tran, DVM
Originally from Illinois, Dr. Christina V. Tran received her undergraduate degree at UC Davis, and her veterinary degree from University of Illinois. She has spent half of her career in small animal private practice -- as a full-time associate, relief veterinarian, and house call practice owner. In addition, Dr. Tran has worked in shelter medicine and in academia. She served as veterinary technology faculty at Portland Community College (Oregon) and as veterinary technology program director at Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Currently, Dr. Tran is on faculty at University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine as an associate professor of practice and Clinical Relations Lead Veterinarian.
Dr. Tran is passionate about volunteering and currently serves in several veterinary medical organizations including the Multicultural Veterinary Medical Association (past president and founding board member), Virtual Veterinary Care Association (Board of Directors), Arizona Veterinary Medical Association (Board of Directors), Arizona Veterinary Medical Examining Board (Investigative Committee member), and the AVMA’s Council on Education (site visitor and selection committee). In addition, Dr. Tran and her dog Marley are a registered pet therapy team with Pet Partners.
H. Nicole Trenholme, DVM, MS, DACVECC, DACVAA
Dr. Trenholme completed her undergrad at Colorado State University, then started veterinary school at Ross University. She had never thought that she would be living on a Caribbean island for several years, but life takes you on weird journeys!
After finishing her degree, she did small animal relief work for a few months before starting a private practice rotating internship at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, D.C. During her internship, she worked up to 90% of the time in emergency and loved the excitement and case variety.
Dr. Trenholme then returned to NCSU for a specialty internship in small animal ECC, where she taught laboratories and pre-clinical classes in addition to her required rotations. At that time, she wanted to be a criticalist when she grew up. She matched at the University of Missouri for her SA ECC residency, where she did a concurrent thesis-based master’s program in biomedical sciences. At this time, Dr. Trenholme also took on a lot more teaching (both on clinics and in didactic lectures as well as pre-clinical laboratories), as well as aiding in running the service during her third year.
A year into ECC residency, Dr. Trenholme realized that she missed working with other species. Also, the cases that she enjoyed the most were post-op septic abdomens, cases that required total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) for mechanical ventilation, and others that required minute-to-minute adjustments and finetuning. She missed anesthesia and felt that she would be at a better place in her life pursuing that specialty as well.
After talking her husband into another three years, she applied for anesthesia residencies, moving to the University of Georgia (UGA) immediately following the end of her SA ECC residency. She hit the ground running and loved most of it. Dr. Trenholme was able to still work with critically ill patients, but had a greater variety and spent more time doing the things that she enjoyed.
Since completing her second residency, Dr. Trenholme has taken and passed both her ACVECC and ACVAA boards and is proud to be a diplomate in both colleges. She is excited to now get to work at an institution that works with numerous species and where she am able to be involved with clinical medicine, teaching, and research.
Dr. Dana Varble, DVM, CAE
Dana Varble received her veterinary degree from the University of Illinois in 2003 and earned her Certified Association Executive designation from ASAE in 2021. She has practiced clinical medicine in exotic pet, small animal general practice, and emergency medicine and serves as an associate veterinarian for Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital. She has spoken locally, nationally, and internationally on herpetological and exotic animal medicine and the state of the veterinary profession. She served as the president of the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians in 2013 and presently works as the managing editor of the Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery for ARAV. In 2015, she joined NAVC and in January 2020, she was named Chief Veterinary Officer. As an NAVC spokesperson and a veterinary industry expert, she promotes animal health and the veterinary profession through media interviews and appearances including CNN, NBC News, local media outlets, and others including regular appearances on WGN radio on the Lisa Dent Show. She is the author of Today’s Veterinary Practice column, “The Secret Life of Vets.”
She shares her home with a mixed-up brown dog named Hannah, a Leonberger named Kodi, a tank of cichlids, four ball pythons, a New Caledonian Giant Gecko, and a domestic human, Patrick, and his kids Lexi, and PJ.
Dr. Aida Vientos-Plotts, DVM, PhD, DACVIM
Originally from Puerto Rico, a graduate of Tuskegee University (DVM), Dr. Aida Vientós Plotts completed a rotating internship at Auburn University followed by a small animal internal medicine residency, post-doctoral fellowship and PhD at the University of Missouri (MU). She joined the MU faculty in 2020 and is currently an Assistant Professor of Small Animal Internal Medicine. Dr. Vientós-Plotts is one of the co-founders and currently serves on the board of directors of a non-profit organization, Veterinarians for Puerto Rico. Since its inception in 2017 this organization has facilitated over 16,000 spay/neuters and vaccinated close to 20,000 dogs and cats and continues to spearhead efforts to help tackle the overpopulation of dogs and cats on the Island. While she wears many hats her favorites are mama and wife. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and organizing.
Dr. Miranda Vieson, DVM, PhD, DACVP
Dr. Miranda Vieson is a Clinical Associate Professor in Anatomic Pathology and joined the College of Veterinary Medicine at University of Illinois in 2016. Miranda started her education at The Ohio State University (BS ’07, DVM ’11) followed by a residency and PhD training at Virginia Tech (DACVP ’14, PhD ’16). Her doctoral research focused on treatment of lupus nephritis in a mouse model, and an initial interest in forensic pathology was sparked during her residency training. Teaching is a major focus of hers, but research and diagnostics in the areas of immunology, neuropathology, cardiovascular pathology, and forensics are also of interest.
Dr. Samantha Vitale, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Neurology)
Dr. Vitale graduated in 2014 from Mississippi State University CVM. She then completed a small animal rotating internship at the University of Georgia, followed by a neurology and neurosurgery internship and residency at the University of Illinois. After residency, she began working as a locum neurologist in private practice before starting Stratocyte with her colleague and friend, Dr. Ashley Mitek. She currently works full time as the CEO of Stratocyte. In her free time she enjoys going boating with her husband and her dog, doing Crossfit, and hanging out with her pet backyard chickens.
Dr. Leyi Wang, DVM, PhD, DACVM
Dr. Leyi Wang is Clinical Assistant Professor of Veterinary Clinical Medicine and Virology Section Head of Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his DVM from Shandong Agricultural University in 2001 and a Master degree in veterinary microbiology (virology) from China Agriculture University in 2004. He then worked as a lecturer at Liaocheng University for 1.5 years in China before he came to US. He completed his PhD study on bird flu at the Ohio State University. After received his PhD degree from Ohio State University in 2009, Dr. Wang undertook his postdoctoral training at University of Georgia and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center during 2009-2013 and clinical microbiology training in the Animal Diseases Diagnostic Laboratory of Ohio Department of Agriculture during 2013-2017. He has been in the clinical virology field for 9 years. Dr. Wang has co-authored 100 peer reviewed articles and 8 book chapters, and edited two books of Animal Coronaviruses. He is the co-inventor for two US patents. He serves as editorial boards for several journals including Academic Editor of Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, Advisory Board of Veterinary Microbiology and Archives of Virology, Editorial Board of Medicine, Scientific Reports, Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation, Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology, and World Journal of Virology. Dr. Wang’s significant contribution to the field is that he participated in first identification of variant PEDV, deltacoronavirus in diarrheic pigs, novel sparrow deltacoronavirus, new Bottlenose dolphin coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 in tiger, snow leopard, fishing cat, binturong, and coatimundi, bovine kobuvirus, and bovine boosepivirus.
Dr. Jason Walker, DVM
Dr. Kenneth Welle, DVM, ABVP (Avian)
Dr. Welle is a board-certified avian veterinarian. He has long been captivated by the feathered dinosaurs that are birds and enjoys the unique challenges of keeping them and other unusual creatures healthy and well-adjusted. Four macaws and six chickens haunt his farm along with one dog and four goats.
After graduating from the University of Illinois with his DVM, Dr. Ken Welle was in general practice for seven years before gaining board certification in Avian Practice from the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. For the next 15 years his private practice was limited to birds and other non-traditional pets and he worked with a local zoo. His passion for this field led him to return as faculty to the University of Illinois in 2011 so he could share his knowledge and experience with veterinary students. In addition, Dr. Welle has been very active in the Association of Avian Veterinarians serving as a board member, treasurer, and president, and has been on the residency committee of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners for over a decade. He has also lectured at local, national, and international conferences.
Dr. Tina Wismer, DVM, MS, DABVT, DABT
Tina Wismer, DVM, MS, DABVT, DABT, is the Senior Director of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. She earned her undergraduate degree from Ohio’s University of Findlay and received her DVM from Purdue University. Dr. Wismer worked in both small animal and emergency practice before joining the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in 1998. Dr. Wismer is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology and the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology. She is an adjunct instructor at the University of Illinois, a visiting professor at St. Matthews University (Grand Cayman), a consultant for VIN (Veterinary Information Network) and a Master Gardener.
Dr. Sarah Wright, DVM, CertAqV
Dr. Sarah Wright is a 2020 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, Sarah completed a small animal medicine and surgery rotating internship at VCA Aurora Animal Hospital, followed by a Veterinary Fellowship at the Vancouver Aquarium. Sarah is a Certified Aquatic Veterinarian and a social media specialist. Sarah currently works in the Publications Division at the American Veterinary Medical Association as an Associate Editor where she manages the editorial process for zoological and aquatic animal medicine manuscripts for JAVMA and AJVR, manages social media for the AVMA Journals, and is the co-host of the podcast for the AVMA Journals, Veterinary Vertex.
Dr. Frederico A. Zuckermann, MVZ, PhD
Dr. Zuckermann is an expert on the nature of the immune response of swine to porcine viruses including porcine reproductive respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus and influenza A virus. Dr. Zuckermann earned a DVM equivalent degree with honors from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM); and a PhD in Immunology from the University of Texas Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. After a three-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Microbiology at Vanderbilt University, in 1989 he joined the Department of Pathobiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is now a Professor of Immunology. He has authored over 85 scientific publications and is the inventor of nine patents. In 2010, Dr. Zuckermann founded Aptimmune Biologics (http://aptimmune.com/) with the goal of commercializing vaccine technologies developed in his research laboratory, namely a novel porcine alveolar macrophage cell line, termed Zuckermann macrophage (ZMAC), and a novel PRRS virus vaccine strain derived from a naturally non-virulent PRRS virus isolate, termed G16X. The latter is currently being sold in Mexico by Avimex under the name Innovac L-PRRS (https://avimex.com.mx/producto/innovac-l-prrs).