In case you’re feeling like we’ve had an unusual flurry of activity at the collegerecently…you are absolutely right. In addition to filling some key leadership positions, we have made progress in other key areas, including alumni affairs and our diversity/inclusion efforts. Here are just a few highlights as we begin the new academic year, full speed ahead.
Thanks to the hard work of many different search committees — as well as faculty and staff who have made themselves available for so many interviews this year — I am pleased to report that we have filled four department chair positions in the past eight months.
In our last issue, we noted the hiring of Dr. Julie Moore as incoming chair of our department of infectious diseases and immunology. Dr. Moore joined us officially in May after having served as a faculty member at the University of Georgia since 1999. While at UGA, she was an associate vice president for research and a professor in the department of infectious diseases and at UGA’s Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases. We are so happy to have her on board. More recently, I announced the following appointments:
- Subhashinie Kariyawasam is now chair of the college’s newest department, the department of comparative, diagnostic and population medicine. She currently serves as a clinical professor in the department of veterinary and biomedical science and as microbiology section head of the Animal Diagnostic Laboratory at Pennsylvania State University, where she has been a member of the faculty since 2008. Prior to that, she had faculty appointments at Iowa State University and at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Dr. Kariyawasam began her new role at UF on Sept. 1.
- Chris Adin, formerly a member of the UFCVM faculty, has rejoined the college family as the new chair of our department of small animal clinical sciences. Dr. Adin was an assistant professor of small animal surgery at UF between 2001 and 2006. He previously served as an associate professor of soft tissue and oncologic surgery in the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine’s department of clinical sciences, a position he held since 2015. Before that, he was as an associate professor at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, having joined the faculty at OSU in 2008 after two years in private practice at a veterinary surgery specialty practice in Rochester, New York. Dr. Adin began his new role at UF on Sept.1.
- Guy Lester, another former UFCVM faculty member, will return to the college as chair of our department of large animal clinical sciences. He was an assistant professor of large animal medicine at UF between 1991 and 2001. In addition, Dr. Lester worked as a locum associate professor at the UFCVM for six months in 2016. He is currently an associate professor of equine medicine, head of the equine section and academic chair of the D.V.M. program at Murdoch University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Murdoch, Western Australia. He has been on faculty at Murdoch University since leaving UF in 2002, and will join us in his new role here on Nov. 15.
I would like to especially thank Drs. Dan Brown, Michael Schaer, David Whitley and Chris Sanchez for graciously stepping up to assist their respective departments as interim chairs during the search periods. Their leadership has made a huge difference in our ability to work through these key leadership transitions and we owe them all a huge debt of gratitude.
It has been extremely important to me since I joined the college as dean in 2013 to address ways our college might enhance its alumni engagement. We’ve done many things already, such as our Nights in the Swamp continuing education talks at veterinary medical associations throughout the state, and increasing the number of alumni receptions and events we offer in different parts of the country. All of these are ways that we are actively making an effort to demonstrate our intention to reach our alumni, whenever possible, where they live and work, or at the very least, at professional meetings they may attend.
For several years we have been working to rewrite our Alumni Association bylaws, and I am pleased to say that this past March, we held our very first meeting of the new Executive Board of the college’s Alumni Association. This board will serve as the dean’s external advisory committee and will oversee the college’s Alumni Council, Alumni Association and four standing committees aimed at specific areas in which we hope to expand alumni engagement. Our committees are hard at work, and we look forward to sharing more news with you as their ideas come to fruition in the future.
Diversity and Inclusion Efforts:
We were pleased and proud to learn from Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine that UF ranks #3 for graduating Hispanic students with professional doctoral degrees in veterinary medicine. We continue to enhance our efforts on many fronts to attract a diverse group of future veterinary medical students, so it was wonderful to be acknowledged in this way.
This summer, we had 20 high school students participate in our inaugural Gator Vet Camp. These students come from a broad array of backgrounds and have expressed an interest in veterinary medicine. They were able to participate in a week of activities that included hands-on learning opportunities in our clinical skills lab and in histology; tours of our college and UF Veterinary Hospital facilities; visits to the UF/IFAS Dairy Research Unit and the UF/IFAS Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory and a field trip to White Oak Conservation Center, among other things. Three individuals were key to this camp’s success: Dr. Jaron Jones, our college’s diversity and inclusion officer; Dr. Michael Bowie, director of community engagement and diversity outreach; and Dr. Lisa Farina, faculty advisor to the UF Diversity and Inclusion Veterinary Alliance.
As you can see, we’ve been busy! Thanks for all you do to support us at the college. We couldn’t do what we do without you.
James W. Lloyd, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Professor and Dean
UF College of Veterinary Medicine
Previous messages from the dean can be found here.