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Connect to Veterinary Medicine - June 2014

News at the College

Yasuko RikihisaDistinguished University Professor Dr. Yasuko Rikihisa

Congratulations to our new Distinguished University Professor Dr. Yasuko Rikihisa, Department of Veterinary Biosciences. This permanent, honorific title is bestowed by the Office of Academic Affairs on a competitive basis to no more than two full professors per year who have truly exceptional records in teaching, research, scholarly or creative work, and service. Read more about Dr. Yasuko Rikihisa here.

Published study confirms benefits of horse therapy

Dementia patientsDementia patients who interact with horses demonstrate improved well-being, according to recently published research in Anthrozoos, a quarterly scientific journal. The study was a collaboration between the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Social Work, and showed that spending time with horses had noticeable benefits for patients, including better moods and increased physical activity. Plenty of research has gone into animal therapy for patients with dementia, but this study was the first to examine interaction with horses. Click here to read more.

Veterinary student honored at Celebration of Service

Sarah DeWittOhio State College of Veterinary Medicine student Sara DeWitt was one of 11 students recently honored for her involvement in the Columbus-Athens Schweitzer fellowship program at the annual Celebration of Service held at the Ohio Union. DeWitt, who just completed her second year of veterinary school, worked with Lifecare Alliance in support of their Senior Petcare Program, which includes access to the Ohio State Veterinary Outreach Program for clients with pets that need veterinary care. DeWitt recruited volunteers and organized community resources to supply food, exercise, medical care and transportation for these pets. Read more here.

Annual Staff Appreciation Luncheon

Congratulations to the 2014 College of Veterinary Medicine Staff Leadership Award Winners, Trudy Busby (Non-Technical) - Education Support Services and Jacqueline Nolting (Technical) - Veterinary Preventive Medicine, presented by Dean Lonnie King at the annual Staff Appreciation Luncheon. The awards are given each year to recognize the crucial role of professional staff in accomplishing the mission of the college. Read more about how we appreciate our staff here.

Register now for Pelotonia 2014

Registration is now open for Pelotonia 2014: Ohio State's annual bike ride to raise money in support of cancer research at the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. Again this year, the College of Veterinary Medicine has organized two teams of riders. The College of Veterinary Medicine Peloton includes faculty, staff, alumni, and friends. The Student College of Veterinary Medicine Peloton is for any current Ohio State veterinary student. Pelotonia will take place August 8-10, offering a three-day experience of cycling, entertainment and volunteerism.

Founded in 2008, Pelotonia has raised more than $62 million for cancer research. In partnership with Pelotonia's sponsors, 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar directly funds research at The Ohio State University. In 2013, the College of Veterinary Medicine Peloton raised $18,000 and its Student Peloton raised more than $20,000. Team captain Dr. Michelle Harcha encourages you to join the veterinary team! If you do not wish to ride, you may register as a "Virtual Rider" for a minimum $10 donation. A Virtual Rider is an individual who is unable to participate as a rider or a volunteer, but would still like to help raise money. For more information and to register, go to Once registered, contact Dr. Harcha,, with your rider ID and she will add you to the college team. To donate to the College of Veterinary Medicine Peloton, go to:

Expansion and Enhancement of the Veterinary Medical Center

Conceptual RenderingThe $30 million campaign to expand and enhance the Hospital for Companion Animals at the Veterinary Medical Center has so far raised about $8 million. A donation to the project can include the opportunity to name a designated space in honor of a friend, family member or beloved pet. Highlights of the new lobby space have been updated on the website. Please contact our development office if you have questions or are interested in supporting our campaign, 614-688-8433. 

College awarded for collaborations in Medicine and the Arts

Congratulations to the College of Veterinary Medicine for being recognized by the OSU Wexner Medical Center's "Medicine and the Arts" initiative, a program that advocates art's role in supporting healing during treatment and recovery. Click here to read more about this story.

College in the News

Faculty member gives input on California Chrome's nasal strip

Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences Assistant Professor Dr. Elizabeth Santschi was interviewed by NBC4 concerning the nasal strip being worn by the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes' winning horse: California Chrome. The strip allows a horse to breathe more freely as it races, Santschi said, which caused controversy over whether or not California Chrome would be permitted to wear it in future races. Watch the NBC4 clip with Dr. Santschi here.

Veterinarian featured in USA Today

Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences Professor Dr. Tony Buffington's opinion has been sought multiple times by USA Today. In the article, "Fancy food? Your cat is probably okay with the basic stuff," Buffington advises cat owners to always check food labels to guarantee that the ingredients meet the "complete and balanced" standard of the Association of American Feed Control Officials. Read more here.

College personnel interviewed regarding courageous cat video

In a video that has gone viral, a courageous cat, Tara, pounces on a dog three times her size to save one of her owners, a child named Jeremy. In regard to the cat's behavior, Joelle Nielsen, Honoring the Bond Program Coordinator, was interviewed by Channel 6 and Dr. Buffington, professor of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, was interviewed by Channel 4.

From our website

Buckeyes Hiring Buckeyes: Connecting Alumni and Students to Build Lasting Partnerships

The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine boasts an impressive network of alumni employed in all 50 states and around the world. Current students and recent graduates of the college are lucky to have a vast resource of mentors, role models, and potential employers from which to seek career guidance and professional advice. Read more about these lasting partnerships here.

Keep your pets safe, happy and healthy!

For many pet owners, dogs and cats are members of the  family, and we want to provide owners with information to help them protect their pets. Click here for several new pages on the VMC webiste offering tips and advice for protecting pets throughout the year!

Alumni News

Doug Palma featured in ABC news story

Doug Palma, DVM '04, was recently featured in an ABC news story, Veterinarian Shares Personal Story of Having His Own Dog Put to Sleep. "It's our role to guide owners to a decision that's in the best interest of their pets while helping them come to terms with the passing of their beloved family member," Palma said. "Now when I say, 'I understand,' I do."

Send us your accomplishments

Alumni - please send your latest achievements to Melissa Weber, Director of Communications and Marketing, so we can put them in our future Connect to Vet Med newsletters.

Upcoming Events

Registration is now open for 2014 OSU Alumni Golf Outing

The 2014 Annual Alumni Golf Outing will be held Monday, June 23, at The Ohio State University Golf Club Scarlet Course. Click here for registration and for more information.

Save the Date: Reunion-Homecoming Weekend 2014

The 2014 Annual Reunion-Homecoming Weekend will be held October 17-19th. Click here for more information.

Veterinary Medicine Alumni Society and The Ohio State University Alumni Association Memberships

You can become a sustaining member of the Ohio State Alumni Association with an annual gift of $75 or more. Some or all of these funds can be directed to support the College of Veterinary Medicine, or the area of your choice. If at least $50 is directed towards a college fund, you will also be a sustaining member of the Veterinary Medicine Alumni Society.

You can complete your OSUAA membership by making a gift online:

Just a few funds to consider:

  • Veterinary Medical Center Enhancement and Expansion Fund - 314090
    To provide funds for the enhancement and expansion of the Veterinary Medical Center
  • Veterinary Medicine Students First – Students Now Scholarship Fund - 308457
    To support veterinary student scholarships
  • Veterinary Biosciences Support Fund - 301456
    For research discovery and for support of Veterinary Biosciences
  • Veterinary Clinical Sciences Advancement Fund - 301106
    To support veterinary clinical sciences
  • Veterinary Preventive Medicine Support Fund - 306355
    To support veterinary preventive medicine

Last updated: 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - 10:43am