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"Oath and Hooding" congratulates new veterinarians and alumni award winners

On Saturday, June 11, the College of Veterinary Medicine will welcome 139 new veterinarians into their chosen field at the annual Oath and Hooding ceremony, held at Mershon Auditorium, 1871 N. High St., beginning at 8 p.m. Surrounded by friends and family, students will receive their scarlet and grey academic hood as a symbol of their degree. The hood is worn draped around the neck and over the shoulders, displayed down the back with the lining exposed, and is considered the most formal part of academic dress, which includes the more familiar cap and gown.

In addition to recognizing the most recent graduates, the College of Veterinary Medicine will also recognize three faculty award winners and three Distinguished Alumni Award winners.

Faculty awards

  • Ronaldo C. da Costa, DVM, PhD, assistant professor of neurology and neurosurgery in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, received the Zoetis (formally Pfizer) Distinguished Teaching Award, which recognizes the "caliber of instruction and responsiveness to the needs of students."   Nominations are made by students in the professional education program.
  • Wondwossen A. Gebreyes, DVM, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, received the Zoetis (formally Pfizer Animal Health) Award for Research Excellence, which is presented for innovative research.
  • Linda K. Lord, DVM, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine received the Dean's Award for Creativity in Teaching, which rewards "risk taking in the implementation of innovative approaches to veterinary medical education." 

Distinguished Alumni Awards 

The three Distinguished Alumni Award winners include: Dr. Gary L. Cockerell, (PhD, 1976), Donald J. Meuten, (PhD 1981), and A. Simon Turner, (MS 1976). See below for detailed biographic information. 

Gary L. Cockerell, DVM, PhD

Dr. Gary Cockerell received his DVM degree from the University of California-Davis in 1970.  After serving three years as a Veterinary Laboratory Animal Officer at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease, he came to Ohio State and in 1976 completed a PhD in experimental pathology in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology (now Veterinary Biosciences).  That same year Dr. Cockerell became board certified by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP).  

Dr. Cockerell served for 22 years in academic departments of veterinary pathology, first at Cornell University and then at Colorado State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences where he became a full professor in 1985.  During this time Dr. Cockerell managed a full-time research laboratory focused on infectious disease, taught in the professional and graduate curricula, and participated in necropsy and surgical pathology services.  He was a dedicated teacher and educator, serving as primary advisory for four PhD trainees and advisor for over 29 PhD and three MS graduate students.  He has authored or co-authored more than 70 peer-reviewed scientific publications and book chapters.  Dr. Cockerell is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Society of Toxicologic Pathology, and is a Diplomate of the ACVP where he has served as Secretary/Treasurer and President.  

In 1998, Dr. Cockerell joined Pharmacia and Upjohn as Director of Investigative Toxicology where he established an in vitro screening platform and mechanistic toxicology program to elucidate toxicities of early lead compounds.  Since 2003, Dr. Cockerell has served as a private veterinary pathology consultant, including founding and serving as Director of the ACVP/STP Coalition for Veterinary Pathology Fellows, a program partnering biopharmaceutical sponsors with North American universities to create new training positions for veterinary pathologists.  The Coalition has now established 13 new training positions for veterinary pathologists. 

Dr. Cockerell is currently founder and president of Cockerell Alliances in Grand Junction, Colorado.  His company forges alliances between academia and the biopharmaceutical industry to train additional veterinary pathologists.  This effort, along with Dr. Cockerell's stellar record in leadership, research, teaching, and service strongly support his recognition as one of our 2011 Distinguished Alumni. 

Donald J. Meuten, DVM, PhD 

After receiving his DVM from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1974, Dr. Donald Meuten spent a year in private practice in Connecticut, New York, and California. In 1975 he returned to academia to complete a large animal medicine internship at the University of Guelph and in 1977 he completed another internship in the Department of Pathology at Cornell University.  Dr. Meuten's next move was to The Ohio State University where he began a residency in Clinical Pathology in the Department of Veterinary Pathology (now Veterinary Biosciences), leading to a PhD in 1981. 

Dr. Meuten began his formal career in academia in 1981 as an assistant professor in the Department of Pathology at Texas A&M University.  He moved to North Carolina State University in 1983 where he was promoted to associate professor and in 1990 became a full professor.  Dr. Meuten continues to teach and mentor graduate students at NC State and travels extensively as an invited speaker at state, national, and international meetings.  Dr. Meuten also is an owner of Bunn Animal Hospital with his wife, Dr. Nicki Young. 

Over the past three decades Dr. Meuten's influence and contributions to the fields of veterinary pathology and education have made a tremendous impact on the future of his students and discipline.  He is an exception teacher and mentor and has earned many awards for his teaching at NC State including four "Outstanding Teaching Awards."  Dr. Meuten has an extensive publication record in peer-review journals and textbooks and is the editor of an essential textbook, Tumors of Domestic Animals, which can be found on the bookshelves of virtually all pathology trainees and pathologists.   Some of his research contributions to the profession include novel discoveries of hypercalcemia and malignancy, creating the formula used to adjust calcium for albumin concentration, and was the first to report cryptosporidiosis in dairy calves.  

Dr. Meuten is among a small, illustrious group within the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP) who is dual certified in both veterinary anatomic and clinical pathology.  He has devoted many years of service back to the ACVP through various roles, with two of the more notable including a five year tenure preparing and administering the ACVP certifying examination and as the 2009 ACVP President.  He represents academia in this diverse group that also includes industry, government, and diagnostic laboratories and deserves recognition for the significant effort he has invested in developing future generations of academic veterinary pathologists. 

A. Simon Turner, BVSc, MS 

Dr. A. Simon Turner received his BVSc Degree from the University of Melbourne in 1972.  After a year in general practice in Australia, Dr. Turner came to The Ohio State University and our Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences to pursue a residency in Equine Surgery.   He completed the residency in 1975, along with a Master’s Degree.  After leaving OSU, he held a faculty appointment at Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, first as an Assistant Professor and then as an Associate Professor.  He left Western in June 1977 to take an appointment at Colorado State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences where he has remained ever since. He became board certified as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1978 and was promoted to full Professor in July 1986.  During his time at CSU, Dr. Turner has been awarded three "Excellence in Teaching" awards.  In 2001 he was inducted into the Glover Gallery for distinguished alumni and faculty at CSU. 

Dr. Turner is an outstanding veterinarian, scientist, and accomplished equine surgeon who successfully transitioned from a distinguished career as a clinician-educator to a second career as one of the pre-eminent translational scientists in musculoskeletal research.  He is both passionate and extremely knowledgeable about the role of veterinarians as translational scientists, as so much of his own research involves collaborations with physicians and biomedical engineers.  In addition he is recognized nationally and internationally as the foremost expert on the use of sheep as surgical models in orthopedics.  A prolific writer, Dr. Turner has published over 350 scientific abstracts and papers in peer-reviewed journals and the diversity of these journals speaks to the tremendous breadth of his work.  He has written nine books and also contributed ten book chapters. 

In 2009 Dr. Turner was awarded the Lifetime Excellence in Research Award by the American Veterinary Medical Association.  He has been an outstanding advocate for the role of the veterinarian in biomedical research and is held in high esteem by physicians and researchers alike.  Dr. Turner's dedication to clinical service and translational research place him at the very top of our profession. 

About the College of Veterinary Medicine

Established in 1885, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine has led the veterinary profession for 126 years, offering cutting-edge expertise in animal care, research, teaching and community involvement.  Our Veterinary Medical Center serves 35,000 animal patients per year. Known for advancements in total hip replacement in canines and the first feline leukemia vaccine, current research efforts include the Center for Retrovirus Research, the Comparative Pathology and Mouse Phenotyping Shared Service, the Food Animal Health Research Program in Wooster, as well as participation in Ohio State's interdisciplinary Public Health Preparedness for Infectious Diseases program. International partnerships include a recently signed memorandum of understanding with the International Livestock Research Institute ( We admit up to 160 veterinary students per class, and offer a new comprehensive graduate program in Veterinary and Comparative Medicine with nearly 100 master's and Ph.D students. Currently, 55 students are enrolled in our unique Master's degree in Veterinary Public Health, a partnership with the College of Public Health. The college also boasts a five-veterinarian ambulatory practice in Marysville and offers all senior students a two-week rotation in large animal medicine. A unique partnership with the Capital Area Humane Society (CAHS) includes a resident in shelter medicine housed at the CAHS facility. 

"Ohio State is the only veterinary school in the country on a campus with a comprehensive medical center offering seven health sciences colleges," said Lonnie J. King, dean and Ruth Stanton Chair in Veterinary Medicine. "We are proud to be recognized among the top in the nation, and plan to continue to provide leadership in the field as we strive to ensure a healthier world."

Veterinarian's Oath

Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of livestock resources, the promotion of public health and the advancement of medical knowledge.


About the College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State

Founded in 1885, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine is ranked fifth in the nation and includes more than 1,000 faculty, staff and students in the Departments of Veterinary Biosciences, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, and Veterinary Preventive Medicine. The Veterinary Medical Center is one of the largest specialty referral centers in the world, with more than 35,000 farm, equine, and companion animal patients each year. A nationally-recognized ambulatory practice and teaching unit in Marysville, Ohio provides farm animal experience to every veterinary student, and the Food Animal Health Research Program in Wooster, OH focuses on detection, control, and prevention of disease. Located on the only campus in the country with a comprehensive medical center offering seven health sciences colleges, we admit up to 162 veterinary students per class, and offer a new comprehensive graduate program in Veterinary and Comparative Medicine as well as a unique Master’s degree in Veterinary Public Health, in partnership with the College of Public Health.   


Last updated: 

Monday, February 18, 2013 - 11:03am