Distance Education Students Receive ASPCA Scholarships
Congratulations to our four scholarship recipients!
Thanks to a generous grant from the ASPCA, these four outstanding students will have the opportunity to gain the forensic expertise necessary to help solve cases involving animal cruelty and to better ensure justice for animals through the legal court system.
Meet the Recipients
I am a professor of Veterinary Pathology and Associate Director of State Government Relations at the University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine. I received my DVM and PhD from the University of Georgia (UGA). I have been a board-certified veterinary pathologist at the university since 1981. I served as Director of the Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory from 1989 to 2007. At UGA I taught various courses to undergraduate, veterinary, and graduate students. I began the Human/Animal Bond program at UGA in 1984, at a time when the idea was just beginning to gather an interest in the veterinary community.
My interest in forensic pathology began more than 20 years ago by working with Melinda Merck, DVM, on samples she sent to the Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Four years ago I helped initiate and teach an elective Veterinary Forensic Pathology course to sophomore veterinary students – only the second such course offered in the United States at the time. I worked closely with local and state crime scene investigators, veterinarians, law enforcement agents, attorneys, and animal cruelty investigators. I believe that by furthering my knowledge of veterinary forensics I will be better prepared to instruct and train both veterinary students and others about forensic investigations, including how to recognize and prevent animal cruelty and abuse. I plan to share the valuable knowledge I gain from the Veterinary Forensic Sciences Certificate with other individuals, and thus support their development and training in animal cruelty/forensic investigation, education, publications, and service.
I obtained my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Veterinary Science in Pathology from the University of Saskatchewan – Western College of Veterinary Medicine. I am a veterinary pathologist employed at the Provincial Diagnostic Laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
The Province of Manitoba recently amended the Animal Care Act to help better protect the welfare of all animals in Manitoba. The increasing need for forensic necropsy evidence to support animal welfare investigations is what drew my interest to forensic science. Our animal welfare veterinarians and animal welfare officers dedicate a great deal of time, energy, and emotion trying to bring justice. I plan on using the knowledge I gain from the Veterinary Forensic Certificate program to further develop my expertise in order to more effectively support these people.
I am a veterinarian and during my work in clinics and shelters, I have often encountered cases of animal abuse and neglect that were linked to human interpersonal violence. This is an area that interests me and was the topic of my PhD research (“Domestic violence and animal abuse”). I believe veterinarians are ideally positioned to identify and support the human and animal victims of violence. However, until now I have not had the opportunity to receive specialised training in this area.
Completing the Veterinary Forensic Sciences Certificate through the Maples Center for Forensic Medicine will enhance my ability to use a scientific approach in the understanding and investigation of these cases, both in my veterinary work and in my research. It was a great honour to be chosen as a recipient of the ASPCA scholarship and I look forward to learning more about the exciting field of veterinary forensic science.
I am a graduate of the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine. I have practices veterinary medicine in Nebraska for more than 20 years. I specialized in equine medicine and surgery for most of those years, but I have recently expanded by practice to include small animals. I have consulted with local humane organizations and law enforcement agencies and served as an expert witness many times. I have also given lectures and taught courses in investigating large animal cruelty.
Through this work I have gained an interest in forensic medicine and made it a growing part of my practice. By completing a graduate certificate in veterinary forensics, I hope to become more knowledgeable in veterinary forensics so I can better serve my community in investigating and prosecuting animal cruelty cases.