Noteworthy news

Our alumni are doing some extraordinary things. The College wishes to celebrate some great accomplishments and send a hearty congratulations to those listed below.

Lillie awarded Veterinarian of the Year by the MVMA

John Lillie, ’73 DVM, was awarded Veterinarian of the Year by the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA). This award is given to a MVMA member who has given much to the veterinary profession, as well as to his community—a well-rounded member who is outstanding in the profession.

Lillie is the medical director of the Keller Lake Animal Hospital in Maplewood. He started the clinic in 1990 to fulfill his goal of spending more time with each of his patients. His special veterinary interests are surgery and advanced dentistry.

Lillie has served as president of Animal Emergency Veterinary Services in Minneapolis, as well as on the Animal Emergency Clinic board, the Veterinary Hospitals Association board, and the Ramsey County Humane Society board. His membership affiliations include the AVMA, AAHA, AVDS, and the Cornell Feline Medicine Society. Lillie also enjoys volunteering his time and expertise to the French Bulldog Rescue Network along with his daughter.

Baumann receives Outstanding Faculty Award

Larry Baumann, DVM, ’82 MS, ’87 PhD, professor of animal science at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, received the 2019 Outstanding Faculty Award at the 53rd annual Scholarship and Awards Banquet hosted by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) at UW-River Falls on April 18.

Read more

Winkelman wins Allen D. Leman Science in Practice Award

Nathan Winkelman, ’84 DVM, president and co-owner of Swine Services Unlimited Inc., is the 2019 recipient of the Allen D. Leman Science in Practice Award. He earned his bachelor of science degree in animal science from the University of Minnesota Morris in 1979. An internationally recognized swine veterinary consultant, he has spent over 30 years working with progressive pork producers throughout North and South America and, more recently in China, on swine health and biosecurity, production management and records analysis. His noteworthy career extends beyond excellence as a practicing veterinarian to include unique scientific contributions as well.

Read more in National Hog Farmer
Read more in Pork Business

Piehl wins Distinguished Veterinary Service Award from the MVMA

John Piehl, ’76 DVM, was honored with the Distinguished Veterinary Service Award by the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA). This award is given to individuals who have performed outstanding veterinary service to the veterinary profession and have contributed to the well-being of animals.

Piehl has served as a Veterinary Medical Officer with USDA-APHIS for 33 years. Piehl has never lost sight of the need to protect livestock from potential exotic threats. He has worked on the exotic Newcastle Disease in California and tuberculosis and pseudorabies eradication in Minnesota. When avian influenza struck in 2015, he was appointed to a position of authority auditing claims for indemnity, cleaning, and disinfection in Minnesota.

Olson and Schurrer win President’s Award from the MVMA

Mary Olson, ’76 DVM, and Jennifer Schurrer, ’06 DVM, ’07 MS, won the President’s Award from the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA). The MVMA President’s Award recognizes those who have contributed significantly to the veterinary profession and the MVMA, and that have promoted the human-animal bond, animal health, and welfare or public health.

Olson and Schurrer have led Minnesota's prescription monitoring program, VetPMP. They started to develop VetPMP nearly a year ago—it was launched at the MVMA Annual Meeting in February. The pair created VetPMP to help control the current opioid crisis and prevent misuse of controlled pain medications.

Olson is one of the owners of East Central Veterinarians. Olson, along with two other veterinarians, countless FFA’ers, and volunteers are responsible for bringing the Miracle of Birth Center to the Minnesota State Fair. Olson has also been president of the MVMA (2000-2001).

Schurrer joined East Central Veterinarians in 2015 as the practice manager. She is currently the chair of the MVMA Small Animal Continuing Education Committee, which helps provide an opportunity for Minnesota veterinarians improve their knowledge and skills to care for their patents.

National Pork Board honors the late Bob Morrison

The National Pork Board honored the late Bob Morrison, DVM, ’84 PhD, ’95 MBA, with the Pork Checkoff Industry Service Award. Before his death in 2017, Bob launched the Swine Health Monitoring Project, which provides weekly reports on the health status of more than 50 percent of the U.S. sow herds and coordinated the internationally respected Leman Swine Health Management conferences in St. Paul and China. He was a long time veterinarian and faculty member in our college.

Brandt published in Innovative Veterinary Care Journal

Nancy Brandt, ’90 DVM, CVC, CVA, CVMA, wrote "Essential oils for anal gland issues" in the spring 2019 issue of Innovative Veterinary Care Journal. Brandt founded the Veterinary Medical Aromatherapy Association. Read the article.

Pachel visits campus to teach special course

Chris Pachel, '02 DVM, DACVB, CABC, visited campus in March to teach a special course on animal behavioral challenges and work with the Animal Behavior Club. Pachel is the owner and primary clinician for the Animal Behavior Clinic in Portland, OR. He completed a one-year clinical residency at the U of MN Veterinary Medical Center in 2005.

Hill returns to Veterinary Medical Center as locum

Tracy Hill, ’05 DVM, PhD, was with the Veterinary Medical Center at the University of Minnesota as a small animal internal medicine locum April 8–12 and will do so again July 8–12. After earning her DVM, she completed her small animal rotating internship and small animal internal medicine residency at North Carolina State University in 2009, completed a fellowship in interventional radiology at the Animal Medical Center in New York in 2011, and earned her PhD in comparative biomedical sciences at North Carolina State in 2012. She worked as a senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh from 2012–2016 and is now an assistant professor in small animal internal medicine and interventional radiology at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.


On Sunday, January 27, the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon took place in Duluth, Minn. Recently, the Star Tribune covered the race, quoting musher and veterinarian Jen Freking, ’04 DVM, who has raced sled dogs for 30 years and owns Manitou Crossing Kennels in Finland, Minn., with her husband, Blake.

Manitou Crossing Kennels is home to more than 60 Siberian huskies, who race competitively in long-distance sled dog races throughout the United States and Canada. The kennel is devoted to the future of the working Siberian husky. Freking and her husband began working with Siberian huskies roughly 20 years ago and joined forces in 2000 with the goal of establishing a strong line of Siberian huskies.

The duo are both decorated mushers. Among other key accolades, Freking and her husband finished 9 seconds apart in the 2008 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, setting a new record for an all-Siberian husky team.

Jagjit S. Brar imageBrar honored with Lifetime Merit Award by CVMA

Jagjit S. Brar, DVM, ’77 MS, was recently honored with the Lifetime Merit Award by the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) at the CVMA annual meeting on December 12, 2018, in Oak Brook, Ill. Brar has been a veterinarian for more than 55 years. He has owned Dorchester Animal Hospital in Chicago for more than 37 years and Palos Pet Clinic in Palos Hills, Ill., for 14 years.

He has served as secretary, vice president, and president of the CVMA. Now, he is the veterinary board president of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations. Brar was executive board member of the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association for three years. He was also a member of Cook County Executive Board University of Illinois Extension and chair of the nomination committee for four years.

Schommer named Emerging Leader by MVMA

Megan Schommer, ’10 DVM, was recently named Emerging Leader by the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA). MVMA honored Schommer with this award based on her achievement and leadership as a veterinarian, her community involvement, and how she actively engages others in the profession of veterinary medicine.

Schommer practices at Lake Harriet Veterinary in Minneapolis, where her special interests include surgery, backyard poultry, and exotic companion mammals including mice and rabbits. She maintains Minnesota Vets, a Facebook group dedicated to connecting veterinarians across the state. Schommer is deeply involved with Minnesota Pocket Pet Rescue as its volunteer veterinarian and an animal foster parent. She is currently serving on the MVMA committee focusing on health and wellness within the veterinary community.

Schommer has also volunteered with the CVM’s student-led group Student Initiative for Reservation Veterinary Services (SIRVS). SIRVS is a group of veterinary students who have recognized a need for veterinary services in underserved reservation communities in Minnesota. The group’s mission is to train future veterinarians by serving communities in need.

Barnhart co-edits textbook

Matthew Barnhart, ’95 DVM, MS, recently co-edited a textbook, “Locking Plates in Veterinary Orthopedics.The book was recently published by Wiley-Blackwell, based in New Jersey.

Learn more about the book.

Paris makes athletic history

Ultrarunner Jasmin Paris was a small animal intern at the CVM’s Veterinary Medical Center in 2010. She recently became the first woman to win the 268-mile Montane Spine Race, a nonstop challenge from Edale in Derbyshire, England, to Kirk Yetholm, Scotland. Paris broke the course record by 12 hours. The race took her 83 hours, 12 minutes, and 23 seconds to complete.

Paris gave birth to a daughter 14 months ago. During the four-day race, she had just over seven hours of rest time, during which she had to eat, sleep, and breastfeed her daughter.  

Paris already holds the women's records for the UK's three premier 24-hour mountain running challenges.