CVM Award Recipients Announced

The College of Veterinary Medicine has announced the recipients of its College Achievement Awards, which were presented at the CVM Fall Convocation.

The recipients include: 

  • Award for Early Achievement in Teaching - Dr. Scott Radke, VDPAM
    Radke has continued to evolve veterinary toxicology as a hybrid course to meet the needs of students. To ensure his students stay current with their coursework, he actively engages them through case discussions and critical thinking questions while creating a step-by-step walkthrough videos of calculations associated with different scenarios.

  • Award for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching - Dr. Stephanie Caston, VCS
    Regardless of whether she is giving didactic lectures, leading laboratory instruction or teaching in a clinical setting, Caston’s passion for teaching stands out. She is a frequent volunteer in wet labs reinforcing her love for teaching and sharing her knowledge.

  • International Service Award - Dr. Jianqiang Zhang, VDPAM
    Zhang is internationally renowned for his role in building the VDL virology and molecular diagnostic services for food animal diseases into what many consider to be the best in the nation. Because of this expertise, Zhang has been invited to serve on organizing committees of several major international scientific meetings. He was a driving force in creating the Annual Veterinary Diagnostic Conference in China to provide a forum for dissemination and exchange of the latest research progress in diagnostic medicine

  • Award for Early Achievement in Extension or Professional Practice - Dr. Rebecca Walton, VCS
    Walton is the co-leader of the Emergency and Critical Care/ICU service. She also serves as the program coordinator of the Small Animal Rotating Internship Program which currently has 8 interns and two residents. Under her co-watch, the ECC/ICU service has been the top revenue producing service in the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center for years in addition to providing top quality emergency and critical care that is in huge demand.

  • Award for Outstanding Achievement in Extension or Professional Practice - Dr. Joan Howard, VCS
    Since joining the Iowa State faculty in 1999, Howard has provided expert care to her clients’ horses in a skillful, compassionate and professional manner, serving as  primary on-call for emergency services. Her work with ISU Equine Field Services extends well beyond the confines of the Large Animal Hospital as she frequently volunteers to instruct 4H youth in preparation for state and national competitions.She has fulfilled a significant role in the College’s extension mission through more than a decade providing veterinary care and education to the Crow Creek Native American Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

  • Award for Early Career Achievement in Research - Dr. David Verhoeven, VMPM
    Since joining the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine faculty, Verhoeven has demonstrated notable successes in acquiring research funding in the field of viral immunology. He has additionally provided his research knowledge to share the importance of vaccines to the general public in the midst of the global pandemic, effectively using his expertise to bring knowledge to help decrease vaccine hesitancy. His work is centered on both the molecular details of viral infection and the development and production of novel or improved vaccines primarily against viral pathogens.

  • Award for Mid-Career Achievement in Research - Dr. Orhan Sahin, VDPAM
    Sahin is an international thought leader in diagnostic bacteriology and bacterial molecular pathogenesis, bacterial epidemiology and the control of Campylobacter spp. from both an animal disease and food safety perspective. He has achieved great success in securing grant funding from highly competitive sources such as the USDA, NIFA, NIH, CDC, FDA, the biopharma industry, private foundations and commodity groups and has documented scholarship in research through the co-authorship of 44 peer-reviewed manuscripts while advancing knowledge on topics of high relevance to the VDL’s stakeholders.
  • Professional & Scientific Excellence Award - Wendy Stensland, VDL
    Stensland has played a managerial role in the VDL as the application of PCR-based diagnostics began to come to scale en-masse and has served as the primary oversight in the VDL’s role in the USDA National Animal Health Lab Network. She has also assumed responsibility for all of the VDL’s receiving, case accessioning and sample processing functions. This past year Stensland played a primary leadership role in the VDL’s COVID-19 testing service where she took responsibility for repurposing and setting up a state-of-the-art and highly scalable COVID-19 diagnostic suite for both PCR and antibody testing.

  • Professional & Scientific New Professional Award - Josef Biechler, LVMC
    As the facilities manager of the Large Animal Hospital Barn,  Biechler’s work ethic, skills and strong leadership has improved operations in the facility that houses both the Equine Hospital and the Food Animal and Camelid Hospital. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Biechler completely reworked scheduling patterns in order to provide continuous coverage for patient care and hospital maintenance and was creative in finding alternative sources of patient feeds when regular supplies were unable to fill orders. He has also been instrumental in the planning of enhanced safety measures in the hospital including the installation of new flooring in the Equine wing.

  • Professional & Scientific Research Award - Dr. Dipak Sahoo, VCS
    While in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Sahoo has worked on a variety of translational research projects centered around the use of canine intestinal organoids as an ex vivo model for investigating regenerative medicine and drug discovery with the SMART Lab. A consummate professional, Sahoo brings extensive and diverse research experience to the SMART Lab and has built upon that experience by applying emerging cell culture techniques to develop robust drug screening tools to accelerate the availability of effective and safe therapies for the management of canine inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Frederick Douglass Patterson Diversity & Inclusion Award - Dr. Claire Andreasen, VPTH
    Andreasen has a long-standing passion for creating a welcoming and compassionate environment for all. Her commitment to diversity and inclusion includes mentoring an undergraduate student from the Native American Reservation in New Mexico during an Iowa State summer program. She was the College’s liaison for students in the George Washington Carver Summer Research Internship Program, has moderated small group discussions on diversity for incoming CVM classes and has been active in the CVM MLK Day of Service and Diverse Books by Diverse Voices book club.
  • Frederick Douglass Patterson Diversity & Inclusion Award - Dr. Joan Howard, VCS
    Howard has advanced the College of Veterinary Medicine’s mission of diversity, equity and inclusion through involvement in college initiatives and an indication of continuing commitment to these areas. As instructor-in-charge of VCS 484 “Clinical Practice in Diverse Communities,” she has taken educational resources for DEI and put them into practice as a service opportunity with in-person interactions with diverse communities and individuals. This course started with an emphasis on understanding indigenous communities, specifically the Crow Creek Reservation. Under Howard’s direction, the 4th year rotation has expanded to include additional diverse groups/communities to help students better understand the perspectives and cultures that may be different than their own.

  • Resident/Intern of the Year - Dr. Alanna Farrell, LVMC
    During COVID, Farrell went above and beyond with patient care as a large animal resident. As a surgery resident, she must attend to out-patients and in-patients during the day in addition to providing primary after-hours emergency coverage for the equine hospital. Despite her long hours, Farrell’s enthusiasm, cool demeanor and personality enable her to maintain a positive outlook and attitude.

  • Graduate Student/Post Doc of the Year - Nyzil Massey, BMS
    Over the past six years, Massey has had a significant impact as a teaching assistant in the professional curriculum. His deep understanding of the material in his courses has fostered a high level of trust with DVM students, while helping classroom instructors in BMS deliver a superior educational experience. In addition to his classroom activities, Massey has contributed to the research mission of the college with numerous first author publications in internationally recognized journals as well as presentations at internationally recognized conferences. His research field looks at how inhaled organic dust induces lung inflammation, a significant risk for those individuals working in a variety of agricultural settings.
  • Merit Employee of the Year - Stephanie Canon, LVMC
    As the lead and sole certified radiology technologist in the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center, Canon has created large and small animal radiograph handbooks for faculty, staff and students on how to properly position a patient for each exam type requested on equine, bovine, canine and feline patients. She has also created a handbook on proper post processing of images to ensure they are labeled and flipped correctly.

  • Service Team of the Year - Public Health Testing Service
    Faculty and staff from across the VDL came together over the course of the pandemic to stand-up a Public Health Testing Services unit for COVID-19 testing. Approximately 50 team members from across the VDL’s Sample Receiving & Accessioning, Molecular, Serology, Quality Assurance, and Information Technology staff came together to contribute their personal talents towards providing more than 100,000 patients access to same day, quality COVID-19 testing.

    Just a few of the PHTS’ accomplishments include:

    • Established a highly functional partnership with colleagues at the State Hygienic Lab

    • Developed and on-boarded a customized COVID-19 PCR assay

    • Shared associated testing reagents and high-throughput PCR equipment that greatly enhanced testing capacity at the State Hygienic Lab

    • Delivered clients same day assured results six days a week throughout the pandemic

  • Dean's Special Recognition Award - Wolfgang Weber
    Weber has been a staff member at Iowa State University for 35 years and his dedication to the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Biomedical Sciences is unwavering. His daily supports the College and department’s educational mission, from specimen preparation, maintaining specimens to instructing students during lab periods. His commitment to instruction became critically important in the College’s rapid transition to online learning in the spring of 2020. With just a week to create a virtual version of the large animal anatomy course, Weber was instrumental in completing this task and having an online version of the course available when students returned from spring break.