The University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) alumni advisory board has recognized four graduates with 2021 alumni awards for achievements in advancing the veterinary profession, animal health and humanity.
The awards were presented at a ceremony on September 11 at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. The award-winning professional service ranges from improving fish health and breeding to supporting animal shelter medicine, increasing health capital, and inspiring numerous generations of veterinarians.
The SVM Alumni Advisory Board launched the Alumni Awards Program in 2019 to recognize graduates who have made a significant contribution to society and whose achievements, affiliations and careers have recognized the school’s legacy of excellence. Terrence P. Clark DVM’87 (Distinguished Service Award) and Ryan Wallace DVM’12 (Young Alumni Award) were the first award winners in 2020.
Find out more about the 2021 award winners:
Award for excellent service
Myron Kebus MS’90, DVM’92
Myron Kebus is the Aquaculture Program Veterinarian – the state’s top fish veterinarian – with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
A pioneer in fish veterinary medicine, Kebus founded the Wisconsin Aquatic Veterinary Service, the Midwest’s first private fish-only veterinary practice aimed at fish farmers, public aquariums, ornamental fish farmers, and hobbyists across the country.
After many successful years with this mobile fish practice, Kebus became Wisconsin’s first state aquaculture veterinarian in 1999. In this role, he has developed fish health-related regulations and a certification process for fish import, movement and stocking in the state, worked on raising biosecurity standards in Wisconsin aquaculture, and the state’s response to the emergence of the deadly fish virus Viral. headed hemorrhagic septicemia. Many states have turned to kebus for help in creating their own fish health regimen.
Kebus has developed training programs for veterinarians in fish health medicine and for fish farmers to prevent the spread of disease in aquaculture. Veterinarians around the world have taken Kebus’ online fish health course to become certified for fish farm inspection and approval.
Kebus is a founding member and past president of the American Association of Fish Veterinarians and continues to give lectures and mentors to club members. He also served as the past chairman of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Committee, served as the liaison officer for the AVMA Environmental Issues Committee, and represented veterinarians on the American Fisheries Society’s fish health section.
As an honorary member of the Department of Pathobiological Sciences at the UW School of Veterinary Medicine, Kebus and Professor Emeritus Michael Collins have been teaching a selective course on fish health for veterinary medicine students since 2005. Several students credit the class for inspiring them to become fish veterinarians and helping build longstanding mentoring relationships with Kebus.
Prize for young alumni
Katie Cool DVM’12
Katie Kuehl is an Assistant Professor in the Veterinary Clinical Sciences Department at Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine (WSU). She is the director of the WSU Shelter Medicine program at the Seattle Humane Society in Bellevue, Washington. In this role, Kuehl works side by side with fourth year veterinary medicine students to provide hands-on training in animal shelter medicine and community outreach.
Kuehl also leads the veterinary team at the university’s One Health Clinic. This partnership with the University of Washington and Neighborcare Health provides integrated health care for people affected by or at risk of becoming homeless and their pets. The interprofessional clinic enables students to work with other professional students (medicine, social work and public health) and to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the relationships between human and animal health and the care of the entire family.
In addition, Kuehl is currently conducting research on pets and coronavirus in collaboration with the University of Washington’s Center for One Health Research and the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab. Through this coronavirus pet test study, researchers are testing animal samples for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Kuehl began her career as a shelter veterinarian with the Dane County Humane Society. It was there that Kuehl began her journey as an educator, providing practical training and mentoring to UW School of Veterinary Medicine fourth-year interns, interns, and veterinary students.
Kuehl has been named WSU Faculty Member of the Year 2020 of the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association. She is also the President of the Board of Trustees of the Washington State Animal Health Foundation, which is preparing the introduction of a new access to care resources, the Vets Helping Pets Fund.
Bernard Easterday MS’58, DVM’61 and Susan Hyland MS’73, PhD’78
Bernard Easterday, alumnus and nominator Scott Spaulding, and Susan Hyland.
The Advisory Board also recognized Bernard Easterday and Susan Hyland for their essential roles in founding the University of Wisconsin’s School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) and in creating the conditions for the school’s success. Both Easterday and Hyland are graduates of the UW-Madison Department of Veterinary Science, the forerunner of SVM’s Comparative Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program.
The couple were honored for their leadership in founding UW SVM and their long legacy, which continues to this day, advising and mentoring hundreds of aspiring veterinarians and researchers over many decades.
In 1947, the University of Wisconsin’s Board of Regents decided to set up a veterinary school on campus if funds were available. Proposals went down the political roller coaster, but 32 years passed before the circumstances were right. After a tremendous effort by a number of school education advocates, state lawmakers finally established the UW School of Veterinary Medicine in July 1979.
Easterday, then a professor in the Department of Veterinary Science, where he had been a faculty member since 1961, was asked to lead the new veterinary school. He and Hyland – then newly graduated veterinarian with responsibility for academic affairs – were part of a founding team of individuals. From 1979 to 1983, the group coordinated academic planning, faculty and staff recruitment, and the construction of the facilities necessary to establish the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. The first class with 80 students started in 1983.
As the school’s founding dean, Easterday held that position until his retirement in 1994, overseeing many notable achievements as the school continued to build its strong international reputation in research, education, and clinical care. Hyland served as the school’s first assistant dean for academic affairs from 1983 to 2006, assisting students with passion, compassion, and guidance throughout and beyond the rigorous four-year DVM curriculum.