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Honoring the 2020 Alumni Achievement Award Recipients

Each year the School of Veterinary Medicine honors members of its alumni with the Alumni Achievement Award. This award is the highest honor bestowed by the school. Honorees may be graduates of the school's DVM, MPVM, and graduate academic (MS, PhD) programs, or individuals who have completed internship or residency programs. A Rising Star Alumni Award -  added this year - honors a DVM graduate of the school who, within 15 years of graduation, has demonstrated outstanding professional achievement. The 2020 recipients:

Brian Bird, MPH, PhD, DVM. Brian Bird, MPH, PhD, DVM.

Dr. Bird is honored with the inaugural Rising Star Alumni Award for his dedication to understanding and preventing viral diseases in people and animals using the One Health approach. He is recognized as a leading One Health practitioner in the global community. Bird worked for the CDC in Africa for almost 10 years, most notably as a lead investigator during the Ebola outbreak in 2014. Bird serves as a visible global ambassador for the school, and embodies the spirit of both "scientific achievement" as well as providing "outstanding service benefitting animal, human, and environmental health.”

Noel Dybdal, DVM, PhD.Noel Dybdal, DVM, PhD.

Dr. Dybdal receives this award for outstanding contributions to biomedical safety assessment, human health, training in veterinary and toxicological pathology, animal welfare, and disaster response. As a veterinary pathologist, Dybdal is recognized for her expertise in the areas of drug development and animal use in pharmacologic and biomedical research. She has been a member of the California Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps since 2009.


Ken Gorczyca, DVM.Ken Gorczyca, DVM.

Dr. Gorczyca is honored for advancing the human-animal bond while working tirelessly to build a more inclusive and stronger veterinary profession. He is a founding volunteer veterinarian and education director for Pets are Wonderful Support (PAWS)—an organization founded to provide supplies and care for pets belonging to low-income people with HIV/AIDS. Gorczyca is also a founding member of the Lesbian and Gay Veterinary Medical Association (LGVMA).

Katrin Hinrichs, DVM, PhD.Katrin Hinrichs, DVM, PhD.

Dr. Hinrichs is recognized for her expertise as a clinician-scientist and reproductive biologist exemplifying all attributes of a true academician—dedicated to discovery, education and improving patient care. She is considered to be an international authority in equine reproduction. Her pioneering work in the development, application and use of innovative procedures for oocyte management, storage, transport, survival and viability changed the way equine reproduction is practiced worldwide.

Sheila Laverty, MVB.Sheila Laverty, MVB.

As a clinician-researcher, Laverty is recognized as a leader, role model, mentor and teacher for female clinician-scientists in orthopedic research, and equine surgeons, graduate and undergraduate veterinarians. She has contributed abundant knowledge to the field of equine joint disease through her work with the Comparative Orthopaedic Research Laboratory she created in 1994. Her interest and dedication to joint disease research stemmed from her first research project on tarsal osteoarthritis in horses as a surgery resident working in the internationally renowned JD Wheat Orthopaedic Research Laboratory at UC Davis.


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