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Vet Med Honors Alumni During Homecoming Weekend

Date: 
October 23, 2011
Contacts: 

Tracy Ann Raef, College of Veterinary Medicine, (515) 294-4602

Four alumni of the College of Veterinary Medicine were honored this weekend, as part of the college’s Homecoming activities. Recipients of the Stange Award for Meritorious Service and the Switzer Award in Veterinary Medicine were recognized at an all-college breakfast at the Gateway Hotel, and later at the university awards ceremony at Scheman Building.

Stange Award for Meritorious Service
The award is presented annually and recognizes distinguished alumni for outstanding professional achievements. It is the highest honor given to alumni of Iowa State’s College of Veterinary Medicine. The 2011 recipients are Drs. Mark L. Anderson (’75), Craig A. Harms (’89), and William F. McCulloch (’56).

Dr. Mark L. Anderson
Spring Valley, Wis.

One of the current buzzwords in industry, including the animal health industry, is “innovation.” For Mark L. Anderson, innovation isn’t a buzzword; it’s a way of life. Throughout his professional career, he has established numerous successful businesses globally. His commitment to hard work and integrity, as well as a keen sense of innovation, has been the foundation of his success.

While owning and managing clinics in western Wisconsin with six full-time veterinarians, Anderson established three manufacturing companies that bring new and necessary products to the veterinary profession. Out of loyalty to his local community, he has maintained his U.S. operations in the Wisconsin towns of Elmwood and Spring Valley, where he started his veterinary practices. In 1978 Mark Anderson and Associates, Inc. was established, focusing on fabrication and assembly of tubing and film. This was followed by Genesis Industries, Inc., dedicated to molded containers. In 1990 Genesis Instruments was formed to produce instruments and delivery systems. Anderson’s companies provide research and product development for manufacturers, clinics, and end users. His companies have developed unique containers and delivery systems for dispensing products orally, topically, through water, or by injection. These companies have expanded globally and now include numerous affiliated companies.

Anderson embodies the traits of a true entrepreneur. In the words of a colleague: When others have given up on a concept, Anderson’s drive and ingenuity have allowed him to achieve success. His products have enhanced animal health, and the veterinary profession has benefited greatly from his innovations and entrepreneurial efforts.

In addition to his support of the profession, Anderson has been a friend and supporter of the College of Veterinary Medicine, lending his time and expertise in scientific technology.

Dr. Craig A. Harms
Morehead City, N.C.
In an ever-changing world where veterinarians are playing a more important role in understanding how the environment, the animal world, and health interconnect, Craig Harms is a leader in bridging the veterinary profession and the aquatic environments and increasing the awareness of One Health/One Medicine concepts. Through research, teaching, and example, he has made innumerable contributions to the advancement of zoological medicine, particularly in aquatic animal medicine.

As an associate professor at North Carolina State University, Harms shares his expertise among three aquariums in North Carolina, the veterinary school at NCSU, and the marine mammal and sea turtle stranding networks of North Carolina. He also serves as president of the American College of Zoological Medicine. His unique skill sets and ability to perform under pressure made him the ideal person to take on the challenge of developing the marine veterinary programs at the NCSU’s Center for Marine Sciences and Technology.

Although Harms is an extremely productive scholar, scientist, and clinician, he has a particular talent for mentoring young veterinarians and veterinary students. Despite his many degrees, certifications, and publications, he unassumingly supports students and facilitates their individual contributions to veterinary medicine. Said one former student: “He is one of those rare individuals who changed the direction of a life.”

Dr. William F. McCulloch
Beaverton, Ore.
William McCulloch is a well-known pioneer in the field of studying the therapeutic effects of the human-animal bond. In 1977, he co-founded the Delta Society, an organization dedicated to improving human health through service and therapy animals. Although now retired, McCulloch continues to promote the benefits of the human-animal bond. His pioneering work has led to improved quality of life for millions of people throughout the world.

McCulloch’s distinguished career also includes early research in the area of zoonoses epidemiology (diseases transmitted from animals to man). He directed research on the epidemiology of several zoonotic diseases found in Iowa and the Midwest. He is the author and co-editor of one of the leading textbooks on zoonotic diseases and has authored more than 100 publications in prominent veterinary and human medicine journals. Today, the principles of the human-animal bond and public health are the basic cornerstones of the One Health concept.

A lifelong learner and teacher, McCulloch helped develop numerous educational innovations and was chair of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education and founding chair of the Human-Animal Bond committee to define the profession’s role in recognizing and promoting the human-animal bond. He created the first urban extension veterinary position while he was a professor at the University of Missouri. McCulloch helped develop the first symposium on “Ethics and History of Medicine, Veterinary and Human” in 1976 at Texas A&M University during his tenure as a professor of veterinary public health and director of the Center for Comparative Medicine.

William P. Switzer Award in Veterinary Medicine
Established in 1998 to recognize exemplary individuals who have made significant contributions to society through their achievements, or have made major contributions to the enhancement of the College of Veterinary Medicine. The 2011 recipient is: Dr. Loras “Duke” Wilgenbusch (’72).

Dr. Loras Charles Wilgenbusch
Victor, Iowa
Early in his career, Loras Wilgenbusch realized the importance of changing with the times. In 38 years as a mixed animal practitioner in a rural Iowa community, he watched agriculture evolve, embracing those changes to grow his practice. The practice built a new facility to accommodate both small and large animal surgical and treatment areas. The practice also partnered with area veterinarians to offer clients more specialized care. Now retired, Wilgenbusch continues to work in the clinic when needed and continues to help young veterinarians transition into practice life.

Throughout his career, Wilgenbusch has been active in his community. In the words of a resident of his hometown: “Dr. Wilgenbusch is the perfect example of the six pillars of character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship.” He has spearheaded several initiatives in the town and has invested his own time and money to keep and create businesses vital to his small community. His efforts have made significant differences benefitting the citizens of Victor, Iowa.

As a supporter of the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine, he served on the Iowa Livestock Health Advisory Council for six years, representing the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association. The past few years, he has served as an interviewer for applicants to the college—an important job in selecting tomorrow’s veterinarians.