Office of Academic and Student Affairs

Several support services and programs are offered to enhance the personal and professional development of veterinary students. Students may make appointments to see the counselors, staff, or associate dean on a walk-in basis. Below are those who make up the student services staff.

Dr. Jared Danielson

Dr. Jared Danielson, Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs, is located in Room 2270F. Dr. Danielson provides administrative leadership, oversight, and coordination of academic and instructional programs, academic information technology, educational outreach/distance education, and global learning opportunities. These areas include: admission of veterinary students, advising veterinary students, curriculum development and implementation, academic standards, veterinary student services, recruitment of veterinary students, faculty development related to teaching, and evaluation of teaching. Also, the Associate Dean works with the Director of Curricular and Student Assessment to evaluate programs and provide data/information upon which curricular improvements are made.

Dr. Alejandro "Alex" Ramirez, Interim Assistant Dean of Academic and Student Affairs. Dr. Ramirez focuses his efforts on strengthening career and financial assistance counseling, improving undergraduate and professional student academic advising, working with student organizations, growing and improving the development and administration of scholarships, overseeing the VM4 orientation, providing input on VM1 orientation, and leading our international student programs.

Dr. Monica Howard

Dr. Monica Howard, Director of Student Programs, is located in 2270E. Dr. Howard is a veterinarian and has a PhD in veterinary pathology.  She has diverse roles in the college and serves in a number of capacities.  Dr. Howard is in charge of the Faculty Contact program which matches students with faculty in their shared species interest for the purpose of providing advising/mentorship.  In addition to her own advisees, she frequently has appointments with many of the 572 veterinary students enrolled in the professional program.  She is an ex-officio member of the college's Admissions, Academic Standards, Student Faculty Relations, and Diversity and Inclusion Committees.  Dr. Howard coordinates the more than 35 student organizations at the college and works closely with students on issues of mental and physical wellbeing. She coordinates the annual White Coat Ceremony and the Freshman Seminar Series for the entering VM class, the UNL-PPVM transition orientation, transfer student admissions, the Federal Accreditation Core Orientation for VM3 students and the rabies vaccination clinic and titer clinic for entering students and VM3 students, respectively. Dr. Howard is the Administrative Coordinator to the College of Veterinary Medicine Interclass Honor Board and is the co-advisor to the Class of 2021 and the SAVMA Bookstore.  She is the focal point for students who need academic counseling and tutoring and is a liaison and/or contact for central campus services including Student Accessibility Services, Student Counseling ServicesCenter for LGBTQIA+ Student Success and Multicultural Student Affairs.  She has responsibilities as the College of Veterinary Medicine's Multicultural Liaison Officer (MLO), member of the University Committee on Disabilities, and Deputy Title IX Coordinator for the Office of Equal Opportunity.  In addition to the aforementioned responsibilities, she has extensive communication with prospective students providing guidance regarding pursuit of a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and academic planning for readmission to the college.  She is one of several notary publics in the college.

Kathy Kuehl

Kathy Kuehl, Coordinator of Admissions, is located in Room 2270B. Kathy coordinates the yearly admissions process working closely with the Admissions Committee and conducts the academic review of applicant files. She was key in the development and implementation of the College's online application process and is responsible for the unsuccessful applicant workshops and reviews. Kathy consults with prospective students and their advisors concerning admissions policies, procedures and requirements. In addition, she coordinates the annual student scholarship awards working with the College’s ISU Foundation personnel and the Student Awards Committee.

Mercedes Serracin

Mercedes Serracin, Coordinator of International Programs, is located in Room 2270C. Mercedes has a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business and an MBA from Iowa State University. She has worked in a variety of roles supporting international programs at Iowa State University. She has also worked as the international relations coordinator for La Universidad del Valle in Cali Colombia, the University-Business relations coordinator at la Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Cali Colombia, and as a teacher and translator. 

Mindy Schminke

Mindy Schminke, Record Analyst, Classification and Career Development located in Room 2270A. Ms. Schminke provides academic support maintaining all academic records of veterinary students (both at ISU and University of Nebraska-Lincoln), student registration procedures and processes, scheduling classes including teaching hospital rotations, degree audits, and coordinates graduation. She also administers information about job opportunities for veterinary students through CyHire, as well as, resume writing and job seeking skills, and sets up interviews with veterinarians. She assists students with licensing procedures for both national and state examinations and certifies graduation requirements for both students and alumni.  She certifies all credentials for student enrollment status and is a Notary public. She serves on the University Registration and Classification Committee, Career Services Council and ex officio on the CVM Academic Standards Committee and the Curriculum Committee.

DeNae Foster

DeNae Foster is the full-time Academic and Student Services secretary in Room 2270. She is responsible for various areas including: clerical support for the Office of Academics and Student Affairs staff; coordinating the CVM calendar for room reservations, examinations, events, and meetings; veterinary job posting management on CyHire; assisting with admissions and interview scheduling; recruiting and organizing admissions interviewers; assisting student organizations with Treasurer Office contacts; and helps coordinate the scholarship and awards ceremony for veterinary students.

Lauren Youngs

Lauren Youngs, Clinical Therapist and Vet Med Counseling Service Coordinator, is located part-time within the OASA offices. At the College of Veterinary Medicine Lauren will provide confidential, brief therapy to students as well as coordinate counseling services. These services are outreach activities centered on creating a culture of wellness for students which will include collaboration with student health and wellness on main campus (counseling, wellness, recreation, and health services), Vet Med faculty, staff and students as well as the veterinary community practitioners and organizations.  Outreach for CVM students, faculty and staff include workshops, guest lectures, consultations, lunch and learn sessions and coordination of holistic wellness and emotionally healthy approaches to life. Lauren seeks to connect students with helpful tools such as biofeedback, mindfulness material and other resources. Lauren is a licensed mental health counselor and her core areas of expertise include interpersonal relationships, anxiety, depression, life transition/adjustment concerns, academic success behaviors, identity development, perfectionism and shame-based issues, life balance and self-esteem. She seeks to provide students compassionate support and guidance through which they may work through difficult transitions, develop emotional wellness, maintain academic success and achieve general life balance and wellbeing.