2016 distiguished alumni
Dean Lisa K. Nolan with the 2016 college award recipients (from left): Stange Award recipients, Drs. Donald O’Connor, Vincent Meador, and Michael Conzemius; and Switzer Award recipient, Dr. James Stein. Photo: Christopher Gannon
2016 Distinguished Alumni Recognized

On Friday, Oct. 28, four alumni of the College of Veterinary Medicine were honored for their outstanding achievements on Homecoming Weekend in Ames, Iowa. Recipients of the Stange Award for Meritorious Service and the William P. 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. The awards were presented by Dr. Lisa K. Nolan, professor and Dr. Stephen G. Juelsgaard Dean of Veterinary Medicine.


Dr. Donald Paul O’Connor
South Wayne, Wis.
Stange Award Recipient

Dr. Donald O’Connor, retired epidemiologist, played a significant role in the state of Wisconsin’s animal disease control and eradication efforts for 25 years. As an epidemiologist involved in regulatory veterinary medicine, O’Connor successfully faced the challenge of protecting the state’s animal population from infectious diseases.

Having spent the first 10 years of his career as a dairy practitioner, O’Connor left his successful practice to become Wisconsin’s epidemiologist, managing a myriad of animal health and disease control programs affecting a range of industries: equine, poultry, cervid, cattle, and swine. He is credited with developing several of Wisconsin’s programs, including its rabies program, chronic wasting disease program, the poultry avian influenza and salmonella programs, and equine infectious anemia program. He was a member of the team of veterinarians who developed the current USDA bovine tuberculosis program for cervids, which has been adopted as the standard for the nation. Under O’Connor’s direction, Wisconsin was one of the first states to eradicate pseudorabies from its herds. He also assisted the USDA in training pseudorabies epidemiologists at the national level.

“Doc’s scientific, no-nonsense approach to solving each of these disease situations in Wisconsin will forever be remembered as a remarkable achievement for one man’s career in regulatory government,” one nominator said.

O’Connor graduated from Iowa State with a master’s degree (’72) and doctor of veterinary medicine (’76).

Dr. Vincent Phillip Meador
Seattle, Wash.
Stange Award Recipient

Dr. Vincent Meador, owner of Pacific Tox Path, LLC, and affiliate professor at the University of Washington, is an expert in toxicologic pathology, contributing to the technology transfer of research information and international control programs for preclinical drug safety.

His unique skill set that combines expertise in anatomic, clinical, and ultrastructural pathology with clinical practice has given Meador a deep insight into integrating and interpreting data throughout the pharmaceutical drug development process. Recently,
he has been instrumental in building and staffing a toxicology laboratory in Shanghai, China, and leading evaluation teams for several toxicology facilities in China.

Prior to founding his own company, Meador was vice president and global head of pathology at Covance/LabCorp, a global contract research organization that is the world’s most comprehensive drug development company. He also was the executive director of comparative biology and safety assessment at Amgen for three years, and director of toxicology and pathology at Eli Lilly and Company for 12 years. His early career included pathology positions in government and industry. He was a private veterinary practitioner for two years. Meador is board-certified in both anatomic and clinical pathology by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists.

Throughout his career, Meador has trained and educated some of the best veterinary pathologists. One of the mentoring programs bearing his handprint was initiating employment of disadvantaged persons while he worked at Eli Lilly. In this program,  individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities were employed doing necessary jobs commensurate with their abilities – such as labeling test tubes, delivering mail, and stocking supplies.

Meador earned his DVM (’81), MS (’86) and PhD (’88) from Iowa State.


Dr. Michael G. Conzemius
Chanhassen, Minn.
Stange Award Recipient

Dr. Michael Conzemius, Tata Group Endowed Professor of Surgery and director of the Clinical Investigation Center at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, is an internationally recognized researcher in orthopedic biomechanics and joint injury and treatment.

Conzemius is a board-certified veterinary surgeon who is an expert in osteoarthritis, fracture osteomyelitis, biomechanics of osteonecrosis, and stem cell therapy for cartilage injury and repair. Most impressive are the translational aspects of his research efforts, which have advanced the knowledge of the similarities of joint injury between animals and humans. As director of the Clinical Investigation Center, his group is focused on clinical trial studies in veterinary and human medicine.
He has been honored by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, the Veterinary Orthopedic Society, the American Society of Biomechanics, and is the recipient of the Pfizer Award for Research Excellence. He was also elected by his students as the faculty representative for the College of Veterinary Medicine’s 2015 White Coat Ceremony. In addition to his honors and awards he holds several patents, including two for a canine total elbow implant.

Active in organized veterinary medicine, Conzemius serves as a resident and graduate student mentor, grant reviewer, and scientific editor for international and national publications.

Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 2006, he was an associate professor at Iowa State and an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania, where he completed his surgical residency program.

He received his DVM (’90) and PhD (’00) from Iowa State.


Dr. James Philip Stein
Muscatine, Iowa
Switzer Award Recipient

Early in his career, Dr. Jim Stein made a lifetime commitment to improving the lives of others, beginning with the veterinary clinic that he and a classmate established in a Wisconsin town that lacked veterinary services for pets and livestock. After seven years he returned to his hometown to help his father.

Back home, Stein became the go-to person for counsel, leadership, and participation in community projects. He was a lead partner in a successful effort to create a locally owned and driven shelter for domestic violence victims. He and wife, Tammy, were campaign leaders for the Salvation Army of Muscatine. He has been president of the Rotary Club of Muscatine and a Rotary assistant governor. Stein was instrumental in the development and building of the community’s new YMCA/YWCA. He serves on the board of directors of the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine, the Hoover Presidential Library Association, and the Iowa Nature Conservancy. Stein’s leadership in the development of the Muscatine Ag Learning Center provides local students with a modern facility where they can gain exceptional experience in animal husbandry and management.

Since graduation, he has been a loyal and avid supporter of the College of Veterinary Medicine, serving on its fundraising advisory council, providing scholarship support to future veterinarians, and contributing to the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center.

While devoting countless hours to community service, Stein continues as chairman of the board of directors of Central Bancshares. From 1982 to 1990, he worked part-time as a clinician in a local veterinary clinic; from 1990 to 2014, he was a part-time practice consultant in dairy production management.

Stein graduated in 1975 with a doctorate of veterinary medicine.