PVM Alumni Recognized by American College of Veterinary Surgeons at Annual Meeting

Friday, October 29, 2021

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The American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) presented a prestigious award to one Purdue Veterinary Medicine alumna and elected another to an elite leadership position at the organization’s ACVS Diplomates annual business meeting held as part of the Virtual Surgery Summit earlier this month. Dr. Karen Cornell (PU DVM ‘88, PhD ’98, DACVS) was elected as the new chair of the ACVS Board of Regents, and Dr. Ann Johnson (PU DVM ’75, DACVS) was named as one of two recipients of the Al and Carolyn Schiller Distinguished Service Award.

Karen Cornell portrait
Dr. Karen Cornell

Dr. Cornell earned her DVM degree at Purdue University in 1988 and, after working in a small animal private practice, returned to the University to complete a small animal surgical residency and earn her PhD degree in cancer biology.  She currently is on the faculty of the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, where she serves as associate dean for the DVM Professional Program and interim director of Diversity and Inclusion, as well as the Earline and A.P. Wiley Endowed Veterinary Chair. Dr. Cornell received the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine Distinguished Alumna Award in 2009.

The announcement that Dr. Johnson received the Al and Carolyn Schiller Distinguished Service Award was made jointly by the ACVS and the ACVS Foundation. Dr. Johnson was recognized for her commitment to excellence in service and teaching, as well as for establishing herself as a highly respected small animal surgeon and visionary leader. She also was praised for her impressive record of service, which reflects her dedication to the ACVS and her contribution to all aspects of its mission. 

Dr. Johnson’s service to the ACVS began within two years of her board certification as a specialist in veterinary surgery.  She initially served as a member of the Constitution, Bylaws, and Protocols Committee, which she later chaired. Dr. Johnson also served in several roles concurrently. While fulfilling responsibilities in the Office of Recorder, she chaired the Residency Program Committee and contributed to Veterinary Surgery, the official journal of the ACVS, as a member of the Editorial Review Board.

Ann Johnson portrait
Dr. Ann Johnson

Additionally, Dr. Johnson served as chair to both the Surgical Education Forum and the Residents’ Forum prior to serving on the ACVS Board of Regents as small animal regent and then president and chair. During her tenure on the Board of Regents, Dr. Johnson shared her expertise as a member of the Symposium Committee, giving numerous presentations at the ACVS Veterinary Symposia and Surgery Summits, as well as the Public Relations Committee.

Following her role as Board of Regents chair, she was tasked with developing a curricular template and continued to serve for many years as Residency Program Facilitator. She also was recognized as an Honored Mentor by the ACVS Foundation, in recognition of her significant influence on the lives and careers of surgery residents and colleagues.

Dr. Johnson served the veterinary profession beyond the ACVS as well, including as a member of the faculty of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, where she was a professor of small animal orthopedic surgery. She also took on the role of ACVS representative to the American Board of Veterinary Specialties and served on the board of directors of the Western Veterinary Conference, including a term as president. She received the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine Distinguished Alumna Award in 1995.

The other Al and Carolyn Schiller Distinguished Service Award recipient is Dr. Cheryl S. Hedlund, DACVS, Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine professor emeritus of surgery.

The ACVS was founded in 1965 as the specialty board that sets certification standards for advanced professionalism in veterinary surgery and provides the latest in surgical educational programs.  ACVS membership now includes more than 2,300 diplomates.


Writer(s): Kevin Doerr | pvmnews@purdue.edu

Category: Alumni, Our People

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