Faculty and Alumni Honored at Annual Awards Celebration

Monday, December 16, 2019

Make a Gift
Support the College

The Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine recognized two Distinguished Alumni and ten faculty members during the annual Awards Celebration held September 18 during the 2019 Purdue Veterinary Conference. The event was a high point of the conference week.

The College’s prestigious Distinguished Alumnus Awards were presented to Dr. Tom Gillespie (PU DVM ’79) and Brig. Gen., retired, Timothy Adams (PU DVM ’86).

Dr. Gillespie received the award on the 40th Anniversary of his class – the Class of 1979. After earning his Purdue DVM degree, Dr. Gillespie joined a general veterinary practice in northern Illinois. But his background in livestock, dating back to his days as an Indiana farm boy growing up on a grain and hog farm, as well as his mentor, fellow Purdue Veterinary Medicine alumnus and now professor emeritus, Dr. Kirk Clark, wooed him back to Indiana to join a general practice in north-central Indiana. While in private practice, Dr. Gillespie focused more and more on pigs and in 1991, he and his wife, Denise, started their swine-only practice in Rensselaer, Ind.

As he became established in his career as a top-notch swine practitioner, Dr. Gillespie was soon asked to travel abroad and throughout the United States to educate other herd health providers. He has consulted and given invited presentations across the U.S. and in nearly a dozen other countries. In particular, he is an internationally renowned expert on PRRS – Porcine Respiratory and Reproductive Disease and is sought out to perform research, write papers, and give lectures on this costly disease.

Dr. Gillespie also has modeled leadership in the swine industry through his involvement with the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV). During his tenure as AASV president in 2005 and 2006, Dr. Gillespie led efforts to curb the rampant cases of Porcine Circovirus Associated Disease (PCVAD). In 2010, the AASV named him Swine Practitioner of the Year, and more recently, he was honored as a 2018 Master of the Pork Industry.
Brigadier General, retired, Timothy Adams earned his Purdue DVM degree in 1986 and shortly afterward entered military active duty. He served in combat operations both as a captain in the 483rd Medical Detachment in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and as a lieutenant colonel when he commanded the 72nd Medical Detachment in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Dr. Adams continued his education at Harvard University where he earned his Masters of Public Health degree in 1992. A diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Dr. Adams also received a PhD in Toxicology from Duke University, and is board-certified by the American Board of Toxicology.

Dr. Adams’ accomplishments include being selected as the 24th Chief of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps – the only Purdue graduate to be chosen for that role. Dr. Adams also served as the Assistant Surgeon General for Force Projection in the Office of the Surgeon General. His military career culminated in his selection as the Commander of the U.S. Army Public Health Command, with responsibility for more than 3,000 personnel and an annual operating budget of $200 million.

Dr. Adams has received numerous U.S. military decorations and badges including the Legion of Merit Award for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements, and the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement in a combat zone. He retired from the U.S. Army as a Brigadier General in 2012 and lives with his family in Martinsville, Ind.

The Awards Celebration also spotlighted the accomplishments of Purdue Veterinary Medicine faculty members, who were honored for excellence in teaching, research, and service.

Two awards presented during the celebration are new. Dr. Darryl Ragland, associate professor of food animal production medicine and section head of Production Medicine, received the inaugural Faculty Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award. The award is for faculty members who have demonstrated emerging or sustained excellence in diversity and inclusion endeavors. Dr. Janice Kritchevsky, professor of large animal internal medicine, received the first Resident Mentor Award, sponsored by Drs. Catharine Scott-Moncrieff and Wally Morrison. The award honors a Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences faculty member who has been committed to excellence in mentoring residents, interns, or students.

The Raymond E. Plue Outstanding Teacher Award, one of the College’s most prestigious longstanding teaching awards, was presented to Dr. John Christian, associate professor of veterinary clinical pathology and lab director and section chief of Clinical Pathology.

Dr. Stephanie Thomovsky, clinical associate professor of veterinary neurology, received the Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award.

The Excellence in Service Award was presented to Dr. Steve Adams, professor of large animal surgery, who played a vital role as a member of the team that launched the College’s new Equine Specialty Hospital in Shelbyville, Ind., and now serves as the facility’s medical director.

Dr. Larry Adams, professor and co-section head of Small Animal Internal Medicine, received the Alumni Faculty Award for Excellence.

Dr. Jonathan Townsend, clinical assistant professor of dairy production medicine and director of Extension Programs, received the Alumni Outstanding Teaching Award.

The Excellence in Teaching Award was presented to Dr. Joanne Messick, professor of veterinary clinical pathology.

Two research awards were presented to faculty members in the Department of Comparative Pathobiology. Dr. Mohamed Seleem, section head of Microbiology and Immunology and professor of microbiology received the Excellence in Research Award. Dr. GuangJun Zhang, the John T. and Winifred M. Hayward Associate Professor of Genetic Research, Genetic Epidemiology and Comparative Medicine, received the Zoetis Award for Veterinary Research Excellence.

The faculty award winners stand together with Dean Reed holding their award plaques
Dean Willie Reed joins recipients of faculty awards for excellence and teaching (left-right): Dr. Larry Adams, Alumni Faculty Award for Excellence; Dr. Jonathan Townsend, Alumni Outstanding Teaching Award; Dr. Joanne Messick, Excellence in Teaching Award; and Dr. Stephanie Thomovsky, Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award.

Writer(s): Susan Xioufaridou and Kevin Doerr |

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, 625 Harrison Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, 765-494-7607

© 2024 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by PVM Web Communications

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact PVM Web Communications at