Virtual Awards Ceremony Confers Recognition on Outstanding Faculty

Friday, September 24, 2021

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A longstanding Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine tradition of recognizing outstanding faculty during the annual Purdue Veterinary Conference continued in a virtual format in 2021.  The annual Awards Celebration September 10 included the presentation of the prestigious Raymond E. Plue Outstanding Teacher Award along with several other awards for faculty service, research, and teaching.

Dr. Ragland stands alongside the swine sculpture in the Continuum sculpture installation in front of Lynn Hall
Dr. Darryl Ragland, associate professor of food animal production medicine in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences and section head for production medicine in the Purdue University Large Animal Hospital, is the 2021 recipient of the Raymond E. Plue Outstanding Teacher Award.

The Raymond E. Plue Outstanding Teacher Award is funded by an endowment established by Dr. Plue, a member of the DVM Class of 1968, to recognize faculty members for their teaching ability as well as their role in fostering interest in research.  To be considered for this honor, a faculty member must be nominated by veterinary alumni in the five most recent graduating classes. The 2021 recipient is Dr. Darryl Ragland, associate professor of food animal production medicine in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences and head of the Production Medicine Section in the Purdue University Veterinary Hospital.

Dr. Ragland earned his DVM degree at Tuskegee University before coming to Purdue for a residency in food animal medicine and surgery. After earning his PhD, Dr. Ragland joined the Purdue Veterinary Medicine faculty in 1999 as an assistant professor.

Dr. Ragland splits his time between clinical practice, teaching, and research. Much of his research focuses on swine nutrition, though recently he also published a study entitled, “Assessment of Biosecurity Policies and Practices for Controlling African Swine Fever Virus on Ukrainian Pig Farms.” To date, Dr. Ragland’s research has been published in 52 peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Ragland also fulfills multiple teaching responsibilities in the college including teaching swine production medicine and nutrition to DVM students. In addition, Dr. Ragland recently became very involved in creating a new food animal medicine course for which he is now instructor-of-record. He also played a major role in the college’s animal husbandry courses, working with emeritus professor Michael Hill.  In addition, Dr. Ragland has served as the faculty advisor for 38 DVM students and has participated on graduate committees for more than 30 graduate students.

In addition to the Plue Award, eight other faculty awards were presented during the virtual awards program.  The honors recognized outstanding teaching, research, and engagement.  The awards and the recipients are:

Dr. Christian is pictured with his award plaque alongside the Continuum sculpture in front of Lynn Hall
Dr. John Christian, associate professor of veterinary clinical pathology in the Department of Comparative Pathobiology, and director and section chief of the Clinical Pathology Laboratory, was honored with the Alumni Outstanding Teaching Award.

Alumni Faculty Award for Excellence | Dr. Ann Weil, Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences and Anesthesiology Section Head for the Purdue University Veterinary Hospital 

Nominations for this award are submitted by faculty and the selection is made by a committee of faculty and alumni on the basis of the nominee’s performance and contributions in research, scholarly, or creative endeavors; instruction and related activities; and/or public and professional services and relations.

Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award | Dr. Kevin Hannon, Associate Professor of Basic Medical Sciences 

This award is one of two selected on the basis of an annual ballot completed by Purdue veterinary students indicating the degree to which the faculty members demonstrate superior ability in communicating the chosen material to students and stimulate their desire to master the material, while also being ready to aid and motivate students in a counseling and advisory capacity, either formally or informally. The Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award is given annually to an outstanding teacher at each veterinary school in North America. Each award recipient also is eligible to compete for the National Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award.

Marxa is pictured with her award plaque standing alongside the Continuum sculpture in front of Lynn Hall
Dr. Marxa Figuiredo, associate professor of basic medical sciences, was recognized with the 2021 Excellence in Research Award.

Alumni Outstanding Teaching Award | Dr. John Christian, Associate Professor of Veterinary Clinical Pathology and Director and Section Chief of the Clinical Pathology Laboratory 

This award also is selected on the basis of the student ballot and recognizes the recipient’s role in helping the students succeed.

Excellence in Teaching Award | Dr. Andrew Woolcock, Associate Professor of Small Animal Internal Medicine in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences

The recipient of this award is chosen from nominations made by peers. The award includes $3,000 in funds to support scholarly teaching activities.

Zoetis Award for Veterinary Research Excellence | Dr. Maggie O’Haire, Associate Professor of Human-Animal Interaction in the Department of Comparative Pathobiology 

This award recognizes faculty members for their role in generating new knowledge through basic and clinical research.

Excellence in Research Award | Dr. Marxa Figueiredo, Associate Professor of Basic Medical Sciences in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences

Rebecca stands smiling holding her award plaque outside the diagnostic laboratory
Dr. Rebecca Wilkes, associate professor of molecular diagnostics in the Department of Comparative Pathobiology and head of the Molecular and Virology Sections in the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, was honored with the 2021 Excellence in Service Award.

This award recognizing outstanding basic and clinical research is sponsored by the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Excellence in Service Award | Dr. Rebecca Wilkes, Associate Professor of Molecular Diagnostics in the Department of Comparative Pathobiology and Head of the Molecular and Virology Sections in the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory

Established to honor Purdue Veterinary Medicine faculty who have demonstrated consistent and sustained delivery of services through our college, this award was given to recognize Dr. Wilkes as a national leader in molecular diagnostics and for her instrumental role in the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory’s success in supporting the Protect Purdue initiative by testing human samples for COVID-19.

Faculty Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion Award | Dr. Susan Mendrysa, Associate Professor of Basic Medical Sciences in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences

This award honors faculty in the College of Veterinary Medicine who demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion through active recruitment and retention efforts, teaching, research, multicultural programming, community outreach activities, or other initiatives.

Congratulations to all of the award recipients!  Click here to view the awards presentation on the PVM YouTube channel.


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


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