Commencement 2010 Marks 2,000 Tufts Veterinarians

Six combined-degree recipients and school’s third Ph.D. among graduating class
May 20, 2010

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Tara Pettinato

NORTH GRAFTON, Mass. — When it welcomes 74 new veterinarians to the profession at its commencement exercises Sunday, Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine will celebrate a milestone—more than 2,000 graduates protecting animal, human, and environmental health in New England and beyond.

The ceremony will take place Sunday, May 23, at the Agnes Varis Campus Center on the school’s North Grafton campus at 3:00 p.m.

In addition to their veterinary diplomas, six students will also receive master’s degrees through the Cummings School’s combined degree programs. Among them, two students who combined their veterinary studies with public health, one with comparative biomedical sciences, and three with the school’s laboratory animal medicine program.

New England’s only veterinary school will also confer its third Ph.D. in biomedical sciences to Yi-Lin Yang, who defended a thesis on the parasitic disease Cryptosporidium parvum under advisor Giovanni F. Widmer, Ph.D, professor of Infectious Diseases. Yang’s parents will be flying in from Taiwan to be in attendance.

Several members of the Class of 2010 took nontraditional paths to veterinary school. Among them, Cara M. Kneser, who will receive her degree Sunday, 30 years after the completion of her undergraduate studies. The student speaker at Sunday’s ceremony, Nicholas C. DuLong of Westborough, founded a now-defunct record label after his studies at the University of Vermont and worked in technical support for Groove Networks—founded by Lotus Notes creator Ray Ozzie, now chief software architect for Microsoft.

Elizabeth Rozanski, DVM, an assistant professor of clinical sciences and head of the Critical Care section at the school’s Foster Hospital for Small Animals, will be the school’s faculty speaker. John Berg, DVM, chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences, will receive the Pfizer Teaching Award; Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences Elizabeth Byrnes will receive the school’s research award, also sponsored by Pfizer.

In addition, Jay Merriam, DVM will receive the school’s Henry E. Childers Award, given to part-time instructors who have made extraordinary contributions to educating veterinary students. In addition to other efforts, Merriam’s Mass Equine Clinic in Uxbridge, Mass., shares an equine internship program with the Cummings School.

The school will also honor five faculty members with emeritus titles. Highlights of their careers are covered in a separate press release (http://www.tufts.edu/vet/pr/20100521.html).  

Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University

Founded in 1978 in North Grafton, Mass., Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University is internationally esteemed for academic programs that impact society and the practice of veterinary medicine; three hospitals and two clinics that combined see more than 80,000 cases each year; and groundbreaking research that benefits animal, public, and environmental health.

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