Four new faculty members recently joined the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. Sissy (Hsuan-Ping) Hong, DVM, MVM, MS, Kelley Varner, DVM, DACVAA, Felipe Martins, DVM, MSC, Megan Mickelson, DVM, DACVS-SA, AVCS Fellow ─ Surgical Oncology and are serving in a variety of roles at the Veterinary Health Center.
Hong, who recently served as a neurology and neurosurgery resident at Purdue University, has moved into the role of clinical instructor of neurology and neurosurgery for the MU VHC. Originally from Taipei, Taiwan, Hong came to the United States in 2015. She spent a year at Louisiana State University for clinical training, then went to Prince Edward Island, Canada, for a rotating internship. Hong then moved back to the United States in 2017 for a residency and to pursue a master’s degree at Purdue. Outside of work, Hong says playing piano, painting, reading mystery novels, and going on hikes with her husband with their English Labrador, Stix, is how she enjoys her free time. When asked why she came to Mizzou, she responded, “The amazing people and teamwork.”
Varner, who is a clinical instructor of anesthesiology, came to Mizzou from the University of Pennsylvania, where she completed her residency in veterinary anesthesia and analgesia, as well as internships at Summit Equine Hospital and Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center. A daughter of two retired Air Force master sergeants, Varner has lived in many different places, but considers Phoenix, Arizona, home. Varner says she is an all-around equine enthusiast, and often spends her weekends at horse races. She recently married her partner of 13 years, and they have two Boston terriers named Titus and Quinn. Varner said the environment is what brought her to Mizzou. “Upon completing my residency, I needed a break from Philadelphia city life,” said Varner. “I felt Mizzou offered a tight-knit, friendly, family atmosphere that excited me. The essential quality of a workplace for me is the team. Mizzou offered a better team than any other place I visited. I am excited to be a part of the growth of the anesthesia department and the CVM. Plus, Dr. (John) Dodam told me he would teach me how to drive the mules, so that sealed the deal.”
Martins, a native of Brazil, came to the CVM from the University of Illinois, where he completed his residency in anesthesiology. He now holds the title of clinical instructor of veterinary anesthesiology. Martins says it was the friendly atmosphere, the great sense of teamwork at the CVM and the calm city life that helped him choose Mizzou as his next step. When asked what he enjoys doing outside of work he said, “I enjoy listening to music and taking my French bulldog, Lucy, on walks.”
Mickelson, from Carmel, Indiana, now serves as an assistant professor of small animal surgical oncology. This new endeavor follows working at Iowa State University as an assistant professor of small animal soft tissue surgery for the past two years. She completed her surgical oncology fellowship at Colorado State University and surgical residency at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Mickelson has a large number of hobbies that she and her husband enjoy in their free time, including hiking, playing soccer and sand volleyball, attending sporting events, and spending time with friends and family. “I came to Mizzou because of the exciting opportunities to join a growing oncology service and work towards integration,” she said. “It is allowing me to focus on my training in the subspecialty of surgical oncology.”