CVM Presents 2024 Dean’s Impact Awards

Published 5/28/2024

The University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine presented its annual Dean’s Impact Awards May 22 during a ceremony held in the Adams Conference Center. The awards, established in 1993, honor faculty, staff, and individuals from outside of the college for sustained and significant positive impact on CVM programs. Interim Dean Leah Cohn chose the recipients from a list of those nominated by CVM faculty and staff members. The Dadd Award and years of service awards were also presented at the ceremony. Timothy Snider, DVM, PhD, DACVP, associate dean for academic and student affairs, announced and presented the awards to the recipients.

The recipient of the 2024 Dean’s Impact Award for Faculty is Eileen Hasser, PhD, professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and adjunct professor of pharmacology and physiology. As both an educator and researcher, she has served Mizzou for three decades. Throughout her time as a professor, Hasser’s students have honored her many times. She has received three Student American Veterinary Medical Association Teaching Awards and six Golden Aesculapius Teaching Awards. In addition to helping educate the next generation of veterinarians, Hasser has participated in numerous committees and devoted much of her time and energy to the CVM.

Eileen Hasser is the recipient of the 2024 Dean's Impact Award for Faculty.
Eileen Hasser is the recipient of the 2024 Dean’s Impact Award for Faculty.

Hasser recently announced her retirement and has been awarded emeritus status.

“With regard to teaching, Eileen has been a pillar within the veterinary medicine first-year curriculum,” according to her nominator. “I cannot think of a faculty member who is more deserving of this award than Eileen. Her dedication and passion for student education and training over the past three decades sets her apart from the rest.”

This year, there were two recipients of the 2024 Dean’s Impact Award for Staff. Tracey Berry, director of communications, and Jennifer Hamilton, educational program coordinator II, are this year’s honorees.

Berry has served the CVM under three deans since 2007, all as director of communications. Berry has been an advocate for the college, acting as both a liaison and champion for the veterinary profession and college. Her experience as a skilled communicator has helped to facilitate and improve the CVM’s standing both within and outside the college.

“The ability to successfully juggle multiple tasks and hats simultaneously, while always maintaining a positive outlook, is unique and just one of her many intangible qualities,” wrote one of her nominators. “Tracey’s insights, wisdom and perspective are perhaps her strongest qualities. As trusted counsel to deans, faculty and staff, Tracey has helped to craft a consistent message for the college. Among current and past staff serving the CVM, I can think of few who have had such an important and enduring impact.”

Hamilton has been at Mizzou since her graduation in 2001 and has served at the CVM since 2012. As an educational program coordinator, Hamilton plays a pivotal role in supporting the academic journey of students. Her role encompasses many different tasks, including the coordination of programs for more than 500 professional students and up to 35 visiting scholars. Her contributions extend beyond mere logistics, as she actively participates in admissions processes and facilitates various events for the CVM.

“Jennifer Hamilton exemplifies the qualities of an exceptional staff member deserving of the recognition,” her nominator wrote. “Her ability to juggle multiple responsibilities while maintaining a cheerful demeanor is truly commendable and serves as an inspiration to me and to her colleagues. Her unwavering dedication, professionalism, and contributions to the success of our institution make her a deserving candidate for the Dean’s Impact Award.”

Reuben Merideth, DVM, DACVO, is the recipient of the 2024 Dean’s Impact Award for Individuals from Outside the College. A 1978 graduate of the CVM and nationally recognized authority in animal ophthalmology, Merideth’s impact on the CVM and veterinary medicine is sizeable. Merideth is the author of more than 30 scientific articles and contributing author for five veterinary textbooks, as well as a past president of the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association’s Counsel on Continuing Education and former member of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists’ Committee on Residency Training and Testing. He is also the co-founder of the ACVO Vision for Animals Foundation, which strives to eliminate ocular diseases causing vision loss and suffering in animals.

Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs Timothy Snider congratulates Reuben Merideth, the recipient of the Dean's Impact Award for Individuals from Outside the College. 
Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs Timothy Snider congratulates Reuben Merideth, the recipient of the Dean’s Impact Award for Individuals from Outside the College. 

In 1981, Merideth founded Eye Care for Animals, which is now the largest non-university ophthalmology residency program in the world, with 50 practices in the United States. The organization provides pro bono services to local zoos and wildlife rescues, as well as continuing education to local referring veterinarians and technicians. In addition to his accomplishments, Merideth continues to give back, most recently pledging a $1 million unrestricted gift to the CVM for its most critical needs. In 2023, the Mizzou Alumni Association awarded Merideth a Faculty and Alumni Award for his contributions to Mizzou.

CVM community members gather to celebrate Impact, Dadd, and Years of Service award recipients.
CVM community members gather to celebrate Impact, Dadd, and Years of Service award recipients.

Christopher Baines, PhD, an associate professor of biomedical sciences, was announced as the recipient of the Dadd Award. The Dadd Award honors excellence in veterinary medicine teaching as judged by peers. The award’s namesake, George Dadd, was a veterinarian and physician born and trained in England who promoted the earliest formal veterinary education in the United States.

Service Award Recipients

Dean’s Office:

• Waleed Atout – 5 years

• Karen Clifford – 15 years

• Sherri Oliver – 20 years

Veterinary Pathobiology/Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory:

• Lauren Delaney – 5 years

• Brian Nodine – 5 years

• Timothy Pullian – 5 years

• Emily Conant – 10 years

• Anne Chegwidden – 20 years

• Elizabeth Hansen – 25 years

Veterinary Medicine and Surgery/Veterinary Health Center:

• Brett Bevill – 5 years

• Katherine McBride – 5 years

• Susan Starr – 5 years

• Ryan White – 5 years

• Cristopher Zelaya Nunez – 5 years

• Savannah Buckman – 10 years

• Joni Lunceford – 10 years

• Carla Zerbolio – 10 years

• Debora Evans – 15 years

• Jeffrey March – 15 years

• Paulette Smith – 15 years

• Amanda Willis – 15 years

• Morgan Keys – 20 years

• Jason Brandow – 20 years

Biomedical Sciences:

• Jennifer Cornelius-Green – 20 years

• Tim Evans – 25 years

• Tommy Thompson – 35 years

By Nick Childress