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AVMA Editor-in-Chief Emeritus Audin dies

Dr. Janis H. Audin, the innovative AVMA editor-in-chief whose leadership helped advance the relevance, accessibility, and global reach of the Association's scientific journals, died April 22, 2009. Dr. Audin, 58, of Northbrook, Ill., was a 1979 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.

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Dr. Janis H. Audin

Citation: American Journal of Veterinary Research 70, 6; 10.2460/ajvr.70.6.688

One month earlier, on March 23, AVMA CEO W. Ron DeHaven conferred on Dr. Audin the special title of editor-in-chief emeritus.

To celebrate her new stature, the Executive Board had approved publication of a proclamation expressing its gratitude for Dr. Audin's service to the AVMA. The proclamation further stated that her unwavering dedication to excellence in scientific journalism serves as an illustration to others, and cited the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the AJVR as preeminent publications owing to her outstanding leadership, judgment, and guidance.

The emeritus distinction created a mechanism for Dr. Audin to continue contributing to the AVMA as her three-year battle with pancreatic cancer grew ever more challenging. Over the ensuing month, however, her health failed rapidly.

Dr. DeHaven said, “Dr. Janis Audin's contributions to the journals, to the AVMA, and to the profession were profound, and we will be forever grateful. Between the professional journals which she lived for and the many lives she has touched and influenced, Janis Audin's legacy will live on at AVMA.”

Associate Editor Kurt J. Matushek continues to serve as interim editor-in-chief and interim Publications Division director during the comprehensive search for her successor. Dr. Matushek, who joined the AVMA staff in 1992, said, “Janis' passing is a tremendous blow to the Publications Division staff. Inspired by her vision and training, we will continue to work to reach the ideals she set for us.”

Dr. Audin began her career with the AVMA in 1985 as an assistant editor in the Publications Division. She was promoted to associate editor in 1989 and editor in 1994. She became editor-in-chief and division director April 15, 1995, and served in both positions until this March when she received the emeritus designation.

Dr. Audin always considered herself an editor-in-chief in transition. She led expansion of the JAVMA and AJVR from a print-only format, adding an electronic format with the AVMA Journals Online. More recently, she led the staff effort to repurpose journal content into features such as the AVMA Collections and the AVMA Ed online learning courses.

She worked to broaden the journals' global reach while upholding the highest standards for veterinary publishing and humane treatment of animals. She tried to make the journals more relevant for the entire profession by providing articles on the many facets of veterinary medicine.

Dr. Audin's tenure as division director and editor-in-chief was marked by outstanding success and divisional growth. She embraced technology to cut lead time, reduce costs, and improve reporting abilities. For example, she instituted online manuscript submission and tracking.

She served on AVMA entities such as the Long-Range Planning Committee and task forces devoted to strategic planning, communications, and headquarters renovations. As a consultant to the Executive Board Bylaws Committee, she helped develop the AVMA Bylaws adopted in 2006.

Dr. Audin received her master's degree in reproductive physiology at the UI College of Veterinary Medicine in 1977 and her DVM degree with honors two years later. She followed that with two years of clinical work and postgraduate training and research in clinical pathology at the veterinary college.

Dean Herb Whiteley said, “Dr. Janis Audin's quiet but unmistakable impact was felt throughout her long tenure at the helm of two publications that reached a majority of U.S. veterinarians. She continually sought to improve access to, and quality of, information on both veterinary research and professional governance. Few people have been in a position to so broadly affect the veterinary profession over their lifetime.”

In the AVMA Publications Division, Dr. Audin mentored many veterinarians as editors of the Association's scientific journals, along with copy editors, designers, and members of the news, production, advertising, and library staffs. She set standards of excellence for the division.

Dr. Audin was a member of the Illinois State and Chicago VMAs, Phi Zeta, and the American Medical Writers Association. She was active in the Society of National Association Publications, served on committees of the Council of Science Editors (formerly, Council of Biology Editors), and was instrumental in organizing and hosting the first Veterinary Medical Journal Editors meetings.

It was Dr. Audin's wish that memorial donations be made to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation and designated for Animal Health Studies. Donations can be made online at www.avmf.org or mailed to the AVMF, Suite 100, 1931 N. Meacham Road, Schaumburg, IL 60173. Should the donations reach $25,000 or more, the Foundation will create an Animal Health Studies endowment in her honor.

The University of Illinois veterinary Class of ′79 is establishing a scholarship at UI in Dr. Audin's memory.

Accreditation statuses reviewed by Council on Education

Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine has been moved from limited to full accreditation until 2013. The decision, made by the AVMA Council on Education March 2-4 at AVMA headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill., was based on a focused site visit in December 2008.

According to an April 9 Tuskegee press release, the school was commended for its efforts in increasing the small animal and equine caseloads, implementing year-round clinical rotations, achieving higher pass rate scores for the national licensing examination, and committing to create a diverse student body.

Five other U.S. schools were granted seven years of full accreditation after comprehensive site visit evaluations in fall 2008 and spring 2009. Twenty-two schools or colleges of veterinary medicine received continued accreditation status on the basis of their 2008 interim reports. Among them were 13 from the United States, two from Canada, two from Australia, and one each from Ireland, Scotland, England, New Zealand, and the Netherlands.

In addition, the COE agreed to a request from the University of Queensland School of Veterinary Science in Brisbane, Australia, to begin the accreditation process. Staff will contact the school to request potential dates for a consultative site visit in 2010.

The council denied requests from the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, St. Kitts, West Indies, and St. George's University School of Veterinary Medicine, Grenada, West Indies, to conduct comprehensive site visits. Consultative site visits were conducted at the schools in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Foreign colleges are granted comprehensive site visits when deficiencies noted during the consultative site visit have been fully addressed.

AVMA launches videotape messages from its CEO

The AVMA has begun presenting video interviews with AVMA CEO W. Ron DeHaven speaking about issues, current events, and news in veterinary medicine on the Association's webcasting site at www.avmatv.org and the AVMA Media Library at www.avmamedia.org.

To date, Dr. DeHaven has addressed issues such as animal welfare, public health, AVMA testimony on Capitol Hill, the shortage of large animal veterinarians, and livestock identification programs.

The two-minute webcasts are intended for the general public, AVMA members, and journalists.

J.B. Hancock, director of the AVMA Communications Division, said, “We receive dozens of questions from journalists and the general public about the activities of our Association, so there is a real need for this outreach.

“Ultimately, we hope these webcasts become a popular resource for a variety of audiences—veterinarians, government officials, students, the general public—anyone who is interested in AVMA policies, animals, and veterinary medicine.”

So far, the division has produced educational videos on household hazards for pets, disaster preparation, dental hygiene, and the shortage of large animal veterinarians. This will be the first time that the Association will be using this technology to address current events and to provide newsworthy information.

“It's very important that the Association communicate with the general public and its members as clearly as possible, and these videos help us in this effort,” Dr. DeHaven explains.

Dr. DeHaven's webcasts change every two weeks.

Symposium calls for targeted efforts to increase diversity

Veterinary colleges and the veterinary profession cannot be successful in recruiting students from underrepresented ethnicities and races without measurable goals based on data as well as leadership support.

That message was delivered by speakers at the 2009 Iverson Bell Symposium. It was held March 12-13 in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges.

The theme for the 17th symposium was The Science of Recruitment. Lisa Greenhill, the AAVMC's associate executive director for diversity, gave a presentation on developing and evaluating the success of diversity programs. She said a plan should be in place that accomplishes the following objectives:

  • • Maps out the college's goals and objectives

  • • Provides a time line for accomplishing achievements

  • • Indicates who will be responsible for managing the plan

  • • Identifies anticipated resources needed to execute and evaluate the plan

  • • Outlines how diversity will be integrated into the business of the college

Ultimately, a goal of the college should be to produce veterinary graduates and faculty who will meet the racial, ethnic, and cultural needs of society, Greenhill said.

Marc A. Nivet, EdD, chief operating officer and treasurer of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, built on that message in his talk, “From fairness to excellence: a new rationale for diversity.”

Dr. Nivet said diversity helps institutions and professions move toward their stated goals, such as excellence. At the same time, he said, there is a separate idea that diversity is somehow a competitor with excellence.

“Instead, it is part of, or a driver of, excellence. I would argue you can't call yourself an excellent institution without being diverse,” Dr. Nivet said. “Cultural competence and gender understanding need to be part of the ‘excellence’ mission of a school.”

Deans of three veterinary schools or colleges—Dr. Willie M. Reed from Purdue University, Dr. Warwick A. Arden from North Carolina Statue University, and Dr. Tsegaye Habtemariam from Tuskegee University—spoke about their role in encouraging diversity during a panel session.

Dr. Reed said one of his challenges as dean is persuading colleagues that diversity isn't a responsibility for just him or a diversity professional but for all faculty and staff.

Dr. Habtemariam said he realized how little has changed in the profession as he looked at 20 years worth of data on minority students. It showed 2 percent were black in 1985 and that figure remains about the same today.

Dr. Arden said the biggest obstacle is that while many in academia understand and embrace the concepts of diversity, a big gap exists between understanding and acting to achieve it.

Dr. Marguerite Pappaioanou, AAVMC executive director, said education is key in that regard, and that the AAVMC is moving ahead on that front. The symposium helped focus that effort.

Leader in virology, pathology given world veterinary award

Dr. Frederick A. Murphy has led research on deadly viruses, including Marburg and Ebola.

As director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases, he was the first veterinarian to hold such a high-ranking position in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He estimates he has authored and coauthored about 450 articles, chapters, and books during his career.

Dr. Murphy is the second winner of the Penn Vet World Leadership Award, a prize that comes with $100,000 in unrestricted funding. Dr. Bernard Vallat, director general of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), won the inaugural award in 2008.

The award, which is underwritten by the Vernon and Shirley Hill Foundation, was presented to Dr. Murphy April 20 on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in Philadelphia.

Two veterinary students also receive $100,000 each through the annual Penn Vet Inspiration Award competition, which is also funded by the Hill Foundation.

Dr. Alan Kelly, dean emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, said the award is meant to celebrate distinguished leaders in veterinary medicine for their contributions to the profession and society. He hopes it will become, for veterinary medicine, the equivalent of a Nobel Prize.

Dr. Kelly praised Dr. Murphy for his leadership at the CDC, which he said opened new paths for other veterinarians and helped gain public recognition for veterinary medicine's contributions.

Dr. Murphy is currently the James W. McLaughlin professor-in-residence at the University of Texas Medical Branch's Department of Pathology.

Dr. Murphy started working at the CDC shortly before the viral outbreak in 1967 that caused seven deaths and 23 severe illnesses in Germany and Yugoslavia. German virologists made the primary discovery of the filovirus that would become known as Marburg.

Dr. Murphy was one of three CDC scientists who studied the virus in a temporary containment laboratory set up within an 18-wheeler trailer in the parking lot behind the CDC virology building in Atlanta.

His experience with Marburg prepared him for his work with another filovirus in 1976, when people began dying of a strange disease in what was then Zaire (now, the Congo). That virus would become known as Ebola.

Dr. Murphy plans to donate part of the $100,000 prize to support efforts for recovery from Hurricane Ike and put part toward his project on the history of veterinary and medical virology.

Animal rights extremist is one of FBI's most wanted terrorists

A U.S. citizen suspected of violent animal rights extremism has been added to the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list. It is the first instance of a domestic terrorist being put on the list, which includes international terrorists such as al-Qaida's Osama bin Laden.

The FBI announced April 21 that Daniel Andreas San Diego, 31, had been added to the most wanted list because of his links to bombings at two Northern California biotechnology companies in 2003.

Although no one was injured in either case, the construction, placement, and timing of the bombs indicated San Diego intended to cause serious injury or death, the FBI stated.

Placing San Diego on the Most Wanted Terrorists list signifies the seriousness with which law enforcement takes acts of domestic terror. Investigators say San Diego targeted both companies because he believed they had connections to Huntingdon Life Sciences, an international research firm headquartered in the United Kingdom with an office in New Jersey. The animal rights group Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty has been trying to force Huntingdon out of business for years.

San Diego is said to be a member of a domestic cell of the group—SHAC USA—that has waged a campaign of violence and intimidation stateside against companies doing business with Huntingdon.

Initially, San Diego was identified as a suspect after being stopped for a traffic violation in Pleasanton about an hour before the Pleasanton bombing. A subsequent search of his home and vehicle revealed bomb-making materials similar to those used in both attacks.

A federal warrant was issued for San Diego's arrest in October 2003, but he fled before he could be taken into custody. The FBI is offering a $250,000 reward for information leading directly to his arrest.

The FBI believes San Diego's actions have set an example for other extremists in the animal rights movement. In August 2008, for example, individuals espousing similar beliefs set off two firebombs in Santa Cruz, Calif. Although some in the animal rights movement have characterized these acts of violence as mere property crimes, firebombing occupied homes and detonating explosive devices in public areas to further political or social causes are, by definition, acts of terrorism.

PRRS studies funded

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica presented four veterinarians with the Advancement in PRRS Research Award to support studies on porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome in 2009. The four will evenly split $100,000 in grant money.

The company usually provides three $25,000 grants yearly, but a company spokesman said the four studies chosen were all considered to be worth funding.

Dr. Jerry L. Torrison (MIN ′86), University of Minnesota, received support for a study on the effect of biofilters on the quantity of PRRS virus. This is intended to determine the amount of virus exhausted from mechanically vented finishing barns and barns with biofilters placed outside exhaust fans.

Dr. Darwin L. Reicks (ISU ′94) of Swine Vet Center in St. Peter, Minn., received funding for a study on the effect of modified-live PRRS vaccine, alone and combined with killed-virus vaccines, in late-term pregnant gilts.

Dr. Spencer R. Wayne (MIN ′01), Pipestone Veterinary Clinic, Pipestone, Minn., received funding to evaluate the ecology of the PRRS virus in farrowing and the risk factors of transmission prior to weaning.

Dr. Amber Stricker (ISU ′08), Suidae Health and Production, Algona, Iowa, received support for a study on variability of PRRS virus ORF5 sequencing in and among state diagnostic laboratories.

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