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Class of 2008

Dr. Brianna Beechler

Dr. BeechlerWhile at Oregon State obtaining my DVM, I realized I was more interested in research than in clinical veterinary medicine. After working with several professors on various research projects through the Biomedical Sciences and Clinical Sciences departments, I found out I was fascinated by disease ecology. My veterinary degree has led me to a fantastic understanding of how disease affects an individual; now I can apply this knowledge to population-level ecological questions. I decided to continue on after my DVM to a PhD program, and am obtaining a degree in disease ecology, assessing how diseases interact in African buffalo.

African Buffalo in Kruger National Park are simultaneously exposed to many different diseases and parasites, yet most research looks at the effects of a single disease. I am investigating how an invasive disease, bovine tuberculosis (BTB), affects the dynamics of a native infection, Rift Valley Fever (RVF), in African buffalo. Bovine tuberculosis, caused by Mycobacterium bovis, was first found in Kruger National Park in the 1980s and is spreading northward in the park through the buffalo population. BTB causes context-dependent reductions in fecundity, body condition, and survival. Rift Valley Fever is a Phlebovirus that causes acute infection with fever, resulting in abortion during the initial infection. African buffalo can transmit BTB and RVF to other wildlife, domestic animals and humans; consequently infection patterns are relevant to public health and many wildlife populations.

Early on in BTB infection, the immune system up-regulates components that may be cross protective against RVF. However, late in infection, BTB suppresses components of the immune system that may allow for easier infection of RVF. Preliminary data on 200 female buffalo suggests that those animals chronically infected with BTB have more co-infections than one would expect based on age-specific disease prevalence. Concordantly, younger animals (those acutely infected with BTB) have fewer co-infections than one would expect based on age-specific disease prevalence. This suggests that, in fact, there are interactions between the two diseases: chronic BTB can predispose to RVF infection in the buffalo. Future work will characterize this interaction using disease-incidence information, as well as more specific immunologic characterization to extend this data to other disease systems.

Dr. Rhonda Reaves

Dr. Rhonda ReavesDr. Reaves was honored to be accepted into the Army Health Professionals Scholarship Program and was commissioned into the US Army during her first year as a DVM student in 2004. The following summer she participated in active duty for training where she visited Army Veterinary Treatment Facilities around the country and became a part of their team for a month or so. This time was used to help prepare her for her what she would face after graduation. Capt. Reaves entered active duty in the US Army Veterinary Corps after graduation and was stationed at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. There she runs a small animal clinic (Veterinary Treatment Facility) caring for the pets of service members and is responsible for the complete care of the military working dogs at her station.

In October 2009, she will turn in the keys to the clinic in Florida and begin a twelve month assignment in Afghanistan. "As far as I know, my responsibilities will be caring for the military working dogs in my area of operation, aiding in the acquisition of safe food and water for the troops and helping train and educate the local people in matters of public health and animal welfare. There is really no way of knowing exactly what to expect on a deployment in such a volatile area. Nonetheless, I’m always up for a challenge and hope to learn a lot and bring myself and my soldiers home safely.” August 2009


Class of 2007


Veterinarian Shawn Thomas sees need, opens clinic in Tanasbourne

A week after Tanasbourne Veterinary-Emergency opened, New Year's Eve passed quietly at the only emergency pet clinic in the Hillsboro and Beaverton area that's open all night, every weekend and major holidays.

Dr. Shawn Thomas, the clinic's owner and only staff veterinarian, designed and with the help of friends and family built out the clinic, which he filled with state-of-the-art diagnostic and surgical equipment. All of it sat idle on this particular night, as he sipped a chai latte from Insomnia Coffee Co. next door in a small shopping center just off Northeast Cornell Road and waited for a dog or cat that needed quick care. Read more...




Class of 2006


Dr. Barbara Kahl

Hello everyone!
Recently Bob and I moved back to Oregon from the Houston, Texas area. In Houston, I was the Staff Veterinarian caring for hundreds of dogs and cats as well as providing medical care for approximately 70-80 horses everyday at the Houston SPCA. While there, I organized an opportunity to partner with Texas A&M CVM to provide a resource for rural practice students to practice equine field anesthesia and castration techniques under the supervision of their professors; provided professional testimony in hundreds of animal cruelty cases, and saw change in animals from starvation to adoptable pets. Upon our return to Oregon, with current economic conditions in the country, we decided to begin an SPCA for Oregon focusing on equine rather than small animal at this time.

The United SPCA is located in Yamhill, Oregon on approximately 20 acres. We are currently housing several horses that have medical needs, re-feeding needs, and training requirements beyond what a routine rescue has the ability to easily manage. Please take a look at our recent newsletter. Feel welcome to send this to others interested in our mission. As we grow, we hope to continue close bonds with OSU CVM.

Away from the United SPCA, I maintain a veterinary career at Kindness Family Pet Clinic with a great staff, wonderful clients, and excellent patients.

Cheerful Regards,
Dr. Barbara Kahl, DVM
President, United SPCA
503-662-0082 bus.
503-662-0083 fax
503-332-8650 cell

November 2010


Class of 1999

Dr. Ryan De Voe

Ryan De Voe is the senior veterinarian at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro. He recently made the news when the zoo's 38-year-old African bull elephant received contact lenses after cataract surgery. Read more.

Dr. Lori Gibson

I am the owner of Compassionate Care, the only veterinary practice dedicated exclusively to home euthanasia service of small pets in Oregon and Washington. It is an honor to assist pets and their people with end-of-life care, when it is often very difficult for people to know where to turn for guidance. Our service provides respectful euthanasia in the privacy and comfort of home, and also transport to a pet crematory and aftercare arrangements when requested.
Our website is www.DrLoriGibson.com.

Oregonian Pet Talk, June 8, 2010, How we live: Vet helps people who want their pets to pass away at home by Jacques Von Lunen. Home euthanasia is a viable option for pets and their people in the Portland/Vancouver/Salem area.

Class of 1990

Dr. Arlene Brooks

Doctor gives ill, injured animals another chance. Last Chance Club provides free treatment to help rescue groups. Statesman Journal, Dec. 28, 2009


Cindy Zikes

Dr. Cindy Zikes

I have this vague recollection of volunteering to organize a future class reunion when we were about to graduate some 20 years ago. I think I was in some blissful graduation haze. Am I wrong? Was it someone else? Please don't let me take your fun if it was really YOU who volunteered!?!


If it was me with the big mouth and long outstretched arm, then here I go. I have already coerced Craig, Janet, and possibly Gary to help. Please email me if you have any interest in helping as well.

I may try to put out a survey of sorts to poll the class on things like dates/times/locations/events/costs. A suggestion was made to try some computer survey gorilla or monkey so I will look in to that. Until then, be thinking about where and when you would like this to happen (Portland vs. Corvallis, August vs. September, etc.).

There is talk of having a reunion web site where we could all share some pre-reunion updates and information. Janet has some experience in that department and may make it happen.

There is an OSU CVM Alumni web site that I just contributed to for the first time in 20 years. It has a nice photo of the school as we remember it - with that fabulous brick wall where we often sat. Too bad it doesn't include the Piñata. Does anyone remember Craig's Piñata? You should check out the site and update your profiles!

I have spent the first two weeks of twenty-ten in the pathology department here at OSU CVM. For those of you who haven't seen it yet, the school looks great! I passed Dr. Riebold in the hall this morning. He had no clue who I was but he still looked the same! Dr. Huber, Dr. Blythe and a very few other familiar faces are still here.

I know you are wondering whether Murphy's is still open - it is! Woodstock's Pizza, The Peacock Tavern (now "Bar and Grill" - whoa), and some of our other haunts are still around.

Anyway, I REALLY hope we can organize a fun, relaxed, entertaining, and warm class reunion that everybody wants to attend. Get that "I hate reunions" right out of the way! Come on, it will be really great to get together again and rehash old stories, share old photos, and LAUGH A TON!!!!

Please help me spread the word. With the help of Debrah Rarick in the Dean's Office, I currently have less than 10 email addresses. Hopefully you can help me track down every last person in our class.

Looking forward to reconnecting,

Cindy Zikes, copetdoc@aol.com
January 12, 2010

Class of 1988

Val with lambDr. Valery S. Shean, Advisor, CLIDE Consultancy (Christian Veterinary Mission: Uganda), Kangole, Moroto District, Uganda

I have been working since 1992 in the research and development of ethno-veterinary medicine of the tribes in Eastern Uganda. Together with the traditional healers, we have catalogued over 200 herbal remedies. Through field trials and sorting and ranking, 20 of these were chosen as the most efficacious, economically viable herbal products, and were slated for development into commercial pharmaceuticals. Of these, 8 are currently being analysed for final presentation and registration with the Uganda NDA (National Drug Authority) and the ARIPO (African Regional Intellectual Property-Rights Organisation). Linkages with Oregon State University are being explored for further pharmaceutical development of these natural medicines.
Val BakkiewebOver the last decade, I have trained over 400 Community Animal Health Workers in the impoverished regions of Uganda in order to bring veterinary care closer to the people. These CAHWs have set up viable veterinary businesses in their villages and are treating 1,000s of animals each month. Currently, I am completing a comprehensive curriculum and training manuals for training of these cadre, to be used regionally by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN).

Violent, armed warfare has plagued the communities of Karamoja for many decades. Through the development of strong, reciprocal relationships with the herdmen, traditional healers, women and warriors of Karamoja, I have been able to build up trust in the Karamojong community. In the last two years, this has opened up the opportunity to begin peace building efforts to reconcile the warring factions. At this time, more than 10,000 Karamojong have turned away from tribal violence and have joined together with their former enemies in peaceful community resettlements in the former war zones. We are now training them in improved agricultural techniques and livestock systems to empower them to sustainably continue their peaceful coexistence. We are also sponsoring over 100 needy children in schools and working with the local churches to bring love and hope to these villagers.

Recent Awards given:

  • Christian Veterinary Mission (CVM) Employee of the Year Award. 2006
  • Washington State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Outstanding Service Award. 2007
  • Uganda Veterinary Association, Service Award 2009


P.O. Box 27, Moroto, Uganda
Phone: 011 256 78 265-8151
Email: africavet@yahoo.com
Webpage: www.cvmusa.org/africavet
Facebook: africavet@yahoo.com
Xanga blog: www.xanga.com/africavet



Class of 1984

Dr. Carin Smith

Wrote two new books this year: Team Satisfaction Pays; Organizational Development for Practice Success and Career Choices for Veterinary Technicians: Opportunities for Animal Lovers.

She is also working on an update of Career Choices for Veterinarians (originally published 1998) and an update of Client Satisfaction Pays: Quality Service for Practice Success (originally published 1998), both of which should be done by the end of the year.

She doing lots of speaking and training workshops for veterinary teams. Got to see a few classmates at the AVMA meeting!

Smith Veterinary Consulting