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news@CUMMINGS School
Dean’s monthly newsletter for Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University

news@CUMMINGS School is a monthly look back at news and accomplishments from across the campus.


Captain’s log – Day 39 of the voyage of the Starship All Creatures Great and Small. Our mission is to explore new worlds and this captain has been busy having new adventures. This month I went to Bro Land. For anyone who doesn’t speak the language, I’m referring to Tufts at Tech, where everyone is known as Dude or Bro (and their T shirts proudly proclaim their Bro citizenship). This is a land where everything and anything becomes an opportunity to learn and develop new skills. In two short hours, I had a full tour and saw students diagnose pyometra and gall stones (and begin the pyometra surgery), perform a major dentistry (including extractions), identify a luxating patella, perform a kitten health screen, and treat a case of canine Brucella. The student assigned the Brucella case had to educate the owner about the zoonotic risks of this disease. Another student had to deal with a case of an unvaccinated cat with a wound of unknown origin. The student looked a bit horrified to learn that, because of the risk of rabies, she had to present the owner with two options; euthanasia or four months of quarantine. Both students had to report these cases to the state lab. Even I became a living example of the importance of continuing education and how much someone can forget when you don’t keep practicing. In fact, the students taught me how to age a kitten based on its teeth, and the appropriate vaccines and dewormers for a six-week old kitten. I bet you don’t recognize me in the picture because I’m wearing a white coat and holding an animal, rather than a glass slide – but that’s me. I wanted to keep the kitten as a therapy animal, but they made me give him back. Sam Palermo V19 and Holly Williams V19 are pictured above jumping for joy last week at how much fun they had at Tufts at Tech.

The intrepid spaceship also spent some time in a galaxy far, far away (New York City). That trip included several missions. The first stop was a meeting with the executers of the Millstein Foundation, whose donations helped to support Tufts at Tech and who are looking for more outreach programs. I also went to an evening soiree at the exclusive Lotos Club, organized by Stan Kovak, V98P and Nancy Nelson, parents of Dr. Janet “JJ” Kovak McClaran, V98, a member of the school’s Board of Advisors. This event was designed to bring together any and all friends of the school in the New York City area. This year was notable for having representatives from many of our programs – DVM (both traditional and shelter medicine), MAPP, MCM, and even an alumni of Adventures in Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Chris Whittier spoke of his career path that took him to the Smithsonian and then to his study of gorillas, along with Jane Goodall, before bringing him to Cummings School as Director of our Conservation Medicine MS program. The evening provided an opportunity to thank these people for staying involved in the school and a chance for stimulating conversations, along with some excellent food in beautiful surroundings.

Dr. Leslie Sharkey joined the crew for a trip to planet Tennessee, where she and the captain were volunteers in a Remote Area Medical (RAM) USA clinic. Held at Lincoln Memorial University (LMU), RAM brought in the equipment needed to offer two days of free human medical, dental and vision care in temporary clinics set up in their stadium and free veterinary care in adjacent clinics. RAM USA even had a truck set up to make eyeglass lenses based on the results of the vision exam (just like going to Lens Crafters!). People brought their dogs and cats, who were spayed/castrated and vaccinated in the adjacent veterinary clinic, while their owners received medical care. I acted as the “chihuahua whisperer”, holding the dogs while Dr. Sharkey did their physical exam – you know, I haven’t had so much hands-on animal time in years. Volunteer doctors, dentists, opticians/optometrists, veterinarians, veterinary technicians, as well as a host of other volunteers provided care for more than 400 people and 98 dogs and cats over the two days of the clinic. Since LMU has a School of Osteopathy, chiropractic adjustments were an additional offered service. Some of the volunteers were local, but some, like Dr. Sharkey and me, traveled a long distance to get to the clinic. University of Buffalo Dental School sent dentists and fourth year dental students to this Tennessee clinic, so that their students got training while the patients got much needed dental care. LMU is the only site that offers veterinary services on site – most clinics distribute vouchers that can be redeemed at local shelters. However, RAM is hoping to team up with veterinary schools (like Cummings School) to expand this practice. Red Rover, a national organization dedicated to helping animals, sent a number of their volunteers to help with this veterinary clinic.

Back on the home planet (i.e. Grafton campus), we had a meeting of the Tufts tribes (i.e. various schools) for a celebration of our best and brightest (Distinction Awards). Recognition was given to the Tufts at Tech Team (Jessica Grinnell, Pamela Houde, and Kate Zukowski) for the role they play in supporting students and owners alike, and the FHSA and HLA Supervisors Team (Kim Anaya, Jeannine Archer, Shari Beaudry, Gail Berthiaume, Cynthia Borjes, Jaime Bowman, Rebecca Clark, Stephanie Cote, Dotti Dawson, Erica Fontaine, Jill Franko, Lauren Golato, Karen Monahan, Kelly Reed, Geralyn Schad, Sara Seremet, Nicole Swanson, and Claire Willey). This team ensure that the hospital runs smoothly, working together to problem-solve, and they played an especially important role during the long days of the hospital renovation. The award ceremony was particularly sweet because the Grafton awards were presented by our former captain (now Provost) Dr. Deborah Kochevar, who tried not to show any favoritism. The members in the audience kept up their part of the bargain by providing loud whoops and clanging cow bells (Grafton is famous for the cow bells).

On June 20, first officer Joe McManus represented the school in the Higher Education Consortium Central MA (HECCMA) Day on the Hill. Presidents and senior administrators (such as Joe) went to the State House and provided 9 legislators with higher education economic impact information.  It is this type of effort that has contributed to maintaining and even increasing the state support to our school.  Thanks Joe!

On June 26, the Elm’s Café had a grand opening, complete with a ribbon cutting ceremony, to commemorate that the café is under the new management of Simply Delicious Catering. We had a nice mixture of faculty, staff, and students in attendance, and, as predicted, we had a number of VIPs in attendance, including Mary Simone, Chair of the Corridor Nine Area Chamber of Commerce, Senator Michael Moore, Representative David Muradian, Representative Hannah Kane, and District Attorney Joe Early.

This month we had a flurry of parties, although not the fun type of party. These parties were a chance to say a sad farewell, and give heartfelt best wishes, to several people who are moving on to new adventures. Dr. Andy Hoffman is leaving us to take the reins as Dean at University of Pennsylvania (talk about a big adventure!! — Andy, I’ll be calling you…). Dr. Julie Ellis goes with him and will be continuing her work on the Northeast Wildlife Disease Cooperative from UPenn. We had a retirement party for Dr. Cheryl Blaze who will be missed for her anesthesia skills and administrative abilities, and, in particular, her ability to listen to an upset owner with amazing patience and compassion. Megan Stanley is stepping down from her role as IDGH Department manager, to enjoy some well-deserved family time. Vicki Vandersluis is retiring after a long productive career. After a very brief tenure in the Clinical Pathology Lab, she went on to supporting our Clinical Sciences chairs. And finally, we say goodbye to Brian Gallagher, who has been trying to retire for over a year, but has done such a fabulous job running our custodial services that they wouldn’t let him go until now. Brian, what are we going to do without you? Finally, on June 28, we celebrated the graduation of our latest batch of interns and residents. They go on to the next phase of their careers and we are proud of each and every one of them.

Our ship finally touched down at the Faculty and Staff Donor Appreciation Luncheon. This event is held each year as an opportunity to thank the Tufts faculty and staff who generously provide financial support to our school. I think we are all very aware of the importance of philanthropy to the school. The donations we get from within are particularly sweet. Dr. Sam Jennings said a few words about the reasons that he and Dr. Trish Oura continue to donate to the school. While most of the people at the luncheon work at Cummings School, we also had two Medford employees in attendance, who had made a contribution to Cummings School, demonstrating how this school has an effect that extends beyond our own borders.

In the words of Elon Musk – I would like to die on Mars.  Just not on impact.


Dr. Joyce Knoll


In October 2018 Cummings School will be evaluated by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education (COE) as part of a regular cycle accreditation review. The maximum time period between site visits for fully accredited schools is seven years and our last site visit occurred in October 2011.  As part of the upcoming review, a site team will visit Cummings School for four days to learn about our people, processes, programs, facilities and outcomes.

Our accreditation review begins with submission in August 2018 of a comprehensive self-study of the school based on the eleven COE standards. Preparation of the self-study report has already begun with lead authors and working groups organizing information on: Organization (Kochevar and Pasquale), Finances (McManus), Physical Facilities and Equipment (Poteete), Clinical Resources (Rentko), Library and Information Resources (Like), Students (Berman), Admissions (Tseng), Faculty (Pasquale and Knoll), Curriculum (Frank and Sutherland-Smith), Research (Anwer) and Outcomes Assessment (Frank and Wetmore).

We invite Cummings community to learn more about the accreditation process and to actively engage in preparing the school for evaluation and for the site visit. To that end, one standard will be explained in each of the upcoming e-newsletters.

Standard 9, Curriculum

The curriculum shall extend over a period equivalent to a minimum of four academic years, including a minimum of one academic year of hands-on clinical education. The curriculum and educational process should initiate and promote lifelong learning in each professional degree candidate.

The curriculum in veterinary medicine is the purview of the faculty of each college, but must be managed centrally based upon the mission and resources of the college. There must be sufficient flexibility in curriculum planning and management to facilitate timely revisions in response to emerging issues, and advancements in knowledge and technology. The curriculum must be guided by a college curriculum committee. The curriculum as a whole must be reviewed at least every seven (7) years. The majority of the members of the curriculum committee must be full-time faculty. Curriculum evaluations should include the gathering of sufficient qualitative and quantitative information to assure the curriculum content provides current concepts and principles as well as instructional quality and effectiveness.

The curriculum shall provide:

  1. an understanding of the central biological principles and mechanisms that underlie animal health and disease from the molecular and cellular level to organismal and population manifestations.
  2. scientific, discipline-based instruction in an orderly and concise manner so that students gain an understanding of normal function, homeostasis, pathophysiology, mechanisms of health/disease, and the natural history and manifestations of important animal diseases, both domestic and foreign.
  3. instruction in both the theory and practice of medicine and surgery applicable to a broad range of species. The instruction must include principles and hands-on experiences in physical and laboratory diagnostic methods and interpretation (including diagnostic imaging, diagnostic pathology, and necropsy), disease prevention, biosecurity, therapeutic intervention (including surgery), and patient management and care (including intensive care, emergency medicine and isolation procedures) involving clinical diseases of individual animals and populations. Instruction should emphasize problem solving that results in making and applying medical judgments.
  4. instruction in the principles of epidemiology, zoonoses, food safety, the interrelationship of animals and the environment, and the contribution of the veterinarian to the overall public and professional healthcare teams.
  5. opportunities for students to learn how to acquire information from clients (e.g. history) and about patients (e.g. medical records), to obtain, store and retrieve such information, and to communicate effectively with clients and colleagues.
  6. opportunities throughout the curriculum for students to gain an understanding of professional ethics, influences of different cultures on the delivery of veterinary medical services, delivery of professional services to the public, personal and business finance and management skills; and gain an understanding of the breadth of veterinary medicine, career opportunities and other information about the profession.
  7. knowledge, skills, values, attitudes, aptitudes and behaviors necessary to address responsibly the health and well-being of animals in the context of ever-changing societal expectations.
  8. fair and equitable assessment of student progress. The grading system for the college must be relevant and applied to all students in a fair and uniform manner.

Questions relating to Cummings School’s self-study report or the accreditation site visit should be directed to Dr. Susan Pasquale (Faculty Affairs), Dr. Nicholas Frank (Academic Affairs) and Dean ad interim Joyce Knoll. A school accreditation website is available at .

Thank you for embracing the opportunity to learn about veterinary accreditation and for helping Cummings School prepare for a productive engagement in the process.


Dr. Fair Vassoler received an R03 from the NIH. It is a two-year award titled, “Morphine induced changes in sperm epigenome.” The goals are to address the growing body of evidence that exposure to opiates in one generation will affect future generations. This proposal will determine mechanisms by which environmental exposure to opiates in males can be transmitted to their future offspring.

Drs. Sandy Ayres, Qiabing XuA, Jennifer Graham, and Emi Knafo received a foundation grant to study a non-surgical method for suppressing gonadal activity in exotic and wildlife species using a novel antibody-guided lipid-based nanocomplex technique.

Dr. Fair Vassoler presented a Webinar on June 13 to the NIDA-NIAAA (NIH) neuroscience working group titled, “Adolescent Opioid Exposure has Bidirectional Effects on Morphine and Cocaine Reward in Offspring.”

Dr. Fair Vassoler presented her work to the Tufts advancement team at their retreat in Medford on June 19 as part of a panel on the opioid epidemic. The panel was called, “The Opioid Epidemic: What Tufts is Doing about It.” The panel consisted of Dan Carr, Ron Kulich, Tom Stopka, and Fair. Her talk was titled, “The Opioid Epidemic: Helping Now and Understanding the Future.”

Drs. Sandy Ayres, Phyllis Mann and Chris Schonhoff along with Kim Remillard, McGrath lab manager, attended the “Laying the Building Blocks for a Lifetime of Clinical Excellence” conference at Cornell University from June 22-24. This conference was the first joint collaborative of the Primary Care Veterinary Educators and the Veterinary Educator Collaborative.


Michael Coburn started as a staff assistant in the department on July 9, replacing Vicki VanderSluis who retired on June 30. Michael has worked previously as a teacher, certified in History and in English as a Second Language, and also as a technology coordinator and program coordinator in various school districts. Michael will initially support the faculty and residents in the sections of Cardiology and Neurology. Please come to meet Michael in July.

Vanessa Cudworth will begin employment in the Lerner Spay and Neuter Clinic as a veterinary technician later in July. Vanessa completed a number of internships focusing on dermatology, small animal, avian and exotics, large animal, and research methods as part of her Veterinary Technology program at Mt. Ida.  Her work experience includes employment as a vet tech in Boston West Veterinary Emergency and Specialty in Natick, MA, and at Wellesley-Natick Veterinary Hospital.

It is with a heavy heart that the department loses two energetic and dedicated members to retirement at the end of June. Dr. Cheryl Blaze, Associate Professor Emerita, and Vicki VanderSluis, Administrative Assistant, both retired effective 6/30/18. We are sorry to see them leave the department and school, but wish them well in their new adventures.

Dr. Cheryl Blaze’s retirement party was on June 27 – thank you to everyone who attended!

Resident Research Day was held on June 19 highlighting resident research projects.  Posters displayed by Drs. Laura Barrett, Clayton Greenway, Melisa Rosenthal and Michael Verschoor-Kirss.  Research presentations were made by Drs. Sarah Cudney, Kelsey Johnson, Julien Fages, Elizabeth Parsley, Emily Karlin, Allison Goldber, Andrew Taylor, Christopher Kennedy, Suzanne Benedict, and Yoko Ambrosini. Faculty and staff were invited to a reception and the presentations for the fourteenth year of this event.  A special “thank you” to Boehringer Ingelheim for sponsoring the Day.  Thank you also to The Barkley Fund, Tucker and Smeagle Research Fund, The Logan Baker Research Fund, Cummings School’s Companion Animal Health Fund, The Gertrude Lanman Endowed Fund for Companion Animal Health Research, Collier Canine Renal Research Funds, and VCA, Inc. for supporting the studies.

Congratulations to the Tufts@TECH Staff team: Pam Houde (Clinic Supervisor), Jessica Grinnell (Client Services Assistant), and Kate Zuchowski (Vet Tech/Receptionist) who received a Tufts Distinction Award from the university in recognition of the key roles they hold in working with both veterinary students and high school students in the vet tech program at the Tufts@Tech clinic, and for providing medical care to animals who might not otherwise receive care, and support to their owners.

Congratulations to Dr. Michael Stone for his promotion to Clinical Associate Professor, and to Dr. Stephanie Borns-Weil for her promotion to Clinical Assistant Professor!

Mueller MK, Chubb S, Wolfus G, McCobb M. Assessment of canine health and preventative care outcomes of a community medicine program. Prev Vet Med 2018; 157, 44-49.

On June 4, a number of faculty and staff helped to teach the seventh-grade students at East Middle School in Worcester about the Limping Lab and how a surgery called the tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) changes the biomechanics of the simple lever called the knee when dogs tear their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Helping to deliver the presentation to over 300 kids in the Worcester school were: Drs. Webster, Majoy, Rentko, Wetmore, Gruntman, Sponseller, Heinze, Rozanski, Labato, Mueller and Beamer along with Sarah Cass our clinical lab technician, Erin King our outreach coordinator and Eric Webster, a third year computer systems engineering major at UMASS who helped keep the technology going.

On June 19, the engineering outreach gurus returned to Millbury St. School in Grafton to deliver a fun-filled veterinary biomedical engineering challenge to approximately 200 fifth grade children. They were challenged to design a mobility device for a paralyzed Dachshund. Sharing the experience with them were Drs. Mueller, Mazan, Keyerleber and Webster with help from Sarah Cass. It was a fun time for all.

Dr. Cyndie Webster attended the ACVIM Forum in Seattle from June 12-16. She organized, moderated and spoke in the Liver Study Group track. Her lecture included a panel discussion on copper associated liver disease in dogs and a talk on immune hepatitis in dogs. She also presented an oral abstract of her work with Drs. Lesli Kibler (former resident and now IM clinician at Tufts Vets) and Cailin Heinze on “Serum Vitamin D Levels in Cats with Cholestatic Liver Disease.” Dr. Webster also mentored third year resident Dr. Yoko Ambrosini in a multi-institutional study “Use of Cyclosporine to Treat Chronic Hepatitis in Dogs” that was presented orally by co-author, Dr. Tarini Ullal, from Colorado State University. Dr Ullal was the recipient of one of two resident awards given for oral abstract presentations at the forum.

Dr. Melissa Mazan was invited to the 2018 ACVIM Forum in Seattle, WA on June 16 where she presented a talk on, “Bringing Equine Medicine to the World: Benefits of Interactive Case Sharing.”


Dr. Gene White was selected to represent Cummings School in the 2018 AAVMC Leadership Academy. One nominee from each veterinary school in North America and Canada is invited by AAVMC to participate in a series of three leadership development sessions held at locations around the country over the course of a year. The program aims to provide leadership development for emerging leaders in academia and to provide a forum for building lasting ties between faculty members at veterinary schools and departments around the world. Past Tufts participants include Drs. Ginny Rentko, Michele Keyerleber and Nick Robinson. More information on the Leadership Academy is at 2018–2019 AAVMC Leadership Academy.

Stephanie Bertrand attended the World Pork Expo June 5-8 in Des Moines, IA to learn what was new in the industry, to teach our students and keep our herd up to date. The expo is a trade show and education training sessions of “everything pork.” Over 20,000 people attended the three-day event. There was everything from farrowing crates to manure tankers and trailers on display. It was a very impressive spread of equipment and educational sessions. Also present were 3,000 hogs and 1,200 Junior exhibitors showing their hogs.


Elzoheiry M, Da’dara AA, de Laforcade AM, El-Beshbishi SN, Skelly PJ. The Essential Ectoenzyme SmNPP5 from the Human Intravascular Parasite Schistosoma mansoni is an ADPase and a Potent Inhibitor of Platelet Aggregation. Thromb Haemost. 2018 Jun;118(6):979-989. doi: 10.1055/s-0038-1641715.

Estrin MA, Hussein ITM, Puryear WB, Kuan AC, Artim SC, Runstadler JA. Host-directed combinatorial RNAi improves inhibition of diverse strains of influenza A virus in human respiratory epithelial cells. PLoS One. 2018 May 18;13(5).

A foundation has awarded Dr. Chuck Shoemaker (PI) a second year of funding for a project entitled, “Development of camelid VHH single domain antibodies as infant diarrheal disease therapeutics.” This project includes funds supporting the laboratories of Dr. John Leong (Sackler Institute), Dr. Jorge Giron (UVa), and support for Drs. Saul Tzipori and Ray Kudej at Cummings School.

Dr. Chuck Shoemaker (PI) was awarded corporate funding for a project on the development of dengue NS1 pan-specific VHH-agents.

Dr. Chuck Shoemaker (PI) was awarded additional funding by a corporate sponsor for an ongoing project for treating C. difficile infection pathology. The additional funding primarily supports mouse testing being done in the lab of Dr. Saul Tzipori.

The following IDGH faculty received support from several of the university’s and Cummings School’s internal grant competitions:

  • Tufts CTSI – Jonathan Runstadler (Tufts PI), Marieke Rosenbaum (Tufts), Nichola Hill (Tufts), Jessica Leibler (Boston University); Influenza virus in Boston’s Urban Rodents; Tufts CTSI (1 year)
  • Tufts Collaborates – Jonathan Runstadler (Tufts, PI), Kaitlin Sawatzki (Tufts), Judith Blake (Jackson Labs), Alexander Poltorak (Jackson Labs); Comparative Immunogenetics of Influenza-susceptible New England seals; Tufts Collaborates (1 year)
  • Tufts Collaborates – Marieke Rosenbaum (Tufts, PI), Jonathan Runstadler (Tufts), Janet Forrester (Tufts), Evan Johnson (Boston University); Use of third generation portable sequencing technology for rapid in-field detection of viral diversity in primates involved in the Peruvian wildlife trade and their human caretakers; Tufts Collaborates (1 year)
  • Tufts Cummings School – Maureen Murray, Julie Ellis, Jonathan Runstadler; Molecular epidemiology and ecology of avian bornavirus in Canada geese; Cummings School Research Seed Grant (1 year)

Dr. Chuck Shoemaker traveled to Seattle, WA, from May 21-24. While there, he visited with program officers at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on May 22 to provide an update on a funded project. Dr. Shoemaker also visited Lumen Biosciences on May 22 where he gave a presentation entitled, “Camelid sdAbs as versatile components of anti-infective agents for enteric diarrheal pathogens.” On May 23, Dr. Shoemaker was invited to visit InBios Inc. and gave a presentation entitled “Camelid VHH-based neutralizing agents (VNAs) as unconventional and versatile disease therapeutics.”

Monitoring and Evaluation specialist Jon Gass traveled to Tanzania in June to work with OHCEA colleagues to conduct an evaluation of Tanzania’s One Health field attachment program.

During the months of May and June, Cummings School and the Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health was pleased to welcome eight One Health Fellows as part of the One Health Fellowship program, a collaboration between Tufts, University of Global Health Equity, and the University of Rwanda (Tufts-UGHE-UR) (

Several members of the Tufts One Health Workforce (OHW) team: Saul Tzipori, Dawn Terkla, Felicia Nutter, Hellen Amuguni, and Theresa Sommers traveled to the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN, in early June for a meeting with One Health Workforce colleagues at to discuss the upcoming and final year of the OHW project.

In May, Dawn Terkla and Jon Gass traveled to Washington, D.C., to participate in the EPT2 (Emerging Pandemic Threats) Monitoring & Evaluation meeting, hosted by USAID.


The Center for Animals and Public Policy and Office of Continuing Education presented the Animals and Society Short Course: Current Issues in Human-Animal Relationships from June 25-29 on the Grafton Campus. For nearly 25 years, the M.S. program in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) has provided students with the knowledge and skills to improve society’s treatment of animals. For the first time ever, the faculty of the Center for Animals and Public Policy conducted a one-week summer course to examine some of the high-profile animal issues that we explore in depth in the MAPP program.

Twelve registrants had an engaging and fun-filled week, coming from Florida, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. They ranged from undergraduate students to late career/retirement, and included a Cummings School DVM alumna and a MAPP alumna. The class came together very quickly, with active discussions and collaboration, and they seem to have a terrific time. Several have expressed interest in the MAPP program, and we may see them on campus again.

A big THANK YOU for all the help to make this first offering of the short course possible, including:

Susan Brogan, Director of Continuing Education, for all of the guidance, assistance, and support from the inception through completion to assure a smooth and successful event.

The field trip hosts who welcomed the class:

  • Great Brook Dairy, Carlisle, MA, where students were able to get a tour of their farm and do a mock welfare assessment
  • Tufts at Tech and Worcester Technical High School for letting the group tour and learn about their active community veterinary clinic
  • Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary in Worcester, MA, with a guided tour with development director, Shelley Rodman.

Current MAPP students took time to talk with the group about their current research. Robin Kopplin spoke about evaluating welfare in giraffe feeding encounter programs, and Leah Widdecombe spoke about her research exploring the psychology and behaviors associated with an animal identity. MAPP alumna, Erin King, spoke about her research in the MAPP program on understanding animal abuse and societal implications as it relates to human conflict and domestic violence.

Faculty shared about their research as well. Dr. Allen Rutberg talked about his deer and horse immunocontraception research. Seana Dowling-Guyer discussed her research through the Center of Shelter Dogs and MAPP, reducing stress in dogs in shelters through a novel visual and auditory enrichment device. Dr. Megan Mueller spoke about her current research that is looking into the effects of pet therapy animals on people experiencing social anxiety.

Elm’s Café, especially Jean Sagerian, Denise Kapulka, and John Mauro who, during the same week as their official re-opening, served amazing food and took care of every student and faculty in the course for the week. They truly went above and beyond.

Dr. Allen Rutberg presented “Perspectives on animal policy; science, language, and advocacy,” “Must Wildlife Pay for Itself? Game Ranching, Trophy Hunting, and the Wildlife Trade;” “Unbridled: The Federal Government and Wild Horse Management;” and “Wild Horse Contraception,” and traveled with the class to Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary in Worcester.

He also presented “Wicked Problems and Clashing Visions of Nature in Animal Policy:  Cats and Wildlife in the Community” with Dr. Emily McCobb.

Dr. Emily McCobb also presented “Access to Veterinary Care for Underserved Populations” and traveled with the class to Worcester Technical High School to present “Community Veterinary Clinic Field Trip: Tufts at Tech.”

Seana Dowling-Guyer presented “Adoptable Pet Transportation: Solving Problems, Making New Ones?”

Dr. Megan Mueller presented “Benefits of Assistance Animals: An Evaluation of the Research” and “Assistance and Service Animals in the Public Space: Treatment and Regulation.”

Erin King presented “Ethical Community Engagement.”

Dr. David Lee-Parritz spoke informally with the class about the use of animals in research and teaching at Cummings School, and the regulatory safeguards in place to ensure the health and well-being of animals used in research.

Dr. Lindsay Philips presented “Maintaining Animal Welfare in Food Production: An Overview;” “Informing the Consumer: What Do All These Labels Mean?;” and “Farm Animal Welfare Assessments.” She also traveled with the class to Great Brook Dairy in Carlisle, MA, to present “Farm Visit: Tour and Mock Welfare Assessment.”


Students at Cummings School are committed to making a difference in the lives of both animals and people. In many cases, against long financial odds, these talented individuals are pursuing dreams that took root years before they arrived in our classrooms and clinics. Financial aid opens the door, and gifts to support scholarships have the power to transform the lives of these deserving students and, through them, the world.

We gratefully acknowledge the Westminster Kennel Club for their continued support of the Westminster Kennel Club Scholarship, the George F. And Sybil H. Fuller Foundation in support of the Fuller Annual Scholarship, and to the members of the Board of Advisors and other friends, listed below, for their contributions to an endowed fund in honor of former dean Deborah Kochevar.

Kari Anderson
Robert F. Croce
Katherine L. Dolan A08P
Janet K. McClaran, V98
John S. Foster
Martin V. Haspel, Ph.D.
Jean Hoffman
Steven Marton E06P
Sean S. Padgett
Hugh R. Roome A74, F77, AG74, FG80, A11P, F15P
Joel B. Swets

Our thanks to Diana Johnson, emeritus Board of Advisor, for her gift in honor of Deborah Kochevar in support of Shelter Medicine.

We are also grateful to Mr. Herbert A. Allen for his support of Tufts VETS and to Mr. Ken Rapoport for his generosity towards the Department of Environmental and Population Health.

A special thank you goes to our corporate partners who make gifts-in-kind – Abbott Corporation supplied Cummings School with much needed cardiology products, and SBM Sistemi donated an ocular surface analyzer for Tufts VETS.

Gifts to the Cummings Veterinary Fund give the school the flexibility to target areas of greatest need.  We gratefully acknowledge the following donors who contributed to the Cummings Veterinary Fund in June:

Katherine Dolan A08P and Peter Dolan A78, A08P
John S. Foster
Martin V. Haspel, Ph.D.
Steven G. Marton E06P
Janet K. McClaran, V98
Elizabeth Banks Saul
Henry T. Wiggin Charitable Trust

ACVIM Alumni Reception
Cummings School hosted an alumni luncheon on June 15 at the Washington State Convention Center in conjunction with ACVIM. Faculty, staff and alumni enjoyed the company of their fellow Cummings School colleagues and received updates from the school.

On June 18 at Lotos Club in New York City, Dean Joyce Knoll, Stan Kovak, V98P, and Nancy Nelson co-hosted over 40 guests, including Cummings School faculty, staff, alumni, students, and friends.

Special thanks to Dr. Nick Frank for leading a small focus group prior to the luncheon at ACVIM, and to Dr. Chris Whittier for sharing his Cummings School experience at Lotos Club.

AVMA Alumni Reception
Cummings School Alumni Relations will host an alumni reception at Next Door Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop Street, Suite 100, Denver, CO, on Friday, July 13, 7:00-9:00 pm. Faculty, staff and alumni are invited to attend and network with Cummings School colleagues. Kindly RSVP if you plan to attend.

Tufts University Veterinary Alumni Association (TUVAA) is actively seeking alumni to volunteer for one of three committees, Professional Development, Career Mentorship, and Community Service (please view volunteer opportunities here). If interested, email The next TUVAA meeting will be September 12, 2018.

Stay up to date on the latest Cummings School alumni events here.


In an article for, Eric Richman provides guidance on helping friends and loved ones cope with the loss of a pet and what not to say to someone processing this type of grief: And, as always, full clip reports are distributed monthly via the Grafton listserv, though you can find a selection of press clips at:


Brianne Lamontagne – Veterinary Technician – FHSA
Dana McDonald – Accounting Assistant – FHSA




CUMMINGS SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE – September 16 from 11:00am-3:00 pm.

news@CUMMINGS School would not be possible without the efforts of faculty, staff and students who submit items of interest, department and unit managers who collect submissions, and Gail Zamarchi and Tara Pettinato for timely edits. Special thanks to Ms. Nancy Meyer, editor, and Ms. Cynthia Malone, production editor, for leading these efforts and making this monthly newsletter possible.