Each year, the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine recognizes alumni accomplishments by presenting two awards: The Outstanding Recent Alumni Award for alumni who have graduated within the past 10 years, and the Lifetime Achievement Alumni Award for alumni who graduated more than 10 years ago and have made significant contributions to society throughout their careers.

This year’s honorees Cindy Driscoll ’87 and Karen Meidenbauer ’16 will formally receive their awards from M. Daniel Givens, dean of the veterinary college, and will participate in a virtual continuing education webinar, “Opportunities in Veterinary Medicine,” on Nov. 19.


LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT ALUMNI AWARD

Cindy Driscoll (D.V.M. ’87)

Before beginning studies at the veterinary college, Cindy Driscoll ’87 worked as a biological technician at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland, where she was the only woman on staff. The experience cemented her passion for wildlife conservation, steered her veterinary studies, and set her on a path to become a master at juggling multiple responsibilities.

While pursuing her D.V.M., Driscoll was a research fellow, studying aflatoxin in avian populations. Upon graduation, she held positions in wildlife research at several organizations concurrently. When a troubling number of stranded bottlenose dolphins appeared on the East Coast, Driscoll worked with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to design and launch the Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Response Network.

The first wildlife veterinarian east of the Mississippi, Driscoll has been the director of the Fish and Wildlife Health Program and the state fish and wildlife veterinarian for the Maryland DNR since 1999. In that capacity, she advises a range of organizations, including The Smithsonian and the Department of Homeland Security, serving since 2007 as a consultant on biological agents.

In recognition of her years of service, Driscoll was awarded the Outstanding Wildlife Professional Award in 2017 by the Maryland-Delaware Chapter of the Wildlife Society.

Dedicated both to the well-being of wildlife and to the future of veterinary medicine, Driscoll is a frequent guest lecturer at several East Coast universities and holds faculty positions at multiple universities, including the AQUAVET program in aquatic veterinary medicine at Cornell University.

“I am truly honored to be chosen from many accomplished VMCVM graduates,” Driscoll said. “I have been fortunate to have an incredibly rewarding career and an amazingly supportive family.”

OUTSTANDING RECENT ALUMNI AWARD

Karen Meidenbauer (D.V.M. ’16, M.P.H. ’16 )

Karen Meidenbauer ’16, who earned a B.S. in biological sciences at Virginia Tech before entering the veterinary college, embodies the university’s motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), in her One Health approach to her responsibilities.

A senior veterinarian and project manager for the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Meidenbauer also works as a companion animal veterinarian at Hickory Veterinary Hospital in Forest Hill, Maryland, her home state.

At Johns Hopkins, Meidenbauer applies animal health data to surveillance technology and examines risk factors for zoonotic transmission and other public health risks. Recently, she has led multiple projects that contribute to the fight against COVID-19, developing protocols and tools and analyzing supply chains.

“I have directly seen the tremendous impact that VMCVM graduates are making across all aspects of veterinary practice and am proud to be counted among them,” said Meidenbauer, who is a prime example of the flexibility that a veterinary medicine degree can provide.

“In my public/corporate track classes, Dr. Valerie Ragan would often remind us that veterinarians bring a unique and valuable perspective to many world problems, and the opportunities to contribute with a veterinary degree are endless,” Meidenbauer said. “This has become something of a mantra for me in my professional career at the Applied Physics Laboratory, where I have worked on projects as wide-ranging as health surveillance, to medical supply chains, to canine decontamination.”

— Written by Sarah Boudreau, a student in the M.F.A. program in creative writing


Alumni Awards Presentation and CE Webinar: “Opportunities in Veterinary Medicine”

Nov. 19, 7–8:30 p.m.

The veterinary college will host a virtual awards presentation and continuing education webinar on Thursday, Nov. 19, to formally congratulate 2020 Lifetime Achievement Alumni Award recipient Cindy Driscoll (D.V.M. ’87) and 2020 Outstanding Recent Alumni Award recipient Karen Meidenbauer (D.V.M. ’16, M.P.H. ’16). Dean M. Daniel Givens will present the awards, and the continuing education session will follow.

For the continuing education session, “Opportunities in Veterinary Medicine,” Driscoll and Meidenbauer will be joined by their award nominators: Valerie Ragan, director of the college’s Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine and associate professor of practice in the Department of Population Health Sciences; and Jessica Walters (Ph.D. ’14, D.V.M. ’16).

These four outstanding veterinarians who have taken nontraditional paths will share their experiences, available resources, and public health opportunities in veterinary medicine. Their combined experiences will provide insight to interested students and to those considering a career transition. The event will offer 1.5 CE hours.