PennVet | Alumni Class Notes
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Alumni Class Notes

Published: Oct 3, 2019


Robert Reese, Sr., V’59, was honored for his 60 years of veterinary service at an open house celebration on June 12 at Pine Creek Veterinary Associates in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. Reese also works part-time at the Clinton County SPCA treating and vaccinating stray animals.


Norman Altman, V’63, earned three honors from the University of Miami, including induction into the Iron Arrow Honor Society, the Faculty Senate Outstanding Service Award, and the School of Medicine’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Lifetime Achievement Award. Altman has been a professor at the University of Miami since 1974, and currently serves as the director of the Division of Comparative Pathology and the ombudsperson for the Miller School of Medicine. He is the only veterinarian to be a director of an NIH-funded comprehensive cancer center.


Linda Rhodes, V’78, received the Iron Paw Award from the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor in August. The award is given annually to an individual from research, academia, industry, or government who has made a significant impact on or contribution to global animal health.


James F. Dougherty, V’80, was honored as a Loyal Son of Rutgers, the highest service award given by the Rutgers Alumni Association, on April 13. Dougherty was also elected to serve as chair of the Rutgers University Board of Trustees, beginning on July 1, having been vice chair for the past two years.

Kenneth D. Dazen, V’86, successfully maintained his certification as a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP), one of only 135 Diplomates specializing in avian practice. Dazen became a Diplomate in 2000; avian practice is unique among veterinary specialties in that certification expires every ten years.

Michele Rosenbaum, V’89, was recently promoted to medical lead in dermatology as part of Veterinary Specialty Operations at Zoetis (formerly Pfizer Animal Health), where she has worked since 2006. She was also awarded the company’s 2018 President’s Circle Award for excellence. In March, Rosenbaum presented six hours of dermatology topics at the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association.


Lindsay Shreiber, V’91, opened the Valley Veterinary Hospital in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, in May. Located in the former Bull Tavern, the new facility offers expanded veterinary services, boarding, daycare, and grooming.

Karen Todd-Jenkins, V’92, joined Shepherd, a Jacksonville, Florida–based advertising agency. Todd-Jenkins will serve as technical director on the Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc. account across its entire brand portfolio.

Karen Froberg-Fejko, V’96, and co-owner Tim Fisher, of the Foster Corporation, were honored in May by the US Small Business Administration (SBA) as New Jersey’s 2019 Small Business Persons of the Year. The award is part of the celebration of National Small Business Week, when the SBA recognizes the achievements of small business owners across the country. The Foster Corporation is the parent of two other small businesses, Bio-Serv and Radon Supplies. Froberg-Fejko is also board chair of the New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research.


Liz Bales, V’00, was on the June 24 broadcast of NPR’s How I Built This, hosted by Guy Raz. Bales spoke about her role as the product developer for her feline indoor hunting feeder system, and the launch of her company Doc & Phoebe’s Cat Company at the Sixers Innovation Lab in Camden, New Jersey, a start-up accelerator that supports early-stage companies in the sports and consumer products sector.

Tripp Stewart, V’00, was honored as the 2019 Distinguished Virginia Veterinarian by the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association for bringing positive recognition to veterinary medicine in the state. Stewart founded Charlottesville’s Greenbrier Emergency Animal Hospital, the only after hours and emergency veterinary office in the area that treats walk-in patients. Stewart has been president of the Jefferson Area Veterinary Medicine Association for the past three years.

Rachel Toaff-Rosenstein, V’09, welcomed a baby girl, Carmi Shalva, sister to Matan, Gefen, Naveh, and Segev, on July 8. Toaff-Rosenstein became a Diplomate of the American College of Animal Welfare and has been working as a research scientist at the Antelliq Innovation Center (now owned by Merck) developing automated animal health monitoring technology.


Michael Sheruda, V’12, and Maral Avetian, V’12, welcomed their second child, Michael Sheruda, Jr., on February 6. Big sister Amelia is thrilled, as are Michael and Maral.

Bill Ciancarelli, V’19, CPT United States Army, Veterinary Corps, finished the second phase of his Officer Basic Course as executive officer/class leader with distinction, winning the 94th Brigadier General Charles Elia Award.


In Remembrance


Bernard Francis Brennan, V’46, of Hobe Sound, Florida, passed away on April 26, at age 97. A graduate of the University of South Dakota and Penn Vet, he began his veterinary practice in Aiken, South Carolina. In 1953, he moved to Westbury, New York, where he established an equine practice at Roosevelt Raceway and opened a surgical hospital. Brennan was an active member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners from its founding and served as the organization’s president in 1979. He held leadership positions in the New York and New Jersey State Veterinary Associations.


Ellsworth E. Barber, V’50, passed away on July 4. He served as an officer in the Navy during World War II. Barber was a veterinarian in Mansfield, Pennsylvania.

Hummel C. Fager, V’53, passed away on April 16. He served as quartermaster on the USS Vicksburg in the Pacific theater in World War II. He and his brother, Charles B. Fager IV, owned the Camp Hill Animal Hospital for 50 years. Fager also provided spay and neuter services to Molly’s Place Rescue and Adoption Center, an animal rescue in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, for 15 years. He was a member of the Capital City Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association.

William M. Adams, V’54, passed away on June 17. He was a faculty member at Western College of Veterinary Medicine from 1970 to 1980. A charter member of the American College of Theriogenologists, he served as the organization’s president from 1975 to 1976. He was also an honor roll member of the Society of Theriogenology.

Warren N. Davis, V’55, passed away on July 4. A graduate of Lake Consolidated School, he earned his bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry from Penn State University. He served as a captain in the US Air Force Medical Service Corps. He was a veterinarian in Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania, for 53 years.

Bernard Levine, V’55, passed away on March 9. Levine founded the Toms River (New Jersey) Animal Hospital, treating family pets as well as the cows, horses, sheep, and chickens on Ocean County’s many farms. Levine was a pioneer of the surgical treatment of heartworm disease in dogs. He served as president of the American Heartworm Society and lectured internationally about the disease. He continued to work part-time at the veterinary hospital into his mid-80s, alongside his son, Richard Levine, V’81.

Vernon Yingling, V’57, passed away on May 1. He worked at veterinary clinics in Bellefonte and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, before founding the Mount Nittany Veterinary Hospital in State College, providing medical care for farm and domestic animals throughout Centre County for more than 25 years. Yingling was a past president of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association and a member of the State Board of Veterinary Medicine.

Leigh Marsh, V’59, passed away on May 31. He attended Penn State University, earning both his BS and MS in Animal Industry. He served in the Air Force as a lieutenant during the Korean War. Fondly known as “Doc,” he worked at a successful veterinary practice in North Philadelphia for 55 years.


Edward “Doc” Mersky, V’61, passed away on March 25. An all-star athlete in baseball and basketball, he was drafted out of high school by the Brooklyn Dodgers and played for their farm team in Vero Beach, Florida. Mersky was drafted into the US Marine Corps and served for two years as an MP at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during the Korean War. Following an honorable discharge, he returned to school and received his veterinary degree from Penn. Mersky opened his solo veterinary practice in 1961, treating both large and small animals. He eventually transitioned to caring exclusively for horses, and he retired from equine veterinary medicine after 47 years of practice.

Andrew Currie, V’63, passed away on May 3. Upon graduation from Penn Vet, he moved to Houston to pursue his specialty in equine lameness and medicine, then relocated to Lexington, Kentucky, the following year to work with D. L. Proctor, one of the pioneers in equine orthopedic surgery. Currie subsequently returned to Houston to open an equine clinic. He served on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and the Texas Horse Racing Association, was chairman of the Equine Committee for the Texas Veterinary Medical Association, and was a member of numerous professional organizations. He was a lifetime committeeman of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Fred Fernich, V’63, passed away in May. Fernich held a BS in economics from Cornell University. He practiced at the Brentwood-Islip (New York) Hospital for Animals and received Penn Vet’s Alumni Award of Merit in 1998. Fernich was the father of the late Gwen Lowitt, V’94. Gwen’s husband, Gary Lowitt, along with Dr. and Mrs. Fernich, established the Gwen Fernich Lowitt, V’94, Memorial Endowed Opportunity Scholarship at Penn Vet.

Dr. Alan KlideAlan Klide, V’65, passed away on September 12. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia. Klide spent his entire, distinguished career at Penn Vet. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology in 1969, promoted to Associate Professor in 1972, and then to Professor in 1994. Klide served as Section Chief and Director of Small Animal Anesthesia, and became Emeritus Professor of Anesthesia before retiring in 2007. He was a Charter Member of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia, and a member of the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. Klide will be remembered as a true pioneer in veterinary anesthesia, and for his dedication to the field.

Charles L. “Lee” Barnes, Jr., V’66, passed away on June 9. Barnes was the owner and operator of the North Sewickley (Pennsylvania) Veterinarian Clinic and worked for 32 years as the supervisory veterinary medical officer for the United States Department of Agriculture.

Ross Lee Frazer, V’69, MD, passed away on January 24. He began practicing veterinary medicine in 1969 and established his own practice, Frazer Veterinary Clinic, in Homer City, Pennsylvania, in 1971. Frazer returned to school at age 36 to pursue his medical degree. In 1986, he renamed his practice to include both veterinary and family medicine. He was a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a Diplomate of the American Board of Family Practice. Frazer practiced medicine a few months shy of 50 years as a veterinarian and 32 years as a family practitioner.


John Sellers, V’75, passed away on July 16. He was a lieutenant junior grade in the US Navy Reserve and a veteran of the Vietnam War. Sellers established a large animal veterinary practice in Goodville, Pennsylvania. He was an active member of the Berks Peace Community, founded a local Zen Buddhist meditation group, and cohosted BCTV programs Alternative News and Different Views and Centering on Peace. He was also an associate chaplain at Albright College, a volunteer Buddhist mentor for the Berks County Jail System, and a board member of the Berks Counseling Center.


Richard A. Fondrk, V’82, passed away on February 8. He attended Penn State University. Fondrk was a self-employed large animal veterinarian. He was also active in the Irwin Men’s Summer Basketball League as a player, manager, and scorekeeper.

Kathleen Moody, V’82, passed away on January 11. She completed residency training in laboratory animal and comparative medicine at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and then interned at Detwiler Animal Hospital in Reading, Pennsylvania. She was a clinical professor in the Section of Comparative Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine from 1986 to 2001. During her career she served as consultant and interim clinician for Bayer Corporation in West Haven, Connecticut; Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals in Ridgefield, Connecticut; and 15 other biomedical research organizations. In 2005, she began studying for the chaplaincy at Hartford Seminary, graduating with an MA in transformative leadership and spirituality in 2018.

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