PennVet | Where Are They Now?
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Where Are They Now?

Published: Oct 27, 2023

The versatility of our VMD is never more evident than in the range of our alumni’s professions during the course of their careers. While veterinary medicine is deeply rooted in the care of animals, our alumni demonstrate that the scope of their knowledge extends far beyond the clinic walls.

Over the years, many alumni have been profiled in the pages of Bellwether magazine. Let’s revisit a few and see where they are today.

Marne Platt V’93, MBA

Bellwether 43, Summer 1998

Dr. Marne PlattAs class agent for V’93, Dr. Marne Platt joined her classmates in organizing a very successful and fun 30th reunion earlier this year. She still finds it hard to believe it’s been this long since she graduated from Penn Vet.

After a few years of practicing equine and small animal medicine, Platt received a terrible shock when she was diagnosed with allergies to her favorite species. She joined Novartis Animal Health in regulatory affairs, product development, and marketing, earning an MBA along the way. She eventually landed in Switzerland.

Platt worked in the over-the-counter business, running a global team and traveling the world. After Elanco bought Novartis Animal Health, Platt managed in-licensing deal reviews for the human drug production group.

Along the way, Platt formed a consulting company — Fundamental Capabilities, Inc. — and developed and ran leadership workshops for women. She wrote four books, most recently a cookbook for celiacs like herself. She also completed the Swiss citizenship process and is now a proud dual citizen.

Platt left the corporate world and involved herself in veterinary medicine again, writing about animal health and more. She spent ten months in the U.S. caring for her ailing father until he passed away. She began a master’s program in History this fall. And she joined the Penn Vet Alumni board, connecting her back to the School, students, and alumni. She’s excited about the new curriculum and curious to see how new graduates will perform in their first year of practice.

“Where did the time go? It went to work, to family and friends, to life…and now has brought me to a new phase. I love where I live, I’m excited about what comes next. And I thank Penn Vet for helping me get here.”

Marc Valitutto, V’06

Bellwether 94, Fall 2020

Dr. Marc ValituttoWhen we last spoke with Dr. Marc Valitutto, he had just concluded a five-year study in Myanmar surveilling, with the Smithsonian Institution, for emerging infectious diseases (EID) in bats.

Valitutto has since taken a new role with EcoHealth Alliance as senior field wildlife veterinarian, supporting a larger team of zoonotic disease investigators. His focus is ensuring wild animal welfare, teaching veterinary technical skills, and advancing field biosafety. For the latter, he is tasked with developing global standards around biosafety in the field, which currently do not exist. This huge undertaking will affect any scientific discipline and public entity at the human-wild animal interface.

Recent travels for work have taken him to Guinea for EID studies in wildlife and to Vietnam for advancing pangolin health and studying their role in the COVID-19 pandemic. He has several upcoming EID investigations planned for Brazil, Ethiopia, and Southeast Asia.

Valitutto said policymakers and the media often call EID field studies “risky research” that could lead to the next pandemic and push for their discontinuation. He counters that the risk of another pandemic remains as long as the human-animal interface exists in any format, and therefore, it is our responsibility to continue these studies in the safest way possible.

Ava Logan, V’85

Bellwether 52, Spring 2002

Dr. Ava LoganSince 2002, Dr. Ava Logan’s career has taken a significant and wonderful turn! She was working as a board-certified laboratory animal veterinarian for Pharmacia when Pfizer Pharmaceuticals purchased the company. Logan had recently married and decided to stay in Chicago rather than relocate to a new office.

Logan then spent several years consulting in lab animal medicine for universities. She also ventured back into part-time companion animal clinical practice. The consultancies offered her flexibility to pursue her musical aspirations and dream to perform jazz. She worked with a pop, R&B, and jazz wedding orchestra on the weekends and has performed with other bands, including her own.

Logan has performed locally in Chicago and nationally from California to Connecticut. Internationally, she has toured Russia, Belarus, and France. She recorded the critically acclaimed album “So Many Stars” and is currently working on a follow-up.

These days, Logan enjoys locum work while continuing her musical pursuits. In 2022, she received the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago’s Black Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music-Jazz. She recently returned from a tour in Paris with the 5th annual Chicago-Paris Cabaret Connexion, an annual session of workshops and performances alternating between Chicago and Paris.

“A highlight of my trip to Paris was having lunch with my dear classmate Monique Wells, V ’85!  C’est la vie! and C’est si bon!”

Paul Calle, C’79, V’83

Bellwether 86, Fall 2016

Dr. Paul CalleDr. Paul Calle continues to serve as the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) chief veterinarian and vice president of Health Programs, as well as chair of its Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

Calle is a diplomate of both the American and European Colleges of Zoological Medicine and a member of both the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV) and the European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians. He is the AAZV past president and a professional fellow of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. He also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Species360.

Calle is based at the Bronx Zoo and is responsible for the clinical and pathology programs for WCS’s Bronx, Central Park, Queens, and Prospect Park Zoos, and the New York Aquarium. He also works closely with WCS’s Global Conservation Health Program, which conducts health activities around the world, and he has participated in local and international field conservation projects in support of WCS’s global conservation mission. Calle has traveled to Asia, Russia, Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean.

Calle was honored with the 2021 AAZV Dolensek Award in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the conservation, care, and understanding of zoo and free-ranging wildlife.

Jessica Dimuzio, CW’74, V’78

Bellwether 85, Spring 2016

Dr. Jessica DimuzioWhen we last visited Dr. Jessica Dimuzio, her short film “African Animals’ Lullaby,” based on life living in a tent outside Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve, was hitting the film festival circuit. Since then, the film has garnered three laurels and a Juror award at the Philadelphia Women’s Film Festival.

Dimuzio’s company, Nature Tales and Trails, continues to connect people to nature through storytelling, classroom talks, nature walks, and books, including the award-winning nonfiction children’s books “Bark! Bark! Bark for My Park!” and “Bow Wow Wow! Green Beans Now?” She’s currently working on her next book, “The Demeanor of Lemurs.”

In 2016, Dimuzio and her scientist husband Dr. Tim Halverson, C’75, joined conservationist Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas to observe Galdikas’s work with orangutans in Borneo. In 2019, the couple revisited Kenya and Uganda, as well as Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar. Their travels resulted in fostering two orangutans, four orphaned African elephants, and one orphaned African rhino.

When COVID-19 hit in 2020, the couple was touring U.S. national parks. They decided not to return home and instead have spent the last three years developing and delivering in-person environmental interpretive programs and Junior Ranger and B.A.R.K. Ranger programs at state parks and national wildlife refuges.

Learn more at and

Dolores Holle, V’81

Bellwether 62, Summer 2005

Dr. Dolores HolleSince 2005, Dr. Dolores Holle has continued her work as director of canine medicine and surgery at The Seeing Eye (TSE), which enhances the lives of people who are blind through the use of Seeing Eye® dogs.

She spent much of the time upgrading TSE’s veterinary facilities and protocols, including transitioning to digital radiography, enhancing the breeding center’s camera monitoring system, and creating a DNA extraction lab.

In 2015, Dr. Marjory Brooks of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine identified the genetic mutation responsible for canine Scott syndrome, an inherited blood clotting disorder. Holle’s team had worked with Brooks for many years in pursuit of that goal. In 2018, TSE assembled a blue-ribbon panel to review their breeding program, which led to the development of a genetic advisory committee.

After helping to see TSE through the pandemic, Holle retired in 2022. Throughout her 31 years at TSE, many people from Penn Vet supported her work. “We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Drs. Gus Aguirre, Darryl Biery, Anthony DeCarlo, Vicki Meyers-Wallen, and Gail Smith,” said Holle. “I remain in awe of their many professional accomplishments, as well as their tremendous contributions to the success of The Seeing Eye.”

“I am proud to have spent most of my career in the service of an organization that enhances the lives of visually impaired people with seeing eye dogs. I will always carry Seeing Eye graduates in my heart.

Wendy McIlroy, V’86

Bellwether 52, Spring 2002

Dr. Wendy McIlroyDr. Wendy McIlroy started on a conventional path into equine practice. Unfortunately, in 1990, she suffered a back injury that changed her trajectory. She pivoted and worked for the USDA and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for a few years before returning to equine practice in Ashland, Ohio. After a few years, she relocated to the Kingdom of Tonga.

In Vava’u, Tonga, McIlroy worked as a scuba instructor and dive/whale swim guide and provided pro bono veterinary services locally.

McIlroy returned to the U.S. to care for her mother. After her mother passed away, McIlroy moved to Kauai as a contractor for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). She worked with endangered Hawaiian monk seals, helping develop a protocol for NOAA’s Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program.

While in Kauai, McIlroy got involved in search and rescue and trained her first search dog, Lani. This became a full-time avocation when she returned to the mainland. She has since trained and certified dogs in trailing, wilderness and urban air scent, human remains detection, and water recovery, and is an evaluator for Search and Rescue Dogs of the United States.

“I ended up taking a very circuitous path in my career, and it certainly was not what I envisioned on graduation day, but I feel like I have made a difference and have a good life, so I’ll take that.”