Eleven, yes, eleven Nebzydoski family members have attended or are currently attending Penn Vet. Make that an even dozen VMDs come June 4, 2016, when VMD candidate Amanda Kiselak will marry into the Nebzydoski family.
The story began three generations ago with Mary and Henry Nebzydoski. Henry, a veteran of World War II, and Mary, a registered nurse, married and bought a dairy farm in 1948. She worked at Read Memorial Hospital in Hancock, New York, and at the farm with Henry for over 40 years.
Mary and Henry had six sons and four daughters. Three sons are VMDs who own their own practices: Henry, V’72, Joseph, V’82, and Andrew, V’84. Their other sons are Francis, John, and Thomas; their four daughters are Mary Kelly, Kathleen Painter, Margaret Tomazic, and Bernadette Franceski.
The first VMD from the Nebzydoski family was Henry, V’72. He attended the University of Scranton before veterinary school and went on to open a mixed animal practice in Pleasant Mount, Pennsylvania, later operating the Carbondale Veterinary Hospital. Henry was eventually joined in practice by three of his children: Beth Spinelli, V’02, David, V’99, and Thomas, V’10. All matriculated at the University of Scranton before attending veterinary school. After graduating from Penn Vet, Thomas pursued additional training as a farm animal medicine and surgery intern at Ohio State University in Columbus.
The second branch of the family tree starts with Joseph, V’82, who obtained his undergraduate degree and his master’s degree from the University of Scranton, where he serves on the Medical Alumni Council Executive Board. After his graduation from Penn Vet, Joseph worked as a mixed animal veterinarian and, in 1986, opened Youngsville Veterinary Clinic in Youngsville, New York.
Joseph’s daughter Sarah Vassallo, V’15, followed in her dad’s footsteps when she attended the University of Scranton and went on to study large animal medicine at Penn Vet. At New Bolton Center, she was part of the team that helped mare My Special Girl during her pregnancy with Boone, a colt delivered via a live “Foal Cam” for the world to see. Sarah and her husband are now the proud parents of a son.
Brother Adam Nebzydoski followed in the family tradition, but took an unconventional route into veterinary medicine. Adam graduated from Penn State in 2010 with a degree in chemical engineering. He then attended the U.S. Army’s Aviation Basic Officer Leadership Course and the Initial Entry Rotary Wing course, where he was the distinguished Honor Graduate of his class. He then became an Aviation Liaison Officer for the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, serving as a Black Hawk pilot and assisting the Battalion operations officer with mission planning, mission execution, and tactical operations center duties.
Adam continues to serve as a UH-60 Black Hawk pilot and flies a minimum of eight hours per month to meet his flight requirements. After working as a project engineer with ABEC, Inc. and in production resource with Nestlé Waters North America, Adam caught the veterinary bug and headed off to Penn Vet in the fall of 2014. He will join the ranks of Nebzydoski VMDs in 2018.
Amanda Kiselak graduated from Clemson University in 2012 with a degree in animal sciences and will graduate from Penn Vet this year—just a month prior to her wedding to Adam. “My mom always said you have to have the three letters behind your name before the three letters in front of your name,” she quipped, hence why they are getting married after she graduates.
Of course, how they met involves a veterinary story. Amanda was interning with Joe Nebzydoski and riding along on large animal calls while she was applying to veterinary school. Joe gave Adam her cell phone number without her knowledge. She and Adam went on a movie date just to make his dad happy, but with a wedding date scheduled for this coming June, dad obviously knew best.
The third branch of the family tree begins with two VMDs, Andrew Nebzydoski, V’84, and his wife Patricia Morgan, V’85. Andrew is co-owner of a mixed animal practice, Wallenpaupack Veterinary Clinic in Hawley, Pennsylvania. Patricia is his partner in running the clinic, so Andrew knows his practice is in good hands when opportunities arise to use his veterinary skills for those in need.
Andrew has joined up with fellow alum Ted Robinson, V’74, coordinator of the Native American Veterinary Services (NAVS), which provides free veterinary care for Native Americans living on reservations throughout the United States. Andrew’s first trip with NAVS was in 2014, and he has utilized his skills by giving vaccinations, deworming, and doing spays and neuters. Between 30 and 40 people go on each NAVS trip, helping dogs, cats, sheep, horses, goats, cattle, pigs, and other animals. The participants also spread the word about veterinary medicine by speaking with students about the veterinary eld and proper animal care.
Patricia and Andrew’s daughter, Grace Nebzydoski, V’17, has carried on the VMD legacy. She attended the University of Scranton, where she earned All-Academic Honors on the Equestrian Team and was inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu, the national honor society for students in Jesuit colleges and universities.
The fourth branch of the family tree includes Mary (Nebzydoski) Kelly and Patrick Kelly, whose son Patrick Kelly, V’10, is a Penn Vet graduate. The younger Patrick grew up in Baltimore and attended the University of Scranton for his undergraduate work. He joined Harleysville Veterinary Hospital in August 2010 and currently lives in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, with his wife, two daughters, and two dogs. Patrick’s brother, Chris Kelly, is also a veterinarian, having graduated from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.
Members of the Nebzydoski family have mentored numerous veterinary students, supported Penn Vet students through the Opportunity Scholarship Program, and served on the Veterinary Medical Alumni Executive Board. A legacy, a tradition, a heritage, whatever you call it, the Nebzydoski family has made their mark on the veterinary profession. We don’t think they are done just yet.