PennVet | Alumni Class Notes
New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA

Alumni Class Notes

Published: Oct 29, 2015


T.W. Shoemaker, V’50, has published a collection of images and short stories from Sullivan County, Pennsylvania. The book contains 173 pages of adventures, primarily a compilation of his “Satterfield Flyer” columns featured weekly in The Sullivan Review from 1966 to 2014. The book will be sold at The Sullivan Review and the Jolly Trolley in Dushore, Pennsylvania. Shoemaker says the book is about experiences as a weekly newspaper editor/veterinarian over the last 60 years in rural Sullivan County, among the endless mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. Three generations of Doc Shoemaker’s family, friends, relatives, and staff of the newspaper worked on the book to offer a look at rural life from the 1950s to present. 


Ralph Werner, V’68, was awarded Professor Emeritus from Stockton University at the 2015 Spring Commencement. After selling his veterinary practice in 1995, he took an adjunct position at Stockton. Eventually he became a tenured associate professor of biology and also the health professions advisor. Although retired, he will remain at Stockton as the IACUC veterinarian. 


Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Joseph Bartenfelder has promoted Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) Field Veterinarian Michael Radebaugh, V’73, to State Veterinarian. Dr. Radebaugh is the fourth out of the last five generations in his family to be working in agriculture. Since 2011 he has been a field veterinarian with MDA on the Eastern Shore and in Southern Maryland, where he was responsible for all regulatory, emergency, and other service operations in the region. He has also served as an advisor on poultry health and poultry regulatory programs, particularly avian influenza. Radebaugh has more than 41 years of experience in the veterinary field, including 34 years as a large animal veterinarian. MDA’s Animal Health Program works to prevent and control infectious and contagious diseases in Maryland livestock and poultry, with particular emphasis on those diseases that threaten public health, endanger food supplies, or threaten the economic security of the animal industries. 

Stuart Porter, V’74, retired from Blue Ridge Community College in June 2014 after 37 years as director of the Veterinary Technology program. In March, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association at their Annual Meeting in Princeton, New Jersey, in recognition of his many contributions to wildlife medicine. His work includes research on causes of morbidity in native wildlife while working at The Wildlife Center of Virginia, which he co-founded; numerous journal articles on wildlife-related problems; and many lectures and workshops presented at local, state, and international meetings. 


Michael Kotlikoff, V’81, the Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University since 2007, will be Cornell’s next Provost. Dr. Kotlikoff earned a BA in Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, a VMD degree from Penn Vet, and a PhD in Physiology from the University of California at Davis. He joined the Cornell faculty in 2000 as Professor of Molecular Physiology and served as Chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences from 2000 to 2007. Prior to Cornell, he was a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania for 15 years, chairing the Department of Animal Biology from 1995 to 2000. He currently sits on the scientific administrative board of the Cornell Institute for Biotechnology and Life Science Technologies and the administrative board of the Cornell University Council, and he is a member of the Technology Transfer Committee. Dr. Kotlikoff has pioneered efforts to understand complex physiological processes at the molecular level through the use of genetics, molecular design, and advanced optics.

Paul Nicolaysen, V’81, retired in 2014 after 16 years as director of the laboratory animal program and facilities at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Morgantown, West Virginia. He continues to sing in The Pittsburgh Camerata, a professional chamber choir. 


Penn Vet announced the appointment of Mary A. Bryant, V’95, to the newly created position of Executive Director of the Office of Students. More information about her appointment is located here.


Caleb Frankel, V’08, has joined the Brief Media team as Director of New Product Development. Dr. Frankel worked with Brief Media and Dr. Donald Plumb to help develop Plumb’s Veterinary Drugs, which launched in January 2015 as the official digital version of Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook. In addition, Frankel remains committed to continuing his work as an emergency practitioner at the 50-doctor Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center in Greater Philadelphia. He will also continue as “head techie” of VMD Technology, a website and blogging community he founded for veterinary technophiles in 2013. 


Simeon Taft, V’10, and his wife, Heidi (GrNu, ’09), welcomed their second child, Andrew, on April 20, 2015. The family resides in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Kathryn Bach Robbins, V’13, was married on September 13, 2014, to J. Clinton Robbins IV at her family farm in Tolland, Connecticut. It was a wonderful day with quite a few VMDs in attendance, including her father, Louis “Bud” Bach, V’72, Darcie Stolz, V’82, and from the class of Lucky ’13: Alicia Andras, Jess Kim, Chelsea McIntyre, Kevin Oran, Christine Caro, Rachel Smith, Maura Commito, and bridesmaids Brittany Gross and Anna Smith. “I’m pretty sure we could have handled any veterinary emergency in the book!” she said. 

In Remembrance

Dr. Frank Gotay Lanuza, V’48, passed away on January 22, 2015.

Henry (Hank) Schmidt, V’57, affectionately known as the “Dr. Dolittle” of Chalfont, Pennsylvania, passed away on March 27, 2015. He was 84. In 1957, he moved to Chalfont to establish his home and practice. One of the highlights of his life was being able to visit and spend two days on the set of All Creatures Great and Small, a British TV series about country veterinarian James Herriot. Dr. Schmidt was a true country vet, beloved by many for his expertise and gentleness with the animals and owners. He continued actively working at his practice in Chalfont for 57 years until retiring in 2014.

Eugene Toothaker, V’60, died peacefully in his sleep on March 10, 2015, after a short illness. After graduating in 1960, he returned to western Maine to practice veterinary medicine and, in 1962, he and his family moved to Ellsworth, Maine, where they opened the Small Animal Clinic. He was active in both business and government. He served the community of Ellsworth as a city council member for many years, including a term as the city’s mayor. He also served as a Board of Directors member for the First National Bank of Bar Harbor. Gene was an avid fisherman and bird hunter and absolutely loved the state of Maine; whether ”Down East,” in “the County,” or on the dirt roads of the North Maine Woods, he knew the best spots and had friends throughout the state. He never came home empty-handed. 

Fredric Baff, V’63, age 75, of Newtown, Connecticut, passed away on August 8, 2014. Dr. Baff was the owner of Plumtrees Animal Hospital in Danbury, Connecticut, for over 30 years. He enjoyed boating and golf, but above all, helping people and their pets. He will be remembered as a wonderful teacher, a loyal companion, and a trusted caregiver.

Luis Colon, V’70, passed away in June. He and his wife, Holly, lived in Puerto Rico where Luis had a thriving equine practice. This past May, they visited New Bolton Center for Luis’ 45th Penn Vet reunion. He was a generous man and a great colleague, always willing to lend a hand or dispense advice. He was immensely proud of his kids and his wife.

Stephen Wurst, V’77, of Manahawkin, New Jersey, died on November 16, 2014, with his family by his side. In 1984, he established the Barnegat Animal Clinic, presently celebrating its 30th anniversary. He was a highly respected advocate for the health and well-being of all animals, wild or domestic. He loved being on the water and was truly passionate about saltwater fishing and sailing in New Jersey, Penobscot Bay in Maine, and the Florida Keys. In his spare time, he was an avid craftsman of wood folk art.

Robin Valentine, V’02, formerly of Lansdale, Pennsylvania, passed away peacefully on March 21, 2015, at the Boca Raton Regional Hospital after a short illness. She was 40. An accomplished equestrian, she rode competitively in major events, including the Nation’s Cup in Paris, as part of the Mount Holyoke College team. Dr. Valentine was a gifted and dedicated practitioner who began her career practicing as an emergency and critical care clinician throughout Pennsylvania, New York, and Virginia. Her interests and scope in medicine were extensive, encompassing both modern medical science and integrative, holistic approaches including acupuncture. Eventually settling in South Florida, she established Valentine Veterinary Medical Services specializing in house calls, emer- gencies, and surgery. Robin was a passionate advocate for abandoned and injured animals, always willing to take on a tough case. She volunteered her skills to animal shelter and rescue organizations, wildlife rescue, and spay and neuter clinics. Robin touched the lives of all who knew her with her smile, kindness, compassion, dedication, strong will, determination, mighty spirit, and sense of humor.