PennVet | Alumni News
New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
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Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA

Alumni News

Published: Mar 10, 2017


Douglas Thamm, C’90, V’95, was promoted to Full Professor in July. He is the Barbara Cox Anthony Professor of Oncology and Director of Clinical Research at the Colorado State University Flint Animal Cancer Center. He recently received the Asa Mays Award for Excellence in Canine Health Research from the AKC Canine Health Foundation and the George Fleming Prize from The Veterinary Journal for the most meritorious article published in 2015. He is the Co-Editor-in- Chief of the journal Veterinary and Comparative Oncology and was the Oncology section editor for the two most recent editions of the textbook Kirk’s Current Veterinary Therapy. He is also Head of Clinical Development for VetDC, a cancer-focused veterinary biopharmaceutical company developing anticancer therapies for animals.


Laura McNelis, V’05, proudly welcomed daughter Quinn Rebecca on June 29, 2016.

After ten years at New Bolton Center as a Staff Veterinarian, working with the Swine Teaching and Research Center, Ines Rodriguez, V’06, has taken a new position as the Compliance Veterinarian in the Office of Animal Welfare at the University of Pennsylvania. She is thrilled to continue her service to research animals at Penn, now in a broader capacity. Her primary role is to conduct post-approval monitoring of animal research protocols and laboratory practices involving surgery and other intensive procedures, while working directly with research faculty and staff to ensure animal welfare.

Denae Ervin, V’08, has joined the staff at HanoverView Animal Hospital in Bath, Pennsylvania. She has been practicing in the area since 2008, most recently at Quakertown Veterinary Clinic, where she spearheaded the dentistry program. She has a special interest in dentistry as well as client and community education.

In Remembrance

Joseph M. O’Neal, V’44, of Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, passed away on October 22, 2016, at Sunrise of Haverford in Haverford, Pennsylvania. He was 97. Son of the late James and Anastacia Hopkins O’Neal, he was born on the family farm in Indiana on February 2, 1919. He was raised in Indiana, graduated from Indiana University, and then graduated from Penn Vet in 1944. He married Marjorie Sheehan in 1944, and they moved to Indiana where Joseph worked with the Army, handling the inspection of cattle. Joseph and Marjorie then moved back to Pennsylvania, where he worked for the SPCA and later opened O’Neal Animal Hospital. He used to do spots called “Ask the Vet” on local radio stations in the Philadelphia area. He was very active with the Alumni Association for the University of Pennsylvania. After Marjorie passed away in 1989, Joe was remarried in 1992 to Lorraine Cieplinski. They lived for many years in Longport, New Jersey, where Joe was very active in the local American Legion Post. Joe loved his work, he loved animals, and he was a true “country doctor,” but the thing that was most important to him was his family.

Uri Bargai, V’59, has passed away. He was Professor Emeritus of Veterinary Medicine at the Hebrew University in Israel.

Thomas “Keith” Grove, V’82, passed away on July 5, 2016. Like his father, Keith attended the University of Pennsylvania and received his bachelor’s degree in English Literature in 1969. He then pursued a career in dentistry at the University of Detroit Mercy, achieving Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1972. From 1972 to 1973, he practiced dentistry in private practice in Royal Oak, Michigan, while also serving as an instructor at the University of Detroit Mercy. From 1973 to 1975, he completed his residency in periodontics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In 1975, he received a Master of Science in Periodontics from the University of Michigan, and then was an associate in periodontics in the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania from 1975 to 1976. He served the Abington, Pennsylvania, community as a periodontist from 1974 to 1980, and also as a consultant in periodontics for Abington Memorial Hospital from 1975 to 1980. Dr. Grove
then decided to make his lifelong passion for helping animals a reality, and he returned to the University of Pennsylvania to study animal husbandry. During his veterinary studies, Keith performed extensive veterinary research at Cornell University and in field cases in the Pennsylvania Amish country, working with large animals. He also served the Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, community from 1980 to 1982. After his graduation from Penn Vet, he and his family moved to Vero Beach, Florida, where he opened his own private practice in veterinary medicine, specializing in dentistry, in 1982. Later, he opened his periodontal practice in Vero Beach. Grove committed himself to serving the community of Vero Beach,
with devotion for 27 years through his two medical practices, providing the highest possible care to both humans and animals. “Doc” Grove, as his wonderful team and his human
patients called him, was owner and periodontist at the Dental Implant Center of Vero Beach from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., and owner and veterinarian at the Abbey Veterinary Clinic in the
afternoon from 1 to 6 p.m.

Sandra Fargher, V’91, passed away in July 2016. For her classmates who saw her at their 25th reunion in May 2016, she was a great joy to visit with and will be missed. Born in
Scotland, she came to grace our shores via London, Paris, Bermuda, and Spain. The hands that later came to perform brilliant, efficient, beautiful surgery on animals received their training first as a croupier, and then as a couturier at French fashion houses. In one of her multiple early trades, she learned the skill of drafting and architectural drawing. That love of detail and simplicity was evident in the homes that she designed. They reflected the coziness of the Scottish cottages of her youth. As a vet, she was well-known for her thoughtful and instinctive diagnostic skills and had a successful small animal practice in South Jersey. She sold her practice and moved to Pennsylvania after becoming enamored with the magnificent southern Chester County countryside. Here she was able to reconnect with her love of horses, which she had known as a young Scottish lass. She and her mare Rhea competed and qualified for the Area 2 preliminary level championships. She also rode with the Cheshire and Cochrane Hunts. Donations in her memory are being made to the Delaware Humane Society, 701 A Street, Wilmington, DE 19801 Attn: Layne Ross.