Alumni Tales

College news

College sets records in fundraising, alumni engagement

The College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) had more donors than any other college at the University of Minnesota in the previous fiscal year. A total of 4,558 donors made 9,252 gifts in fiscal year 2018, which ended June 30. Both are College records.

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Prioritizing veterinary education

Seventeen faculty members from across the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) are participating in the first cohort of the new CVM Instructor Development Program, which debuted this year. The overarching goal is to provide resources and education in best practices for the didactic and clinical instruction of DVM students, undergraduates, and graduate students.

Participating faculty will have the opportunity to supplement their established expertise with effective teaching tools to pass on their knowledge base. “This program will help change the College’s culture to be one that makes teaching a primary function,” says Peggy Root, ’87 DVM, ’95 PhD, assistant dean of education and creator of the program.

College of Veterinary Medicine Clinical Skill lab seeks donated expired supplies

Taylor Aubrey practices using an IV catheter and photo of suppliesTaylor Aubrey, class of 2021, practices using an IV catheter

The Clinical Skills lab that teaches first, second, and third year students in the College of Veterinary Medicine (both Large Animal and Small Animal) is looking to gather expired veterinary supplies for educational purposes. Clinical Skills Lab Coordinator Eileen Kuhlmann is collecting unused surgery instruments, trays, and equipment. Also, expired consumables, which includes but is not limited to: IV catheters, suture, urinary catheters, scalpel blades, gauze, drape, syringes, cotton tip applicators, needles, blood tubes, and other expired or unused items. If you have items you can donate, please contact her at

Student news

New students arrive on campus

The College of Veterinary Medicine welcomed 105 new Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students and 20 new graduate students to campus this fall. Learn more about who they are, what they are studying, and where they are from.

Alumni news

Honoring Janet Veit

Janet VeitPhoto by Leigh Webber

When Robert Spencer received the call that Janet Veit, ’96 DVM, had died in a fishing accident in Iceland, he was stunned. The tragic passing of Veit and her husband, Brian Schumacher, soon made the papers in the Twin Cities and even the Washington Post. Veit had been a veterinarian at Spencer’s clinic, Hillside Animal Hospital of La Crosse, Wis., for 22 years. Shaken by the loss of his talented and well-liked colleague, Spencer sought a way to honor her—he helped to establish a perpetual scholarship at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) in her memory.

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Thinking big

Don French, ’51 BS, ’53 DVM, retired in 1998, but his interest in veterinary medicine remains strong, due in part to a son and granddaughter who followed in his footsteps. Don and his wife, Isabelle, are regular contributors to a memorial fund at the College of Veterinary Medicine, honoring one of Don’s classmates. And recently, they established the Don and Isabelle French Large Animal Medicine Fund with a generous gift. The fund supports clinical equipment purchases, research projects, and resident training in the areas of large animal medicine and equine sports medicine.

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Driven by the students

Arlo FrostArlo Frost, ’87 DVM, finds that an enjoyable diversion from veterinary medicine is... more veterinary medicine. So, he volunteers with the Student Initiative for Reservation Veterinary Services (SIRVS), a University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine student-led volunteer organization that provides veterinary services to Minnesota Indian reservations.

“It’s something that’s almost solely driven by the students, which to me is very commendable,” says Frost. “They’re doing really good work, so it needs to be supported.”

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Recent reunions

The class of 2003 had their 15 year reunion on Al & Alma's boat cruise on Lake Minnetonka on June 16.

2003 reunion

The class of 1998 gathered for their class reunion on campus on August 11. Tom Molitor, PhD, spoke to attendees about what has happened here at CVM in the last 20 years. Afterward, classmates enjoyed tours of the Veterinary Medical Center, The Raptor Center, and Leatherdale Equine Center. They gathered for a picnic in the Livestock Pavilion.

1998 reunion

The class of 2008 celebrated their 10 year reunion on Al & Alma's boat cruise on September 1.

2008 reunion

Where are they now?

Whether they’re advancing veterinary health, providing innovative veterinary care, or improving veterinary medical education, our alumni are making moves and thinking big.

The forefront of at-home veterinary care

sandra soucherayPhoto courtesy of Sandra Soucheray

Sandra Soucheray, ’02 CVM, can treat three dogs in just one hour. She has spent the last three years driving across the Twin Cities to take care of dogs and cats at home. Soucheray worked in a clinic for 13 years before launching Dr. Soucheray’s At Home Veterinary Care, her own mobile practice. Now, she keeps all her equipment in her van and provides pet care in her clients’ homes.

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French appointed head of Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine at the University of Illinois 

Dennis FrenchPhoto courtesy of courtesy of University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine

Dennis French, ’78 DVM, joined the faculty at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Veterinary Medicine in 2009 to lead the Food Animal Medicine and Surgery section. He was officially appointed head of the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine with approval of the University of Illinois trustees on May 17.

French worked briefly as an associate with the Illinois Equine Field Service in Naperville, Ill., and spent 30 years on the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine faculty in Baton Rouge, eventually progressing to professor. His primary clinical interests are in herd health and reproduction. He became certified in equine practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) in 1985 and went on to provide leadership in that organization as credentials chair, executive secretary, examination chair, and president. He received the ABVP Outstanding Service Award in 2010.

Congratulations, Dr. French!

Strobel elected to the Council on Biologics and Therapeutic Agents

Dr. Strobel and Goldy GopherThe Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents within the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recently named Michael Strobel, ’82 DVM, ’03 MS, to the council as a clinical pharmacology representative. Strobel will be one  of 12 voting association members elected by the House of Delegates for two three-year terms. The council serves as an informational and advisory resource to government agencies and to other AVMA groups on issues pertaining to veterinary biologics, drugs, and other therapeutic agents. The council also fosters the proper use of biologic and therapeutic agents in the practice of veterinary medicine.

Strobel earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and a masters degree in Swine Medicine from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. He joined Cannon Valley Veterinary Clinic of Northfield, Minn., in 1982 and became part owner in 1983. He and his business partner Mark Werner, ’76 DVM, have founded several other companies, including Veterinary Provisions Inc. and Aurora Pharmaceutical LLC. Strobel currently spends his time managing these companies, which are located just behind the Cannon Valley Veterinary Clinic  facilities. He resides in the Northfield area with his wife—they have three adult children and a golden retriever named Sunny.

Congratulations, Dr. Strobel!

Huston travels far and wide to promote veterinary health

Richard Huston, ’63 DVM, tells us that he recently traveled to Samburu, Kenya, to complete a College of Veterinary Medicine mission. Along with three veterinarians from Kenya, Huston injected 9,646 sheep, goats, and camels for parasites. Huston has also completed missions to Bolivia, Mongolia, India, Romania (twice), and Myanmar. In addition, he has completed a Rotary Club mission to Sierra Leone.

New jobs for recent alumni

Ahna Brutlag, ’06 DVM, ’11 MS, was recently promoted to director of veterinary services and senior veterinary toxicologist at Pet Poison Helpline, a division of SafetyCall International. Brutlag is also an adjunct assistant professor in Pharmacology/Toxicology at the CVM.

Erika MacKinnon, ’14 DVM, is now a veterinary associate at Kenwood Pet Clinic in Minneapolis. MacKinnon particularly enjoys surgery and neonatal care.  

Nicholas Grossapoulos, ’15 DVM, recently accepted a position at Zoetis in Bloomington, Minn.

Help mentor future veterinarians 

The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine is seeking veterinarians willing to share their time and enthusiasm with first and second year veterinary students. The goal of the mentor program is to provide a professional learning experience for students outside the classroom. Mentoring relationships provide an opportunity for professional development, networking, and exchanging ideas.

Become a mentor 

September 2018

Alumni Tales is a periodic e-newsletter designed to keep you informed on the latest news and events at the college.

We want to hear from you!
  • Fill out the Share your story form for a chance to be featured in one of our future issues.
  • Keep classmates, faculty, and friends of the college updated by adding a class note.
Questions or concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns about alumni matters, please contact:

Bill Venne
Director of Development and Alumni Relations

AFS Board

If you’re interested in joining the AFS Board, send your name, email address, and phone number to

Teresa Hershey, ’98 DVM, Board president
Lukas Wallerich, ’15 DVM, president-elect
Gary Goldstein, ’84 DVM
Roy Martin, ’89 DVM
Heather Case, ’98 DVM
Karen Shenoy, ’04 DVM
Sue Lowum, ’07 DVM
Abigail Albright, ’08 DVM
Susan Miller, ’08 DVM
Abby Coodin, ’10 DVM
Marta D. T. Powers, ’11 DVM
Roland Lefebvre, ’16 DVM
Jordan Sanford, class of 2020, student representative
Andrea Buckalew, class of 2020, student representative
Jordan Sanford, class of 2020, student representative 
Paige Gardas-Anderson, class of 2021, student representative
Erika Wehmhoff, class of 2021, student representative

In remembrance

Obituaries will be printed in full in the fall issue of Profiles.

Raymond P. Axtman, ’60 DVM, of Snohomish, Wash., died June 14.
Guy S. Hohenhaus, ’88 BS, ’90 DVM, of Annapolis, Md., died June 25 at age 57.
Wilbur A. Leibbrand, ’53 DVM, of Hastings Minn., died July 24 at age 94.
Donald W. Maas, ’60 DVM, of Long Lake, Minn., died June 30 at age 88.
E. Hunt McCauley, ’66 DVM, ’73 MS, of Bozeman, Mont., died June 11 at age 84.


Do you have questions about your reunion? Are you interested in getting involved? Contact Kris Hayden, alumni relations associate and events coordinator, at or 612-624-7624.

Thursday, September 27

Buzz 'N Brew, BlackStack Brewing, St. Paul, 6 to 8 p.m.

Friday, October 5, to Saturday, October 6

Class of 1968’s 50th reunion, Pomeroy 213

Friday, October 12

Class of 1986’s 32nd reunionCourtyard by MarriottLa Crosse, Wis.

Monday, October 22

Mentor KickoffAnimal Science/Veterinary Medicine Building lobby, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Monday, December 3

American Association of Equine Practitioners Alumni Reception, ThirstyBear Brewing Co., San Francisco, 6 to 8 p.m.

Thursday, February 7

Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association Reception, Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, 5 to 7 p.m.

Stay connected

Miss your classmates?

More and more CVM alumni are planning reunions at the college, and we’re here to help get you started. Contact Kris Hayden at

Continuing education

Explore our veterinary continuing education opportunities. 

Get your CVM swag

You can purchase College of Veterinary Medicine alumni apparel through Zazzle.