Noteworthy news

Our alumni are doing some extraordinary things. The College wishes to celebrate some great accomplishments and send a hearty congratulations to those listed below.


On Sunday, January 27, the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon took place in Duluth, Minn. Recently, the Star Tribune covered the race, quoting musher and veterinarian Jen Freking, ’04 DVM, who has raced sled dogs for 30 years and owns Manitou Crossing Kennels in Finland, Minn., with her husband, Blake.

Manitou Crossing Kennels is home to more than 60 Siberian huskies, who race competitively in long-distance sled dog races throughout the United States and Canada. The kennel is devoted to the future of the working Siberian husky. Freking and her husband began working with Siberian huskies roughly 20 years ago and joined forces in 2000 with the goal of establishing a strong line of Siberian huskies.

The duo are both decorated mushers. Among other key accolades, Freking and her husband finished 9 seconds apart in the 2008 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, setting a new record for an all-Siberian husky team.

Jagjit S. Brar imageBrar honored with Lifetime Merit Award by CVMA

Jagjit S. Brar, DVM, ’78 MS, was recently honored with the Lifetime Merit Award by the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) at the CVMA annual meeting on December 12, 2018, in Oak Brook, Ill. Brar has been a veterinarian for more than 55 years. He has owned Dorchester Animal Hospital in Chicago for more than 37 years and Palos Pet Clinic in Palos Hills, Ill., for 14 years.

He has served as secretary, vice president, and president of the CVMA. Now, he is the veterinary board president of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations. Brar was executive board member of the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association for three years. He was also a member of Cook County Executive Board University of Illinois Extension and chair of the nomination committee for four years.

Schommer named Emerging Leader by MVMA

Megan Schommer, ’10 DVM, was recently named Emerging Leader by the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA). MVMA honored Schommer with this award based on her achievement and leadership as a veterinarian, her community involvement, and how she actively engages others in the profession of veterinary medicine.

Schommer practices at Lake Harriet Veterinary in Minneapolis, where her special interests include surgery, backyard poultry, and exotic companion mammals including mice and rabbits. She maintains Minnesota Vets, a Facebook group dedicated to connecting veterinarians across the state. Schommer is deeply involved with Minnesota Pocket Pet Rescue as its volunteer veterinarian and an animal foster parent. She is currently serving on the MVMA committee focusing on health and wellness within the veterinary community.

Schommer has also volunteered with the CVM’s student-led group Student Initiative for Reservation Veterinary Services (SIRVS). SIRVS is a group of veterinary students who have recognized a need for veterinary services in underserved reservation communities in Minnesota. The group’s mission is to train future veterinarians by serving communities in need.

Barnhart co-edits textbook

Matthew Barnhart, ’95 DVM, MS, recently co-edited a textbook, “Locking Plates in Veterinary Orthopedics.The book was recently published by Wiley-Blackwell, based in New Jersey.

Learn more about the book.

Paris makes athletic history

Ultrarunner Jasmin Paris was a small animal intern at the CVM’s Veterinary Medical Center in 2010. She recently became the first woman to win the 268-mile Montane Spine Race, a nonstop challenge from Edale in Derbyshire, England, to Kirk Yetholm, Scotland. Paris broke the course record by 12 hours. The race took her 83 hours, 12 minutes, and 23 seconds to complete.

Paris gave birth to a daughter 14 months ago. During the four-day race, she had just over seven hours of rest time, during which she had to eat, sleep, and breastfeed her daughter.  

Paris already holds the women's records for the UK's three premier 24-hour mountain running challenges.