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Pamela Adkins, MS, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

Pamela Adkins DVM, PhD, DACVIM is an Assistant Professor of Food Animal Medicine and Surgery at the University of Missouri.  She is originally from Nebraska and received her DVM from The Ohio State University.  She completed her residency training and PhD at the University of Missouri.  She joined the MU faculty in 2015.  Her research and clinical interests include bovine infectious diseases.

Sunitha Bosecker, LPC

Sunitha Bosecker is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Missouri, with a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling. Additionally, she is
the owner of Sunitha Lea, LLC, where she helps small businesses and nonprofit organizations elevate their marketing and mental health efforts.

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Chris Chase, DVM, MS, PhD

Chris Chase is a professor of veterinary and biomedical science at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD. He received his DVM from Iowa State University and MS and PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has been at SDSU since 1992. Dr. Chase is the Past-President of the American College of Veterinary Microbiology and the Conference of Research Workers in Animal Disease.  Dr. Chase co-founded  RTI (Research, Technology Innovation) LLC., an animal health contract research organization founded in 1994 that does studies in poultry, swine and cattle and is Chief Scientific Officer and has served as President since 1998.

Kevin Christiansen, DVM

Dr. Christiansen is currently employed by Boehringer Ingelheim as a Senior Scientist, Research and Development, Pharmaceutical Clinical Development starting March 2012.  Prior to joining BIAH, Dr. Christiansen was with the Midwest Veterinary Consultants group, Kansas City, where he served as Kansas City’s only Cardiologist from 2006 to 2012. He received his Diplomate status from the ACVIM Specialty of Cardiology in July 2007. His residency training comes from the University of Pennsylvania, 2003-2005 and his DVM credentials achieved from Kansas State University in 1999. His undergraduate studies come from Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, Nebraska.

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Daniel Cummings, DVM

Dr. Dan Cummings received his Bachelor of Science degree at Murray State University majoring in Animal Science. During veterinary school at Auburn University, he was able to complete externships in feedlot, food animal, and mixed animal practice. Furthermore, he participated in a veterinary student exchange program to learn about production agriculture in South America. After earning his DVM from Auburn University in 2013, he completed his preceptorship and joined a mixed animal practice in Middle TN where his passion for the livestock industry grew. He takes great pride in his education and recognizes the value of early mentors who displayed a true dedication to livestock production and food animal medicine. After leaving mixed animal practice, he joined a regional farmers cooperative as staff veterinarian allowing him the opportunity to focus solely on food animal medicine and gain invaluable experience working directly with livestock producers. Throughout his career, Dr. Cummings has worked tirelessly to develop personal and professional relationships with both producers and veterinary colleagues. He has relied heavily on professional organizations such as the American Association of Bovine Practitioners and Academy of Veterinary Consultants as a vital resource. Dr. Cummings is excited to continue his work with Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health as a Professional Services Veterinarian for the Beef Central Team. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time outdoors and working on the family farm with his wife, Amy, and three children. Special interests include sustainable parasite control strategies and the application of systems-based thinking in production medicine.

Jessi Farris, DVM, MBA

Dr. Jessi Farris is a 2017 graduate of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. During her time in veterinary school, Dr. Farris was actively involved in the Veterinary Business Management Association as a Chapter and National President. Following graduation, Dr. Farris continued her involvement with MVMA as the St. Louis Delegate and is actively in her second term of service. After spending some time in small animal general practice in St. Louis, she received her MBA from St. Louis University in 2019 and then joined Heartland Veterinary Partners as a Veterinary Recruiter. Dr. Farris now serves as the Vice President of Campus Relations and Clinical Recruiting for Heartland Veterinary Partners where she is able to support veterinarians across all career stages to achieve their unique definition of success and happiness.

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Elizabeth A. Giuliano, DVM, MS

Dr. Giuliano received a Bachelor of Science with honors from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1991 and her DVM degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1996. Following graduation from veterinary school, she completed a small animal rotating internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York City in 1997 and remained in private practice in midtown Manhattan the following year.  In 1998, she returned to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to complete a Comparative Ocular Pathology Fellowship.  Since July 1, 1999, Dr. Giuliano has been a member of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri where she completed a residency in veterinary ophthalmology and a Masters of Science degree.  She is currently a tenured Professor of the department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery at the University of Missouri and Section Chief of their comparative ophthalmology service.  She has authored over 100 articles and textbook chapters.  Dr. Giuliano is a dynamic, engaging speaker and has lectured extensively in the academic setting and at national and international meetings.  She is the recipient of numerous teaching awards, including three Golden Aesculapius Teaching Awards, the Gold Chalk Award, the Dadd Award, and was Western Veterinary Conference’s “Educator of the Year” (2018).

Since becoming an ACVO diplomate in 2002, Dr. Giuliano has demonstrated sustained devotion to her profession through volunteer work.  This includes serving on more than 12 ACVO standing, Ad-Hoc, and associated committees [Residency Committee (2002-2006), Resident Forum Committee Co-Chair (2003 & 2006), ACVO Nominating Committee (2008 & 2017), Job Task Analysis Task Force (2008), Resident Presentation Judge at Annual Conference  (2008 & 2009), Governance Committee (2009 – 2011), Maintenance of Certification Committee (2007-2012), Vision for Animal Foundation Grants Committee (Member 2007- 2009; co-Chair 2010 – 2012), William Magrane Basic Science Course in Ophthalmology Steering Committee (2011-2017), and the ABVO Examination Committee (2019- 2022)]. In 2011, she was elected to the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) Board of Regents (2011-2016) and served as the ACVO President from 2015-2016.

Natalie Gruchow, CVPM, SHRM-CP, Elite FFCP (Veterinary)

Natalie Gruchow is Level 3 Fear Free Certified and led her 6-doctor hospital to become the first Fear Free Certified Practice in the Dakotas.  Implementation is a team effort, and her strong leadership facilitated the successful outcome by developing a Fear Free Committee.  Her passion and best practices have been recognized by Fear Free with an invitation to be on the Fear Free Speaker’s Bureau to inspire and educate pet caretakers at various conferences and webinars.  Additionally, she has been identified as a “Subject Matter Expert” for Fear Free colleague and client communication with hosted office hours.  In her spare time, she advocates for leash etiquette awareness and founded a nonprofit, called Petiquette.

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Tamara Hancock, DVM, MS, PhD

Dr. Tamara Hancock is a Board Certified Veterinary Clinical Pathologist and Assistant Teaching Professor in the Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. She received her D.V.M. from Iowa State University and completed her residency training; M.S. in Veterinary Pathobiology; and Ph.D. in Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum at the University of Missouri. Dr. Hancock’s scholarship investigates the role of emotions, values, and other intangible dimensions of learning environments and curricula in veterinary medicine. She is keenly interested in how these dimensions intersect with professional skills and professionalism, and how they affect inclusion and belonging. She shares her life with her husband, young son, tiny dog, and aloof cat in Columbia, MO, where she enjoys running, gardening, reading, and savoring the beauty all around us.

Ralph Harvey, DVM, MS, DACVAA

Dr. Ralph Harvey is certified as a specialist by the American College of Veterinary

Anesthesia and Analgesia. He works as a consultant in practice and industry, promoting best practices in anesthesia and pain management, including Fear Free practices and new advances in patient care. He is Chair of the Veterinary Advisory Board for the BioTraceIT Corporation, focusing on the PainTrace medical device for objectively assessing acute and chronic pain. He retired from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine faculty in 2018, where he taught anesthesia,  pain management, and related topics for 33 years. He has received the Outstanding Faculty Member Award from the Tennessee Veterinary Medical Association, the UTCVM Brandy Memorial Award, and the UTCVM 2011 Distinguished Alumni Non-Practice-Career Award. Dr. Harvey also enjoys serving the community as president of the Board of Directors for the Great Smoky Mountains Conservation Association and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Knoxville Veterinary Medical Association.

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Philip Johnson, DVM, DACVIM

Dr. Philip Johnson graduated with Honors from the University of Bristol (England) School of Veterinary Medicine in 1981 and worked in a private veterinary practice in the Bath/Bristol area of England for 3 years. Then he completed graduate studies and an equine medicine and
surgery clinical residency at the University of Illinois. Dr. Johnson is a board-certified specialist in internal medicine as recognized by both the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and the European College of Equine Internal Medicine. He is a Professor of Veterinary
Medicine and Surgery at the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine, where he has been since 1991. Dr. Johnson’s research interests include equine clinical endocrinology, all aspects of laminitis, neonatology, and gastroenterology. He enjoys all aspects of the
internal medicine discipline. Aside from the clinical, instructional, and scientific aspects of academic veterinary medicine, his interests include running, tennis, composing music, listening to music, art, hiking the wilderness, and literature. Dr. Johnson was inaugurated into the
International Equine Veterinarian Hall of Fame in 2014. Dr. Johnson was awarded the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Large Animal) specialty in 2022.

Kerry M. Karaffa, MS, PhD

Dr. Kerry Karaffa is a licensed psychologist and mental health coordinator with the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. He earned a M.S. in Clinical Psychology from Texas A&M University-Commerce and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Oklahoma State University. He completed his doctoral internship at the University of Missouri-Columbia Counseling Center, and he has experience providing clinical services in community mental health and university counseling center settings. Dr. Karaffa currently provides counseling, crisis intervention, outreach, and consultation services to students, interns, and residents affiliated with the MU College of Veterinary Medicine and conducts research related to mental health in the veterinary profession. His current research interests involve mental health stigma and barriers to seeking psychological services, maladaptive perfectionism, and self-compassion. Personally, Dr. Karaffa enjoys playing guitar, keeping reptiles and amphibians, and spending time with his partner and three cats.

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Dr. Joanne Kramer

Dr. Joanne Kramer is a teaching professor at the University of Missouri. She is a board certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Her goals include improving clinical learning, the development of improved methods of workplace based teaching through the use of informal learning, and integrating the use of models and simulation with real world learning,

Alison LaCarrubba, DVM, ABVP (Equine Practice)

Dr. LaCarrubba earned her BS from Cornell University and veterinary degree from the University of Missouri in 2001. She completed an equine internship in 2002 and fulfilled the requirements to become a diplomate of ABVP(Equine Practice) in 2009. Dr. LaCarrubba works with the Equine Ambulatory and Equine Internal Medicine services and has a special interest in equine dentistry, both routine and advanced techniques.


Nels Lindber, DVM

Dr. Nels' leadership journey really began in 2005 after graduating from Vet school. It was at that point that he realized his place in the work world had changed. Since 6th grade, when he started working on a farm, he had always been told what to do. And after graduation, even as
an associate veterinarian he realized all of a sudden people were looking to him for answers on what to do and solutions to their problems. As his career journey advanced and led into ownership, he had no clue how to lead or manage people. At the time ownership was a means to make more money. What he soon realized was the goal of purely making money didn’t grow people and didn't make him an effective leader and didn’t get him where he wanted to be.
After the practice was purchased there was a period of rapid growth, adding more people, which unknowingly lead to adding more chaos. Dr. Nels started to realize he had to work to make things better on a day when he found himself speaking to the entire staff in a manner not acceptable to his own personal expectations. He knew he must change how he did things.
This set Dr. Nels on a new adventure to his journey of self-improvement where he realized he was the problem and the solution. He learned that before he can lead anyone he had to grow and improve who he was as a person. Over a 10 year journey, Dr. Nels' mission has changed from making money to a much more noble mission of changing people's lives through
very intentional teaching, required reading for all those involved, and very specific daily practices. He suddenly went from enjoying making money to helping and watching people grow. What excites Dr. Nels the most is watching people change their life by leading them to places they would never go without the right leadership. Today Dr. Nels has been in practice as the vision and guidance for its mission. He is also a veterinarian feedlot consultant working to dive deeper into the people aspect of the feedyards he consults. He is also a founding partner in multiple other businesses working to provide his people growth and development skills, leadership practices and development, as well as tactical and strategic thought processes to those partnerships. Today Dr. Nels is a sought-after speaker on business, life, and leadership. He consults entrepreneurs and businesses on those topics as well as diving deeper into daily tactics, and future strategic planning for the business and its people.

Sara Linneen, MS, PhD

Dr. Sara Linneen is a beef cattle Technical Consultant for Elanco Animal Health based in Central Oklahoma.  In her role as a ruminant nutritionist, she works with cattle operations and feed mills throughout the U.S. on nutrition, feed delivery, feedstuff evaluation, and feed mixing. She is also responsible for research and technical support for sales reps and producers focused primarily in cow-calf and stocker cattle. Dr. Linneen grew up in Southern Arizona where she received her B.S. in Animal Science from the University of Arizona.  She went on to complete an M.S. in Animal Science from Kansas State University and Ph.D. in Animal Science in ruminant nutrition focused on cow-calf nutrition from Oklahoma State University. Prior to joining Elanco, she previously held positions in both academia and industry focused on livestock production, feed milling, and applied research.

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Leslie A. Lyons, PhD

Leslie A. Lyons, PhD is the Gilbreath-McLorn Endowed Professor of Comparative Medicine at the University of Missouri – Columbia, College of Veterinary Medicine and recent Professor Emerita of the University of California – Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine.  Dr. Lyons received her graduate degrees from The University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health, Department of Human Genetics.  In 1992, Dr. Lyons joined the National Cancer Institute, Laboratory of Genomic Diversity for her post-doctoral career focusing on developing genetic resources for comparative gene mapping across mammalian species, with emphasis in the domestic cat.  During her tenure at the NCI, she worked closely with theriogenologists to produce a feline interspecies backcross between domestic cats and Asian Leopard cats for use as a gene mapping resource, initiating the Feline Genome Project.  In addition, Dr. Lyons began curating DNA samples of cats with various heritable traits.  In the fall of 1999, Dr. Lyons joined the University of California – Davis then moved to the University of Missouri in 2013.  Her laboratory’s major focus is the genetics of the domestic cat, including disease, inherited traits, and population diversity.  Dr. Lyons’ research laboratory has had success with the identification of the gene causing Persian cat polycystic kidney disease, Burmese hypokalemia, the Burmese craniofacial defect, progressive retinal atrophies, several coat traits in the cat and the mutation causing cat blood group B.  Each of these mutations can now be used as a genetic test in cats.  The Lyons’ laboratory has been used to confirm the cloned domestic cats and African wildcats and also the first green fluorescent protein (GFP) cats.  Studies have included the analysis of the origin of cat breeds and the sites of cat domestication, which resulted in a documentary with National Geographic as an episode of Explorer entitled “The Science of Cats”.  Dr. Lyons has a cooperative and collegial research program that is highly interactive with the veterinary community.  At MU, Dr. Lyons has ;launched the 99 Lives Cat Genome Sequencing Inititative that is a public effort to enhance genomic resources for the cat and to perform whole genome sequencing on nearly 1000 cats.  A goal of Dr. Lyons research is to bring Precision Medicine to the veterinary community.

Richard Meadows, DVM, DABVP

Richard grew up around a mixed animal practice in Pampa, Texas and has been immersed in vet med ever since. As a veterinarian he has worked in dairy practice, done mixed animal relief work, owned a small animal practice, finished a Veterinary Clinical Pathology residency and a CDC sponsored Post Doc in a human medical school. For the last 20 years he led the small animal community practice at the MU VHC dealing with dentistry, dermatology, parasitology, shelter medicine, etc. Hopefully he has actually taught several students and a few veterinarians something positive along the way. His current interests are his family (especially his 3 grandchildren), his motorcycle and “Dad” jokes.

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Reuben Merideth, DVM

Dr. Merideth graduated from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine in 1978. He was an N.I.H. Fellow in Comparative Ophthalmology at the University of Florida from 1979 to 1981. Dr. Merideth became board certified as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) in 1981. A Diplomate signifies advanced training and is the highest medical designation for veterinarians. Dr. Merideth is a national expert in animal
ophthalmology, has authored more than 30 scientific articles, and is a contributing author of five veterinary textbooks. His clinical interests include glaucoma and cataracts. He is the past President of the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association Counsel on continuing education and service for the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists on residency training and testing. In 2018 he was named the first ever Tucson Wildlife Center “Person of the Year” in recognition of 20 years of volunteer service, and in 2019 he was the sole inductee into the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association’s Hall of Fame. Dr. Merideth was recognized and honored as the Founder of Eye Care for Animals during a 40th Anniversary celebration in November, 2021. He has returned to his alma mater to help train the next generation of veterinary ophthalmologists.

Jason Nickell, DVM, PhD

Dr. Jason Nickell was raised in Stanberry, Missouri and attained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1999 and 2003, respectively, from the University of Missouri-Columbia.  After four years of mixed animal practice in Missouri, Dr. Nickell pursued a PhD in Epidemiology at Kansas State University.  Dr. Nickell serves as Director of Insights and Outcomes for Merck Animal Health.  Dr. Nickell is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine and is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association, the Academy of Veterinary Consultants, and the American Association of Bovine Practitioners.  Dr. Nickell, his wife Stacey (who is also a veterinarian), and three children (Brooke, Will, and Paige) live in Parkville, Mo.


Craig A. Payne, DVM, MS

Craig Payne received his DVM from the University of Missouri-College of Veterinary Medicine in 1993.  Upon graduation, he practiced at the Animal Medical Center in Marshfield, MO for one year before moving to Sedalia, MO where he became a partner at the Sedalia Veterinary Center.  He practiced in Sedalia until 2005 at which time he moved to Kingsville, TX where he pursued an MS degree in Agribusiness from the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management at Texas A&M – Kingsville. 

After completing his MS degree in 2007, Craig accepted a position as an extension veterinarian for the University of Missouri and is currently an Associate Extension Professor and the Director of Veterinary Extension and Continuing Education.  He is long-time a member of the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association, Academy of Veterinary Consultants and American Association of Bovine Practitioners.

Amy Rucker, DVM

Amy Rucker, DVM, of MidWest Equine in Columbia, Missouri, graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1993.  After practicing in South Dakota, she returned home and established the Equine Ambulatory program at the UMC-Veterinary Teaching Hospital.  Eventually she returned to private practice with an emphasis on diseases of the foot.  Her mentor, Dr. Ric Redden, has been instrumental in her podiatry education.  Amy’s work has been published in Equine Emergencies, Laminitis, Equine Podiatry, Veterinary Clinics of North America, Equine Veterinary Journal and Journal of Equine Veterinary Science.   She has also presented discussions of lameness, shoeing strategies, laminitis and diagnostic imaging at multiple Bluegrass Laminitis Symposia, International Hoof Care Summits, and International Equine Conferences on Laminitis and Diseases of the Foot.  Amy was inducted into the International Equine Veterinarian’s Hall of Fame in 2012. 

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Tiffany Sanford-Martens, PhD

Dr. Tiffany Sanford-Martens is a licensed psychologist with the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. She earned a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia and completed her doctoral internship at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the State University of New York in Albany, New York. She has experience providing clinical services in a variety of clinical care settings. Dr. Sanford-Martens currently provides counseling, crisis intervention, outreach, and consultation services to students, interns, and residents affiliated with the MU College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Sanford-Martens enjoys Mizzou sports, going to concerts, trying to figure out how to be a dance mom and spending time with her family and rescue dog, Prince Charming. 

Kile Townsend, DVM

Kile Townsend is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Equine Internal Medicine

At the University of Missouri. She earned a bachelor of science degree at the University of New Hampshire and a doctor of veterinary medicine degree at the University of Prince Edward Island’s Atlantic Veterinary College. She then completed an internship and large animal internal medicine residency training at the University of Missouri. Dr. Townsend is pursuing additional postgraduate training in veterinary education via the Royal Veterinary College and enjoys clinical teaching. Clinical interests include equine neonatology, equine neurology, equine critical care, and emergency medicine.

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