The Veterinary Epidemiology, Diagnostic Detection and Outreach Team has received a Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence in the category of International Involvement.
Established in 1980, the Vice Chancellor’s awards program recognizes the commitment and outstanding contributions of faculty and staff across Texas A&M AgriLife. The team received the award Jan. 9 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Centennial Conference in College Station.
Team members, all from College Station, are Heather Simmons, education and outreach theme leader, National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense, Texas A&M AgriLife Research; Dr. Mike McWhorter, associate director for training programs, Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, AgriLife Research; Amy Swinford, microbiology branch chief, Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory; Sandy Rodgers, assistant section head for serology, TVMDL; Tom Hairgrove, program coordinator for livestock and food animal systems, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and TVMDL; and Floron Faries Jr., professor and Extension specialist, FAZD and AgriLife Extension.
“The Veterinary Epidemiology, Diagnostic Detection and Outreach Team is a great combination of innovative scientists, effective leaders and training managers, and influential educators and trainers,” wrote Dr. Tammy Beckham, director of the TVMDL and FAZD in her award nomination.
“The Borlaug Institute, in partnership with other Texas A&M entities, often receives awards to train international veterinary scientists in biotechnology, epidemiology and advanced disease diagnostics.”
Beckham noted that the lab is a primary partner in these efforts, offering applied training and experiences to international visitors in numerous disciplines, including molecular diagnostics, serology, bacteriology and virology. International collaborators include scientists from Kazakhstan, Egypt, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Ukraine, Turkmenistan, China, Indonesia and Bulgaria.
“Of the utmost importance to this team is that trainings are practical and relevant,” she stated. “At TVMDL, a training laboratory for international visiting scientists was established so that laboratory work is not simulated. International delegates have the opportunity to learn about diagnostic methods and equipment and then apply that knowledge in a series of exercises in the laboratory.”