University of Vermont

Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences (ASCI)

Keeping In Touch
ASCI Faculty and Staff featured in College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Newsletter, 'Keeping in Touch'
--Editor, Meg Ashman

New department chair no stranger to UVM

Dr. Thomas McFadden admits that he had big shoes to fill when he became chair of the Department of Animal Science in June.  But he also credits his predecessors -- Drs. Karen Plaut and John Bramley -- for laying the foundation for a strong, student-focused department.

Like then, he is dedicated to maintaining excellence in teaching and advising in one of the biggest departments at the university.  He'd also like to build on the department's reputation for having one of the most highly esteemed pre-veterinary programs in the country.

"Our recruitment efforts were highly successful this year with 80 students enrolled in the incoming class, McFadden reports.

"We take pride in our excellence in advising and will continue to expand our experiential learning program, which attracts top students to UVM." In addition to the current focus on dairy and equine science, he plans to expand the curriculum to include a concentration in zoo and exotic animals. "This will allow us to better meet the diverse interests of our students and capitalize on emerging areas of opportunity for Animal Science graduates."

Although new to the position, the associate professor is not new to UVM. He came to the University in October 1999 by way of the University of Idaho and New Zealand, where he worked six years in dairy cattle research at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries' AgResearch Ruakura Research Station in Hamilton.

His family's connections to UVM also are strong: His wife, Holli McFadden, is a clinical research supervisor at the Vermont Cancer Center and his son, Jake McFadden, is a Vermont Scholar and first-year student in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.
"Currently, we are among only a few university departments in the country with a research focus on lactation and mammary gland biology," the new chair says. "With grant monies and publications up, my goal is to use this focus to strengthen the dairy research program and its productivity."

His vision for the department also includes enhancing dairy Extension and outreach programs, including the UVM/Vermont Technical College FARMS (Farm and Agricultural Resource Management Stewards) 2 + 2 degree program and CREAM (Cooperative for Real Education in Agricultural Management), and expanding the equine science program to reflect the growing importance of horses in the agricultural economy.
--Lisa Halvorsen

Department Kudos

Animal Science: Winner of a national communication competition in July, Dr. Julie Smith, DVM and Extension dairy specialist, received a national award for her biosecurity video, "Healthy Farms-- Healthy Agriculture: Protecting the Health of Animal Agriculture" from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents. Working with Workhorse Creative, Inc., to professionally film, edit, and create graphic designs, Smith highlights key areas for dairy farms to focus on when developing their animal biosecurity plans. The production was partly funded by USDA at the request of Vermont Senator James Jeffords.

Fran Kinghorn received CALS Award for Excellence in Staff Support

Fran Kinghorn '79, G'84 is the first recipient of the College's new CALS Award for Excellence in Staff Support.  She holds two positions in the Department of Animal Science: coordinator of the Undergraduate Student Internship Program and laboratory coordinator.  Kinghorn began her UVM career as a research technician for Dr. Lyn Carew in 1980 and has co-authored 18 referenced journal publications, three technical papers in international proceedings, and 35 abstracts.  Currently, as lab coordinator, Kinghorn is the primary lab instructor for 200 undergraduates per year and is responsible for mentoring graduate teaching assistants in their laboratory courses and evaluating their teaching activities.  Carew states, "She is these graduate students' teacher, trainer, mentor and confidant and does it with outstanding results."
Congratulations to our wonderful faculty and staff!!

Last modified January 10 2006 03:52 PM

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