Three veterinarians are honored at national meeting

Three members of Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine – Donald F. Smith, Kenneth Simpson and Leslie D. Appel – have won American Veterinary Medical Association awards (AVMA). The winners were announced during the AVMA Annual Convention in Chicago, July 19-23.

Smith, the Austin O. Hooey Dean Emeritus of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell, was awarded the AVMA President’s Award “For recognizing the value of our heritage and, in our sesquicentennial year, helping us to better understand and preserve our past and the people whose contributions built the veterinary profession.”

Since completing his deanship of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Smith has been researching the history of the veterinary profession through oral interviews with Cornell alumni and other colleges. In addition to being a featured speaker at national veterinary meetings, Smith writes three stories a week combining historical and current issues in veterinary medicine at A partner blog at reaches readers in more than 100 countries. He also teaches a course in veterinary history called “Veterinary Medicine: The Versatile Profession”.

While dean (1997-2007), Smith established academic priorities in cancer biology and oncology, genomics and medical genetics, and pathogenic bacteriology, and reconfigured the departmental structure to align with 21st-century medicine, says the AVMA..

Simpson, who joined Cornell’s faculty in 1995, won the American Veterinary Medical Foundation/American Kennel Club Career Achievement Award in Canine Research to recognize his “long-term contribution to the field of canine research.” His research interests in small animals are centered below the diaphragm, with a focus on inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, including the pancreas and liver, host bacterial interactions in health and disease, and culture independent bacteriology.

Appel won the AVMA Animal Welfare Award “for her achievement advancing the welfare of animals via leadership, public service, education, research/product development, and/or advocacy.” A courtesy lecturer and former faculty member of Cornell’s Vet College, she is the founder and executive director of Shelter Outreach Services, a high-volume spay/neuter program that decreases the companion animal overpopulation problem in the Finger Lakes area. She is also the founder of the annual Shelter Medicine Conference held at Cornell every summer. 

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Joe Schwartz