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CVM Ph.D. Graduate Receives Distinguished Alumni Award

Two women shaking hands in front of red background
Dr. Dianne Dunning, (left), Assistant Dean of Advancement at the CVM, congratulates Dr. Julie Levy.

Dr. Julie Levy, a professor of shelter medicine at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, has received a 2015 distinguished alumni award from North Carolina State University.

Levy, who received her Ph.D. from N.C. State’s College of Veterinary Medicine, was honored during the University’s annual “Evening of Stars” gala held Oct. 3. The award recognizes one of the college’s alumni each year for their professional achievements and personal contributions to veterinary medicine.

“You were unanimously selected from a field of highly qualified nominees, and we are delighted to be able to recognize you as the recipient,” wrote Dr. Dianne Dunning, the N.C. State veterinary college’s dean of advancement, in a letter notifying Levy of the award.

A board-certified small animal internal medicine specialist and a professor with the UF Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program, Levy is perhaps best known as an advocate for homeless cats, both through her community volunteer work and her research into more effective ways to control stray cat populations and protect community cats from disease. She co-founded Operation Catnip, an organization that brings together veterinarians, technicians, students and community volunteers to trap, neuter and return stray and feral community cats to their environment when she was at N.C. State, and brought the program to UF when she joined the veterinary medical faculty in 1998.

Among her many honors are being named the 2005 Outstanding Woman Veterinarian of the Year by the Association for Women Veterinarians and being named a distinguished fellow in the National Academies of Practice in 2014. She also received the European Society of Feline Medicine’s Award for Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Feline Veterinary Medicine in 2007. Levy received her D.V.M. degree from the University of California/Davis prior to pursuing her graduate studies at N.C. State. She then completed a clinical internship at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, followed by a residency in small animal internal medicine at N.C. State.

“Dr. Levy is an exceptional veterinarian, teacher and role model,” said Dr. Paul Lunn, dean of the N.C. State veterinary college, in a tribute to his college’s awardee, noting that Levy developed one of the nation’s leading programs in shelter medicine, raising almost $9 million to help provide a brighter future for homeless pets. “Although Dr. Levy’s research training is in immunology and she was funded by the National Institutes of Health for her work with feline infectious diseases, she turned her energy to animal welfare issues,” he said.

*This post originally appeared in The Veterinary Page, the official news source at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine.