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May News and Updates: Celebrating and Sending Off Our New Doctors

Stay up to date on how the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine is having a huge impact on our community, from advancing knowledge about dementia to serving rural areas across North Carolina.

Two graduates at the 2023 Oath and Hooding Ceremony.


AND NOW DOCTORS THEY ARE. For the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2023, memories of maneuvering through the COVID-19 pandemic will always be intertwined with surviving the first anatomy lab, third-year finals and fourth-year clinical rotations. “Your path has been unlike any other class, and you’ve navigated it with grace and persistence,” Dr. Laura Nelson told the 93 new DVMs at the Oath and Hooding Ceremony.

ADVANCING DEMENTIA KNOWLEDGE. NC State researchers led by Dr. Natasha Olby, one of the few canine gerontologists in the world, have found that dogs with dementia suffer the same sleep disruptions that humans with dementia do. The work further establishes the dog as a model for Alzheimer’s disease and could lead to trials in dogs that inform treatments for people. The study also helped the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine pioneer ways to provide noninvasive sleep studies on animals.

RIP, SWEET YONA. Our sympathies to our Museum of Life and Science partners who had to say goodbye to Yona the bear. After surgery at the NC College of Veterinary Medicine revealed insurmountable medical issues, the vet teams had to make the hard decision to euthanize the bear. A beautiful tribute:

THE OATH 2.O. Check out our newly redesigned Oath for Spring 2023! This issue puts special emphasis on how the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine is leading the way in equine and feline health care, from a standing CT for horses to a new comprehensive Feline Health Center. There’s also news of faculty awards, photos from Open House 2023 and an opportunity to meet our new Teaching Animal Unit veterinarian.


OUTSTANDING! Congratulations to Dr. Katie Sheats, associate professor of Equine Primary Care, who was selected as a university-level recipient of the 2022-23 Outstanding Teacher Award. She also will become a member of the Academy of Outstanding Teachers.

CELEBRATING COLLEAGUES. The Veterinary Medicine community gathered for a celebration dinner to honor faculty and staff members, including those who have won awards throughout the academic year, and to bestow the college’s own awards, including for the first time awards based on the college’s value statement that elevates innovation, inclusivity, community and passion.


WORK HARD, PLAY HARDER. On the day our fourth years (and soon to be doctors!) were officially released from their clinic duties, a celebration ensued. Congrats, Class of 2023! You’ve truly earned it!

Christian Capobianco always knew he wanted to care for exotic animals, and the many opportunities he had at #NCStateVetMed to experience nontraditional species were incredible, he says. Read about some of the fun adventures he’s had over the past four years.

Similar North Carolina twangs and polite parents are what Ethan Williamson and Brooke Childers shared when they met briefly at a vet school interview in Alabama. They were shocked when they remembered each other at NC State’s veterinary student orientation in 2019. They’ve been inseparable friends since.

COVID restrictions left Abby Cox Laws with a canceled summer research project after her first year at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Marine Traverson stepped up, offered an interesting 3D surgery project and changed the course of a life.

After Oath and Hooding, Dr. Gabe Steinman began working in a small animal practice with Dr. Steinman and Dr. Steinman. Tim Steinman is Gabe’s dad, and Charles Steinman is his grandfather. It’s a dream come true for Gabe and a dream not dared by Charles.

New graduate Sam Zurlinden poses with her children, 3-year-old Trevor and 5-year-old Gavin. Zurlinden will be working in shelter medicine after graduation.

Going to vet school? Hard. Being a mom? Hard! Going to vet school while being a mom? Impossible? Not for these four amazing women! Read essays by Sam Zurlinden, Sharon Daley, Jazmyne Maxwell and Heather Collins, who had one another’s backs throughout their journeys.

RISING STARS! Two NC State veterinary students were among those worldwide chosen as winners of the 2023 VetCandy Rising Stars Award. Congratulations, Kinnidy Coley, Class of 2024, and Lakhia Fuller, Class of 2025, for being “trailblazers and game-changers.”


ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT. Though Dr. Harrison Dudley was familiar from a young age with large animal medicine, he never expected to become a veterinarian. Professional and encouraging NC State faculty and staff mentors helped him find his calling.

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT.  After a detour into teaching, Sabra McCallister is fulfilling her veterinary dream. The NC State College of Veterinary Medicine graduate’s role as lead livestock veterinarian in Eastern North Carolina is all about community.

Dr. Harrison Dudley, class of 2012, credits the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine for his success in his position as an associate veterinarian with his employer, Livestock Veterinary Services in Kinston.