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CVM Dean Honors Individuals
for Their Positive Impact

Dr. Neil C. Olson, dean of the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, presents a 2011 Dean’s Impact Award to Linda Van den Berghe.

Dr. Neil C. Olson presents a plaque to Dr. Dennis O’Brien honoring Dr. O’Brien as a recipient of a 2011 Dean’s Impact Award.

Despite being retired, Dr. James Creed is still having an impact on the CVM, which Dean Neil C. Olson recognized with a 2011 Dean’s Impact Award.

MU College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Neil C. Olson selected three individuals to receive the 2011 Dean’s Impact Awards. The awards, established in 1993, recognize individuals who have had an outstanding and sustained impact on the College of Veterinary Medicine. Each year, the CVM dean selects up to three people for the honors. Recipients do not have to be a member of the college faculty.

The honorees received an engraved wall plaque presented during a reception that also recognized staff members who achieved milestones in their years of service to the University of Missouri. This year’s winners were Linda Van den Berghe, Dr. Dennis O’Brien, and Dr. James Creed.

Van den Berghe is the executive staff assistant to the associate dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Office of Student and Alumni Affairs, a position she has held for 10 years. She organizes and executes approximately 40 events each year involving 4,000 students and alumni. She was commended for an attention to detail that ensures each runs smoothly for all attendees. She simultaneously serves as one of the college’s main contacts for college alumni while also filling the role of “Mom away from home” for more than 300 students each year. In awarding her an Impact Award, Olson commended her ability to “make things happen” for the alumni.

O’Brien’s remarkable 26-year career at the University of Missouri began in 1985 when he became an assistant professor of veterinary neurology with the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery. He was promoted to associate professor in 1991 and was made professor in 2003. In 2007, he was named the MU Chancellor’s Chair of Excellence in Comparative Neurology and he serves as the director of the Comparative Neurology Program.

O’Brien is an internationally recognized expert in veterinary neurology and has contributed to the profession through original scientific discovery and the publication of more than 82 articles in high impact journals. In 2008, his peers awarded him the Pfizer Award for Research Excellence. He has used his extensive knowledge of human neurology in his investigations into veterinary neurologic disorders, ushering in a new era of genetic and molecular investigations. With his colleagues, O’Brien is responsible for unraveling the genetic mysteries of many genetic disorders of the nervous system.

Olson awarded his third Impact Award to Dr. James E. Creed, CVM professor emeritus. Creed, who earned Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees from the University of Missouri, joined the faculty of his alma mater in 1984 as a professor and chairman of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery. He served as chairman during the planning and construction of Clydesdale Hall, which houses the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. He retired in 1992 and was granted emeritus status in 1993.

Despite being retired, he has stayed active at the CVM and within the veterinary profession. He participates in the didactic small animal surgery course and laboratory, with corporate sponsorship hosts an annual crawfish boil for students and clinicians at the teaching hospital, and participates in major veterinary meetings such as the American Veterinary Medical Association, the North American Veterinary Conference and the Western Veterinary Conference, which he also serves as president.


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College of Veterinary Medicine
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Last Update: February 24, 2012