At the annual American College of Physicians (ACP) Conference in San Diego, CA, SGUSOM student Raymond Craciun received kudos for his case report on the revolutionary effects of Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections for refractory gastroparesis, a gastric disorder common in diabetics. As a resident at St. Barnabas Hospital in Livingston, New Jersey, Raymond Craciun was assigned to a patient who was being treated with the toxin for this condition.
While Botox has gained notoriety for its use as cosmetic age-defying agent, it is a viable and effective treatment for many branches of medicine. Raymond Craciun was not as familiar with its exact indications and overall benefit, and decided to research its use further, in part, to combat the many misconceptions of the toxin.
With the support of other residents in the program and Dr. Schuman, the overseeing Gastroenterologist, Craciun began to research the topic, compile information and prepare a case report.
With the encouragement of SGU’s Dean Weitzman and SGUSOM colleague and friend Greg Tiesi, himself a 2006 ACP finalist and the first SGU student to present at the ACP Conference, Raymond Craciun submitted his report to the ACP for consideration.With 3,000 submissions, the ACP selected a total of 70 finalist presentations, divided equally in two categories including a medical research group and a clinical vignette group. Raymond Craciun’s case report was presented and evaluated by an esteemed panel of judges at the National ACP Conference in the category of clinical vignette group. His effective and comprehensive presentation received an impressive response. “Most importantly,” said Craciun, “I felt tremendous pride representing the SGUSOM community and hope that the overall exposure helped our school and all of its students to gain well-deserved recognition and praise.”
Craciun’s experience at the conference and with the ACP organization as a whole is one he will not soon forget. The ACP is a valuable resource for all medical students as it provides mentoring programs, residency information, volunteering opportunities and a variety of educational programs. Each state has a local chapter, and membership for medical students is free. Raymond Craciun has met with Dr. Sara Wallach, ACP NJ Chapter Governor, and plans to approach and encourage more SGUSOM students to get involved.
Published on 5/30/07
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On Saturday, May 12th, the School of Arts and Sciences and Graduate Studies Program Commencement was held in the Bell Lecture Hall on the True Blue Campus. While all graduations are momentous, this year’s commencement was particularly significant.
With a combined total of 170 graduates from both the undergraduate and graduate programs, the class of 2007 was the largest combined ceremony for the Schools of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate Studies Program in the University’s remarkable 30 year history.
Students and their families were honored by guest speaker The Honourable Mr. Justice Adrian D. Saunders, Judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice who eloquently delivered the keynote address for the commencement ceremony.
As Mr. Justice Saunders reflected on his own law school graduation 30 years prior, he explained to his captive audience that while they may have closed their text books for good, “Learning is a lifelong imperative.” He continued, “Your years spent in classrooms up to this point have merely provided you with a launching pad, a platform upon which you will begin yet another and an even more productive round of learning and preparation for life’s challenges.”
Mr. Justice Saunders emphasized the importance of recognizing and seizing every opportunity presented to them, even though they may appear to be inconspicuous or subtle at the time. This was illustrated through his personal life experiences. He explained that his gift and passion for law could have gone untapped had his hand not been literally and figuratively forced to make an immediate course of study selection on a college application. Until then, the field of law was never a consideration.
Almost 20 years later, yet another life changing opportunity presented itself in an invitation for judicial appointment. In his early 40’s and a senior partner in a successful private practice at the time, the opportunity to become a judge, albeit flattering, involved a significant reduction in income as well as uprooting his family. With two boys to educate, a mortgage payment and a future to save for, the timing was about 10 years premature. Nevertheless, Mr. Justice Saunders realized that this opportunity may not surface again. With the blessing of his family, he accepted the position and never regretted the decision. “Life is never a smooth sailing continuum. Very often you have to take chances. You can’t expect to cover every contingency before making a decision. Ultimately it is more important to love what you do than take up or remain in a position just because it pays more,” he said.
Justice Saunders has distinguished himself in the legal profession and has been instrumental in several judicial reformations throughout the Caribbean region.
He has also given profound service in educating others in the legal profession and in championing the cause of youth, especially in his home country of St. Vincent, where he served as President of the National Youth Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
His final message to the students was to find enjoyment from life, stay focused on fulfilling your dreams and be proud of the wonderful institution that is SGU.
The commencement ceremony illustrated SGU’s vital contribution to human development on a global scale. As students from nearly 20 countries were honored by SGU faculty including Chancellor Charles R. Modica, Provost Allen Pensick, Dean Theodore Hollis and Dean Calum Macpherson, one could not help but reflect on the evolution of this extraordinary university.As the number of students applying to SGU continues to rise, so too does the diversity and size of the student body. The additions of new majors and programs will continue to offer SGU students exceptional opportunities both as an undergraduate and a graduate.This year SGU graduated 14 students from the inaugural Master of International Business program (MIB). Students with an MIB were globally represented by the US, Guyana, South Africa and Grenada. First time graduates with an MSc in Economics were also represented. SGU looks forward to the continued expansion of the university, as it plays an integral role in the success of its current and future graduates.
Rev. Tessica Hackshaw, Superintendent Grenada Methodist Church and friend of the university, opened and closed the ceremony with a beautiful invocation and benediction.At the conclusion of the program, Chancellor Modica welcomed graduates to a reception at the Caribbean House to continue the festivities.
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BSEC Executive Committee Left to rt front row – Derrick Aarons (Pres), Cheryl Macpherson (Vice Pres), Donald Simeon (Treasurer) back row- Anthony Frankson (Regional representative-north), Paul Ricketts (Regional representative- South-east), Eileen Boxhill (Regional representative- West), Ralph Robinson (Secy)
On Saturday, May 5th approximately 25 members of the Bioethics Society of the English-Speaking Caribbean (BSEC) converged in Jamaica to discuss significant developments of ethical issues affecting the region.
This was the first forum conducted since the inception of the BSEC in May of 2006. The event was publicized by local newspapers, radio stations and the internet, contributing to its overall success and scope. The Caribbean Health Research Council (CHRC) provided space, facilities, and support for BSEC’s Bioethics Forum.
Dr. Derrick Aarons, a successful and respected physician and bioethicist, is credited with its formation. “Dr. Aarons’ passion for the field, his vision and leadership are critical to the establishment and continued growth of the BSEC” said SGU’s Dr. Cheryl Macpherson. The Society encompasses about 60 members who include physicians, medical educators, and public health specialists from many different Caribbean nations.
Residents of the Caribbean struggle each day with ethical issues, many of which have significant social and economic implications. The BSEC is positioning itself to offer guidance and support through discussions, consultations, publications, and workshops that address regional concerns regarding ethics and professionalism. The Society’s goal is to encourage and enhance further development in public and professional arenas.
Dr. Cheryl Macpherson, a professor of bioethics and vice president of BSEC, was among four respected bioethicists who presented at the forum. Dr. Macpherson provided an overview of professionalism in medicine and medical education.
Other speakers included founder Dr. Derrick Aarons, Professor Daniel Piedra Herrera, executive secretary of the Cuban National Bioethics Committee and Dr. Kenneth Goodman, director of the Bioethics Program, University of Miami, Florida. Respectively, they spoke about ethics in clinical medicine, ethics in health policy, and teaching bioethics. Additionally, the speakers participated in a panel discussion chaired by Dr Eileen Boxill (a lawyer and BSEC’s western representative) about the status and needs of research ethics in the region.
The Bioethics Society looks forward to its continued expansion. The positive response to the Jamaica forum reinforces the value and need for an annual conference similar in format. The BSEC is eager to increase its membership and to involve students. Caribbean students have much to learn and to offer to the BSEC and the region. For more information, visit the BSEC online at http://www.bioethicscaribe.org.jm/index.htm.
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The Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS) reigns champion of the second annual Knowledge Bowl. GBSS and Presentation Brothers’ College (PBC) met face to face on Saturday, March 31 in an intense battle for the top spot, in the SGU/Grenada Cablevision –CC6 inter-secondary school quiz competition.
At the end of round one, PBC led the score by two points and by the second round a close finish was evident. GBSS took the lead in the second round, but with several challenges made by both teams, it was still anybody’s match. In the end, GBSS defeated PBC with a final score of 28 to 22.
The eight week competition, which began with 18 schools, came down to an all-boys challenge. The final 6 schools which entered the quarter finals were Anglican High School (AHS), Bishop’s College, Boca Secondary School, Grenada Boys Secondary School, Presentation Brothers’ College, and St. Joseph’s Convent St. George’s (SJC). In the semi-finals AHS met GBSS and PBC encountered SJC in fiercely contested matches.
Speaking at the Prize-Giving Ceremony, Minister of Communications & Works, the Honourable Clarice Modeste-Curwen said she was impressed by the overwhelming enthusiasm and zeal of the students and the corporate partners who have made the Knowledge Bowl a success. Minister Modeste-Curwen, the Head of the Government Monitoring Committee for the University praised the institution and Grenada Cablevision – Community Channel 6 for providing the opportunity for continued learning.
Cable & Wireless Grenada and the Grenada Cooperative Bank Ltd. again sponsored the broadcast and prizes for the quiz. The Grenada Postal Corporation provided meals and snacks throughout the competition, while Del Prado from Huggins and Glenelg Spring Water were the official drinks.
The audience participation questions were a welcomed addition to this season’s competition, generating much interest and debate throughout Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.The GBBS team members took home Certificates of Excellence, $500 Honey Bee starter accounts from Grenada Cooperative Bank, individual computers and 6 months free Internet service from Cable & Wireless, a Grand Prize of $10,000 for the school from St. George’s University and the Challenge Trophy. The team’s two coaches each won a trip to Miami, New York or Jamaica compliments Grenada Cablevision Ltd.
PBC was awarded Certificates of Merit, $500 Honey Bee starter accounts and $5000 for the school from SGU. Their coaches each won a two-night stay for two at La Sagesse Nature Centre from SGU, CC6 and La Sagesse Nature Centre.
The semi-finalists, AHS and SJC were presented with Certificates of Achievement, $250 dollar Honey Bee starter accounts and a computer system for each school, compliments SGU, CC6 and Kool Systems Ltd. All other team members received Certificates of Participation and Honey Bee starter accounts. Prizes were also presented to the audience participation winners who were present.
The second season of the SGU Knowledge Bowl was held against the backdrop of SGU’s 30th and Grenada Cablevision’s 15th anniversary year and the two corporate partners have hailed the Bowl as yet another symbol of their development and deepening responsibility to our youth and the wider society.
The entire season of the SGU Knowledge Bowl will be rebroadcast every Tuesday and Thursday on Community Channel 6 at 8:00 p.m.
Published on April 3, 2007
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Continuing with last years overwhelming success of the first annual Knowledge Bowl, SGU will again host the final round of this dynamic, academic quiz competition. This year’s competition will feature traditional male rivals Presentation Brothers’ College and Grenada Boys Secondary School.
The final match will be held at Bell Lecture Hall on SGU’s True Blue Campus on March 31 at 2:00 p.m. The competition will be broadcast live on Grenada Cablevision Community Channel 6.
The Knowledge Bowl is designed to provide an arena for healthy academic exchange between fourth and fifth term students from Grenada’s secondary schools. This exciting contest will test the participants’ knowledge as they prepare for regional exams. This year’s competition began on February 3rd, when the first six competing schools faced each other for the preliminary round.
The competition was organized and sponsored by SGU and Grenada Cablevision Community Channel 6, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.
The material for the quiz questions came from the Caribbean Secondary Examinations Council (CSEC) syllabi in the areas of science, information technology, the arts, and humanities. Students also had to have general knowledge of geography, Spanish, food and nutrition, culture, sport, and current affairs. All fourth and fifth term students have to take an external exam as set forth by the CSEC at the end of the year. The quiz competition directly reflects what the students need to study and know for the exam so its purpose is two-fold. It helps not only the participants study for the exam, but also the students watching the competition.
Each team consists of five players, two back-ups, and a coach (teacher). The five team members of the winning team will be awarded a computer system and $500 (US) starter bank accounts, while their school will receive $10,000 (US). The second place team will also receive bank accounts, with a $5,000 (US) donation to their school.
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Clear blue skies, a warm sun and a truly bright and picturesque day heralded the start of a beautiful celebration of St. George’s University’s Commencement 30 years ago. “From the World to the World – 30 Years of Global Innovation” is an apt theme for a year-long festival that will honour the unification of people, culture and ideals from across the globe. So much has been accomplished since the first day of classes on January, 17th 1977, and it was a fitting beginning for a year which marks the end of one era and heralds the dawn of a future filled with optimism.
The special day began with an Alumni Breakfast and Dedication Ceremony for “Charter Hall”, a new 735-seat facility that will serve as a symbol of the indomitable spirit of the University’s very first students. “Spice Infusion” – a grand campus party and concert for members of our SGU community, friends and alumni followed. It began with a parade of countries and what a spectacular sight it was to witness the carnival of colors as members of our SGU family gathered at the lower True Blue campus. They came out in their numbers sporting hats, waving flags and wearing the colours of 136 nations of the world. They represented the nationalities from which our faculty, staff and student body have hailed over the thirty years of the University’s existence. The parade ended with a global salute where each representative sounded-off their country’s name and planted their flag at the front of the 30th Anniversary stage.
While declaring Spice Infusion open Provost, Dr. Allen Pensick expressed his joy and pride with the course of the University’s development and the chart for the way forward. Chancellor Modica too expressed his overwhelming fulfillment in seeing his dream and that of the other Founders actualised. Emotions swelled during an unexpected presentation that evening by University Administrators. Witnessed by Grenada’s Governor General, Sir Daniel Williams, Prime Minister Dr. the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell, parliamentarians, diplomats and other special guests, Chancellor Charles R. Modica became the first inductee to the Order of the Mace, a special award celebrating his phenomenal leadership of SGU from its inception.
It was the climax of an evening which paid homage to individuals and organisations under whose continued care the University flourishes.
Mr. Victor Benjamin
Mr. Whitley Courtney
Mr. Fred Mark
Mr. Neville Mark
Diamond Service Award
Mr. Christopher Belgrave
Dr. David Brown
Mr. Henry Edgar Moore
Dr. C. V. Rao
Mr. Carlyle Stafford
Ms. Jane Sutter
The Government & People of Grenada
Good Neighbour Award
Grenada Electricity Services
The Royal Grenada Police
Community Service Award
Fund for Orphans and Elderly
Grenada Heart Foundation
Mr. Alexander Paddy Ross
Student Humanism Award
Mr. Ahmed Feras Al-Khalid
Dr. Calum Macpherson
Mr. Andy Belford
Ms. Margaret Lambert
Dr. Charles R. Modica
Mr. Louis Modica
Mr. Patrick Adams
Mr. Edward McGowan
Colour, dance, food music and theatre from around the world all helped to create the perfect start for the SGU community to celebrate its internationalist growth over the last 30 years. And some say…it just keeps getting better. Stay tuned.
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The stage is set, so to speak, for the highly anticipated opening day of the 30th anniversary celebration of SGU. January 17th will kick off a year-long celebration marking The University’s astonishing road to academic excellence and innovation.
The celebratory theme- From the World, to the World – 30 Years of Global Innovation – is infused throughout the day and years events, reinforcing SGU’s commitment to international medical education. The bell above the Bell Lecture Hall will ring 30 times to launch the festivities.
The day begins at 7am when respected alumni and faculty attending the event are welcomed at a breakfast hosted by the University. At 10AM a groundbreaking dedication ceremony for the 720-seat lecture hall at the Lower True Blue Campus will be named for SGU Alumni.
A festive parade full of cultural splendor will begin at 11AM with flags from all nations and students and faculty in their native dress being featured along the route. This impressive display of international unity is representative of the University’s foundation and future.
All participants are invited to attend an exhibition and concert immediately following the parade. Popular Latin music by well-known local bands from Grenada and St. Vincent will add to the festivities. An emotional rendition of “We Are The World” will befittingly end the afternoon.
The celebration continues that evening at 7PM with an Award Ceremony recognizing individuals whose efforts have contributed to the University’s unprecedented growth. Attendees will be honored for years of contribution, community service and external contribution, with an additional award bestowed to the founding members of the University.
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The Caribbean Veterinary Medical Association Conference (CbVMA) was held for the first time in Grenada from November 8-10, 2006. SGU School of Veterinary Medicine and the Grenada Veterinary Medical Association were excited to host this prestigious event.
This year’s conference, “Veterinary Medicine: What is the Future?” brought together veterinarians and scientist from all parts of the Caribbean, Canada, The United States and The United Kingdom to address issues that affect the Caribbean region. A select group of over 150 professionals, including 50-70 students, had the opportunity to network, share ideas and participate in three consecutive days of outstanding education programs on the shores of the Caribbean Sea. This was also a wonderful opportunity for Grenada to exhibit and promote the exceptional facilities of the SGU campus. According to Dr. Raymond Sis, Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, the 24th Biennial CbVMA exceeded all of his expectations.
The event began on Wednesday, November 8th with an impressive opening ceremony that included welcome addresses from Dr. Eugene Rennie, President of Grenada Veterinary Medical Association and Dr. Allen Pensick, Provost of SGU. Introductory remarks were then presented by Dr. Sis. This conference offered local government officials an opportunity to participate as well. The conference was opened by Senator the Honorable Adrian Mitchell, Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Public Utilities, Energy and MNIB.
Each day of the conference featured a series of lectures on topics including aquatic and avian veterinary medicine, re-emerging infectious diseases, anesthesiology, dentistry and public health. The invited plenary speakers are renowned experts in veterinary medicine. This year’s speakers and their topics included:
Dr. Richard Halliwell, Professor Emeritus, Veterinary Clinical Studies, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh, UK: “Whither Veterinary Medicine: Challenges and Opportunities”.
Dr. Tom Nemetz, Dentistry Practice, South Athens, Animal Clinic, Athens, Georgia: Overview of Small Animal Dentistry.
Dr. Scott Echols, Director of Avian Medical and Surgical Services at the Westgate Pet and Bird Hospital in Austin, Texas: Collecting Diagnostic Samples in Avian Patients.
Dr. Gerald Johnson, Faculty of Atlantic Veterinary College of the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada: Aquatic Veterinary Medicine: Awash with Opportunities.
Dr. William Novak, Chief Medical Officer of Banfield, The Pet Hospital: Anesthesiology Workshop.
Dr. Howard Evans, Professor Emeritus, Cornell University: Marine Life of Grenada.
Dr. J.P. Dubey, United States Department of Agriculture: The Economic and Public Health Impact of Toxoplasmosis.
Following opening ceremonies, day one continued with the increasingly important subject of animal dentistry followed by a dental wet lab held at the SGU Campus. Hands-on wet labs were planned for conference participants to develop their skills and knowledge in emergent fields of veterinary medicine. Refreshment and lunch breaks were provided each day by several high profile industry sponsors including Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Novartis Animal Health, Pfizer Animal Health, Bayer Animal Health, Merial and Philbert Thomas. A welcome reception was held that evening at the SGU Campus which featured cultural performances by local group Tivoli Drummers and the Grenada National Folk Group.
The second day opened with an analysis of the recent epidemics of West Nile Encephalitis, Foot and Mouth Disease, Avian Influenza, Canine Influenza, Classical Swine Fever and Bluetongue. The afternoon session focused specifically on avian medicine and the challenges facing CARICOM countries and the preparation for an outbreak of HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza). An avian medicine wet lab focusing on collecting diagnostic samples in avian patients was offered to participants. Later that afternoon, a feature lecture and workshop introduced the best anesthesia practices for small animals.
The final day’s itinerary included several concurrent programs on aquatic veterinary medicine, small animal practice guidelines and management and public health issues. Final remarks from Dr. Rennie, President of Grenada VMA, and a farewell banquet at the Aquarium Restaurant closed the conference.
Dr. Sis acknowledges the dedication of all who helped make the conference a success. “The many benefits that were derived by all who participated were made possible due to the diligence and cooperative team effort of each member of the local arrangements committee,” said Dr. Sis.
The committee included the following colleagues from The School of Veterinary Medicine, Grenada Veterinary Medical Association and WINDREF Research Institute:
Dr. Raymond Sis
Dr. Eugene Rennie
Dr. Bowen Louison
Dr. Calum Macpherson
Dr. Ravindra Sharma
Dr. Tara Paterson
Dr. John McKibben
Dr. Claude DeAllie
Dr. Buxton Nyack
Mrs. Meg Conlon
Mrs. Lisa McCartney
Dr. Sis gives special thanks and commendations to Mrs. Lisa McCartney, conference coordinator, who played a major role in the success of the conference. SGU and the Grenada Veterinary Medical Association look forward to hosting another CbVMA Conference in the near future.
Published on 11/21/2006
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On January, 17 2007, SGU will host an Anniversary Celebration in honor of the day that the Charter Class began classes 30 years ago. This party will begin a year-long celebration marking the University’s 30th anniversary, a milestone that marks an astonishing road to academic excellence and innovation. The celebratory theme of the title highlights SGU’s commitment to international medical education.
The University is getting ready for its eagerly anticipated birthday party. The bell above the Bell Lecture Hall will ring 30 times to launch the year of festivities. SGU students will be given the day off to enjoy all the activities planned on campus. SGU graduates from all the schools will also be invited to partake in the opening ceremonies.
Throughout the year, highly publicized events, ceremonies and public lectures will be conducted, all designed to reward those whose efforts have allowed the University to flourish, and to provide a platform for speakers to stress the importance of global awareness in education in today’s world.
The opportunity to recognize and award staff, faculty and others for distinguished service will also be incorporated into the year’s events.
A festive calendar of the year’s celebration is being finalized. Stay tuned – it will be posted soon.
Published on 10/27/2006
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Dr. Leon H. Russell, President of the World Veterinary Association, welcomed a new class of veterinary students to St. George’s University during his Keynote Address at the White Coat Ceremony held on August 22, 2006.
78 new veterinary medical students (22 men and 56 women) from seven different countries were welcomed to St. George’s at the 14th White Coat Ceremony of the School of Veterinary Medicine. To an audience filled with family, friends and faculty members, the new students pledged their commitment to the field of veterinary medicine.
Dr. Russell welcomed the students to veterinary medicine and urged them to try their hardest. “The next three years will require your dedication, perseverance and hard work to build on the educational foundation you already have,” he said. “You will have a great adventure within this profession, but it will continue to take great effort from you to succeed.”
Dr. Russell also talked about the significance of the white coat and the white coat ceremony, saying that it represents professionalism – an obligation that is inherent in the practice of medicine. He provided a descriptive analogy of what the white coats symbolizes. The three pockets of the coat “contain empathy, integrity, and productivity.” The five buttons represent these actions: “love what you are doing; love your colleagues, respect and appreciate your fellow students and your faculty; love your family; love and care for your patients; and love to plan for your future.”
Chancellor Charles R. Modica also welcomed the students to SGU, encouraging them to succeed in their goals and strive for greatness. Dr. Raymond Sis, Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, addressed the veterinary medical students, and welcomed them to Grenada and to their new noble profession. “You must honor the sacred trust and privilege that society places in medical professionals, cognizant that the standard is an ideal we must continuously aim to achieve,” he added.
Dr. Russell serves as a professor at Texas A&M, teaching epidemiology, biostatistics, toxicology, veterinary anatomy, public health, food science, medical microbiology and immunology. He held leadership roles in the Texas Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Chosen by the AVMA Board to represent the U.S. at the World Veterinary Association (WVA), Dr. Russell was elected Vice President in 2002. In 2005, he was elected President of the WVA at the 28th World Veterinary Congress.
Dr. Russell earned his DVM at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. He received his MPH from Tulane University and his PhD from Texas A&M University. With his professional interests in epidemiology, food toxicology and mycology, Dr. Russell entered academia as a teacher and researcher. He has represented his professional on state, national and international levels throughout his career.
Published on 09/07/2006
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