GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Alumni with backgrounds ranging from specialty care in radiology and small animal surgery to primary care, exotic animal medicine and wildlife ecology have received the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine’s 2018 Distinguished Awards.
The program recognizes outstanding alumni and friends of the college in various categories.
Clifford “Kip” Berry, D.V.M. a 1984 graduate and a board-certified radiologist, received the Alumni Achievement Award in the D.V.M. program category. Currently a staff radiologist at Veterinary Specialty Hospital of the Carolinas in Cary, North Carolina, Berry has served on the faculty at the UF, as well as at North Carolina State University and the University of Missouri. He worked in private practice in Orlando prior to joining UF’s veterinary radiology faculty, on which he served from 2008 to 2017.
Berry has received numerous honors for his teaching, clinical service and research in the area of diagnostic imaging. His innovative approaches to teaching led to changes in how this discipline is now taught in the UF veterinary college curriculum.
He has served in leadership roles in many professional organizations and is a past president of the Society of Veterinary Nuclear Medicine and the American College of Veterinary Radiology.
Stanley Kim, BV.Sc., M.S., a board-certified small animal surgeon, received his veterinary medical degree from the University of Sydney in Australia in 2003. He came to UF in 2007 and completed a master’s degree in veterinary medical sciences concurrently with a residency in small animal surgery, which he completed in 2010.
His clinically-focused graduate research earned him the college’s Excellence in Master’s Studies Award. Following completion of his residency, he accepted a faculty position at UF, where he currently is an associate professor in the department of small animal clinical sciences.
Kim has directed the summer Florida Veterinary Scholars program, and also coordinates the advanced small animal surgery laboratory course. He played a key role in introducing life-like cadaver models to teach students various abdominal procedures, working with a private company to optimize the realism of the simulated surgical experience. In recognition of his efforts, he received the college’s 2017 Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award.
Reneé Carleton, D.V.M., Ph.D., a 1993 graduate, received the Distinguished Service Award. She is currently an associate professor of biology at Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia. After graduation from veterinary school, Carleton worked in private practice prior to joining the faculty in biological sciences at Florida Atlantic University. Subsequently, she earned a Ph.D. in wildlife ecology and management at the University of Georgia in 2007.
At Berry College, Carleton teaches courses that draw on her background in veterinary medicine and serves as a role model and career advisor for pre-veterinary and biology students. Her research focuses on the study of avian parasites. She is president of the Northwest Georgia Veterinary Medical Association, editor of the Georgia Ornithological Society’s scientific journal, The Oriole, and secretary/treasurer of the Southeastern Society of Parasitologists.
Additionally, Carleton has been recognized for her community service and for her frequent public presentations on bluebirds, bald eagles and general ornithology.
Amy Stone, D.V.M., Ph.D., received the Special Service Award. A 1999 graduate, Stone subsequently completed a Ph.D. in veterinary immunology from UF in 2002. Currently she is a clinical assistant professor in the department of small animal clinical sciences and chief of the primary care and dentistry service.
A co-founder of the college’s clinical skills laboratory, Stone has received accolades from her colleagues for her teaching and mentoring skills. She has served as the faculty sponsor for five student clubs and incorporates a variety of teaching methods to engage students.
Another initiative Stone led provides primary care services to the pets of residents of Oak Hammock, a retirement community in Gainesville. She also leads a program through which UF-affiliated veterinarians and veterinary students visit Roatan, Honduras, to provide no-cost, high-quality veterinary care for animals on the island.
Santiago Diaz, D.V.M., a 2011 graduate, received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award. Diaz is a private practitioner and owns Exotic Animal Hospital in Orlando.
While a veterinary student, Diaz received funding from the Morris Animal Foundation, with which, in collaboration with his faculty mentor, he developed an award-winning serology test to detect tuberculosis in captive Asian elephants.
Originally from Colombia, Diaz aims to help his local community and the international veterinary community by sharing his skills and knowledge. Fluent in both English and Spanish, he has worked to ensure that up-to-date information about veterinary medicine is available worldwide. Working with a major pet food company on his personal time, Diaz has translated 240 documents relating to the care of exotic animals into Spanish in just two years so that veterinarians in Spanish-speaking countries could have access to them.
Honored as an honorary member of the Association of UF College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni was Bern Levine, D.V.M. of Miami. A longtime supporter of the college, Levine has supported scholarships for UF veterinary medical students and has worked to expand the college’s outreach not only in Miami, but throughout the state.
The awards were presented May 26 at the UF Phillips Center for the Performing Arts during college commencement exercises.