Inaugural Jordan Awards showcase excellence in veterinary medicine, biomedical sciences

Student award winners at the inaugural Winfred A. Jordan Awards.
Students at the College of Veterinary Medicine pose with their Top Senior awards May 3 at the inaugural Winfred A. Jordan Awards. The awards recognize faculty, staff, and students for their contributions to the fields of veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences.

Faculty, staff, and students in the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine were recognized earlier this month at the Dr. Winfred A. Jordan Awards for their contributions to the fields of veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences.

The inaugural event, organized by the college’s director of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Maurice Cottman, was inspired as part of the college’s 125th anniversary and is named after the college’s first Black graduate, who graduated in 1920 with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

Cottman said the awards recognize the hurdles those in underserved communities face in veterinary medicine, but also provide a space to recognize students for their academic prowess.

“Dr. Jordan did something that is special. He graduated from our college in the 1920s, more than 40 years before he could even legally vote in the United States. His story deserves to be told to remember our Cougs of the past while also using his triumph as a guiding light for the Cougs of the future,” said Cottman. “Our college is in our 125th year of existing — that isn’t just a number to me. The people who were the foundation for our current success are important and an event like what we created helps to prove this.”

Maurice Cottman talking with a veterinary student.
Maurice Cottman, director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the College of Veterinary Medicine, talks with a veterinary student May 3 at the inaugural Winfred A. Jordan Awards. The awards recognize faculty, staff, and students for their contributions to the fields of veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences.

The night’s honors included the Stewardship and Servant Leadership award, the Legacy of Equity award, the Student Organization of the Year award, and distinguished awards for faculty, staff, and students, as well as the college’s Top Seniors, adopted from the university’s Top Ten Seniors model.

Associate Professor Dr. John Wenz was recognized with the Stewardship and Servant Leadership award. The award honors a college affiliate whose stewardship and servant leadership efforts have measurably and significantly improved the lives of animals through engagement with industry or other elements of institutional advancement.

Retired longtime college photographer Henry Moore Jr. was recognized with the Legacy of Equity award, which is presented to a college staff or faculty member who, in retirement, continues to make outstanding contributions to academia, the college, and the community.

The Veterinary Business Medical Association received the college’s first Student Organization of the Year award that recognizes a club or organization at the college for excellent service in administration, community engagement, professional development, and collaboration.

Distinguished faculty, staff, and students were also honored for advancements in diversity and equity.

Anita Peralta, manager of WSU’s Integrated Program in Biomedical Sciences program, and Cassondra Yarlott, veterinary student academic coordinator, received Distinguished Staff awards. 

Regina Meeks, a third-year veterinary student, and Mustika Rahmawati, a graduate student in WSU’s PhD in Molecular Biosciences program, received Distinguished Student awards.

Professors Emily Qualls-Creekmore, the late Gary Haldorson, and Anthony Nicola earned Distinguished Faculty awards.

Top seniors recognized for outstanding dedication to academic excellence and service to the college and their communities included: veterinary students Julia Bagshaw, Nadine Encarnacion, Georgiana Kostov, Liza Sperry, Janelle Thomas, and Tanya Weber, as well as graduate students Brianne Jones, Mustika Rahmawati, and Jalene Velazquez.

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