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Grads told veterinarian work greatest in world; First triple-degree awarded.

Byline: Sarah L. Hamby

GRAFTON - Protected from the possibility of inclement weather by a graceful white tent, the families of 92 graduates of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University gathered to witness the commencement exercises of New England's only veterinary college yesterday afternoon.

After greetings and remarks from Dean Deborah T. Kochevar, who encouraged the graduates to celebrate their careers with passion and enthusiasm, Provost and Senior Vice President Jamshed Bharucha addressed the class. "You are very much in our minds," he said, noting the current budget concerns that the school faces as funding from the state remains a question, "This veterinary school is here to stay."

He then acknowledged that while he was not a veterinarian himself, that it was one of the noblest professions: "You have dedicated your lives to the selfless task of advancing the health of animals and people," he said.

Dr. Eugene White, director of the Tufts Ambulatory Service in Woodstock, spoke to the class in the faculty address. He kept the crowd in stitches as he gave his seemingly off-the-cuff speech, full of advice and hilarious, sometimes touching anecdotes from his own experience in the field.

Comparing the commencement to his son's graduation from kindergarten, Dr. White said, "This commencement actually is a beginning." He reminded the students about the profound effect they would have on the lives of both animals and people, and offered them advice he received from his own father: Work hard - your patients deserve it - be honest with your clients, and don't take shortcuts. Finally, he told the class of 2009 that no matter what, "It's the greatest job in the world."

The honor of the class address was voted on by the graduates and given to Danielle M. Diamond, a student who had enrolled in the Army's Health Care Profession Scholarship program. The program, according to information from Tom Keppeler, associate director of public relations, "pays tuition, fees, books and living expenses of veterinary students in exchange for active and reserve duty."

Ms. Diamond spoke candidly to her fellow graduates, the tail clipped to the back of her graduation gown a testament to her humor. She made her dedication to her new profession clear as her speech began, "My life goal is to be the person that my dogs think I am," she said.

Also among the graduates was the school's first triple-degree recipient, Elliott R. Garber, who received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Public Health degrees, as well as a Master of Science in Comparative Biomedical Sciences degree.

The graduates are:

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine/Master of Public Health/Master of Science in Comparative Biomedical Sciences

Westboro: Elliott R. Garber.

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine/Master of Science in Laboratory Animal Medicine

Grafton: Jessica M. Connolly and Wenjun Li.

Shrewsbury: Mayrav Moreshet.

Westboro: Misha Park Robyn.

Worcester: Tammy K. Han and Kevin J. Koernig.

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Auburn: Jonathan M. Babyak and Kirsten L. Doub.

Grafton: Elizabeth A. Allegretto, Rebecca Koren Amster, Katherine H.F. Connor, Blair S. Daus, Danielle M. Diamond, Daniel Dickason, Justine E. Hammond, Sara K. Hutchings, Rachael C. Kleidon, Gregory A. Krane, Deborah E. Linder, Jennifer A. Matera, Aaron T. McDonald, Sarah L. McCormack, Lisa M. Mekka, Shannabeth Minior, Stephanie M. Murray, Elizabeth A. Phares, Jessica C. Scillieri, Jamie L. Slupe and Kristen E. Thane.

Marlboro: Richard L. Segaloff.

Millbury: Mischa B. McDonald-Lynch.

Northboro: Sara Briggs, Christina G. Buchter and Jennifer M. Vourlos.

Rochdale: Mischa M. Wood Leavey.

Shrewsbury: Andrea Bergeron, Sarah E. Ingram and Naoko Sogame.

Southboro: Katie Morrill.

Uxbridge: Rebeca R. Butler.

Westboro: Hilary T. Quinn, Caitlin J. Vincent, Maryann M. Kuruvilla, Patrick J. Leavey, Linda Ng, Beth A. Pelletier, Benedetta Sarno, Abigail Stella, Stefanie L. Tande and Jill N. Yoshizawa.

Worcester: Danee M. DesRochers, Katie L. Hancock and Iva Pokorny.

ART: PHOTO

CUTLINE: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree recipients awaiting their turn on stage, from left, Karen Maruyama Bolgnese, Jessica A. Marshall Roberts. The woman at right is unidentified.

PHOTOG: T&G Staff/JIM COLLINS
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:May 18, 2009
Words:670
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