Alumni News: From Fort Collins to outer space

Joyce McConnell and Vivian Chung
Colorado State University President Joyce McConnell with award winner Vivian Chung at the 2020 First Generation Awards Celebration on February 27, 2020. (CSU photo)

Richard Bowen (D.V.M., ’77; Ph.D., ’83) won the Interdisciplinary Scholarship Individual Award in the 2020 Celebrate! Colorado State Awards.

Edlla-Beata Tetteh
Edlla-Beata Tetteh

Edlla-Beata Tetteh (B.S., ’20) was profiled as an “Outstanding Grad” by CSU Source in December 2020, and received a scholarship from the College’s Microbiology Student Association. She worked as a certified nurse assistant through the pandemic, and plans to study for the Medical College Admission Test after graduation. “I wanted to make sure I was doing my part for public health,” she said.

Samantha Buck (B.S., ’14) married Sarah R. Davis and started a new career at Invitae as a bioinformatics data scientist in 2020. Since graduating, she received her master’s degree in clinical epidemiology, became a certified medical laboratory scientist, trained as a computer scientist, and has now come full circle as a data scientist for a genetic testing company.

Vivian Chung (B.S., ’20) was profiled as an “Outstanding Grad” by CSU Source in May 2020, and received the Jackson Distinguished First Generation Scholarship. She planned to complete CSU’s Master of Science in biomedical sciences before applying to medical school and becoming an anesthesiologist. “Anyone who wants to go to college should be able to go to college; there are so many resources available to help students,” she said.

Dillon Donaghy (B.S., ’20) was profiled as an “Outstanding Grad” by CSU Source in May 2020, and received a scholarship from the Williams Family Foundation, which provides support for students seeking careers in the medical field. Donaghy was named a Goldwater Scholar, an annual competition to encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, natural sciences, and engineering. He worked in Dr. Christine Olver’s clinical pathology lab and was first author on two published research projects.

Jon Geller (D.V.M., ’95), through The Street Dog Coalition, teamed up with veterinary, medical, and social work students in CSU’s Inclusive Health Collaborative, to care for “the lives on both ends of the leash.” Street Dog has expanded to more than 40 cities and operates at the Murphy Center for people experiencing homelessness in Fort Collins.

Charlie Hoxmeier (B.S., ’09; Ph.D., ’14), turned his home-brewing passion into a business as owner of the Gilded Goat Brewing Company. He is now an instructor in CSU’s Fermentation Science and Technology Program. It all started with his major in microbiology. “After taking an extremely engaging human health and disease course taught by the late Gerry Callahan, I changed my major to microbiology, and everything fell into place,” Hoxmeier said.

Drew Koch (D.V.M., ’16; M.S., ’20) accepted a position in the National Institutes of Health Comparative Medicine and Translational Research Program at North Carolina State University. Koch completed his large-animal surgical residency and master’s degree in clinical sciences at CSU and now plans to pursue a Ph.D. in cell biology at North Carolina State, studying novel approaches to treat orthopedic disease in the horse.

D.V.M. class scholarships reach $25K

Thanks to annual contributions from dedicated classmates, the D.V.M. classes of 1988 and 1994 reached a new milestone in 2020 with the $25,000 endowment of their respective class scholarship funds. These funds will provide scholarships to students enrolled in the D.V.M. program. Endowment funds at Colorado State University are vital for recruiting top students, generating innovative research and programs, and enhancing CSU’s mission to provide a world-class education for generations to come.

Connect with our alumni and Advancement team here.  To learn more about donating to scholarships, please contact Maren Soreide, assistant director of development, (970) 491-7303,

Kjell Lindgren

Kjell Lindgren (M.S., ’96), a NASA astronaut, was selected as a member of the Artemis Team to pave the way for the next astronaut mission to the moon in 2024.

Morgan Miller with a cat
Dr. Morgan Miller

Morgan Miller (D.V.M., ’20), won the 2020 LGBTQ+ Leadership Award from the American Veterinary Medical Association. Miller is an associate veterinarian at the Deerfield Animal Care Center in Deerfield, Illinois. At CSU, she served as president of the student chapters of Veterinarians as One Inclusive Community for Empowerment and what is now known as the Pride Student Veterinary Medical Community. Miller is a member of the Pride VMC Executive Board.

Dr. Chris Orton (Ph.D., ’89) won the CSU Ventures Award for Innovative Excellence in the 2020 Celebrate! Colorado State Awards.

Kristy Pabilonia (D.V.M., ’02; Ph.D., ’12) was named director of clinical diagnostics for the CSU Veterinary Health System. “Not only has Dr. Pabilonia proven herself to be a strong leader in the unit and the College, she has been a steadying influence during a time of transition. Faculty and staff have been appreciative of her listening skills, her problem-solving abilities, and her inclusiveness,” said Dean Mark Stetter in an announcement to the College.

Charlie Vail (B.S., ’58; D.V.M., ’60), was presented with the 2019 CSU Alumni Association Career Achievement Award in recognition of his outstanding professional achievements and his contributions to the University. Vail has been a prominent figure in the thoroughbred and quarter horse racing industry since 1958. He has been married to Jean Williams Ebsen for 56 years, and they have two children, Ellen Marie and David Elston.

Christine Whalin (D.V.M., ’15) became certified as a diplomate by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, making her the sole veterinarian in the Hudson Valley region – and one of only two in New York state – to hold the ABVP Equine Practice certification.

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