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UT Veterinary Dean Receives National Honor

Dr. Blackwell
Dr. Michael Blackwell, dean of the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, has received the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Distinguished Alumni Award for his continuing, meaningful support of the FDA mission.

Dr. Michael Blackwell, dean of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, has received the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Distinguished Alumni Award. Blackwell received the award for his continuing, meaningful support of the FDA mission following his retirement. The award reflects his career-long dedication to protecting public health.

Blackwell was recognized during a ceremony held May 11 in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

During his 23 years of active duty with the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), Blackwell became Chief Veterinarian of the USPHS, and Deputy Director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. He retired as Assistant Surgeon General and Chief of Staff of the Office of the Surgeon General before becoming dean of UT’s veterinary college in 2000.

Currently, Blackwell serves on the National Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, the USDA Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Foreign Animal and Poultry Diseases, and the Board of Trustees for the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Officers Foundation. He has been instrumental in fostering international relations between the UT veterinary college and veterinary schools in other countries, most recently China.

Dr. Joseph DiPietro, UT vice president for agriculture, congratulated Blackwell. “Dr. Blackwell is well deserving of this recognition,” DiPietro said. “He is a tireless advocate for public health and safety and
in particular the important and critical role played by the veterinary profession. No doubt his work with
the College of Veterinary Medicine continues to promote advances in and assures the public health of us all.”

Four years ago, the veterinary college and the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences collaborated to offer veterinary students the opportunity to earn a Master of Public Health degree while completing their veterinary degree. The university expects the first three students enrolled in the
program to graduate this year. Fewer than half of the 28 veterinary colleges in the country have partnerships with schools of public health.

One of 28 veterinary colleges in the United States, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine educates students in the art and science of veterinary medicine and related biomedical sciences, promotes scientific research, and enhances human and animal well-being. The college is the winner of the 2006 Commitment Award from the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence.

Sandra Harbison
Media Relations
UT College of Veterinary Medicine
865-974-7377


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