Former WCVM dean receives U of C honour

Dr. Ole Nielsne

Dr. Ole Nielsen (left) receives the Order of the University of Calgary. Photo: Dave Brown, University of Calgary.

Dr. N. Ole Nielsen, former dean of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), received the Order of the University of Calgary on May 10 during the university’s spring convocation.

Nielsen was honoured for his service to the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine as an invaluable and enthusiastic contributor who used his extensive knowledge and diplomacy to engage practicing veterinarians and academics in support of a new centre in Calgary.

Adding to the poignancy of the occasion, Nielsen accepted his award in front of the first graduating class of the U of C Faculty of Veterinary Medicine — 30 veterinary graduates who have benefited directly from Nielsen’s early advocacy and support of the new program.

“It’s immensely gratifying to consider the impact these first graduating students will have on the world,” says Nielsen. “They have mastered a very progressive and innovative curriculum, and their leadership in the communities they serve will take the profession of veterinary medicine in meaningful and new directions that respond to society’s needs.”

Nielsen continues to advocate within the veterinary profession for its greater involvement in ecosystem health and ecological medicine — an area of emphasis that was adopted by the U of C Faculty of Veterinary Medicine that he supported in discussions in his role as Chair of the Alberta Veterinary Medicine Steering Committee.

UCVM graduating class 2012

The 30 members of the first graduating class at the UCVM. Photo courtesy of the University of Calgary.

During a career that has spanned more than 50 years, Nielsen held positions as dean at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (1974-1982) and the Ontario Veterinary College (1985-1994) at the University of Guelph.

He is well-published in the areas of livestock disease, biomedical science, ecosystem health and conservation, and veterinary professional affairs and education.

“The study of animal health and disease and their linkage to public and ecosystem health must receive more attention as the world becomes more interconnected,” says Nielsen.

“I feel fortunate to have been involved in establishing Canada’s newest veterinary faculty at the University of Calgary that can help address this challenge. Receiving this award is the capstone to another dimension of my career that I hadn’t anticipated.”

The Order of the University of Calgary recognizes individuals who have a history of exemplary and distinguished service to the university. Candidates nominated for membership in the Order may include, but are not limited to, current or former students (graduate or undergraduate), faculty, staff, alumni and volunteers.

With files from the University of Calgary.

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