Lifetime Achievement Award History
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Brief Background on the first three men to be given the ASVCP Lifetime Achievement Award.


Bernard J. McSherry

Dr. Bernard James McSherry was a leader in the ASVCP. He was an early member of the society, serving as president in 1974-1975. Ontario Veterinary College became a center of veterinary clinical pathology while he was on faculty. During that time, papers on blood cell kinetics, lead toxicity, lymphosarcoma, bovine ketosis and coagulation all included Dr. McSherry as a coauthor. All of these studies have contributed important information to the specialty of veterinary clinical pathology. Many of Dr. McSherry’s students have become leaders in veterinary clinical pathology in their own right.

To understand what Dr. McSherry has achieved, it is necessary to understand the circumstances that prevailed at the time he was in his most active years.  Following graduation from the Ontario Veterinary College, Dr. McSherry started a 50 mile walk to the adjacent city of London, Ontario, to enlist in the Canadian Field Artillery.  He completed officer training and on “D Day,” commanded a battery of four guns that commenced firing from the landing craft as they approached the coast of Normandy on that June 6th morning.  Dr. McSherry fought through the campaign in the lowlands and survived the war and returned to begin a new era in veterinary laboratory medicine. 

A review in Medline of Dr. McSherry publications shows many foundation papers on important aspects of veterinary clinical pathology. Many of those articles are the scientific basis of how we interpret data and teach our students today. His research focused on large animal abnormalities, but it also included small animal and avian studies. One paper stands out. The paper, published in 1954, was on chemical abnormalities of calves with diarrhea. Although these studies are over 50 years old, and were done using techniques long since replaced by faster and more accurate ones, they correctly identify the all the basic laboratory abnormalities associated with calf diarrhea. Furthermore, an extensive explanation of potassium kinetics that lead to hyperkalemia in the face of loss of intracellular potassium is as relevant today as it was 51years ago.

ASVCP Mourns Passing of Bernard McSherry

Dr. Bernard J. McSherry, passed away on July 12, 2012, in Guelph, Canada.  Dr. McSherry was 94. Born in Winnipeg, Dr. McSherry  moved to Toronto while a teenager. He graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1942, enlisted in the army, and fought in the D-Day invasion of Normandy at Juno Beach with the 12th Field Regiment. While stationed in the U.K., he met his great love, Barbara, whom he married and brought home to Canada. A leader in the field of Veterinary Clinical Pathology, Dr. McSherry pioneered the use of balanced electrolytes in animal and human patients known as "McSherry's Solution." At the time of his retirement, he was honored to be named a Professor Emeritus.  Dr. McSherry retired from OVC in 1986. He was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathologists in 2005.

Dr. McSherry made his home in Guelph and became father to three children. A man who travelled the globe and also worked as a consultant in Malaysia, Zimbabwe, and Indonesia, he was endlessly curious about the world, an inveterate reader of history and news, and a fan of CBC Radio. A sage, modest, and compassionate man, Bernard enjoyed long walks with a canine companion almost as much as he enjoyed the company of good friends, good food, and a good joke. Predeceased by his wife and his son, Paul, he leaves behind his son and daughter-in-law, Jonathan and Joanne, his beloved grandson, Rowan, and his daughter, Susan.


Gary Kociba

Dr. Kociba is an internationally known expert on retrovirus-induced hematologic defects and is a well-known veterinary hematologist. Dr. Kociba authored or co-authored 125 peer reviewed publications in journals such as Blood, Journal of Virology, Cancer Research, American Journal of Veterinary Research and Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, as well as numerous textbook chapters used in veterinary medical education. Dr. Kociba is a highly regarded Professor of Hematology and Pathology. He was responsible for teaching the veterinary Hemic-Lymphatic System and Histology courses and shared teaching responsibilities in over 20 other courses in the Veterinary Professional Curriculum. He mentored 18 graduate students during his tenure and served on 32 candidate exam committees. As a professor, Dr. Kociba consistently received excellent student and peer evaluations, and received both the Norden Distinguished Teaching Award and Beecham Award for Research Excellence.

Dr. Kociba served on the editorial boards of The American Journal of Veterinary Research, Journal Veterinary Clinical Pathology, and Veterinary Research Communications. Moreover, Dr. Kociba held the position of Editor of the Journal Veterinary Clinical Pathology, and was Associate Editor of the Journal Veterinary Pathology. Dr. Kociba has assumed leadership roles as President, Executive Board Member, Chair of the Exam Committee and Chair of the Clinical Pathology Specialty Program of the American College of Veterinary Clinical Pathologists. Furthermore, he was elected Council Member of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and was on the Advisory Board of the Morris Animal Foundation.

Ten Things Maxey Wellman Hates About Gary Kociba

  • While the rest of us get older, you never turn gray
  • While the rest of us walk, run, and diet, you eat from Sanese every day and never gain weight
  • No matter with whom or about what, you never lose a bet
  • You never read directions but always can figure out how things work or fix things that are broken just by randomly pushing buttons
  • You have been surrounded by gorgeous women but have never said anything politically incorrect
  • You have slept through every seminar but always ask an intelligent question at the end
  • While the rest of us wind down, get tired, lose enthusiasm, you always take the stairs (and life) two steps at a time
  • While the rest of us spend a lifetime being critical, you never complain
  • You like everyone and everyone likes you
  • Even though surrounded by inflated egos, yours never became distorted


Don Schmidt

Dr. Don Schmidt was a pioneer in the discipline of veterinary clinical pathology and was among the small group of anatomic pathologists who started teaching clinical pathology courses within veterinary curricula. He joined the ASVCP in 1966 and taught students the facts, concepts, and skills of veterinary clinical pathology for over 30 years. He began his teaching of veterinary clinical pathology at Michigan State University (his first appointment was in 1953). He was teaching a clinical pathology course by the early 60's and he joined the faculty in Missouri in 1967. He retired in the mid-1990's, but was asked to return twice to fulfill clinical pathologist's teaching and diagnostic duties because of faculty vacancies. He passed the ACVP certifying examination in 1959 and was one of nine who successfully passed the first certifying examination for veterinary clinical pathology in 1972.  He served as the ASVCP Secretary-Treasurer from 1977 -1981. He served on the ACVP Clinical Pathology Examination Committee in the early 1980s. His teaching of veterinary clinical pathology earned him four Norden Distinguished Teaching Awards (1963, 1979, 1984, and 1988) and he would have received more if he had not been ineligible for three years after each award. He also earned three Golden Aesculapius Teaching Awards; and would have won more if eligibility restrictions were not present.

Dr. Schmidt dedicated his life to providing a rational approach to teaching veterinary clinical and anatomic pathology. He was always in the laboratory and always had time to spend with students demonstrating cytologic diagnostic criteria and correlating it with the clinical presentation and the histopathologic diagnosis. His colleagues and peers respected his opinion and diagnostic skill in veterinary clinical pathology, but also his interpersonal relationships with all other individuals, including staff, clients, students and peers.

He worked tirelessly to provide a teaching module that is still in use today. To support his teaching, he is credited with taking more than 20,000 photographs and collecting over 500 sets of microscope slides. In retirement he returned to catalog the 20,000 photographs into a computer program that has proven to be invaluable for teaching, continuing education, and use in publications. Dr. Schmidt is one of the kindest, most knowledgeable, and patient individuals to serve clinical pathology.

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