MONTEVALLO, ALA.—During recent homecoming activities at the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Ala., a professor of veterinary medicine at Texas A & M University received the Distinguished Alumna Award for 2013 for outstanding work in her field and for service to her community.
Dr. Karen Snowden received her B.S. degree in biology from the University of Montevallo in 1973, then went on to earn the DVM at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., and the Ph.D. in veterinary medicine from North Carolina State University.
In 1989, Snowden crossed the Atlantic to serve as a post-doctoral senior research associate, then as a lecturer in veterinary parasitology at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in Liverpool, England. Upon returning to the United States, she accepted an assistant professorship at Texas A & M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and has since advanced to a full professorship.
In an effort to give her students a direct, hands-on clinical experience, Snowden has cultivated a relationship with a local animal shelter, having senior students serve a two-week rotation handling the medical problems of approximately 175 animals, primarily dogs and cats. This experience gives the students a first-hand look at the operation of a community animal shelter and also gives them a preview of a wide variety of dilemmas they may face in their future practices. More recently, the shelter rotation has been integrated with a new, required rotation focused on emergency and disaster response.
Snowden’s scholarly publications and presentations number in excess of 200, and she is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. Her most impressive accomplishment, according to a colleague at TAMU, is her Charter Diplomate certification in parasitology, awarded by the American College of Veterinary Microbiology in April 2011, signifying her outstanding knowledge and proficiency in veterinary parasitology and her eminent standing in the field.
According to one individual who nominated Snowden for the Distinguished Alumna Award, her leadership qualities became evident during her Montevallo years. “She was always in the forefront of plans and making sure things were done ‘right.’” In reference to her career choice, this same nominator said, “Under Karen’s professional, scientific exterior lies a soft heart willing to assist any of God’s creatures, no matter how many legs they may have.”