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Veterinary school's Sandy Hancock named first recipient of national scholarship


BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 17, 2007 – Sandy Hancock of Christiansburg, Va., a quality assurance officer at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, was recently honored by the Society of Quality Assurance (SQA) as the first recipient of the University Specialty Section scholarship. This scholarship helped to defray the costs of Hancock’s attendance at the 2007 SQA Annual Meeting that was held in Austin, Texas.

The SQA meeting allows quality assurance officers from all over the world to come together to network, continue their education, and share ideas for advancing their profession. A quality assurance officer is responsible for assuring laboratory tests are conducted properly in both industry and academic laboratories.

Hancock, who has been with the college for 18 years, serves as the quality assurance officer for the VMRCVM’s Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) Program.

"This award is well deserved," said Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies Roger Avery. "Sandy's dedication to her job is evident to all of her colleagues in the VMRCVM. Her commitment to quality assurance continues to strengthen and advance the college's Good Laboratory Practice Program."

Good Laboratory Practice is a set of principals set forth by the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency for non-clinical studies involving products that will affect humans, animals, or the environment. The principals outline how a study is planned, preformed, monitored, recorded, reported, and archived. These principals help increase the validity and credibility of a study. While it is not mandatory, the inclusion of a GLP program can be very beneficial to a college.

GLP allows colleges to perform contracted work for outside projects. “Our GLP program demonstrates we are serious about our research program and serious about bringing resources into our college,” said Hancock . The program also gives students the opportunity to be exposed to the lab standards that are commonplace in industry laboratories, she added.

In addition to her work as a certified quality assurance professional, Hancock serves as the lab manager for the Laboratory for Neurotoxicity Studies in the VMRCVM. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Dayton.

The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM) is a two-state, three-campus professional school operated by the land-grant universities of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg and the University of Maryland at College Park. Its flagship facilities, based at Virginia Tech, include the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, which treats more than 40,000 animals annually. Other campuses include the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va., and the Avrum Gudelsky Veterinary Center at College Park, home of the Center for Government and Corporate Veterinary Medicine. The VMRCVM annually enrolls approximately 500 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and graduate students, is a leading biomedical and clinical research center, and provides professional continuing education services for veterinarians practicing throughout the two states. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.