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Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine announces Outstanding Graduating Student award recipient


Nathaniel C. Burke Nathaniel C. Burke

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 5, 2011 – Virginia Tech has named Nathaniel C. Burke of Luray, Va., as the Outstanding Graduating Student in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine for the 2010-2011 academic year.

In 2005, Burke graduated summa cum laude majoring in human nutrition, foods and exercise in Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for his bachelor of science. He also received his master of science at Virginia Tech in 2007 studying biomedical and veterinary sciences. His concentration was in ruminant nutrition, antioxidants/oxidative stress, and forage utilization; with a thesis looking at the assessment of redox markers in cattle.

Burke is expected to receive a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in May of 2011. Along with maintaining a grade point average of 3.99 (on a 4.0 scale) and completing over a 190 hours, Burke is driven outside the classroom and which is noted by his numerous awards and accolades.

In 2007, for his outstanding life sciences thesis, Burke was given the William Preston Society Thesis Award. A few of his other honors include being named an American Association of Bovine Practitioners Amstutz Scholar and a Western Veterinary Conference Scholar in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

Burke has presented his works at several different venues throughout his academic career. Including, along with other fellow scholars, his presented on the effects of gradual weaning and transport on leukocyte antioxidant enzymes and plasma malondialdehyde at the veterinary college’s Nineteenth Annual Research Symposium in Blacksburg, Va.

Burke is also a published academic researcher. His collaborative research has been published in journals such as the Journal of Animal Science and the Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology. Burke is presently a member of several professional associations, such as the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association, Academy of Rural Veterinarians, and the American Association of Bovine Practitioners. 

Burke is the son of James and Carla Burke, of Luray, Va.

The Outstanding Senior Awards are presented at the Student Honors Day Banquet each spring. These awards are co-sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association and the senior class.

The purpose of the award is to recognize outstanding student performance in each college of the university. Students are selected on the basis of their grade point average (3.4 or higher on a 4.0 scale) and outstanding performance in several or all of the following areas: academic achievement, extracurricular activities, leadership positions, and contributions of service to the university and/or community.

The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine is a leading biomedical teaching and research center, enrolling more than 700 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, master of public health, and biomedical and veterinary sciences graduate students. The college is a partnership between the land-grant universities of Virginia Tech and the University of Maryland. Its main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, features the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and large animal field services which together treat more than 79,000 animals annually. Other locations include the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Virginia, and the Gudelsky Veterinary Center in College Park, Maryland.

Written by Shelby Ward of Bluefield, Va., a junior majoring in English in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.