2010 Veterinary Awards

Veterinarian of the Year – Dr. Dale Sorensen

The Veterinarian of the Year award is given to a member who has given much to the veterinary profession as well as to their community – a well-rounded member who is outstanding in the veterinary profession.

This year Dr. Dale Sorensen was selected to receive this award. Dr. Sorenson was admitted to the DVM program at Kansas State University in 1943, but his education was interrupted when he was drafted into the US Armed Forces during World War II.  He graduated in 1946 and began work for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. Following his 2 years working as part of the post-war rehabilitation program he joined the University of Wisconsin Veterinary Science Department as faculty and subsequently earned a Master of Science Degree in 1950 and a PhD in 1953. In 1953, Dr. Sorensen joined the faculty at the University of Minnesot. He rapidly advanced through the professorial ranks at Minnesota, becoming a full professor in 1959. Dr. Sorensen emerged as one of the premier veterinary clinicians in the late 1960’s and 1970’s and was an integral part of a nucleus of faculty who began a tradition of post-DVM graduate education in clinical medicine that has become the standard in most post-DVM graduate training programs today. Dr. Sorensen is internationally recognized for his insights into the future of veterinary medicine, and has visited colleges of veterinary medicine around the world. Dr. Sorensen is one of the Founding Fathers of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. He was also a Founding Father of the discipline of Veterinary Medicine in the National Academics of Practice, an organization patterned after the National Academy of Sciences. In addition to his achievements as an educator and clinical investigator, Dr. Sorensen has given generously of his time to many local, state, national, and international organizations and committees designed to advance the veterinary profession, including the MVMA.  Dr. Sorensen is an energetic, dedicated, and charismatic person who believes in the concept of serving rather than being served. Although retired from service as a university professor, he is still involved in veterinary medicine by way of accepting the role of voluntary curator, Minnesota Veterinary Historical Museum.


Outstanding Faculty Award – Dr. Sheila Torres

The Outstanding Faculty Award is given to a University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine faculty member who has provided outstanding service to Minnesota veterinarians; who give of their time and talent to the veterinary profession, and are dedicated contributors to organized veterinary medicine.

Dr. Sheila Torres is an excellent example of success in the U of M College of Veterinary Medicine’s trifold mission of teaching, research, and service with her research and teaching of DVM students and practitioners. She is a dynamic speaker, she provides regular continuing education, and her research has answered many questions regarding how to best test for and treat various dermatologic disorders in all species.  Her work in hypothyroidism is cited internationally, and on top of her heavy research and clinical load she devotes her time and teaching skills to support initiatives and to be a mentor for residents and interns.  Dr. Torres is an expert within her discipline of dermatology, and her knowledge about the veterinary field makes her a valuable resource to practicing veterinarians as well as students.


Outstanding Industry Representative Award – Linda Spengler, CVT

This award is given to recognize an individual who has exhibited outstanding service to veterinarians and/or the MVMA. This individual should consistently provide exceptional service to Minnesota veterinarians and promote the profession through liaisons with the MVMA, veterinarians, and the profession in general.

Linda Spengler has a background as a Certified Veterinary Technician and has pursued additional education to become a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager, or CVPM, which she has held since 2002.  She teamed up to establish the Veterinary Management Corporation in Minnesota, and has maintained her work and practices to the highest standards. She has worked with Animal Emergency Clinic Group since 2002, and has managed the Animal Emergency Clinics, PA of St. Paul and Oakdale. Overall, Linda has contributed outstanding service to the MVMA, MVMF, and the veterinary profession as a whole. Linda has not only donated her time and talent to help others throughout her contributions to the Veterinary Industry, but she has touched the lives of both humans and animals along the way.


Veterinary Service Award – Senator Steve Dille, DVM

The Veterinary Service Award is given to individuals who have promoted the veterinary profession and the well-being of animals, and are not required to be veterinarians to receive this award.

Sen. Steve Dille retired in 2010 from the legislature after serving in the house and senate since 1986.  His work on the Senate Ag. Committee and his partnership with the MVMA on bills pertaining to animals and veterinary medicine during his tenure in the legislature has made him an invaluable individual to promoting the veterinary profession and the well-being of animals.  Not only has Sen. Dille championed and authored numerous bills affecting Animal Health and Veterinary Medicine, but he has been a strong advocate for improving conditions for food animals and companion animals.


Distinguished Service Award – Dr. Earl Thompson

The Distinguished Service Award is given to members who have given special service to the profession of veterinary medicine, improving the profession as a result of their service. 

Dr. Earl Thompson has worked to provide education, health care, and agricultural improvement in a Nepalese region where they oversee the Nepal Social Service Fund.  His work is a fine example of the generosity and dedication to making the world a better place, which exemplifies the best in the veterinary medical profession.  Dr. Thompson has worked to share his knowledge and time to better the lives of others around the world, and has even started a school in Nepal.  In addition to helping the those abroad, Thompson’s 30 years of veterinary work in southern Minnesota have helped him aid in the health of animals in Nepal as well, which has led to better nutrition in the people there. Together Earl and Beverly Thompson raise about $50,000 a year to ship medicines, books, and other goods to Nepal.

President’s Award – Dr. Robert Hardy

This award is selected and given by the president of the MVMA

Dr. Bob Hardy has been selected by President McMenomy to receive this award for the nearly 40 years of service he has contributed to the U of M College of Veterinary Medicine.  In addition to this, he has served on the MVMA CE committee and has been instrumental in helping the MVMA develop its annual meeting CE program, as well as with planning the annual student BBQ, for which he has been the chief faculty participant and leader for the event. Dr. Hardy has also been a volunteer and supporter of the MVMF.