Please join me in giving Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) Director Bruce Akey, DVM, MS, a heartfelt “thank you!” for his long legacy of outstanding service, as he recently announced his upcoming retirement from the agency at the end of June.
Over the past seven years, TVMDL has had steadfast and visionary leadership under the direction of Dr. Akey. During his time as director, he ensured that TVMDL upheld its mission as a global leader in providing innovative and state-of-the-art veterinary diagnostic services. He has not only guaranteed excellence for the agency and our Texas stakeholders, but demonstrated unwavering integrity, leadership, and selfless service through his tenure within The Texas A&M University System and Texas A&M AgriLife.
Under his guidance, TVMDL has had countless successes: He designed and oversaw the construction of two new state-of-the-art laboratory buildings in College Station and Canyon; guided the implementation of a new Laboratory Information Management System, unique to TVMDL and their clients; a new research and diagnostic section was added to drive the next generation of animal diagnosis; and the lab provided key support for COVID-19 testing in Bryan-College Station and the Texas Panhandle.
Most recently, TVMDL logged 1 million tests annually, which attests to the importance of this laboratory’s work in promoting animal health and protecting agriculture and public health through superior excellence in veterinary diagnostic services.
On a personal note, I want to thank Dr. Akey for the key role he played in recruiting me to Texas A&M, and for his ever present collegiality and positive approach to administration and shared governance in AgriLife.
Swinford appointed interim director for TVMDL
I’m also pleased to report following confirmation by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents (BOR) that Amy Swinford, DVM, MS, will serve as interim director effective July 1. Dr. Swinford has been serving as associate director since 2015 and provided assistance in executive operations of the agency, including the Canyon, Center and Gonzales laboratories. Dr. Swinford most recently served as interim resident director for the Canyon laboratory.
Prior to becoming associate director, Dr. Swinford was the microbiology branch chief and bacteriology section head at the College Station laboratory. Dr. Swinford has been with TVMDL since 2005, first heading the bacteriology section before becoming branch chief in 2012 where she oversaw bacteriology, molecular diagnostics, and serology and virology sections.
Davis appointed interim director for Texas A&M Forest Service
Also confirmed today by the BOR, Al Davis, deputy director of the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service and Regents Service Fellow, who we announced as acting director of the Texas A&M Forest Service last week, has been named interim director.
Please join me in welcoming both Dr. Swinford and Mr. Davis to these key leadership positions, and also commending Dr. Akey for his exemplary leadership and guidance of TVMDL over the last few years.
Patrick J. Stover, Ph.D. Vice Chancellor and Dean, Agriculture and Life Sciences
Director, Texas A&M AgriLife Research