Alumni Fellows' presentations to students emphasize K-State
|Dr. Tara Donovan, the 2015
K-State Alumni Fellow for the College of Veterinary Medicine, lectures to
students and faculty on her career in food animal medicine. (Photo
courtesy Kansas State University College of Veterinary
Each year since 1983, the K-State Alumni Fellows program has brought successful
alumni back to campus. This year, from April 15-18, 12 alumni were honored with
the award and returned to Kansas State University's Manhattan campus.
of the highlights of the Fellows’ return to campus is the opportunity to speak
to current K-State students. Each Fellow gives a unique presentation, focusing
on his or her career since graduating from K-State, giving advice to students as
they prepare to enter the workforce or sharing examples of how they put their
K-State education to use after graduation.
Dr. Tara Donovan is the 2015
Alumni Fellow for the College of Veterinary Medicine. Donovan, vice president of
health management at The Hanor Company in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and 1998
graduate of K-State’s College of Veterinary Medicine, spoke about her career in
food animal medicine.
During the porcine epidemic diarrhea outbreak
that spread across swine farms in the United States in 2013, Donovan was faced
with a tough decision. She paused and noticeably withheld emotion when
explaining just how hard it was for her to humanely euthanize thousands of
“There was nothing we could do for them,” Donovan said.
Donovan’s commitment to excellence in her work is a trait she carries with her
from her time at K-State. She instills this passion for animal care in all the
members of the staff she works with.
In another classroom across campus,
J.P. Bilbrey, a 1978 K-State graduate with a degree in psychology, gave a brief
history of how he became chief executive officer for The Hershey Company. He
offered advice to students in the leadership studies program and answered
questions at the end of the session. Bilbrey is one of two 2015 Alumni
Fellows for the College of Arts and Sciences.
One student asked how to
better develop himself as a student to prepare for the job market.
may sound cliché, but make your bed every day. If you can’t commit to doing
that, how are you going to instill discipline in any other area of your life? If
you can’t do it, someone else can,” Bilbrey said.
|J.P. Bilbrey, one of the two
2015 K-State Alumni Fellows for the College of Arts and Sciences, lectures
to students about his career leading up to becoming chief executive
officer for The Hershey Company. (Photo: David
Bilbrey also recalled the most
valuable part of his K-State experience: the faculty and staff. He noted the
importance of networking and meeting the right people. Pat Bosco, vice president
for student life and dean of students, left a memorable impression on
“Pat Bosco has been a lifelong friend and mentor to me. Pat saw
things in me I hadn’t had a chance to discover. Don’t underestimate the value of
relationships and experiences while you are here,” Bilbrey said.
alumni, the Fellows bring back a message to K-State students that continues to
ring true: They carried something special with them from their time at K-State,
whether it was the people, the education or the skills they needed to be
To learn more about the 2015 Alumni Fellows, visit www.k-state.com/Fellows
To view more photos from the Alumni Fellows' campus lectures, visit the K-State Alumni Association on Facebook