Beagle Run

In collaboration with the Virginia Tech School of Architecture, specifically Building and Construction graduate students, CENTAUR and VAMD veterinary students were awarded a university grant to design a new “Beagle Run” for the pack of research beagle living at the vet school. This run is designed to provide the best outdoor experience for the beagle and their handlers while maintaining a bio-inclusive and sanitary design.


CENTAUR faculty participated in co-teaching a “Bio-Build” graduate course focused on learning about and integrating the needs of living things, like plants and animals, into the built environment for the benefit of people and animals. This course is intended to expose graduate student in the College of Architecture to design challenges and modifications that assist in integrating elements of the living world into the built environment. The particular focus this fall was aimed at creating environments that accommodated animals,  and supported animal-human relationships.

Animal-Human Relations Course

In the spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration, CENTAUR program director Dr. Virginia Maxwell created a new elective course for third-year veterinary students called “Topics in Animal Human Relationships”, centered on fostering an interdisciplinary perspective on a veterinarian’s role in providing health services to animals while being mindful of the anima;-human relationship. This course brought together professors and speakers from many disciplines, including psychologists, attorneys, animal behaviorists and architects from across Virginia Tech and beyond to provide VAMD vet students with unique insights into the complexities of the animal-human relationship and how to become well-rounded veterinarians. Students in the MPH as well as undergraduate seniors and graduate students in departments across campus are also welcomed to enroll or audit. 

Journal Club

CENTAUR hosts a monthly journal club for affiliated faculty, graduate students, and cross-campus professionals to attend. Journal Club is an informal discussion of current literature on topics determined by the monthly presenter. This interdisciplinary group consists of graduate students, professors, and professionals from many colleges and departments, including Psychology, Human Development, Architecture, Engineering, and Animal Science.

Veterinary and Graduate Student Involvement

CENTAUR faculty serve as preceptors for public corporate (PC) clerkships that permit students to develop an understanding the veterinarian’s role in assisting non-profit organizations such as shelters, and service dog providers. These experiences are often arranged with non-profits that have an on-going relationship with CENTAUR but may also be established at a new facility that can provide students a unique perspective on the Animal Human Health relationships.

Arian Skiba


Layperson pamphlets on Puppy diseases


Emily Brookes


Layperson decision Tree on puppy GI diseases (Vomiting, Diarrhea)

Laura Parkhurst


Layperson document on dangerous house hold products and response to dog exposure

Alicia Benson

Central Oregon Wild Horse Rescue

Developed a presentation on methods for reducing wild horse population size without castrating stallions

Micah Thompson

Healing Strides Therapeutic Riding

Investigated reasons for horse retirement from EAAT programs.  Included data collection, analysis, and a short report of findings

Jeffrey Lung


Layperson charts on parasite control in SA

Jonathan Cappelmann


Layperson charts on common medications prescribed for small animals – administration, activity , SE

Kelsey Lamb


Lay person document on kennel emergency protocols

Tara Durkin


Lay person documents on blood sucking parasites

Brianna Piechowski



Investigation of reason for relinquishing horses to MHF.

Included data collection, analysis, and a short report of findings

Brittany Wolfe


Assisted with developing with initial steps in developing a short course in shelter medicine for our veterinary students

Andrea Landgraf


Developed shelter dog socialization pamphlet and adoption guidelines

Katie Walsh


Developed pamphlets for lay people and veterinary students on service, emotional support, and therapy  dogs

Amanda Hazy


Updating SOPs for horses housed at MHF

Student groups of 4


Completed a needs assessment for low cost Veterinary Care in the New River Valley

Lizzie Rives


Literature review on influence of pet ownership on departure decisions by people experiencing domestic violence.  Lizzie is also developing pamphlets on assessing animal health for shelter volunteers for MHF

Jenna Eggborn


Biosecurity and Preventative care of Horses and Mini Pigs


Student Project Descriptions and Deliverables

10 Things to Consider Before Adopting a New Pet.pdf by Mike Karchner, DVM Student
MDL Biosecurity Manual.pdf by Kyle Borodunovich, DVM Student
MDL Dog Socialization Program.pdf by Taylor Ellis, PC Clerkship
MHF Advanced Manual.pdf by Charlee Shulte, MPH Candidate
MPH PHPE Poster.pdf by Alexis Nuzzo, MPH Candidate