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Spotlight on: Dr. Lester Griel

Posted: May 12, 2011

Beloved to generations of students, Dr. Griel is a leader in teaching, advising, research, and large animal veterinary practice.
Dr. Griel in his office.

Dr. Griel in his office.

Dr. Lester C. Griel, VMD has been a fixture in the department since 1965. Still active in teaching, advising, research, and large-animal veterinary practice, his research and teaching interests include general animal health, herd health management, and cardiac and respiratory physiology.

Along with Dr. Nüket Acar, Dr. Griel has been instrumental in jump-starting a renewed effort to connect with our alumni, helping to create an Alumni Program Group and holding court at our annual football tailgates. Dr. Griel called the activities to reach out to alumni "a stepstool in the process that is still in the early stages of building relations."

Dr. Griel has been a popular adviser to decades of pre-veterinary students, as well as students who found their way into other careers. His advising approach is student-centered. "I don't clone them into veterinarians -- I give them the opportunity to develop."

He maintains an active research program. "The main focus is finding strategies for reducing particles excreted from people with the influenza virus, using pigs."

Recently, Dr. Griel was instrumental in guiding the process of changing the name of the enormously successful Animal Bioscience bachelor's program to Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences in order to identify the degree with the department, and also to better reflect its core strengths. "The name change brings much more student recognition to the program today."

Co-advisor, along with Dr. Robert Van Saun, to the nationally-recognized Pre-Vet Club, Dr. Griel arguably has had his biggest impact in the classroom, where generations of students have benefited from his experience and passion. "I don't know if I like teaching as much as I like seeing students learn. This is the place that holds my heart."