Alumni Association Awards


RUSVM strives to deliver an education program that truly prepares graduates for practice. Maintaining this reputation is important, not only because it reflects upon the "Rossie" family, but the quality of our program as a whole. 

We are proud to celebrate the alumni who are the first recipients of the Alumni Association Awards.

Alumni Award Recipients

2018 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Recipients

Dr. Lisa Newell

Dr. Newell Graduated from RUSVM in 1997. Born in Santa Monica, Dr. Newell lived in Southern California most of her life, with the exception being when she went to Ross University, St. Kitts. She then left the island and went to Columbia, Missouri for her clinics in January. Veterinary medicine seems to have always been on her mind. Legend has it, that when she was four, Lisa told her mom she wanted to be a doggy doctor. As a child, Lisa did some "volunteer" work for the local vet that the family went to. She was just eight years old. Lisa was able to do that for a few summers, and that just solidified what she wanted to do when she grew up.

During her time in St. Kitts, Lisa organized a fundraiser to help a local orphanage there. She hosted a doubles pool tournament and raised $5,000 US. After graduating, Lisa went back home to Southern California, back to Malibu. After about six months of being home, she went to work at the Malibu Animal Hospital and has been working there ever since.

Lisa was appointed to the California Veterinary Medical Board in 2005, by the then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and served until 2009. Lisa has also been on the Board of Directors for the California Wildlife Center for the past 17 years. She is also involved in a number of other not-for-profit organizations.

Dr. Michael G. Ramieri

Dr. Ramieri graduated from RUSVM in 2002. While vacationing in Mexico with his family in early 2018, Dr. Ramieri became ill and passed away a few days after returning home, surrounded by his loving family.

Mike was born in Manhattan, NYC and lived in Randolph and Ogdensburg before moving to Sparta, NJ, two years ago. Four years ago, he realized one of his dreamsand opened his state-of-the-art veterinary hospital, Advanced Veterinary Care in Franklin, NJ, a 24-hour facility that he built from the ground up.

Before studying at Ross Vet, Dr. Ramieri graduated from Georgetown University from where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and from Rutgers University from where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. A passionate guitar player, Dr. Ramieri was furthering his education by taking classes at the Berkelee School of Music.

Dr. Michael Jordan Zareski

Dr. Zareski graduated from RUSVM in 2002. Tragically, Dr. Zareski left this world on December 9, 2017. Mike will be remembered for his generosity and kindness. Mike made everyone who crossed his path feel loved. He devoted his professional life to caring for each dog, cat, lizard, bird or goat as if it were his own.

His vision for the Western Veterinary Group which he owned, started with a house-call practice out of the back of his Toyota Tacoma. A couple of years later, he bought Animal Birth Control in Lomita, renamed it, and grew it into a full-service vet hospital, eventually moving the clinic to Torrance. Western Vet Group celebrates its’ 10-year anniversary on April 1, 2018

2018 Rising Star Award Recipient

Dr. Krista A. Keller

Dr. Krista Keller is 2010 graduate of Ross University. After becoming a veterinarian, she completed a 1-year rotating internship at Louisiana State University and a 3-year residency in Zoological Medicine with a focus on Zoological Companion Animals at UC Davis. In 2014, Krista became the first RUSVM graduate to achieve board certification in the American College of Zoological Medicine. After two and a half years developing a busy primary and referral avian and exotics practice in Denver, Colorado, Krista transitioned to academia as Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine where she can continue her clinical practice while also teaching and performing research.

She hopes to change the world by inspiring future veterinarians to practice high-quality medicine on all species and by investigating the epidemiology of an often-fatal cutaneous fungal infection in bearded dragons.

2018 Distinguished Service/ Research Award Recipient

Dr. Kimberly Michelle Stewart

Kimberly received both her B.S (1998) and M.S. (2001) in Biology from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA. She graduated with her DVM from RUSVM in 2006. Kimberly is currently an Assistant Professor of Special Species at RUSVM and the Founder and Director of the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network (SKSTMN).

Her research and teaching interests focus on the management and health of nesting and foraging populations of leatherback, hawksbill, and green sea turtle populations in St. Kitts. She is also in the process of completing her PhD at RUSVM.