Born in South Georgia, he receives the highest UGA award |  local news

ATHENS, Georgia — A University of Georgia professor with ties to Moultrie has received the university’s top public service award.

dr Doris Miller, professor and associate director of state government relations at the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, received the 2023 Walter Barnard Hill Fellow Award on April 17.

The award, named for Chancellor Walter B. Hill, who headed the university from 1899 to 1905, recognizes the faculty for long-term achievement and special projects of exceptional impact, as well as for collaborative efforts to improve the quality of life in Georgia, according to a press release from the University of Georgia.

Miller, who has been on the UGA faculty for more than 40 years, hails from Sylvester. Her father, Otis Z. Miller Sr., was raised in Moultrie and the family has many relatives in the Colquitt County area.

According to the press release, Dr. Miller is nationally recognized as a leader in veterinary diagnostics and forensic pathology, human-animal bonding and responsible citizenship related to pet ownership. She has received the highest recognition for her service from the UGA Veterinary Program, the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians.

She was the first woman elected president of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, where she played a key role in the development of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, the nation’s vital system of early warning and protection against emerging and foreign animal diseases.

That program proved critical to COVID-19 preparedness in Georgia and the United States, where Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories needed to fill gaps in the country’s COVID-19 testing capabilities, UGA said. In addition to conducting critical animal disease diagnostics in Georgia during the pandemic, they have also performed critical human testing and performed over 100,000 human COVID-19 PCR tests.

While her appointment as a Walter Hill Fellow is primarily service-related and has little or no teaching commitment, Miller has taught forensics and related subjects to veterinarians, post-DVM graduate students and residents, and undergraduates throughout her career. She has taught 196 courses at six UGA colleges, schools and institutes and is currently teaching six courses. Since 2015 she has been teaching a two-hour workshop for 50 to 60 high school students at UGA’s VETCAMP.

Since 2016, she has conducted 16 forensic science and animal welfare workshops for professionals throughout Georgia and other states. As a result, she has trained generations of animal control officers, attorneys, and animal shelter workers in the medico-legal aspects of forensic science.

“DR. Miller helped organize the nationwide training program on preventing and prosecuting cruelty to animals for local law enforcement officials and attorneys, as well as speaking on these topics at animal rights conferences,” said Dr. Michael J. Topper, past president of the American Veterinary Association. “During As these programs continue, we hope the number of successful prosecutions will increase and ultimately lead to a reduction in animal cruelty cases in the state of Georgia.”