Companion Animal Experts

Nancy Dreschel

Nancy Dreschel, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Instructor, Companion Animal Science

Pennsylvania State University

324 Henning Building

University Park, PA 16802

P: 814-867-9070

Short Biography:

Dr. Nancy Dreschel is an instructor of Companion Animal Science at Penn State University. After receiving her bachelor’s and veterinary degrees from Cornell University, she worked in mixed and small animal practice in New York State and Pennsylvania for 13 years before returning to school at Penn State University to obtain a Ph.D. in Biobehavioral Health. Her research has focused on the effects of fear and stress on behavior and physiology in dogs and their owners. She has a particular interest in service and working dogs and the interactions between pets and people. At Penn State, she advises students and teaches undergraduate online and residence courses, including Pets in Society, Companion Animal Nutrition and Management, Companion Animal Health and Diseases, and Companion Animal Behavior.

In addition to her husband and two sons, Dr. Dreschel shares her home with a dog, Mishka, and two cats, Kitty and Penny. Currently without a smaller pet, she has an affinity for rodents and has had mice, hamsters, gerbils, and a rat as pets through the years. She also serves on the Centre County Animal Response Team to help animals that have been in disasters.

Amy Fischer

Amy Fischer, Ph.D.

University of Illinois

126 Animal Sciences Lab, MC630

1207 W. Gregory Dr.

Urbana, IL 61801-4734

P: 217-333-6462

Short Biography:

Dr. Amy Fischer is a teaching associate and extension specialist with the University of Illinois Department of Animal Sciences, where she coordinates the Companion Animal Biology and Humane Education program. This program emphasizes the science of companion animals as well as their roles in society and encourages students to apply knowledge through a wide variety of internships, service-based learning projects, and other opportunities based on community partnerships.

Dr. Fischer serves on the board of directors of the Champaign County Humane Society and is an active member of the Central Illinois Animal Welfare Coalition. She also serves as an ad hoc member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Michelson Prize and Grants, a program of the Found Animals Foundation. She has volunteered with numerous domestic and international population control campaigns and is deeply committed to advancing the application of nonsurgical sterilization methods in humane population control.

Lisa Karr

Lisa Karr-Lilienthal, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor/Extension Companion Animal Specialist

University of Nebraska–Lincoln

C204 Animal Science Building

Lincoln, NE 68527-0908

P: 402-472-6458

Short Biography:

Dr. Lisa Karr-Lilienthal is an assistant professor in Companion Animal Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She received a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from Illinois State University and then received her master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in Companion Animal Nutrition. Her research has focused on nutrition of dogs, cats, and other non-ruminant animals. At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she advises students and teaches undergraduate courses, including Introduction to Companion Animals, Human-Companion Animal Interactions, Companion Animal Nutrition, and Companion Animal Behavior. She also serves as the adviser to the student group, Students for Education of Companion and Exotic Animals. She oversees and develops extension and outreach programming related to companion animal care and management.

Dr. Karr-Lilienthal is married and has one daughter. In addition, she shares her home with three dogs, Prince, Paige, and Kate; a rabbit, Daisy; and a crested gecko, George. She also serves on the board of directors for Domesti-PUPS, a nonprofit group that trains service and therapy dogs to be used in school and nursing home visits.

Kathy Potthoff

Kathy Potthoff

4-H Youth Development

University of Nebraska–Lincoln

114 Ag Hall, P.O. Box 830700

Lincoln, NE 68583-0700

P: 402-472-9021

Short Biography:

Kathy Potthoff is an extension educator with 4-H Extension, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She received her bachelor’s degree in Agriculture, emphasis from Fort Hays State University at Hays KS. She received her master’s degree in Agriculture, Leadership and Education from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research is in the area of cultural competence with youth development volunteers and youth. Kathy worked in with 4-H and other programming areas while in a four county area in southwest Nebraska and currently is on staff in the State 4-H Office. Kathy working with 4-H programming in animal science areas of horse and companion animals, youth development and volunteer training, and cultural competence.

Kathy has interest in outdoor activities and camping with her four horses, Ritzi, Tipper, Takara, and Kia, and a young male golden retriever, Rikokin. Kathy is a member of a local dog club and volunteers with fun and educational programs offered through the group. Kathy and Riko are laying the ground work for future obedience, rally, and agility competitions and are involved with a variety of dog classes.

Daniela Sharma

Daniela Sharma, Ph.D.

Rutgers University

Department of Animal Sciences

Bartlett Hall, Room 118

84 Lipman Drive

New Brunswick, NJ 08901

P: 732-932-1168

Short Biography:

Dr. Daniela Sharma received her B.S. in Animal Science at the University of Connecticut in 1993 and her Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 1999. She joined Rutgers University as an assistant director in the Office of Research, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station in 2000. In 2008, she joined the Department of Animal Sciences at Rutgers University as a teacher and soon was appointed the undergraduate program director. She supervises the Animal Science undergraduate curriculum, providing guidance to students and faculty, and serves to promote both strong academic and experience-based opportunities for the program.

Dr. Sharma’s graduate training focused on male reproductive behavior and endocrinology, but her interest in education and companion animals led to both faculty and leadership positions with the American College of Applied Sciences, an online college providing courses for nontraditional students interested in companion animal behavior education. Presently, she is the coordinator for companion animal educational activities in her current department and frequently advises students on companion animal-related career opportunities.

Perri Stark, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Adjunct Lecturer

Rutgers University & Delaware Valley College

129 Mandel Hall

Doylestown, Pa 18902

P: 215-345-1500

Short Biography:

Dr. Perri Stark is an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Animal Sciences at Rutgers University, as well as the Animal Biotechnology and Conservation Department at Delaware Valley College. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication from Rutgers University and an MBA from Adelphi University. Following a career in banking, Dr. Stark went back to school where she received her veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2000. At Rutgers, she is currently teaching the on-line animal nutrition course and at Delaware Valley, she is overseeing several sections of the Small Animal Senior Seminar program. Prior to joining academia, Dr. Stark worked for a veterinary publishing company and also as a territory manager for a major pet food company.

In addition to her husband and twin girls, Dr Stark currently has 2 cats and fish. She is also an active volunteer with her local 4-H program.

Liz Wells

Elizabeth Wells, Ph.D.

MSUE Ottawa County

Suite 122

12220 Fillmore St.

West Olive, MI 49460


Short Biography:

Dr. Elizabeth Wells is an extension educator at Michigan State University. She received her bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Communications and her master’s in Continuing Education from Michigan State University. Her doctorate from MSU is in Agriculture and Extension Education. Her research is in the area of the use of technology in extension. She provides leadership for the companion animal 4-H program in Michigan and develops educational programs for the dog project related to training, care, and health issues.

Dr. Wells shares her passion for dogs with her husband Mike, a pharmacist. Together they breed, train, and show Samoyeds and Pomeranians in conformation, obedience, rally, and agility. She has raced her Samoyeds in sprint races in Michigan. She is active in the Greater Muskegon Kennel Club and the Samoyed Club of America and serves as research liaison for alopecia x for the Samoyed Club of America Health Foundation. She enjoys judging conformation, showmanship, obedience, and rally in 4-H and at matches and is a certified Canine Good Citizen evaluator for the American Kennel Club.