Allbaugh Named Inaugural Recipient of Lora and Russ Talbot Endowed Professor in Veterinary Medicine

September 10, 2020

Rachel Allbaugh

Dr. Rachel Allbaugh, associate professor of veterinary clinical sciences, has been named the inaugural holder of the Lora and Russ Talbot Endowed Professor in Veterinary Medicine.

The endowed faculty position is the first of three named professorships that the Talbots have established in the College of Veterinary Medicine. The other two positions will be filled at a later date.

A faculty member at Iowa State since 2011, Allbaugh is board certified in veterinary ophthalmology from the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Service Team of the Year Award from the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM), the CVM Faculty Member of the Year Award and the Iowa State University Alumni Association Outstanding Young Alumni Award.

“I am extremely humbled and honored to be selected for this prestigious position,” Allbaugh said. “The fact that Lora and Russ Talbot established this professorship is incredibly special to me as I have come to know them very well over the past few years. They are amazing and exceedingly generous people. I am especially overjoyed and tremendously proud to hold this position in their name.”

“We are extremely happy, proud, and ecstatic that Dr. Rachel Allbaugh is the very first Talbot Endowed Professor,” Lora and Russ said. “We are just absolutely delighted and have every reason to believe that she will be an exceptional role model as an endowed professor.

“Rachel has a deep passion for both learning and teaching and she inspires students to be the best they can be.”

The Talbots are long-time supporters of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Iowa State University. The Belmond, Iowa, couple have supported many different areas of the college including multiple four-year and two-year student scholarships as well as graduate fellowships. Their extraordinary gift to the ISU Alumni Association created a first-in-the-nation endowed alumni position for the association’s president and CEO. The couple has also provided a significant endowment for the College of Human Sciences’ Fashion Show’s “Best in Show” award and the Merchandising Scholarship.

Lora and Russ received the ISU Foundation Order of the Knoll Cardinal & Gold Award in 2013.  In 2017, the couple was named the recipient of the ISU Alumni Association Honorary Alumni Award and two years later they received the William P. Switzer Award in Veterinary Medicine from the College of Veterinary Medicine. Both are ISU Foundation governors and members of the Order of the Knoll Society of the True and Valiant and the Campanile Society as well as lifetime members and sustaining life donors of the ISU Alumni Association. In the College of Veterinary Medicine, they are currently the co-chairs of the Campaign Committee for Forever True, For Iowa State. In addition, they are honorary co-chairs of the Alumni Association Campaign Cabinet.

“One of our long-term goals with our philanthropy to the College of Veterinary Medicine has been to endow faculty positions,” the couple said. “That goal is now becoming a reality. We greatly value and deeply appreciate the outstanding high-quality faculty which we have at Vet Med. We have enjoyed many, many positive experiences, interactions, and activities with the exceptional ISU Vet Med faculty.”

The Lora and Russ Talbot Endowed Professors in Veterinary Medicine were designed to be flexible for the areas of veterinary medicine in which they can cover and not be limited to a specific area of expertise.

“We desire that they will encompass the entire wide range of veterinary medicine, including but not limited to veterinary clinical sciences, research, and teaching,” Lora and Russ said. “Our target is that our Talbot Endowed Professors be used to support the areas of greatest need and impact. We want to do all we can to help in recruiting, retaining, and rewarding the best and the brightest faculty.”

Allbaugh will use funds generated from the Talbot Professorship to enhance her professional development through attending national and international meetings as well as purchasing equipment for the ophthalmology service unit in addition to facilitating research investigations to further ophthalmology knowledge.

“I am very excited to be able to purchase a laser unit that will allow for cutting-edge treatment of certain frustrating ocular conditions,” Allbaugh said. “This will greatly enhance the clinical service we can offer our equine, feline and canine patients.

“Having these funds annually will allow us to initiate research projects which help to answer clinically pertinent questions. This position will not only help further ophthalmology knowledge and influence clinical management of patients, but will also aid me in supporting ophtho interested students, interns and residents in advancing their careers through the resulting presentations and papers.”

Allbaugh earned her DVM from Iowa State in 2004. She completed an ophthalmology residency at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and was on the faculty at that university before rejoining her alma mater.

 “Dr. Allbaugh fully personifies what we were seeking to establish and accomplish with our inaugural Talbot Endowed Professor,” Lora and Russ said. “She is a prime example of success already achieved and the projection of greater success in the future. Rachel is an outstanding and extraordinary model of veterinary medicine at its best.”

The Lora and Russ Talbot Endowed Professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine was established during Iowa State University’s Forever True, For Iowa State fundraising campaign, with a historic goal to raise $1.5 billion, to help support Iowa State in becoming the premier land-grant university for the 21st century and beyond.