Photo: Linden Pederson

Congratulations to Linden Pederson (Class ’21) for receiving a Research Grant from the Vesalius Trust!

Linden received this research grant to assist with her Master’s Project, entitled “Interactive Apple iBook Based on Obstetrical Management of Dystocia in the Cow.” For this project, Linden is working with Robyn Ellerbrock, DVM, PhD, and James Moore, DVM, PhD, at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, in Athens. Adjunct Asst. Professor Brad Gilleland, MSMI, CMI, (Class ’02) is serving as Technical Advisor on the project, and Prof. Bill Andrews, MA, CMI, FAMI is serving as linden’s Major Advisor.

Art: Fetal Calf
Linden’s Master’s Project involves training veterinary students about how best to deal with dystocia. In her project proposal, Linden said, “Dystocia is a delayed or difficult parturition commonly due to a fetal abnormality such as maldispostion where the head or a limb is bent at an unusual angle. Obstetrical management of dystocia in the cow is challenging to teach due to difficulty visualizing the fetal abnormalities and appropriate manual manipulations needed, mostly because the corrective procedures take place within the animal’s reproductive tract where no one can see them. This impacts a veterinary student’s ability to understand the necessary steps to resolve the problem and deliver the calf safely. Dystocia is the most important factor impacting fetal survival and cost of reproductive conditions due to the high potential of death for both the fetus and cow. This suggests a necessity in the proper training of veterinary students in the treatment of this condition. The teaching material currently used at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary medicine is textual, with few images or illustrations of equine anatomy, which although similar to bovine anatomy, propounds differences in procedure. The purpose of this project is to combine illustrations, animations, and 3D models in an interactive iBook and virtual reality simulation that will improve veterinary students’ ability to visualize the anatomy and spatial relationships. This will enable them to better appreciate the medical intervention they need to take and improve the clinical outcome of reproductive emergencies in cows evaluated by these students.” 

The Vesalius Trust is a public foundation (501c3) supporting research and education in visual communications in the health sciences. More information about the Vesalius Trust can be found at


Photo: Our first graduate, Robert C. Benassi, with Professor O.A. Parkes. The year is 1950.

This year marks the 70th Anniversary of the granting of the first Master of Science in Medical Illustration degree to Robert C. Benassi, in 1951.

We are planning for an in-person celebration, which will include historical presentations, continuing education activities, exhibitions, and social events. This celebration was originally planned to coincide with Alumni Weekend, at the end of April. Due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, the university has decided to postpone Alumni Weekend until October. Likewise, we are postponing the 70th Anniversary celebration until October, in conjunction with ALumni Weekend. Specific dates will be announced soon.

 Photo of Andrea Lacy

Please join us in congratulating Andrea Lacy (Class ’21) on her induction into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Andrea came to us from Columbus, IN. She earned a BS in Biology degree, with a minor in Illustration, from Indiana Wesleyan University.

PKP is the premiere international honor society in higher education. Among graduate students who have completed at least one full year of study, only the top 10% academically are eligible for membership in this century-old community of scholars and professionals. The PKP motto is “Let the love of learning rule humanity.” The mission of the Society is: “to recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.”

Congratulations, Andrea, on this well-deserved recognition of your academic efforts and achievements! You are a true credit to the Medical Illustration Graduate Program, the College of Allied Health Sciences, and The Graduate School at Augusta University.

Illustration of COVID-19 coronavirus.
It's early April 2020 and you could easily say that Alissa Eckert (Class ‘06) is the most famous medical illustrator in the world. Not only has her iconic image of the coronavirus captured the world’s imagination, but the media’s hunger for any COVID-19-related news has made her a celebrity. Click on the following link to read more about Alissa and the "Image Seen Round the World" in the December AU Alumni Magazine.

COVID-19 Image

The Dept. of Medical Illustration is pleased to announce that several of our talented alumni—and alumni-owned companies—have recently received high honors for their brilliant work. Amazing illustrations, animations, interactive media and sculptures were on display in the Professional Salon held online this Fall by the Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI). Celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year, the AMI is the preeminent international professional society in this field.  Click on the following link for the full story about our Award-winning Alumni (PDF).

Photo of William C. "Kip" Carter

The Dept. of Medical Illustration is delighted to announce that William C. “Kip” Carter is the 2020 recipient of the Robert C. Benassi Outstanding Alumni Award. Kip is a member of the Class of ‘82.

There’s an old adage that says, “if you need something done, find a busy person.” Kip is that busy person, he gets things done. And whatever he does, he gives it 100%. Kip is dedicated to the profession, committed to the craft, and driven by the pursuit of excellence. In describing his talents as a medical illustrator, Charles Boyter stated, “His skills are second to none.” The Medical Illustration Graduate Program, and the profession, are indeed better and stronger for his involvement.

Click the following link for the full story about Kip Carter and the Robert C. Benassi Outstanding Alumni Award (PDF).

Photo of William B. Westwood.
Dean Mitchell Watsky, PhD and The Graduate School are pleased to announce that William B. Westwood is the 2020 recipient of the prestigious Distinguished Alumni Award. Bill is a 1972 graduate of our Medical Illustration Graduate Program. The award is sponsored by the Office of Alumni Engagement.

In his remarks, Watsky said, “In addition to being an exceptionally accomplished medical artist, he is a renowned leader in his profession. He is a well-respected teacher, mentor and advisor on business issues and artists’ rights. Bill is a dedicated alumnus and supporter of our Dept. of Medical Illustration, serving as an Asst. Adjunct Professor and as a member of the National Advisory Council for the Graduate Program. Through his professional work and service, Mr. Westwood has embodied the values and vision of The Graduate School. I am delighted that we can recognize him through this Distinguished Alumni Award.”

Click the following link for full story about Bill Westwood and the Distinguished Alumni Award (PDF).


Photo: The Medical illustration Class of 2020, standing, left to right are Ryan Reed, Katharine Thompson, Megan Ward, Amanda Manowski, Keri Jones, Anna DeMario, Benjamin Brown, Victoria Rogers and Weston DeWolff.
The Dept. of Medical Illustration and the Medical Illustration Graduate Program are delighted to announce the bright and talented graduates of the Class of 2020—
Benjamin Brown
Anna DeMario
Weston DeWolff
Keri Jones
Amanda Manowski
Victoria Rogers
Katharine Thompson
Megan Ward

Flyer: Announcement of 2020 Masters's Showcase in Medical Illustration.
Each spring the graduating class of the Medical Illustration Graduate Program premiere their completed Masters' Projects at the Masters' Showcase. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year's Showcase was conducted online.

Each Spring, our students select two of their finest artworks for exhibition. Usually, the artwork would be premiered in the annual Student Scientific & Medical Illustration Exhibition held at the Lamar Dodd School of Art on the University of Georgia, Athens. Following this 2-week show, the exhibition moves to the Robert B. Greenblatt MD Library on the health sciences campus of Augusta University for a 6-week engagement. To cap the tour, the medical illustration portion of the exhibit moves to the Dean’s Gallery in The Graduate School, where it is on display for 7 months. But this is not a typical year—presented as an online gallery for the first time are the curated works of the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021.

Artwork: The Covid-19 virus by alissa Eckert and Dan Higgins.Alissa Eckert (Class of ’06) works at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Atlanta. Alissa is the amazing medical illustrator who along with Dan Higgins created the now-iconic image of Covid-19. Read about Alissa and this amazing image in "The Image Seen Round the World" by Eric Johnson for the Jagwire.

Photo: Katharine Thompson and Keri Jones, Class of 2020, named Vesalian Scholars of the Vesalius Trust.The Dept. of Medical Illustration is pleased to announce that seniors Katharine Thompson and Keri Jones have been recognized as Vesalian Scholars by the Vesalius Trust and will receive scholarships.

Katharine has been named as a Vesalian Scholar for her Masters Project, entitled “An Interactive Learning Module to Teach Chest Examination.” MCG faculty Dr. Elena Wood is Katharine’s content advisor and Prof. Bill Andrews is Major Advisor on her project.

Keri has been named as a Vesalian Scholar for her Masters Project, titled “An Interactive iBook on Type II and III Hypersensitivity.” DCG faculty Dr. Zoya Kurago is Keri’s content advisor and Assoc. Professor Mike Jensen is her Major Advisor.

The Vesalius Trust is the leading public foundation supporting research and education in visual communication in the health sciences. Further information about the VT can be viewed at

All of our seniors deserve recognition for independently undertaking complex Masters Projects which creatively address and solve a real communication or educational issue in health care. We are especially delighted that Katharine and Keri have been recognized by the Vesalius Trust for their singular efforts. Congratulations Katharine & Keri!