Remembering Dr. Janis Audin, 1950-2009

The American Veterinary Medical Association, indeed the entire veterinary community, recently lost a wonderful friend whose commitment to our noble profession was beyond compare. Dr. Janis Audin died April 22 with her family at her side. Her contributions to the profession and to the publications she loved – the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Journal of Veterinary Research – were profound. We will be forever grateful.

Even though we all miss Janis tremendously, we want to celebrate and honor her life, and reflect on how fortunate we were to have known her and worked with her. Between the professional journals she lived for and the many lives she has touched and influenced, Janis Audin’s legacy will live on.

If you would like to share your condolences or your memories of Janis, please feel free to do so by clicking on the “Leave a Comment” button on this page.

7 thoughts on “Remembering Dr. Janis Audin, 1950-2009

  1. Thinking of Janis this week. We were each others first love long ago in Wellesley Mass all through Jr and Sr high school. We stayed in touch all the years after, and I went to her wedding in Champaign. A few months before she died she sent me a package for safe keeping….an animal book with animal bookends I had given to her for Xmas 1967. I talked with her, although she was quite weak, the day before she died. A wondeful woman I will also remember

  2. I was an editorial assistant/production manager in the Publications Division in the late 1980s and had the good fortune to work closely with Dr. Audin. She was a fantastic mentor, and to this day I use many of the lessons learned under her guidance, even though I now work in public affairs rather than scientific editing. I’m so sorry to learn (albeit belatedly) of her passing. It is, indeed, a great loss.

  3. As a member of the veterinary community of the world from India, I offer my condolences to the bereaved family of Dr Janis of whom I have read about.

  4. Dr Audin was a role model for any professional woman. It was a pleasure and a learning experience to work with her. I am deeply saddened by her passing.
    Joni Scheftel


    May 2, 2009

    To the Editor,

    Many letters “to the Editor” are borne of disputes between authors and competing colleagues. It’s part of the job of being an editor to deal with such letters, and one of the less enjoyable parts. This is another kind of “letter to the Editor.”

    Impartially and politely juggling the competing concerns of authors and their detractors is just one of the many things Janis Audin did with grace and wisdom. In fact, a fond memory of Janis is the time I dashed off a caustic response to one reviewer’s criticism of a manuscript I had submitted to JAVMA. A few days later, the phone in my office rang, and Janis’ voice came through the line: “Steve, are you sure you want to send this letter? Why don’t you put it aside and think about it for a few days.” I re-wrote the letter and ultimately the paper was published.

    Janis was a close friend of mine for almost 30 years. We met at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine when she and my wife Maxey Wellman were graduate students in Wally Hoffmann’s laboratory, and I was an inexperienced but enthusiastic Assistant Professor of Medicine. After completing their studies at Illinois, Janis and her husband Dick Guelzow entered practice in Chicago, and Maxey and I came back to Ohio State. Janis decided private practice was not for her, and joined the editorial staff at the AVMA in 1989. At some point, I remember receiving a request from former editor-in-chief Al Koltveit for a letter of recommendation for Janis. It was the easiest one I’ve ever had to write. Over the years, Janis presided over the AVMA journals with composure, pride, wisdom, skill, and a firm yet flexible hand. I always admired her professionalism, judgment, taste, and willingness to make difficult decisions. As an example of her taste, consider the fact that she personally chose the cover art that has distinguished JAVMA over the years (Janis’ undergraduate degree was in art history).

    As editors, Janis and I would frequently sound each other out about difficult issues. I’ll bet for every time Janis called me, I called her 10 times because she was the one with composure, the one who could quickly assess the facts and make a decision. I secretly swelled a bit in pride that one time in 10 when she called me for advice. But what looms largest in my memory is the kindness Janis and Dick extended to Maxey and me in the early 1990’s. Our daughter Stephanie was born with a rare skin disease. Only one surgeon in the country had much experience with the condition, and he was on the faculty at Northwestern University’s School of Medicine and practiced at Children’s Hospital in Chicago. Stephanie had six major surgeries in the first two years of her life, and each time we travelled to Chicago, Janis and Dick welcomed us into their home and gave us badly needed emotional support. Although these times were stressful, I will always remember fondly the evenings spent with Dick and Janis in their home.

    Another trait of Janis was her stubborn determination. The disease that ultimately took her life was not all Janis faced in recent years. As Shakespeare said, “when sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.” Janis faced a battalion of personal woes during the last 6 years of her life, but she doggedly put one foot in front of the other and forged ahead. She was determined to see her work at the AVMA through until the end. Lesser persons would have given up, but Janis never did. I refuse however to dwell in sadness over Janis’ death, but rather choose to commemorate her life and smile to myself as I remember good times we had together in conversation over the years. I didn’t get to see Janis again after I talked to her, but ultimately that is meaningless. What has meaning is the friendship we had and the legacy of excellence she left the AVMA.

    Steve DiBartola, DVM
    Co-editor-in-Chief, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
    Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean of Administration and Curriculum
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    Ohio State University

  6. Janis Audin was a classmate, a friend and a colleague. She made all of in the Illinois DVM Class of 1979 so very proud of her, not only for what she did with her professional life but for how she lived her personal and professional life. Kind, generous, supportive, classy…all words that describe Janis and her daily comportment. All words that Janis personified. She always had a kind, positive, supportive word for her colleagues. She saw the glass as half full. She accomplished tasks, but never at the expense of people or relationships. She was a stunning human being. The AVMA and our profession were fortunate to be the beneficiary of her daily efforts. I will miss her, and so will our profession. May she rest in peace. Rick DeBowes, Illini classmate and friend