Sources: Michael B. Cates,;
and Ralph Richardson, 785-532-5660,
Photo available. Contact or 785-532-6415.
News release prepared by: Katie Mayes, 785-532-6415,

Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008


MANHATTAN -- Retired Brig. Gen. Michael B. Cates, former commander of the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine and chief of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps, has been named director of Kansas State University's master of public health program.

Cates also will serve as a professor in K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine.

"Brig. Gen. Michael Cates has vast experience working where public health and veterinary medicine intersect," said K-State President Jon Wefald. "That experience, coupled with Cates' expertise working across disciplines, will be fundamental in taking K-State's master of public health program to the next level."

K-State's master of public health program, housed in the College of Veterinary Medicine, is an interdepartmental program consisting of 42 semester hours. The program, for people currently employed or anticipating a career in the field of public health, allows students to address public health concerns that include obesity/exercise, human nutrition, food safety, infectious/zoonotic diseases, and toxicology. It involves courses and faculty from the colleges of Agriculture, Arts and Sciences, Human Ecology and Veterinary Medicine.

Cates, a native of Frisco, Texas, graduated from Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine in 1980 and was named an outstanding alumnus of the college in 2005. He also has a master of public health from the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, and is a distinguished diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.

Cates recently retired from the military after serving for more than 28 years. In addition to his role as chief of the Veterinary Corps and the first veterinarian to head the Army's main public health organization, he has had leadership experience in multiple locations in the U.S., Korea and Europe.

"In today's world, there are many complex challenges in animal, human and environmental health, and the future will bring even more," Cates said. "I have been a longtime advocate of multidisciplinary, proactive approaches to health, and it is an honor to now be part of K-State's outstanding research and educational efforts in these areas."

Cates said ultimately, K-State's master of public health program will contribute to worldwide health.

"My aim is to build on the program's early successes, earning accreditation, broadening collaboration and partnerships among the many aspects of animal and public health, developing even more public health trained professionals for the workplace, and making significant contributions toward improved global health," he said.

K-State Provost M. Duane Nellis said K-State's master of public health program is only one example of how the university is engaged in some of the nation's most important issues.

"Our master of public health program is tailored to address the most relevant public health issues," he said. "Our program will help meet the work force needs associated with addressing topics such as infectious disease and obesity -- areas that threaten the most basic health of our nation's citizenry."