Veterinary Technician Faculty

Virginia Rud Dr. Jo Drahos Dr. Dan Drahos Judi Wiegle


Virginia Rud CVT

Virginia earned her Associate of Applied Science- Veterinary Technology degree in ’01 from National American University in Rapid City, South Dakota. After practicing in a small animal hospital in Rapid City for 3 years, Virginia headed to the Minneapolis/St Paul, MN area looking for greater opportunities and to be closer to family. Practicing in a metropolitan area provided the opportunity to work with specialists in the field and participate in state of the art animal medicine. While working in a small animal hospital in Minnetonka, MN, Virginia was elected to and served on the Executive Board of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) for 2 years.
As a member of the Executive Board, Virginia traveled extensively throughout the United States, speaking to state veterinary technician associations about promoting the profession and increasing public awareness of veterinary technology. Virginia also represented NAVTA at various national veterinary conventions. In 2007, Virginia was offered an opportunity to teach in a veterinary technology program in Rochester, MN. Reluctant at first, Virginia soon discovered that she really enjoyed teaching and loved passing her enthusiasm for the profession on to others. In September of 2012, Virginia accepted the position of veterinary technology program director here at MCC.

Virginia remains active in the national organization and continues to work towards a better public understanding of the role of the veterinary technician in the veterinary health care team. Virginia speaks nationally on the topic of the Human-Animal Bond and Client Bereavement, teaching veterinary team members the importance of providing excellent client care during end of life events.

Virginia is committed to continued improvement and growth in both the profession and in the MCC Veterinary Technology program. As the demand for highly skilled credentialed veterinary technicians continues to increase nationally, the program will strive to produce qualified candidates to meet those demands.

Dr. Jo Drahos

Dr. Jo was originally trained as a research scientist, earning a bachelor’s degree in biophysics from The Johns Hopkins University in 1989.  While in graduate school at the University of Wisconsin, she discovered her passion for veterinary medicine and began working as a veterinary technician at the Animal Emergency Center of Milwaukee.  She loved the ER setting and the experience she gained in the busy metropolitan practice.  She returned to school and received her doctorate in veterinary medicine from Iowa State University in 1994.

She began her veterinary career in her hometown of Davenport at North Brady Animal Hospital where she practiced for six years before moving to Riverside Animal Hospital in Muscatine.  She spent the next 13 years there in partnership with her husband Dr. Dan Drahos (ISU ’93) and raised two children (Jake and Annie).  As a veterinarian, Dr. Jo particularly enjoys the relationships she develops with her clientele and being able to make a difference during difficult times.  She finds dealing with complicated medical cases especially satisfying, and is passionate about doing all she can to ensure pet owners can receive quality care for their pets throughout their lives, including a dignified and compassionate end of life.

The field of veterinary medicine has always embraced a “Lifetime of Learning” philosophy, but it also involves a lifetime of teaching.  After years of training veterinary staff members and pet owners at the clinic, Dr. Jo discovered the appeal of the classroom after joining MCC’s Veterinary Technology Program in 2010.  The experience she gained from having been a technician before becoming a veterinarian provided her with an excellent perspective for helping students.  Her goal is to guide students as they navigate their way to not only passing boards, but also to having the skills and knowledge that will make them be highly valued by their future employers.  She strives to maintain an environment of fun and discovery with her approach, while still expecting excellence in a very demanding program.  Graduates often remark that while they found her classes extremely challenging, they appreciated how well they learned the material and how much better prepared they subsequently were.

Outside of work, Dr. Jo enjoys running with her dog, training EMS personnel through the Basic Animal Rescue Training (BART) program, and sharing her children’s pursuits.  You can also find her on the slopes at Snowstar Winter Sports Park during the winter months where she volunteers as a ski patroller.

Dan Drahos, DVM

Dr. Dan Drahos received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1993 from Iowa State University.  The first seven years after graduating, he worked in mixed animal practices in Tipton and Eldridge, Iowa.  In 1999, while still working in Eldridge, Dr. Drahos founded the Animal Emergency Center of the Quad Cities, located in Bettendorf, Iowa, where he continues to serve as Chief Executive Officer.

In 2000, he moved to Muscatine and purchased Riverside Animal Hospital which he still owns and where he still works part-time performing small animal surgeries.   In 2010, Dr. Drahos joined Muscatine Community College as the full-time Resident Veterinarian for the Veterinary Technology Program.

In his spare time, Dr. Drahos enjoys cooking, barbecuing, racquet sports, and playing various musical instruments.

Judi Wiegle

A 2008 Graduate of Cedar Valley College in veterinary technology, Judi has been on staff at Riverside Animal Hospital with Dr’s Dan and Jo for 12 years.  She previously earned a BS in Equine Science from William Woods University.  

She has served as lab assistant for the classes in the Muscatine Community College Veterinary Technology program for 3 years.  Enjoying teaching and the students, Judi has been teaching Veterinary Anesthesia and new this year, Animal Behavior.  

Judi’s first exposure to the world of veterinary medicine was as a veterinary assistant as a weekend college job.  She was immediately enamored with the profession.  After college graduation, marriage and 3 children, Judi, who stayed at home with her children for 16 years, reentered the workforce as a veterinary assistant.  Always a “needs to know why, not just how” type of person, college again entered her life to earn her credentials as a Veterinary Technician.  She is especially delighted that an opportunity to teach future technicians presented itself because she is passionate about veterinary technology as a profession and relishes the opportunity to help others grow to meet the challenge.

Judi’s special interests in veterinary medicine include behavior, anesthesia, dentistry, and physical rehabilitation. Judi finds it especially gratifying to teach anesthesia and behavior specifically because these are disciplines within the profession that can genuinely affect her patients’ very existence.   

Judi and husband John share their home with 7 border collies, Buddy, Crystal, Pi, Alice, Indy, Stevie Ray and her litter mate Casey who is a foster dog.  The family is allowed to occupy the house with the express permission of 2 cats, Jake and Elwood.