Kansas State University veterinary medical students place in national essay contest
Friday, June 5, 2015
MANHATTAN — Two Kansas State University veterinary medical students recently placed in the 2015 Smithcors Student Veterinary History Essay Contest sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical History Society.
The competition's winning essays included those penned by the university's Ellen Kim, Denver, Colorado, and Stephanie Liao, Pleasanton, California, both second-year veterinary students.
Kim tied for second place and received a $1,000 scholarship prize for her essay, "The Great Cattle Plague and Dr. John Gamgee: The Need for Historical Perspective on Trade and Public Health Policy."
Liao won fourth place and a $500 prize for "Furry Valor: Tactical Dogs of WWI and WWII."
"Winning the prize was great news," Kim said. "I picked my topic based on previous electives I've taken and my experience with the Frontier program. I'm very thankful to Dr. Howard Erickson and Dr. Justin Kastner for all their help and input. Writing the essay was a way to integrate information from different courses and it was very nice to be recognized."
Erickson is a professor emeritus in the College of Veterinary Medicine's anatomy and physiology department, and Kastner is an associate professor of food safety and security in the college's diagnostic medicine and pathobiology department and is director of the Frontier program.
Liao said, "Placing in the Smithcors Essay contest was an unexpected honor that I couldn't have accomplished without Dr. Erickson's continued encouragement and support. I chose to write about tactical dogs after reading about bomb-carrying dogs trained to incapacitate tanks. It became clear that dogs served in a far wider capacity during wartime than I had previously imagined."
"We congratulate these students for their efforts to thoroughly research these very important topics in veterinary medicine," Erickson said. "They will have their work published later this year in Veterinary Heritage, the national publication of the American Veterinary Medical History Society. Traditionally we have done very well in this annual contest and it's very satisfying that our students have such a fine appreciation for the history of the veterinary profession."