Source: Howard Erickson, 785-532-4541
Hometown connection: Manhattan and McPherson
News release prepared by: Dana Avery, dlaavery@vet.k-state.edu

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The write stuff: College of Veterinary Medicine students sweep top honors in smithcors essay contest

MANHATTAN -- Knowledge about the role veterinary medicine has played in American history has helped three students from Kansas State University's College of Veterinary Medicine earn the top three places in an international essay contest sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical History Society.

The winners of the Smithcors Essay Contest are: Amy Sents, second-year veterinary student, McPherson, first place for her essay, "The Covert Arsenal of Biological Agents throughout History"; Tracey Mullins, second-year veterinary student, Manhattan, second place for "The Humble Beginning of the Corporate Companion Animal Hospital"; and Katie Beach, fourth-year veterinary student, Manhattan, third place for "The Dogs of War: History of the U.S. Military Dog."

All three of students earned cash prizes for their winning essays, which were selected by a panel of judges.

"I require our students who enroll in AP 780, History of Veterinary Medicine, and also in AP 747, Veterinary Physiology II, to write a paper and encourage them to submit their papers for the Smithcors Veterinary History Essay Contest," said Howard Erickson, professor emeritus of physiology and history of veterinary medicine. "I think communication, both oral and written, is very important in veterinary medicine. These students have very busy schedules, but have found the time to prepare outstanding papers on diverse topics related to the history of veterinary medicine. I am extremely proud of their accomplishments."

The contest is named in honor of J. Fred Smithcors for his many contributions to veterinary history, including as founder of the American Veterinary Medical History Society, the author of several books on veterinary history, and as an educator, publisher and editor. The contest is open to any veterinary student in the United States, Canada and the West Indies. K-State had the highest representation with 21 entries in the contest. The prize funds are made available by William Ryan, a retired officer of Fort Dodge Laboratories and the co-founder of American Veterinary Medical History Society, and a generous anonymous benefactor member of the society.