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K-State Today

November 6, 2015



College of Veterinary Medicine presents annual teaching awards

By Joe Montgomery

Vet Med Teachers

A talented trio of faculty members recently took center stage in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Joshua Rowe, Butch KuKanich and Warren Beard were each called forward as the respective top teachers for the first, second and third years of instruction, as voted on by each respective class of students at the end of the 2014-2015 school year.

"Our college's teaching awards originally began with the Parallel Paths Program; later, a college group called the High Plains Drifters wanted to recognize teaching excellence at every stage of the veterinary curriculum and thus prioritized the development of new teaching awards during the 2004 academic year," said Ronnie Elmore, associate dean for academic programs, admissions and diversity programs. "While the High Plains Drifters has since disbanded, the college is committed to the continuation of these awards. We have obtained multiyear annual plaques that are displayed in the lobby of Trotter Hall to identify the recipients of these awards on an annual basis, in addition to the plaques that are presented to each of the recipients."

Rowe was named the recipient of the 2015 Merial Teaching Excellence Award, presented in recognition of outstanding instruction of first-year veterinary students. He earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010 and is in process of receiving a doctorate in comparative anatomy/molecular imaging from the same university. He was a member of the U.S. Army Reserve from 2000-2008. Rowe started teaching at K-State in 2013. He serves as course coordinator for Gross Anatomy I and co-coordinates Applied Anatomy along with lecturing in multiple other anatomy and physiology classes. Students describe him as knowledgeable, dedicated, challenging, lively, entertaining and awesome. Helping to present this award was Greg Campbell from Merial.

"This means a lot to me," Rowe said. "Gross Anatomy is not an easy course; we push these students pretty hard. To have received this award in light of that is a tremendous honor."

KuKanich was presented with the Bayer Animal Health Second Year Award in recognition of outstanding instruction of second-year veterinary students. He obtained his bachelor's and veterinary degrees from Virginia Tech in 1997. He received his doctorate in comparative biomedical sciences from North Carolina State University in 2005. Currently, he coordinates and teaches Pharmacology I and Pharmacology II, and supervises the Analytical Pharmacology Laboratory. Students describe KuKanich as approachable, entertaining, knowledgeable and challenging.

"I really appreciate the honor; it is amazing," KuKanich said. "Obviously, I love these courses. We have a great group of faculty teaching pharmacology and we have excellent students that appreciate the every day clinical relevance of the material we cover."

Beard received the 2015 Third Year Teaching Excellence Award. He earned both a bachelor's and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Texas A&M University. He then received his master's degree from Ohio State University where he also completed a residency. Beard teaches Veterinary Ethics, Junior Surgery and Equine Surgery. His areas of research include management of postoperative colic patients, surgical treatments for dorsal displacement of the soft palate, endotoxemia and devising new surgical methods to deal with difficult surgical problems.

At the presentation, Beard was noticeably surprised and touched. "Thank you," he said. "This makes it all worthwhile."