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K-State Today

December 20, 2018

College of Veterinary Medicine presents annual teaching awards

By Joe Montgomery

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Faculty award recipients from left: Ryane Englar, Butch KuKanich, Emily Klocke and Justin Thomason.

Four faculty members have been recognized for preclinical teaching excellence in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University.

Ryane Englar, Butch KuKanich, Emily Klocke and Justin Thomason were each named as the respective top teachers for the first, second and third years of instruction, as voted on by each respective class of students for their teaching efforts in the 2017-2018 school year.

"Beginning in 2004, the college has utilized these annual awards to recognize faculty for their exceptional teaching efforts in the preclinical stages of the veterinary curriculum," said Peggy Schmidt, associate dean for academic programs and student affairs. "Students have chosen these faculty for their dedication to student learning inside and outside of the classroom. This year's recipients are outstanding educators and well-deserving of this recognition."

Englar, clinical assistant professor and clinical education coordinator for clinical skills, was named recipient of the 2018 Boehringer Ingelheim Teaching Excellence Award, which is presented in recognition of outstanding instruction of first-year veterinary students. She earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2008 from Cornell University. Englar joined the faculty at K-State in May 2017, when she was hired to help fulfill a priority in the college's strategic plan of providing clinical experiences and skills in all years of the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine curriculum. Englar is a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, certified in canine and feline practice.

"It is such an honor to be recognized for something that has never felt like a job to me — teaching is my passion; supporting and nurturing the next generation of veterinary leaders is my reason for being," Englar said. "This profession is all about building each other up and helping each other grow stronger. My students make me stronger each day, every day. I feel privileged to be a part of their journey."

KuKanich was presented with the 2018 Bayer Teaching Excellence in the Second Year Award in recognition of outstanding instruction of second-year veterinary students. He earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech in 1997. He earned a doctorate in comparative biomedical sciences at North Carolina State University in 2005 and is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology. He is a professor and assistant head of the anatomy and physiology department in the College of Veterinary Medicine and teaches courses in veterinary pharmacology.

"It is great to see the students progress through the semester," KuKanich said. "They work hard throughout the semester and you can see their eyes light up as they are able to grasp concepts and clinical scenarios. I am very appreciative of their recognition!"

Klocke and Thomason were chosen as co-recipients of the 2018 Teaching Excellence in the Third Year Award sponsored by Zoetis. Klocke is a clinical associate professor of small animal surgery. She earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Michigan State University in 1999. She then completed both an internship and a residency in small animal surgery at Purdue University. She is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. She teaches veterinary surgery to third-year students and small animal soft tissue surgery courses to fourth-year students.

"I am very honored to receive this award and I am so grateful to the wonderful students I get to work with," Klocke said. "They keep me on my toes and I continue to learn from them each and every day. Seeing their confidence grow when they grasp a concept or solve a difficult case is an award in itself and is what makes this a wonderful job to have."

Thomason, clinical assistant professor of cardiology, received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Oklahoma State University in 2002. He completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship at the University of Missouri and a residency in small animal internal medicine and cardiology at the University of Georgia. Thomason was board certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in small animal internal medicine in 2006 and cardiology in 2014. Thomason teaches electrophysiology to first-year students, cardiac pharmacology and cross-course integration to second-year students, medicine to third-year students and comparative cardiology to fourth-year students.

"During my training at the University of Georgia, I discovered 'National Treasures' of teaching to whom I am indebted to helping me develop my teaching philosophy," Thomason said. "Regardless of teaching strategy (case studies, lecture format, discussion, active learning, cooperative learning, technology, etc.), one will be an effective teacher and life changer with the foundations of: 1. Be a full-time student; 2. Encourage/Invite discussion; 3. Be wise (knowledge with application and sharing); 4. Be approachable; 5. Care about others; 6. Be enthusiastic; and 7. Challenge conventional thinking."

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