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K-State Today

July 27, 2020

College of Veterinary Medicine virtually honors Susan Nelson and Thomas Schermerhorn with teaching, service awards

Submitted by Cheyenne Swoope

Drs. Susan Nelson and Tom Schermerhorrn receive faculty recognition in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

The College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University recently presented distinguished faculty awards to Susan Nelson and Thomas Schermerhorn.

Nelson, professor and clinical instructor, was presented the 2020 Dr. William and Deanna Pritchard Veterinary Service and Outreach Award. This award was created in honor of Pritchard, a 1946 K-State alumnus who later became dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis.

"Receiving the 2020 Pritchard Service and Outreach Award means a great deal to me," Nelson said. "When I first entered veterinary school, it was impressed upon us, bright-eyed and nervous students, that veterinarians had an obligation to provide service not only to our patients and clients but to our community as well."

Nelson said that after she joined the veterinary college as a clinical instructor, she discovered that the boundaries for service and outreach spread even further than Manhattan and the surrounding area.

"Our outreach efforts have taken me statewide, nationally and even a little internationally as our Primary Care Veterinary Educators, or PCVE, group is comprised of educators from several countries," Nelson explained. "I have had the privilege of giving presentations and helping with various activities for the PCVE, participated in outreach activities providing needed care to cats and dogs in Mexico and the Santee Indian reservation in Nebraska, been a board member for KSART, participated in care of animals displaced during local flooding and have had many of my pet care articles picked up by national media outlets."

Schermerhorn, professor, small animal internal medicine veterinarian and Morgan K "Al" Jarvis chair in veterinary medicine, was honored with the Carl J. Norden-Pfizer-Zoetis Animal Health Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award. An award winner is selected by students from each veterinary college in the U.S. for their ability to encourage and lead students to their greatest potential.

"Thank you to the students who nominated me," Schermerhorn said. "Thank you all for being motivated and passionate learners, for being dedicated to the profession you will soon join. It is an honor to have a small role in teaching veterinarians to become better clinicians, learners, veterinarians and public servants."

Despite COVID-19 causing the postponement and cancellation of various award ceremonies and commencements, Bonnie Rush, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, was assisted by other faculty in the college in finding an alternate way to celebrate and honor Nelson and Schermerhorn through online award presentations and by following proper safety protocols in wearing masks and maintaining proper physical distance.

"Typically, honorees are recognized during college celebrations," Rush said. "Because of COVID-19, these awards were presented via Zoom. The unusual presentation format allowed some individuals to witness the festivities who could never have been here in person. We are proud to have staff and faculty who represent their community and the university with professionalism and commitment to the success of veterinary students. We are excited to extend our congratulations to Drs. Nelson and Schermerhorn for these prestigious and well-deserved honors."