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K-State Today

December 14, 2020

College of Veterinary Medicine presents annual teaching awards

Submitted by Joe Montgomery

Students in the College of Veterinary Medicine voted for Zsolt Szladovits, Brad Njaa and Kenneth Harkin as recipients of the college's 2020 preclinical teaching awards.

Three faculty members have been recognized for preclinical teaching excellence in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University. Zsolt Szladovits, Brad Njaa and Kenneth Harkin 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 2019-2020 school year. 

"Drs. Szladovits, Njaa, and Harkin are all excellent and engaged teachers, completely immersed in their classrooms and who also spend a great deal of their personal time to provide additional instruction for our students," said James Roush, interim associate dean for academic programs and student affairs. "It is fitting that these dedicated instructors were recognized for their efforts with awards that are chosen by the students they instructed during the previous year."

Szladovits was presented with the 2020 Boehringer Ingelheim Teaching Excellence in the First Year Award in recognition of outstanding instruction of first-year veterinary students. This is his fourth time receiving this award, having previously been honored in 2007, 2011 and 2016. He received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1998. He has previously received teaching awards at his alma mater at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Budapest, Hungary, where he taught anatomy before joining Kansas State University. Szladovits is a clinical assistant professor in the anatomy and physiology department.

"I truly appreciate the hard work of the class of 2023 during their anatomy course, not to mention the incredible distraction that COVID situation has caused, and I am very glad that I still had the opportunity to facilitate this key learning process," Szladovits said. "I am very thankful for receiving this prestigious award and wish continued success for the entire class for the remainder of their course."

Njaa was named recipient of the 2020 Bayer-Elanco Teaching Excellence Award, which is presented in recognition of outstanding instruction of second-year veterinary students. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1991 and master's in veterinary anatomic pathology, both from Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and currently holds the position of professor in the diagnostic medicine and pathobiology department.

"Wow! I was completely shocked by this recognition and honor — thank you!" Njaa said. "Classical instruction dramatically changed because of sudden restrictions in early 2020, and I am grateful the class of 2022 did an excellent job adapting, excelling and advancing. I look forward to consulting on cases or discussing life with these students during their senior year and following graduation."

Harkin was chosen as recipient of the 2020 Teaching Excellence in the Third Year Award sponsored by Zoetis. This is the third time he has received this teaching award, previously honored in 2012 and 2016. Harkin earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1989 from Iowa State University and completed a residency at Michigan State University. He currently instructs fourth-year veterinary students in their clinical rotations through the Internal Medicine service and presents didactic lectures to third-year veterinary students in hepatology, neurology and clinical hematology.

"I'm honored to receive the award," Harkin said. "In the never-ending quest to deliver more enlightening content to students with high expectations, it's encouraging to have one's efforts recognized."