The MU College of Veterinary Medicine tallied a new record in scholarships awarded during the 2019 Honors Banquet held May 14. More than $400,000 was presented for scholastic achievement, clinical proficiency, community service and leadership, surpassing the previous record of $360,000 set last year.
The banquet, held at the Courtyard by Marriott in Columbia, Missouri, featured the presentation of more than 100 awards to veterinary medical students, faculty members, house officers and a veterinary technician. An additional eight awards and honors had been announced prior to the event, and the Office for Student Affairs will notify 26 more scholarship recipients of additional awards.
Students in each academic class selected an outstanding teacher to receive a 2019 Golden Aesculapius Teaching Award. The Class of 2022 honored Chris Baines, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences. Second-year veterinary students chose Jodi Matheson, DVM, for their award. Matheson is an associate teaching professor in the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery. VM-3s selected Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Clinical Instructor Patrick Hunt, DVM, MS, as their Golden Aesculapius recipient. The graduating class honored Leon Tu, DVM. Tu is also a clinical instructor in the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery.
Baines and Tu were again recognized by veterinary students for their teaching efforts with the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA) awards. First- and second-year students awarded Baines the SAVMA Teaching Award for Basic Sciences. Each year students select a faculty member who has made immense contributions to their education and progression through the veterinary curriculum. Tu received the SAVMA Teaching Award for Clinical Sciences from third- and fourth-year students who choose the recipient based on dedication to student education, progression toward clinical competency and development of professional abilities.
The graduating class also honored a veterinary technician who had an impact on their clinical experience. Justin Paige, RVT, an anesthesiology technician, received the Technician Award.
The Dadd Award is presented to honor excellence in veterinary medicine teaching as judged by peers. George Dadd was a veterinarian and physician born and trained in England. He promoted the earliest formal veterinary medical education in the United States. Dadd equated veterinary medicine to human medicine, sought the best students for veterinary medicine, and pioneered the use of anesthesia for clinical use in animals. The 2019 Dadd Award recipient was Philip Johnson, BVSc, MS, MRCVS, a professor of equine internal medicine in the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery. In announcing the award, CVM Dean Carolyn J. Henry, DVM, MS, said among the accolades submitted by his nominators, Johnson was called, “One of the most gifted academicians and teachers I have ever known: A gifted, tireless, and committed clinician.” He was also called a teacher’s teacher who strives to ensure every student has a positive and engaging educational experience.
Faculty members also nominate the recipient of the Zoetis Award for Veterinary Research Excellence, which is presented to a faculty member or graduate student whose research related to veterinary medicine has promise of national recognition. This year’s winner was Shawn Bender, PhD. An assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Bender studies mechanisms of impaired coronary and cardiac function in common disease states such as diabetes, obesity and hypertension. The long-term goal of his research is to identify novel targets for the prevention and treatment of obesity-associated cardiovascular disease. His work has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Veterans Affairs and industry sources.
Zoetis also supports the Zoetis Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award. The student body selects an outstanding teacher who, through ability, dedication, character and leadership, contributes to the advancement of the profession, as the recipient. The 2019 award was presented to Biomedical Sciences Associate Teaching Professor Cathleen Kovarik, PhD, DVM. Kovarik teaches neuroscience and large animal gross anatomy. Her nominators likened her lectures to a TED Talk and called her professional, yet relatable, and an effective teacher who respects her students.
A complete list of awards and recipients can be found here.