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Vet Medicine Teaching Awards

May 10, 2011, Volume 57, No. 33

The SCAVMA (Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association) teaching and student awards were presented on April 29, at Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

The awards celebrated faculty and staff honorees selected for their dedication and passion for teaching. Student clubs and individual students were honored for their contributions to the school and the surrounding community.

The Carl Norden-Pfizer Distinguished Teacher Award was presented to Dr. Raymond Sweeney, professor of medicine and section chief of medicine at New Bolton Center. Dr. Sweeney is a 1982 graduate of Penn Vet. The Carl J. Norden-Pfizer Distinguished Teacher Award is the most prestigious teaching award in Veterinary Medicine. It is presented annually to a faculty member at each College of Veterinary Medicine in the United States.

A new award, the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Service, was given to Dr. Mark Haskins, professor of pathology. He is a 1969 graduate of Penn Vet and earned his doctorate in pathology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1979. This is the first year Dean Joan Hendricks has presented this award. She had this to say about Dr. Haskins: “You never hesitate to share your experience, your wise counsel, and your strong advocacy when you identify a way you can have a positive impact.  You are passionate and at the same time scientifically rigorous in your assessment of all sides of a question or issue. You have a clear-eyed appreciation for the value of research and also the highest humane and ethical standards, and you have opened your program to students to ensure that they are educated in these values. You have been an agitator, provoking us never to become smug or self-satisfied, even as you have also been a conservative force questioning change, advocating for preserving what is good in our history and traditions. While an award cannot be sufficient, it is a pleasure to have the opportunity to express my personal gratitude to you for lending the full force of your personality to improving your School.”


The William B. Boucher Award  went to Dr. William Gilsenan, a 2008 graduate of Penn Vet. After graduation, Dr. Gilsenan entered an internship at Colorado State University. He is currently a 2nd-year resident in Large Animal Medicine at New Bolton Center. This is the second year in a row that Dr. Gilsenan has won the Boucher Award. This award is presented by the senior class in recognition of outstanding teaching skills and responsiveness to the needs of the students, as well as a general dedication to New Bolton Center and to the veterinary profession.

The Class of 2014 Teaching Award was given to Dr. Peter Nassar, an anatomy instructor in the department of animal biology. Dr. Nassar teaches gross anatomy and histology in animal biology. He took his BA in geology at Amherst College, and his masters and PhD at Bryn Mawr, also in geology. He came to Penn in 1994, and became a lecturer in 2003. He is the associate director of anatomy labs at the school.


The Class of 2013 Teaching Award was awarded to Dr. Julie Engiles, assistant professor of pathology at Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center. She has a primary research interest in orthopedic pathology with focus on equine laminitis. A current project involves collaboration with The Laminitis Institute, which is looking to systematically characterize and grade the histopathological changes that occur within the pedal bone and sensitive lamina of the hoof during and af ter naturally occurring episodes of laminitis. Dr. Engiles uses micro-computer tomography technology to study the effects of laminitis on bone density and osteolysis, a prominent feature of laminitis that has not been previously investigated. The project is aimed at correlating laminitis-associated pathology that occurs at both the macro and micro-anatomic levels with pathology that occurs on the molecular level.

The Class of 2012 Philadelphia Campus Teaching Award was given to Dr. Jeff Wilson who received his DVM from North Carolina State University in 2004. He completed a rotating internship in 2005 and his residency in 2008, both at the University of Tennessee. He has been a lecturer in anesthesia with Clinical Studies—Philadelphia since October of 2008.

The New Bolton Center Campus Teaching Award was awarded to Dr. Rose Nolen-Walston, assistant professor of medicine at Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center. Always going the extra mile, Dr. Nolen-Walston is a second-year student award recipient; last year, she earned the Carl Norden Pfizer Distinguished Teacher Award. Her research expertise includes equine pulmonary function testing; measurement of airway reactivity; rodent pulmonary function testing; and mouse adult pulmonary stem cell investigations, among others.


The Class of 2011 Philadelphia Campus Teaching Award went to Dr. Lesley King, director of the Intensive Care Unit at Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital and professor, clinical educator in section of critical care at Penn Vet. Dr. King’s research interests include all aspects of small animal intensive care medicine, with special emphasis on pulmonary medicine, applications of positive pressure ventilation in small animals, and outcome prediction in the critical small animal patient. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, and also of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Her clinical focus is on intensive care medicine for dogs and cats, with particular emphasis on respiratory failure.


The New Bolton Center Campus Teaching Award  was awarded to Dr. Amy Johnson, lecturer in the department of clinical studies at New Bolton Center. Dr. Johnson, board-certified in large animal internal medicine, is a lecturer at New Bolton Center and is completing a residency in neurology. She completed her veterinary degree at Cornell University, internship at B.W. Furlong & Associates in New Jersey, and internal medicine residency at Cornell. Her clinical and research interests include Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis and botulism in horses.
Almanac - May 10, 2011, Volume 57, No. 33