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Vet Medicine Teaching Awards

May 22, 2012, Volume 58, No. 34

Carl J. Norden-Pfizer Distinguished Teacher Award

Di Terlizzi

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. This year’s recipient at Penn is Dr. Di Terlizzi.

She is the clinical pathology course director who has implemented new approaches with the integration of team-based learning, turning point clickers response and case-based learning. At Penn Vet since 2009, she won the Class of 2012 Award in 2010; she finds teaching very rewarding; it makes her feel accomplished in participating in those students’ lives and as they grow toward becoming great doctors. She also enjoys working in the clinical lab, and in this role as diagnostician she is also able to teach residents and fourth-year veterinary students.

“Dr. Di Terlizzi revolutionized the clinical pathology course at Penn. She put a lot of time and energy into revamping the class syllabus and ensuring that it was clinically relevant and practical. She is easily approachable and alwaysgoes out of her way to assist students.

Dr. Roberta Di Terlizzi received her DVM in Italy in 1999 and had a residency at Kansas State University in veterinary clinical pathology ending in 2007. As a clinical instructor at Iowa State University, she worked in educational research as well as developing and implementing new tools in the classroom to improve student learning abilities.

Class of 2015 Teaching Award

DodsonDr. Peter Dodson holds three degrees in earth sciences: BSc, University of Ottawa 1968; MSc, University of Alberta 1970; PhD, Yale University 1974. He has spent his entire career as a gross anatomist at Penn Vet, with a secondary appointment in the department of geology. He is also research associate at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. He taught a Templeton course on science and religion at the University of Pennsylvania in 1999, and is currently president of the Philadelphia Center for Religion and Science.

“From the very first day in anatomy, Dr. Dodson was thoroughly and consistently knowledgeable, supportive, and—most importantly for us first years—a calming presence. Each day that Dr. Dodson was in the classroom or the laboratory brought new and fascinating information, from the evolution of dinosaurs to the astounding strength of the canine nuchal ligament (illustrated with a signature dramatic demonstration). A long-standing staple of the first-year curriculum, there can be no question that Dr. Dodson has had—and will continue to have—a profoundly positive impact on each student that has the privilege to learn from him.”

Class of 2014 Teaching Award

SweeneyDr. Ray Sweeney earned his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and graduated from Penn Vet in 1982, followed by an internship and residency at Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center. He has spent his entire 30-year career at New Bolton Center, where he is currently professor of medicine and chief of the section of medicine and ophthalmology at New Bolton. Dr. Sweeney’s clinical specialty is internal medicine of large animals, and his research work is focused on paratuberculosis and other infectious diseases of cattle. He teaches in all four years of the veterinary curriculum, including lectures, hands-on laboratories, and clinical instruction of fourth-year students. Dr. Sweeney has been a four-time winner of the Carl Norden-Pfizer Distinguished Teacher Award, was a recipient of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, and in 1992 was awarded the North American Outstanding Teacher Award by the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges.

“Year after year, Dr. Ray Sweeney has been an inspiring teacher for Penn Vet students. His pedagogy and unabashed injection of personality, humor and passion about veterinary medicine keeps students engaged and eager to learn. Outside of the classroom, Dr. Sweeney serves as a mentor in the Opportunity Scholarship program and as an unofficial mentor to numerous students. The Class of 2014 is fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from him, and is pleased to honor him with this award.”

Class of 2013 Philadelphia Campus Teaching Award

RungeDr. Jeffrey J. Runge graduated from Dickinson College and then received his DVM from Ross University. Following his internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York, Dr. Runge went on to do his surgical training at Penn Vet, which included a one year fellowship and a three year small animal surgical residency. Dr. Runge is currently a lecturer of small animal surgery at Penn Vet. He focuses primarily on laparoscopic and thoracoscopic minimally invasive surgery, and has lectured on single port and multiport laparoscopic surgery alike. Through ongoing collaboration with leading human laparoscopic surgeons, Dr. Runge and Penn Vet have become one of the leaders in veterinary reduced port surgery.

“Dr. Runge is both an entertaining and highly skilled educator. He clearly puts students first; whether he is teaching a full classroom or a helping a single student—it is impossible to not learn something valuable when interacting with Dr. Runge.”

Class of 2013 New Bolton Center Teaching Award and William B. Boucher Award

SchnobrichDr. Maria Schnobrich earned her undergraduate degree from Brown University. She spent time at Tufts University’s large animal hospital volunteering and working as a nursing assistant when she decided to go to veterinary school. After taking two years off trying out for the US rowing team and working at a small animal clinic, she attended Penn Vet and graduated in 2008. She did an ambulatory internship at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, KY under Dr. William Riddle. She spent a second year as an associate of Rood & Riddle and the resident vet for a large thoroughbred farm (Shadwell Farm) in Kentucky. She returned to Penn Vet in 2010 as a resident in large animal reproduction at New Bolton Center. She will be returning to Rood and Riddle in 2013 as an in-house theriogenologist following the residency.

“Dr. Schnobrich has made so many fans during Large Animal Block that the entire Class of 2013—even those not on block—have heard about her great personality. Dr. Schnobrich is 100% dedicated to her students, and we thank her for being a great advocate, an exemplary educator, and a stellar role model.”

The William B. Boucher Award is named for Dr. William Boucher, who spent 41 years teaching at Penn Vet. The award is determined by vote of the fourth-year students and is presented for Outstanding Teaching by a House Officer at New Bolton Center.

“Dr. Schnobrich obviously has a passion for teaching, and has developed a fantastic rapport with the students, especially in small group instruction.”

Another student wrote, “Dr. Schnobrich is a fantastic instructor! She is easily approachable, and she takes time and patience to assist students who are not comfortable working with large animals.  She goes out of her way to ensure that everyone is comfortable with what is going on, and she has a great rapport with students.”

Class of 2012 Philadelphia Campus Teaching Award

PhillipsDr. Heidi Phillips, a board-certified surgeon, earned her veterinary degree from Penn Vet in 2001. After gaining board certification, she practiced with a referral hospital in the Pittsburgh area for two years and then returned to Penn Vet as staff clinician. Dr. Phillips is a former staff veterinarian and lecturer at Penn and now is with the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois.

Dr. Phillips is described as “the nicest and most easily approachable”. “She notoriously takes extra time to get students involved with her surgeries and takes the extra couple of minutes to explain things thoroughly.

Class of 2012 New Bolton Center Teaching Award

GasiorowskiDr. Janik Gasiorowski split his undergraduate degree between Duke University and University of California, Berkeley and graduated from Penn Vet in 2007. He pursued an internship at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital followed by a residency in surgery at Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center where he is currently a lecturer in the section of surgery. He teaches in multiple courses of the veterinary curriculum including lectures, hands-on laboratories, and clinical instruction of fourth-year students. He is also involved in extra-curricular wet labs for various large animal groups; settings he considers ideal for teaching and learning. 

A student commented, “I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Gasiorowski during several cases. Although my class did not have Janik in lecture, he has always been awesome to work with on clinical rotations at New Bolton Center. He will routinely pause during his surgeries to ensure that you are up to speed with what is going on and he takes the extra time to go over things.”

Almanac - May 22, 2012, Volume 58, No. 34