Recognition Awards

Zoetis (formerly Carl Norden) Distinguished Teacher Award



This award is sponsored by Zoetis and recognizes outstanding teachers who have contributed significantly to the advancement of the profession through their teaching abilities. The recipient of this award is selected by the fourth year class.

How the award works:

Each spring, the graduating 4th year students are tasked as follows:

The Zoetis Distinguished Teaching Award goes to a teacher who you feel, through his or her ability, dedication, character and leadership, has contributed significantly to the veterinary profession, as well as to the education of you and your classmates.

Who made the biggest and most important impact on you and your Class?

It’s very important that you consider ALL of your teachers – think back to first, second, and third year as well as your clinical experience when casting your vote.

The recipient will receive an engraved plaque and a $1,000 check from Zoetis. Each college winner is then eligible to be nominated by the college for the national award.

  • Eligibility:  Nominees must be full-time members of the faculty of the College of Veterinary Medicine and engaged primarily in teaching.
  • Previous recipients do not become eligible for consideration again until the fourth year after receiving the award.

Faculty from all WIMU campuses (Pullman, Logan, and Bozeman) are eligible.

At least 50% of the graduating class MUST vote for the award to be validated.

  • Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award 2021

    Dr. Stephen Hines

    Dr. Sarah Guess

    Dr. Guess has a passion for teaching that is clear to colleagues and students alike. She wants not only to make learning a fun and enjoyable experience, but create a classroom community that builds bonds between students and helps to develop their professional identity. Dr. Guess uses a range of active learning strategies in her teaching to help students grasp new material and apply it to solving clinical problems. Her teaching methods are also informed by her research into veterinary student and graduate resilience, well-being and experiences of learning.

    Some comments from students:

    • Dr. Guess' sessions in this course were some of my favorites. I appreciated that she allowed us to "drive" the cases and our diagnostic choices, but that she also took time to review or teach certain concepts we requested to review.
    • Best professor I had this semester. Really liked her praise for questions and student-involved activities.
    • Dr. Guess is amazing!!! I love her teaching philosophy. I felt I learned the best from this section. She has amazing teaching enthusiasm and really cares that we know the material.
    • Very enthusiastic teacher who is passionate about what she loves doing! Dr. Guess was one of my favorite professors and did an excellent job sharing relevant information/concepts to me. I felt that I still remembered all of her information even after she finished teaching, which suggests that she is able to teach us concepts that we can use for 4th-year rotations and our careers.

  • Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award 2020

    Dr. Stephen HinesDr. Steve Hines

    Dr. Hines has been an outstanding teacher and mentor in the CVM for nearly three decades. He has developed and led innovative programs, including the Diagnostic Challenges and the CVM Teaching Academy, that have established WSU as a national leader in veterinary medical education. His influence has also extended to his founding role in establishing the Teaching Academy of the Consortium of West Region Colleges of Veterinary Medicine, a group that continues to foster the development of teachers and provide invaluable opportunities for collaboration among faculty across its six member institutions. The students of the Class of 2020 may recognize those accomplishments, but they selected Dr. Hines as the recipient of this award because of the direct positive impact he has had on their own experiences in the DVM program.

    Some comments from students:

    • Dr. Hines simultaneously serves us and leads us. There are many professors who do what students ask of them – it is the rare one who listens to students as if they were the most important voice in the world and yet maintains the courage and wisdom to lead them, coach them, and inspire them.
    • I am so inspired by Dr. Hines' commitment to teaching. As a student, I felt like I was constantly pushed to succeed and grow in new ways. This was by far my favorite class of my vet school experience thus far.
    • I have never before encountered a teacher like Steve before. He is everything that a teacher is supposed to be. He cares about his students on an individual basis and not just with their understanding of his class but with their personal lives as well. I believe Steve truly wants each and every one of us to succeed and he is willing to do whatever he can to help us achieve success. Know that Steve is truly appreciated!
    • Having an instructor this interested in what we learn, how we learn, and helping us hold on to information is extremely rare. Steve fostered a learning environment in lab that I have yet to see repeated in vet school. I felt exams were also very fair, as they focused very much on pathogenesis and pathophysiology of the diseases we covered.


  • Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award 2019

    Pamela Lee 240x413
    Dr. Pamela Lee

    DVM, DACVIM (Cardiolog), Assistant Professor – Small Animal Cardiology, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences

    Dr. Lee is an extremely dedicated and passionate teacher.  She goes ‘above and beyond’ to put student learning first, despite the requirements of maintaining a demanding cardiology referral service.  Her efforts have been rewarded by her receipt of the Jerry Newbrey Teaching Scholar Award for excellence in teaching in 2016, which rewards teaching excellence in first 3 years of the core curriculum and a Richard Wescott Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching in 2014, which honors teaching excellence in the 4th (clinical) year. Dr. Lee is an active member of the WSU VTH Teaching Academy and actively participates in the CVM TA’s Clinical Teaching Interest Group. She brings energy, passion, and a scholarly approach to her instruction. Dr. Lee’s research focuses on platelet aggregation and pharmacologic manipulation of platelet function to reduce blood clotting in individual patients.

    Some select comments from Dr. Lee’s Teaching Evaluations:

    • Dr. Lee has a great grasp of what we need to know as general practitioners, and I appreciate that she presented multiple options to work through cases so that we would know how to work them up in private practice. I also really enjoyed the amount of communication practice I got on this rotation - and Dr. Lee was key in helping me simplify the medical explanations into pieces that owners could understand without being patronizing
    • I really enjoyed Dr. Lee this last year, and I learned a ton from her. She brings a special kind of joy to teaching that makes it a lot of fun to be a student in her class. Covering EKGs with her helped solidify my understanding of them, and how to read them in practice

    • Dr. Lee is the only professor who has every made cardiology make sense! She does a great job of breaking down big concepts into manageable chunks. She was always patient when we asked the same question over and over again.  We as a class are better off because Dr. Lee taught us.

    • Dr. Lee is the only professor who has every made cardiology make sense! She does a great job of breaking down big concepts into manageable chunks. She was always patient when we asked the same question over and over again.  We as a class are better off because Dr. Lee taught us.

  • Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award 2018

    Jen Slovak 2018 Zoetis

    Dr. Jennifer Slovak

    DVM, DACVIM, Assistant Professor – Small Animal Internal Medicine, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences

    Dr. Slovak is an outstanding teacher. She has previously received a Jerry Newbrey Teaching Award for excellence in teaching during the first 3 years of the core curriculum and also in 2018 a Richard Wescott Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching. Dr. Slovak is an active member of the WSU VTH Teaching Academy and co-chairs the CVM TA’s Clinical Teaching Interest Group. She brings energy, passion, and a scholarly approach to her teaching. Dr. Slovak’s research interests include assessment methods for small animal gastroenterology disorders, mycophenolate pharmacokinetics in cats, and development of interventional techniques.

    Comments contributed by members of the WSU DVM Class of 2018

    • “Dr. Slovak puts 100% into every single aspect of her job, from the medicine itself, to patient care, to teaching. It is so inspiring to see her dedication to the clients, patients, house officers, and students. She pushes students to hold themselves to that high standard as well, a standard we will all take with us as doctors. I had the pleasure of participating in two Internal Medicine rotations with Dr. Slovak, and they were the most challenging and rewarding rotations of my senior year. She is incredibly deserving of the Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award and I am so happy to see her incredible skills and effort recognized.”
    • “Dr. Slovak tackles teaching with the same enthusiasm and skill that she brings to being a doctor. We (the students) are not just an addition to her busy day of responsibilities, but are actually seen and appreciated and given so much of her energy and drive. She pushes us to be better and believes in us every step of the way.”
    • “Dr. Slovak brings all of her energy and perfect enunciation that she has in the lecture hall into the hospital; she makes it impossible to not want to be around her. She is fast, precise, and knows the perfect balance between showing us where we stumbled while also making sure we know how we shined.”
    • “Several things strike me about Dr. Slovak. (1) She’s not afraid to be vulnerable in front of us. We had an incredibly hard week during my rotation with her. Practically every patient seemed to be dying. We all wept together while she warned us we would all have times when we’d feel we hadn’t done enough, weren’t smart enough, and didn’t deserve to be doctors. She admitted that she still has those times. It was humbling and inspiring to see her try to help us in that moment even when she was as sad as we were. (2) She cares very much for us and wants us to succeed.”
    • From a CVM colleague: “I love Dr. Slovak’s energy and growth mindset, and deeply admire how she continues to look for ways to learn, grow, and improve. She is indomitable.”

  • Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award 2017

    Jenifer Gold

    Dr. Jenifer Gold

    Associate Professor - Equine Internal Medicine, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences

    Dr. Jen Gold is one of many exceptional teachers and committed faculty at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, but her eagerness to share her knowledge, not only of equine medicine but also of the veterinary profession, truly sets her apart. Outside the doors of classrooms and clinics, Dr. Gold invites students to take part in her research and practice more technical skills; her work on exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) in barrel racing horses allowed students to assist in anesthesia, use state-of-the-art endoscopy, and perform advanced diagnostic sampling techniques otherwise out of reach until after graduation.

    However Dr. Gold’s most storied passion is certainly for mentorship. Like any specialty hospital, the VTH can be hectic and overwhelming for both clinicians and students, especially as senior students attempt to pass national exams, attain licenses, and find their first posts as budding veterinarians between clinical rotations. Amid this excitement and uncertainty, Dr. Gold remains genuinely interested in each student’s goals, personally ensuring they have the resources and support they need to achieve them. She invariably makes time in her busy schedule to discuss coursework, work-life balance, personal interests, and career paths, even helping students review employment contracts so they can accept their first jobs as doctors with confidence.

    Dr. Gold is an accomplished teacher and a skilled veterinarian, but it is this irrepressible commitment to care for her students in addition to her patients that makes her an extraordinary person. – contributed by members of the WSU DVM Class of 2017

Washington State University