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Kevin D. Pelzer, DVM, MPVM, DACVPM

Professor
  • Production Management Medicine/Epidemiology
Kevin Pelzer
Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences
VA-MD College of Veterinary Medicine
Virginia Tech
205 Duck Pond Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061

MPVM, 1985
University of California, Davis
Davis, CA

DVM, 1980
Tuskegee Institute
Tuskegee, AL

BS, 1979
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY

  • American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine (by examination), 1987
  • Salmonellosis
  • Bovine leukemia virus
  • Sheep and boats

2010–present
Professor
Production Management Medicine (Clinician)
Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences
Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA

1993–2010
Associate Professor

Production Management Medicine (Clinician)
Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences
Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA

1987–1993
Assistant Professor
Production Management Medicine (Clinician)

Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences
Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA

1989–1990
Section Chief

Production Management Medicine (Clinician)

Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences
Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA

1985–1989
Adjunct Clinical Instructor

Ambulatory Field Services (Clinician)
Iowa State University
Ames, IA

1982–1985
Residency in Food Animal Medicine and Reproduction

University of California, Davis
Davis, CA

1980–1982
Associate, Mixed Private Practice
London Veterinary Clinic
London, KY

  • Teacher of the Year, in recognition of teaching and a compassionate and caring attitude for the class:
    • Class of 2006, Bayer Faculty Recognition Award
    • Class of 2004, for the year of 2003
    • Class of 2003, for the year of 2002
    • Class of 2001, for the year of 2001
  • Student American Veterinary Medical Association National Teaching Excellence Award in Clinical Sciences for teaching excellence in veterinary clinical sciences, 2006
  • Elected to the Academy of Teaching Excellence, Virginia Tech, 2006
  • University W.E. Wine Award for a history of university teaching excellence, 2006
  • Certificate of Teaching Excellence, Virginia Tech, 2002
  • Teaching Excellence Award, 2001
  • Teaching Excellence Award, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, 1991

My primary responsibilities are teaching in the classroom, as well as within the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. I have lectured in 21 different courses and have spent an average of 30 weeks a year on the clinic floor of the teaching hospital.

Teaching is the unique opportunity to evoke excitement, curiosity, and hunger for learning amongst one’s students. Although the responsibility to learn ultimately lies with the student, responsibility for stimulating thoughts and clarifying information, rather than dictating myriad facts, lies with the teacher. Teaching veterinary students involves both classroom and clinical settings, each of which demands different teaching philosophies. In the classroom, I strive to engage students in open dialogue, to keep them not only awake, but also, hopefully, interested and stimulated by the material presented. This encourages open discussion in a welcoming environment in which students learn that making mistakes during the learning process is acceptable. Likewise, it enables me to determine where the weaknesses and strengths lie within a particular class in order to build and enhance the student’s educational experience. With the majority of students focused on small animal medicine, getting them to be excited about large animal topics can be a challenge. I approach this challenge with energy, enthusiasm, humor, and personal stories. I present clinical cases, which allows the students and I to work through together. These cases are practical and, wherever possible, involve similar concepts and techniques that may be used in small animal medicine. Challenging students to think about and understand concepts and ultimately have the ability to explain biological processes, i important, as this forces them to learn the material and not memorize facts.

In the clinical setting, the student must apply didactic information, learned over the previous three years, to a sick animal or clinical case in a problem-solving format. Students need the opportunity to solve the clinical problems presented to them. By continuous questioning, I guide them to the solution through their thought processes and knowledge so that they can solve the problem rather than I. Allowing students an active role in problem-solving enables them to gain the confidence and knowledge needed to cope with making clinical decisions in their future careers.

Good teaching requires a willingness to share one’s experiences and knowledge, an ability to present information in a practical and understandable manner, and a sincere interest in the student and his or her success, not only in that particular class, but also in life.