DLACS Roster DLACS arrow Departments VA-MD Vet Med

DLACS Faculty

Kevin D. Pelzer

Kevin D. Pelzer, DVM, MPVM, Diplomate, ACVPM

Production Management Medicine / Epidemiology
Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences
e-mail: kpelzer@vt.edu
Capsule Biography (PDF)


1985 M.P.V.M., University of California
Davis, CA
1980 D.V.M., Tuskegee Institute
Tuskegee, AL
1979 B.S., University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY

Board Certification

1987 Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine (by examination)

Research Interests

  • Salmonellosis
  • Bovine Leukemia Virus
  • Sheep and Goats

Professional Experience

2010-present Professor, Production Management Medicine (Clinician)
VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
1993-2010 Associate Professor, Production Management Medicine (Clinician)
VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
1987-1993 Assistant Professor, Production Management Medicine (Clinician)
VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
1989-1990 Section Chief, Production Management Medicine
VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
1985-1989 Adjunct Clinical Instructor, Ambulatory Field Services (Clinician)
Iowa State University
1982-1985 Residency in Food Animal Medicine & Reproduction
University of California-Davis, Davis, CA
1980-1982 Mixed Private Practice (Associate)
London Veterinary Clinic, London, KY

Teaching Awards

  • 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, VMRCVM, 1991

Statement of Teaching Philosophy

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 a hunger for learning amongst oneís students. Although the responsibility to learn ultimately lies with the student, responsibility for stimulating thoughts and clarifying information rather than dictating a myriad of 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 the students in open dialogue, not only to keep them awake, but 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 studentís 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 in which the students and I 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 having the ability to explain biological processes, is 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 the student 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 oneís 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.