Large Animal Clinical Sciences Faculty

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

Professor
Production Management Medicine / Epidemiology
Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences

Education

  • 1985
    MPVM
    University of California
    Davis, CA
  • 1980
    Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
    Tuskegee Institute
    Tuskegee, AL
  • 1979
    BS
    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)
    Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
    Virginia Tech
    Blacksburg, VA
  • 1993 – 2010
    Associate Professor
    Production Management Medicine (Clinician)
    Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
    Virginia Tech
    Blacksburg, VA
  • 1987 – 1993
    Assistant Professor
    Production Management Medicine (Clinician)
    Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
    Virginia Tech
    Blacksburg, VA
  • 1989 – 1990
    Section Chief
    Production Management Medicine (Clinician)
    Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
    Virginia Tech
    Blacksburg, VA
  • 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 one’s 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 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 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 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.