K-State veterinary medicine professor receives fifth distinguished teacher award

Kenneth Harkin, K-State Professor of Veterinary Medicine, receives the Zoetis Distinguished...
Kenneth Harkin, K-State Professor of Veterinary Medicine, receives the Zoetis Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award.(Kansas State University)
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 3:04 PM CDT
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - A Kansas State University professor of veterinary medicine received a distinguished teacher award for the fifth time in his career.

K-State announced Kenneth Harkin, Steven and Colleen Hodes Professor of Veterinary Medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine, was recognized for the Zoetis Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award. Harkin is also a board-certified small animal internist in the Veterinary Health Center. He was presented with the award during the college’s honors banquet.

According to K-State, since 1963, the Zoetis Distinguished Veterinary Teaching Award has been presented at each of the U.S. veterinary colleges to an outstanding teacher who advances the veterinary profession by inspiring students to their highest levels of achievement and professionalism.

Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Student Success James Roush shared a comment about Harkin’s accomplishment.

“It’s safe to say everyone in our college has been touched by Dr. Harkin’s passioned contributions in clinics, in lecture and as a valued colleague,” said Roush. “As a five-time Zoetis Distinguished Teacher — in 2001, 2008, 2013, 2017 and 2023 — he has achieved the veterinary college equivalent of NFL quarterback Tom Brady’s five-time Super Bowl MVP record.”

Staff at K-State indicated fourth-year veterinary students take Harkin’s courses in clinical rotations through the internal medicine service. Harkin gives didactic lectures to students in gastroenterology, hepatology, neurology and clinical hematology. He leads weekly case discussions for students in their pre-clinical years and serves as the faculty advisor for the American Animal Hospital Association student leadership team, the feline club and the cycling club.

Harkin shared a comment about his accomplishment.

“I’m honored and humbled to be selected by the students for this award,” said Harkin. “There is so much history and meaning behind the Zoetis Distinguished Teaching Award, and every year when I hear the winner announced I’m reminded of the importance of teaching and the impact that all of us in the College of Veterinary Medicine can have on future veterinarians.”

Additionally, Harkin was the recipient of the college’s first William R. Prichard Service and Outreach Award in 2012. He also highlighted Harkin’s “Thought for the Day” case presentation emails that are sent out regularly to benefit student learning.

Roush shared a comment during the presentation of the award.

“Perhaps it is most simple to summarize Dr. Harkin’s impact by borrowing from one of this year’s nomination statements from students, that ‘when Dr. Harkin lectures, he fosters the desire to learn more,’” Roush said.

K-State noted Harkin received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Iowa State University in 1989. He completed a residency in veterinary internal medicine at Michigan State University from 1991-1994 and became board certified in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 1997. He was in private veterinary practice until joining the K-State faculty in 1997. He became an associate professor in 1998. Harkin was promoted to professor in 2010. He is the section head for small animal internal medicine.

K-State said Harkin is a member of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. In 2006, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association. He has many publications and is regularly sought after as a speaker for local, regional, and national veterinary continuing education programs.