ASVCP Lifetime Achievement Award 2018 Recipient:
Dr. Steven L. Stockham
Dr. Steven L. Stockham received his Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees from Kansas State University in 1970 and 1972. He received his Master of Science in pathology from Michigan State University and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathology in 1980. He served in the United States Air Force (1972–1974) and was in clinical practice in Idaho and Utah (1974–1977). He completed a veterinary pathology residency at Michigan State University (1977–1980). His academic career included 21 years at the University of Missouri (1981–2001) and 15 years at Kansas
State University (2001–2016) as a professor of veterinary clinical pathology. At K-State, He led a successful clinical pathology residency program from which 11 veterinarians became Diplomates of the ACVP. He coordinated the provost-sponsored KSU Wakonse Program from 2002–2013 in which 87 KSU faculty attended the Wakonse Conference on College Teaching. He has numerous clinical and research-related publications and is a coauthor of a highly respected textbook – Fundamentals of Veterinary Clinical Pathology.
Steve has been a dedicated member of ASVCP since 1978; has served on many committees and has acted as the society’s historian. He is an Honorary Member of the European College of Veterinary Clinical Pathology and was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the European Society of Veterinary Clinical Pathology in 2013.
Dr. Stockham’s legacy is being a passionate motivating teacher, mentor, and leader to thousands of veterinary and graduate students, residents, faculty, and staff. During his instructional career, he received 29 teaching awards such as the prestigious Norden/Pfizer/Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award (1987, 1998, 2012, 2016), the Bayer Animal Health Teaching Excellence Award (2005, 2009, 2013), the William T. Kemper Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching (1994), Educator Award of the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology (2015), and the AAVMC Distinguished Teaching Award in Academic Veterinary Medicine (2016).
He challenges everyone he interacts with to think beyond, question the status quo, and to hold high standards not only to the profession but in life’s activities as well. I am so honored and thankful to have had his mentorship as a student and faculty member. These experiences will always be with us.
Melinda J. Wilkerson, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVP
Steve Stockham is the Kansas bulldog. Why should I call him a bulldog which is a genetically deformed breed that cannot breathe normally or give birth naturally? Bulldogs were bred to have massive jaws that bit firmly to a bull or another dog and the bulldog did not give up that grip until that other animal was finished. Steve has the ability to bite fast to a task and not let go until the task is accomplished with excellence. Back in the late 70’s we came in to work one morning and the microscope had a sign on it “Do not move this field.” Steve was so certain the dog had Ehrlichia canis that he spent 3-4 hours the previous evening to find a single morula in the blood smear. Then he showed it to all of us in the lab. Steve worked often late into the evenings and I learned his trick of adding a little fresh coffee to the previously used coffee grounds to make one more pot of coffee. When one listens to a lecture from Steve on comparing anion gap to strong ion difference in interpretation of acid base data or how to formulate “best choice” questions it is clear that the background material was well studied, understood and an undisputable argument was given. Many have lectured on similar topics but never came close to the well-organized, step-for-step presentation of evidence to prove Steve’s conclusions at the end of the talk. Steve has a well-organized collection of pdf files of all of the major articles written on veterinary clinical pathology. The abundance of that material is felt in his and Mike Scott’s book Fundamentals of Veterinary Clinical Pathology. Those are only a few examples of how Steve has taken on an assignment and did not give up until the task was completed better than anyone else could have done. It has been a great pleasure to watch how Steve has accomplished task after task with excellence over the last 41 years.
Harold Tvedten, DVM, PhD DACVP DECVCP
Over the years, many of Steve’s comments and questions have been educational for me by making me think and challenge what I know. I’m sure many others have had the same experience when interacting with Steve, and we’re all better for it. Steve’s professional activities and numerous teaching awards clearly show that he’s been first and foremost a teacher – a teacher of veterinary students, residents, graduate students, colleagues, and practicing veterinarians alike. He’s done this through his classroom instruction, diagnostic and research mentoring, presentations, publications, and authorship of a clinical pathology textbook. So many teaching awards! So many lives touched! Why did he do all this?
Because he cared about doing his job the best he could. He cared about the students learning the best they could. He cared about having a positive impact on his students’ careers and he cared about the accuracy of the clinical pathology information he and others disseminated. All his hard work was for others, not for him. Steve has been a long-time champion of students of veterinary clinical pathology everywhere, and he is himself a life-long student of the discipline, even in retirement. His humility, his comfort in acknowledging what he doesn’t know, and his effort to communicate precisely and accurately without overstating what we truly know, permeate all he’s done.
Michael Scott, DVM, PhD, DACVP
I have known Dr. Stockham as a major force in veterinary professional education, as well as in clinical pathology, only growing in his determination to improve his own teaching as well as helping others to improve our teaching practice whether we were new or experienced. He was persistent in his ability to challenge long-held assumptions, while continually growing in competence and mentoring us all, but remaining humble. Throughout the years, we have collaborated on research projects focusing on improving the practice of teaching and learning in veterinary clinical pathology.
Holly S. Bender, DVM, PhD, DACVP
When I joined the clinical pathology residency program at K-State, I was very excited about the opportunity to work with Dr. Stockham; I knew he was an internationally recognized authority in the veterinary clinical pathology field. I quickly learned that there was much more to Dr. Stockham than his scientific reputation. I learned that he was a great teacher, an exceptional clinical pathologist, and truly a wonderful mentor. In a career filled with accomplishments, Dr. Stockham can be known for one that I believe he enjoys the most: mentoring residents and graduate students. He is everything that a good mentor should be and more. Dr. Stockham is a great mentor for not only his past and present residents but also many other clinical pathologists. He masters the art of “clinical pathology mentoring” to a degree that is very rare. It is a great honor for me knowing him and working under his supervision and guidance during my residency at K-State.
Mehrdad Ameri, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVP
I think there are not enough words to explain how significant, endless, and exceptional Dr. Stockham’s contribution is. There is no one who deserves this award more than Dr. Stockham does. He was a true mentor in a way that made me a better clinical pathologist, and I am thankful to Dr. Stockham. I follow his education, keep in mind his beliefs, ways, knowledge, and statements, and use those every day when making decisions in my profession.
Adi Wasserkrug Naor, DVM, DACVP
I cannot imagine a more deserving recipient for this award. He is an exceptional man, mentor, educator, and clinical pathologist who inspires everyone around him, including pathologists, veterinarians, technicians, residents, interns, and students, to be the best they can be. Despite his countless achievements, he will continue to be an inspiration and guiding influence in veterinary clinical pathology.
Mandy Meindel, DVM, MS, DACVP
Dr. Stockham taught me how to be a great clinical pathologist too, in being always so precise and accurate. I still remember his jokes on terminology he never agreed with, and I still have his words popping into my mind from time to time. He guided me step by step since my first year of my residency to also be able to perform research projects and present them to the ACVP meeting. As a foreigner with English as a second language, that was a challenge, but he persisted constantly.
Roberta Di Terrlizi, DVM, DACVP
Clearly, he is an outstanding professional, mentor, teacher, and colleague, but above all he is an outstanding leader. He is a leader of those of us in the profession and a leader for the profession itself. There are few who have achieved as much as he has in their chosen discipline. Dr. Stockham has been a model, and indeed an inspiration, in his service to the profession and education.
Bradley Galgut, BVSc (Hons), DACVP
Beyond Steve’s outstanding and natural ability as an exceptional educator both for students, residents, veterinarians, and being a uniquely talented diagnostician and impeccable character when it comes to research questions, he is also a man with a solid core foundation, morals and ethics, that can always be trusted and relied upon.
Balázs Szladovits, DVM, MRCVS, FHEA, DACVP
The list of examples of Dr. Stockham’s commitment to excellence in veterinary clinical pathology and teaching goes on and on. I know that those of us who were lucky enough to learn from him will continue to pass on what we have learned, to veterinary students and veterinary practitioners alike. Dr. Stockham’s influence will carry on, beyond his retirement. That is quite the lifetime achievement!