Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professors
Dr. Karen K. Cornell
Professor, Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
From the year she joined the CVM faculty in 1998, and EVERY year since, Dr. Karen Cornell has been recognized by her students or her peers – and often both – with at least one teaching award, and at times two or more!
Dr. Cornell, a surgeon who was in private practice before joining the College’s Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, is known as an innovative and demanding professor who believes her students should be instilled with the knowledge to master their medical skills, as well as pragmatic knowledge to aid them in business and life in general.
Twice she has received the Carl J. Norden Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest teaching honor bestowed upon a veterinary educator. Six times she has been selected as the one faculty member who contributed most to the education of fourth-year veterinary students. Four times she has been selected to hood the graduating class; five times chosen to give the college’s commencement speech. In 2004, the faculty awarded her the David Tyler Award for Innovative Advances in Teaching. She received a Lilly Teaching Fellowship in 2001, and has since served as a mentor to other Lilly fellows, as well as to her colleagues at CVM.
“It is particularly noteworthy that Dr. Cornell was recognized by the College as a whole as its most outstanding instructor twice,” said CVM’s dean, Dr. Sheila W. Allen. “The numerous recognitions Dr. Cornell has received for her dedication to teaching document the high regard to which she is held by the faculty and the students.”
Throughout the country, and particularly within veterinary academia, Dr. Cornell is highly regarded as a revolutionary professor. She has been involved with the Bayer Animal Health Communication Project of the Institute for Healthcare Communications (IHC) since its inception in 2004. She took the lead in introducing veterinary communication skills training into UGA CVM’s curriculum, as she believes students should be taught to effectively communicate with their clients, their peers and the media. The accrediting body for veterinary education in the U.S. now requires communications to be one of the nine clinical competencies that all students must achieve in order to graduate.
“Recognition of the value of communications training has been a major cultural change for our profession. It is a testimony to Karen’s leadership and credibility as an educator that she was among the first veterinary educators in the country to offer such training to students,” noted Dr. Nicole Northrup, an associate professor on the SAMS faculty. She also believes in fostering personal and professional growth, having spent three years developing and teaching a seminar series for clinical interns and residents.
“She taught this seminar series at night, frequently at her own home or the home of other department faculty members, in order to provide a venue for open discussions,” said her former department head, Dr. Scott Brown. The series was so highly valued that it is now a regular part of training of the departments’ graduate students and is entitled “SAMS 7660: Personal and Professional Development for the Graduate Student.”
“With all the rigors of academic veterinary medicine, she continually makes time for her students and peers, listening to and attempting to meet needs as best she can,” said a 2008 graduate. “I valued her advice about career and life decisions above that of many others, and I always knew I would get an honest evaluation of myself in the midst of any situation I was presented. That generosity and care for others from Dr. Cornell was ubiquitous throughout the entire college and community.”
Public Relations Director
|Sue Myers Smith
This page was last updated on May 5, 2011.