Nolen-Walston Receives Award for Distinguished Teaching

Rose Nolen-Walston, DVM, is one of eight faculty members chosen to receive the coveted University of Pennsylvania’s Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching for 2013-14.

Nolen-Walston is an assistant professor of large animal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) New Bolton Center. The award comes with a $4,000 bonus and a certificate from the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation. The award ceremony is on April 28.

"The Lindback prize is the biggest honor and greatest reward I've ever received,” Nolen-Walston said. “Teaching is the greatest challenge in my job, and I am always looking for ways to help my students and junior doctors become better veterinarians.”

Nolen-Walston plans to donate the $4,000 award to the Work to Ride nonprofit equestrian program in Philadelphia, which provides opportunities for underprivileged urban youth through riding and working with horses.

“Work to Ride has achieved amazing outcomes on a shoestring budget for many years,” she explained. “I am delighted to be able to help them with their mission this year.”

Lezlie Hiner, executive director of Work toRide, said, “Rose has been a huge supporter of ours for a long time and we are very grateful for her continued support.”

Nolen-Walston has been teaching at Penn Vet since 2007. A former resident, who is now a colleague, notes that she is a gifted teacher with “critical talents. She is able to engage students by facilitating a humorous yet safe environment, and she is able to boil concepts down to packages and pieces that veterinary students can understand.”

Many current and former students remark on her extraordinary mentorship, with one resident noting that she “not only taught me a huge amount about medicine, but also how to be a better clinician and educator.” Another current resident agrees: “She is one of those rare teachers who allows you the right amount of freedom to make your own decisions in the clinic while at the same time providing insight and direction when needed.”

Colleagues and students alike cite her dedication to the community, with several noting her volunteer work with animal owner groups and groups associated with economically or socially disadvantaged children. A former student who is now a colleague says it very well: “She remains the teacher whom I most try to emulate in my own work. I aspire to maintain the same level of enthusiasm and creativity that she demonstrates every day in her teaching.”

The Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching at the University of Pennsylvania was established in 1961 with the help of the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation. Christian Lindback was president and principal owner of Abbotts Dairies Inc. The university gives out eight Lindback awards each year, four to those in health-related disciplines and four to those in other departments and divisions. Award winners are determined by nominations and recommendations made by faculty and students based on detailed criteria. The winners of the award are chosen by two separate committees—one in the health schools and one in the non-health schools—consisting of six previous award winners and four students.

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