Ames' influence transcends AABP presidency

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Dr. N. Kent Ames of the Michigan State University Veterinary Clinical Center in East Lansing said that three distinctions have highlighted his 27-year career in academia. One of them was becoming president of the AABP this year at the Vancouver conference.

Dr. N. Kent Ames mentoring fourth-year veterinary students during a food animal clinical rotation at Michigan State University.

His contributions to the AABP have gone beyond his service through the ranks as committee member, district director for 10 years, vice president, president-elect and program chairman, and now president. As professor of large animal clinical sciences at MSU, he has taught about 3,000 students during his quarter century there, and for three years before that, students at Kansas State University. Some of those students have themselves gone on to contribute their expertise to the AABP—such as Drs. Robert A. Smith, Stillwater Okla., current AABP editor, and M. Gatz Riddell, both of whom have served as AABP presidents.

"When I go to an AABP meeting, there's nothing more fun than to see former students," Dr. Ames said, knowing that what those students have done "is just phenomenal, and that as a teacher, you had some influence on their lives."

At MSU he carries a heavy teaching load in the professional curriculum that includes clinical and didactic courses. In addition, he teaches a graduate-level course and the only undergraduate course in veterinary medicine at MSU.

His service responsibility is at the Veterinary Clinical Center, where he treats client-owned animals.

What are the other two pinnacles of Dr. Ames' career? One was his selection by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges as the North American Outstanding Teacher in 1995. The AAVMC chose him from among all the Norden teaching award recipients honored by students at each veterinary school.

"The third one is actually ongoing. The students at Michigan State choose the faculty member who will give the commencement address, and," he said with pride, "I've given it four times."