March 7, 2018

Vet Med professor and recent grad earn top honours from provincial association

Seasoned scholar and young alumna share the veterinary limelight
John Kastelic and Andrea Storch honoured at recent Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA) event.

John Kastelic and Andrea Storch honoured at Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA) event.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

One graduated in 1982, the other in 2015. 

One is a skilled researcher, teacher, and internationally recognized expert in cattle reproduction; the other is a rising star in small animal veterinary medicine with a passion for giving back to the community.

Both were honoured recently by the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA) for contributions to veterinary medicine.

Dr. John Kastelic, professor, head of the Production Animal Health Department in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM) and cattle researcher, accepted the ABVMA Veterinarian of the Year award.

Dr. Andrea Storch (UCVM Class of 2015), a partner in the Cypress View Veterinary Clinic in Medicine Hat and certified canine rehab therapist, received the ABVMA Young Veterinarian of the Year award.

Dean could not be prouder

The dean of UCVM, Dr. Baljit Singh, says the two award recipients exemplify why the faculty is in the top 50 veterinary medicine programs in the world.

“We’re delighted Dr. Kastelic and Dr. Storch are being honoured,” says Singh. "Dr. Kastelic has made significant contributions to the veterinary profession as a researcher and a teacher. Through his highly acclaimed writing workshops, he has impacted the veterinary medical profession locally and globally. And we’re extremely proud of Dr. Storch’s accomplishments in just a few short years. She’s a great example of our strong DVM program graduating future leaders in veterinary medicine."

Kastelic has devoted most of his professional career to research, making numerous discoveries, many used routinely in clinical practice. He was a research scientist at the Lethbridge Research Centre for more than 20 years before joining UCVM.

 “I am truly humbled and profoundly grateful to receive this award,” Kastelic says. “The veterinary profession has provided me with amazing experiences and opportunities, including the opportunity to travel around the world, helping people in many communities.”

Although early in her career, Storch also believes in helping people and and ‘giving back to the community that gives me so much.’  She’s on the regional science fair committee in Medicine Hat and started up a ‘Vet for a Day’ program, inviting local children get to spend a morning in the clinic with her.

“There’s a lot of kids out there that are interested but don’t really understand what a vet does,” Storch explains. “I really enjoy it. It just gives back to you.” 

Mentor and mentee share limelight

The two award winners have something else in common.  Kastelic mentored Storch in her third year of the program.

For Storch, sharing the limelight with Kastelic — which she found ‘a bit surreal’ — made the honour even more meaningful.

“In my third year, he was my mentor in UCVM’s mentorship program, so the fact that we were both receiving awards — his way more prestigious than mine — I thought that was pretty nifty. We were able to interact at a more personal level as a mentor/mentee and there was always someone to reach out and talk to.  Seeing Dr. Kastelic receive that award, it was very momentous for me.”