A teacher, a friend, an anatomist extraordinaire
By Sarah Carey
Inside the College of Veterinary Medicine freshman anatomy laboratory where Kevin Anderson, Ph.D., taught hundreds of students, a small gathering of family and close colleagues met Feb. 16 to honor the late UF professor and view the new plaque installed there in his memory.
Inscribed on the plaque were the words many people think of when they recall Anderson and his contributions: great teacher, close friend and anatomist extraordinaire.
Longtime friend Tom Wronski, Ph.D., who took over teaching the freshman anatomy course this fall, noted that Anderson taught the first anatomy class in the laboratory after the Veterinary Academic Building opened in 1996. Because of Anderson’s many teaching accomplishments, the lab seemed the perfect place for the plaque to be housed, Wronski said. He said he thinks of his friend every day as he continues some of the traditions they shared — attending athletic events, for example, and playing poker with friends.
Rick Johnson, Ph.D., who teaches the large animal anatomy lab, commented on the high scores that UF veterinary students have historically received in the anatomy sections of their national board examinations and said that was a direct testament to the role Anderson played in their education.
Anderson died June 15, after a long battle with brain cancer. He taught gross anatomy to 22 classes of UF veterinary students and received many teaching and research awards at UF, including the C.E. Cornelius Young Investigator Award for his research on brain receptors. He was named the college’s Teacher of the Year twice, Basic Sciences Teacher of the Year three times and Freshman Teacher of the Year for the classes of 1992, 1995, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2012.