Two recipients of the UW School of Veterinary Medicine 2022 Alumni Award

Two recipients of the UW School of Veterinary Medicine 2022 Alumni Award

The University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) Alumni Association has honored alumni with its 2022 Alumni Awards for their achievements in advancing the profession of veterinary medicine and animal, human and human health.

The awards were presented at a ceremonial ceremony on September 10 at the College of Veterinary Medicine.

The University of Washington College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Advisory Board launched the awards program in 2019 to honor alumni who have made significant contributions to society and whose achievements, affiliations, and careers honor the school’s legacy of excellence. The award categories recognize both graduate and postgraduate DVM program.

The Alumni Advisory Board has since grown into the UW SVM Alumni Association (SVMAA), established in July 2022 to support the school’s progress through alumni participation.

Each of the 2022 graduates received the Distinguished Service Award. This award is awarded to alumni or alumni who:

  • Earned professional achievement and career excellence through contributions in animal and/or human health or other areas of the biological sciences
  • Demonstrates a level of integrity and leadership by supporting community and professional organizations
  • Reflects the importance of educational training and pride in their university as evidenced by their interest and support for the UW College of Veterinary Medicine

Learn more about the 2022 award winners:

Thomas Kennedy MS’73, Ph.D. 75
Kurt Sladky MS’88, DVM’93

Distinguished Service Award (Graduate Program)

Thomas Kennedy MS’73, Ph.D. 75

For nearly five decades, Thomas Kennedy has led a renown career in veterinary pharmaceutical research and development with particular expertise in the control of parasitic diseases.

After a short stint as a bench scientist, Kennedy founded a contract research company that developed disease models and new treatments primarily in veterinary parasitology. Over the next 40 years, he held leadership positions in research and development in the animal health business unit of Boehringer Ingelheim and Mallinckrodt Veterinary Inc. and Bayer Animal Health and Central Life Sciences. He has contributed to the registration of many patents and many veterinary treatments.


Kennedy is currently a partner and CFO of ParaTheraTech Inc. , a discovery company in parasitic diseases. Provides veterinary drug development consultancy to clients around the world under the name of Eleven Bravo LLC. He is also a co-founder and partner at Reliance Animal Health Partners, helping animal health startups. Kennedy is co-founder, partner, and CEO of Covenant Partners in Animal Health. Covenant funds and develops new treatments for diseases of livestock and pets, with a national and global mission.

Kennedy’s expertise covers the application of scientific principles to the development and implementation of veterinary drugs, particularly new delivery dosage forms. He has extensive experience and hands-on involvement in manufacturing site selection and end-to-end chemical manufacturing control development for clients on many continents, from well-established animal health companies to emerging technologies.

His professional membership includes the American Society of Parasitologists, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists (for which he has served in each elected office and is a member of the Committee of Past Presidents). He is also a member of the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (former chair, executive board member and chair of the Scientific Guidelines Committee), the Protozoal Encephalitis Society (founding member and past chair), the Council on Agriculture and Scientific Technology, the Midwest Conference of Parasitologists, the Poultry Science Association, and the registry American Society for Professional Zoologists, Council for Science and Technology, and American Dairy Science Association.

Kennedy was instrumental in bringing the International Meeting of the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology to Madison in 2019, providing an opportunity to highlight the University of Washington College of Veterinary Medicine research portfolio to the international community.

Kennedy has been a multi-year guest lecturer at the UW-Madison Department of Veterinary Science and College of Veterinary Medicine. He serves as a reviewer for many professional journals, publishes scientific articles in his specialty, and has presented programs on parasite control for veterinarians and livestock producers across the United States.

Received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Society of Veterinary Parasitologists in 2020.

In addition to his career accomplishments, Kennedy joined the Army in 1968 and served as an Army infantry officer in Vietnam, receiving the Combat Infantry Badge and Bronze Star. He then served in the Wisconsin Army National Guard as an assistant to the state’s commanding officer and as the state headquarters company’s captain and commanding officer. He is also a member of the Waunakee Rotary Club, where he serves as treasurer and president, and is a Paul Harris Fellow at Rotary International.

Distinguished Service Award (DVM)

Kurt Sladky MS’88, DVM’93

Kurt Sladky is clinical professor and chair of the Department of Animal Medicine and Special Species Health Service at the University of Wisconsin College of Veterinary Medicine. He has served as a member of the SVM faculty since 2002.

Sladky lectures and teaches practical labs on dozens of courses related to animal medicine and special species at the College of Veterinary Medicine, as well as clinical teaching for fourth-year students. He has mentored more than 50 residents, specialty trainees, veterinary students, and graduate students during his tenure and served as a primary advisor to more than 100 veterinary students. He also works as a consultant for several student clubs.

Kurt Sladky

His influence extends across and beyond the UW-Madison campus. Sladky is a faculty member of the Master of Public Health (MPH) in the College of Medicine and Public Health, serves as a principal advisor to dual-degree DVM/MPH students, and is a member of the advisory committee of the university’s Institute for Global Health. Since 2003 he has served as the coordinator of a popular UW-Madison undergraduate course, Wildlife Diseases, covering wildlife health and single health from a veterinary perspective. It has inspired many undergraduate students to pursue veterinary medicine or graduate studies through this course alone. Countless students and former interns now work as faculty, scientists, and veterinarians at universities, federal and state wildlife organizations, and zoos and aquariums.

Sladky is also heavily involved in SVM outreach initiatives and talks frequently with the media about exotic pets, wildlife, and zoo species. He has helped initiate and maintain long-standing relationships between SVM and the Milwaukee County Zoo, Henry Vilas Zoo, and other zoological and wildlife institutions, benefiting the health and well-being of these animals and expanding training opportunities for students and home administrators.

His research interests include the analgesia and anesthesia of captive and free-living non-native species and the effects of anthropogenic (man-made) changes on wildlife health and disease. His most recent international field project focused on the physiological effects of commonly used pesticides and herbicides on the health of free-ranging sloths in Costa Rica. He has published over 90 research papers, clinical reports, review articles, popular journal articles and authored several textbook chapters.

In addition to his academic influence, Sladky is considered a world leader in animal medicine. He is a diplomat for the American College of Animal Medicine and the European College of Animal Medicine (Department of Animal Health and Herpetology). He serves or has served on numerous committees for national and governmental organizations devoted to animal and wildlife medicine, ornithology, and reptile and amphibian medicine. This includes six years as a representative of animal and wildlife medicine on the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee to the Council of Biological and Therapeutic Agents and five years on the AVMA Task Force on Veterinary Compound Legislation.

Sladky previously received Presidential Service Awards from the American Society of Zoo Veterinarians and the American College of Animal Medicine.

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