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Governor Recognizes Professor as MU Teacher of the Year

April 11, 2008

Story Contact:  Christian Basi, (573) 882-4430,

COLUMBIA, Mo. ¬— Richard Meadows, teaching associate professor of veterinary medicine and surgery at the University of Missouri, was nominated for the Missouri Council on Public Higher Education’s “Teacher of the Year” award.  Every year a nominee is chosen from each of the state’s 15 public four-year universities.  This year’s recipients were presented with awards by Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt at a recent luncheon.

“Education is the most important investment we can make in our own future and in our children’s future,” Gov. Blunt said.  “The heart of higher education is found in our classrooms where professors are making connections with students, inspiring them to noble callings and the lifelong pursuit of knowledge. I commend all the professors nominated for Teacher of the Year for their dedication to Missouri students and learning.”

Since his arrival at MU in 1999, Meadows has received a number of honors including the Norden Distinguished Teacher Award, the Aesculapius Teaching Award and the Golden Chalk Award. In 2005, he received a Kemper Fellowship, an award that included a $10,000 check and is presented each year to outstanding MU professors. In 2006, he received the Bustad Companion Animal Practitioner of the Year Award. This national award is presented for excellence in client relations and/or human animal bond work. He was nominated by students and clients for the award and received a $25,000 stipend.

In 2005, Meadows received an $80,000 grant from Pfizer Animal Health to fund a veterinary dentistry laboratory to train students and licensed veterinarians.  The lab was the first of its kind in Missouri and, at the time, was one of only three such labs in the country.

 “The two things I like best about receiving this award is that first, I was nominated by one of my faculty colleagues and second, that one of his main motivators was my Helping Overpopulation through Education (HOPE) project,” Meadows said. “This is a voluntary, extracurricular program that the students seem to love.”

Meadows’ HOPE project consists of a low cost or free spay and neuter program done in conjunction with Spay Neuter Kansas City. The program sterilizes 150 to 200 animals one Sunday of each month in an economically depressed area of Kansas City. Meadows created the HOPE project with the help of Hill's, a companion animal food company, and the MU College of Veterinary Medicine Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association.