‘My students are making me proud every day’: Veterinary Technician instructor selected as Educator of the Year

By Angelina Labonne



Kim Rowley

Drawn to helping others at a young age, Kim Rowley has always wanted to make a difference in the community and lives of the people around her.

This has driven her to pursue her own veterinarian practice for seven years. The time she spent dedicating her knowledge and skills to save animals now helps guide her students every day. Her selfless attitude, excitement for the subject, and desire to watch her students succeed makes Rowley a recipient for one of this year’s Outstanding Educator Awards.

Rowley first began teaching in response to the reward she felt from helping interns at her practice as well as the demands of her growing family.

“It was always in the back of my mind,” she said.

Her real-life experiences and obstacles in her previous practice help make her an inspiring role model for students enrolled in RCTC’s Veterinary Technician program and aid in conquering a whole new set of challenges as a teacher.

Rowley admits her biggest challenge as a teacher is “deciding what the students actually need to know versus what would be nice for them to know.”

As an RCTC teacher of 10 years, Rowley’s experience sets her apart from many other instructors, but that does not stop her from continually challenging herself and her students to become the best they can be in order to make a positive influence on the veterinarian community as a whole.

“I love seeing my students at meetings and knowing they are part of veterinary medicine,” she said. “I think I am able to influence the field much more through all my students than I could single-handedly do on my own.”

Everything that drives Rowley is centered around making the bigger difference and giving students a love for medicine and animals that they will take with them to help many more in need.

“I am overwhelmed and still in disbelief … My past students are making me proud every day. I am in awe of all their accomplishments,” she said when asked how this award impacts her and what she wants to say to her students.

RCTC and students alike are blessed and grateful to have an instructor that seeks to help those around her and guide her students to the path they were meant to be on. Too often, classes are taken and forgotten about, but Rowley is sure to make an impression on each student that will take them beyond the classroom and into the career of their dreams.

RCTC biology instructor Randy Renken, who will be featured in the next edition of the Echo, was also selected to receive the Outstanding Educator Award. Both Rowley’s and Renken’s portfolios will be forwarded to the system-wide Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Teaching Review Committee. Up to 70 portfolios from Minnesota State’s 31 colleges and universities will be reviewed by the committee, which will recommend up to six Educator of the Year award recipients from the portfolios submitted.

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