Anatomist is college’s Teacher of the Year

Dr. Tom Wronski

Dr. Tom Wronski

Dr. Thomas Wronski, a professor of in the department of physiological sciences, has been named the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine’s 2013 College Council Teacher of the Year. He’s a lecturer and lab instructor in both large and small animal anatomy, and a lecturer in musculoskeletal physiology.

The council annually selects an outstanding teacher to receive the designation, based on criteria including knowledge of subject matter, clarity of presentation, concern for students’ mastery of subject, fairness, enthusiasm for teaching and overall interest in student welfare. The winner receives $2,000 and a plaque.

Wronski is an international authority in the area of postmenopausal osteoporosis, a disease that affects millions of elderly women. He developed the use of laboratory rats as animal models for the study of osteoporosis and has studied the phenomenon of space travel-related bone loss in astronauts. Wronski’s current research involves preclinical testing of new drugs and hormones for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

Wronski has been a member of the UF veterinary college faculty since 1983.

His many honors include receiving the National Institutes of Health Merit Award for sustained contributions to aging research in 1997 and being selected as a UF Research Foundation professor in 1999. Wronski served on the advisory council for the National Space Biomedical Research Institute from 1997-2003 and currently is on the board of directors for the International Society of Bone Morphometry and on the board of scientific counselors for the National Space Biomedical Research Institute. He has been a member of editorial boards for bone specialty journals since 1989.

He has served as president of the International Society of Bone Morphometry since 2009. Wronski also was selected as Teacher of the Year in 2004 for the UF veterinary college’s Class of 2007  when they were freshmen.

Wronski said part of his teaching philosophy involves trying to avoid things his instructors did that were bothersome when he was a student “many years ago.”

“For example, breaks between lectures are precious to students, so my lectures are strictly timed so that I don’t exceed the 50 minute limit,” Wronski said. “I also try to learn the names of the students as quickly as possible.  It’s especially important for the freshmen veterinary students to feel welcome and know that they’re more than just a number.”

Wronski said he also tried consistently to emphasize the clinical relevance of anatomical structures to better motivate students to learn the material. 

“This may not be a popular attitude with vet students, but I feel that they’re elite students who should be challenged with difficult, but fair, exams,” he said. 


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