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College of Veterinary Medicine

College of Veterinary Medicine

Kansas State University
101 Trotter Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506


General Information

The Society of Phi Zeta Sigma Chapter

Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Jamie Henningson, President
Andrea Smith, Vice President 
Dr. Melinda Wilkerson, Immediate Past President
Dr. Kelli Almes, Secretary/Treasurer
Dr. Raelene Wouda, President Elect

The Sigma Chapter of Phi Zeta was established at Kansas State University in 1969 to recognize and promote scholarship and research pertaining to the welfare and diseases of animals. Students in the final two years of the professional curriculum may be elected to active membership if they meet the following scholastic requirements: 1) In the third year, having achieved a class ranking in the top ten percent, counting grades received since entering veterinary school, and 2) In the fourth year, having achieved a ranking in the top twenty five percent, excluding those already elected to membership.

The primary activity for Phi Zeta is the annual Research Day. The Research Day is designed to showcase the research efforts of instructors, house officers, graduate students, and professional students at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Oral presentations are given on basic or clinical research areas and case reports. It has been increasingly well received, and has grown nicely in recent years in terms of the quantity and quality of presentations. An Awards Ceremony is held in the evening, featuring the announcement of award winners, and also the presentation of the Zoetis Award for Veterinary Research Excellence to an outstanding member of our faculty. New members of Phi Zeta are initiated. Additionally, a number of non Phi Zeta awards of excellence are presented during the Awards Ceremony.

There are several types of competition which are specifically intended for the veterinary student body. These include presentations in the form of a diagnostic case report by a junior or senior student, a clinical case report by a junior or senior student, and a review article by any veterinary student. This is an excellent forum to develop techniques in writing and oral presentation and a means to inform peers about special clinical and research interests. It promotes continued enthusiasm and support for intramural efforts and strengthens shared research interests. It can provide a chance to practice presentation skills that will be useful throughout your veterinary and scientific career. The quality of submissions last year was outstanding, and we are excited about these new features of the annual Research Day.


Phi Zeta was originated in 1925 by a group of senior veterinary students in the New York State Veterinary College at Cornell University. With the assistance of a group of faculty members, including the Dean of the College, Dr. Veranus A. Moore, the Society was formally organized, and Dean Moore was elected as the first president of the Alpha Chapter. The Society of Phi Zeta was organized in 1929 at a meeting in Detroit, Michigan, and Dean Moore became the first president of the Society.

Also in 1929, a charter was granted to the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Beta Chapter was established. In 1931, the Executive Committee approved the petition of a group from Iowa State College, and the Gamma Chapter was established. Since then twenty-four chapters have been chartered, bringing the total number of chapters to twenty-seven. Kansas State University was the 18th chapter (Sigma chapter) created in 1969. Chapters of the Society may be formed at any recognized veterinary medial college or at any other institution of higher learning.

Name and Symbols of the Society

The organizers of the Society, when seeking a suitable name, sought the help of a learned Greek scholar, Professor George P. Bristol of Cornell University. Professor Bristol suggested a Greek word, which in the Latin form is spelled PHILOZOI and means "love for animals." The abbreviation of Phi Zeta was adopted as the name of the society.

The emblem consists of a pendant formed by the letter Phi superimposed by the letter Zeta. The design was the work of Louis Agassiz Fuertes, the great naturalist and artist.