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College of Veterinary Medicine

Cathryn K. Sparks, MS, PhD

Cathryn SparksClinical Assistant Professor

Coles Hall 213
Phone: 785-532-4538
Email: csparks@vet.k-state.edu 

Education:

Zoology, Louisiana State University A&M (BSc)
Zoology, Louisiana State University A&M (MS)
Veterinary Medical Sciences, Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine (PhD) 

Biography:

I received my undergraduate degree (BSc) from Louisiana State University A&M (LSU), Baton Rouge, in 1993, my MS (LSU A&M) in 1999, and my PhD (LSU School of Veterinary Medicine) in 2012. I was employed as an instructor at LSU in the Department of Biological Sciences from 1999 – 2001 where I taught comparative anatomy, human physiology, and general biology. I worked as a research associate in the transgenics/obesity laboratory at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge from 2001 – 2004. I taught veterinary gross anatomy and neuroscience at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine from 2004 – 2014. I was employed as an adjunct instructor of human anatomy and physiology at Our Lady of the Lake College, Baton Rouge, for ten years (2004 – 2014) and also taught as an adjunct instructor of biology, anatomy, and physiology at River Parishes Community College, Sorrento from 2005 – 2007. 

Teaching:

I joined the teaching faculty at Kansas State University, College of Veterinary Medicine in May 2017. I am course coordinator for Gross Anatomy I (small animal) and for Applied Anatomy (elective), and also provide laboratory instruction in the Gross Anatomy II (large animal) course. I have been working on the development of an online Anatomy Pre-course and a Comparative Anatomy course and am pending coordination of the Human Anatomy and Physiology course for the Physician Assistant program, commencing in 2021.   

Research and Scholarly Activity:

Pressure effects on G-proteins (MS)

Deafness in dogs and cats (PhD)

Teaching methods to enhance student learning of anatomy (current)

My research in deafness in dogs and cats focuses on the development, vascularization, and ligaments of the middle ear. I have documented the occurrence of acute onset deafness in dogs and cats following dental procedures, identified a ligamentous connection between the canine jaw and middle ear, and analyzed the vasculature in close proximity to the temporomandibular joint. My ongoing research goals are to more fully explore the anatomical link between the jaw, middle ear and surrounding structures to determine if there is a relation between extremes of jaw manipulation, acute onset deafness in dogs and cats and trigeminal neuralgia.

Currently, my interests lie more toward scholarly research and the development of resources to enhance learning of anatomy. I am interested in exploring and developing new teaching strategies within both the lecture and laboratory setting to enhance student learning.

As the primary author on a pending textbook for September, 2024 that will focus on the functional anatomy of the cat and clinical correlates, I am writing and generating images to be incorporated into an interactive dissection guide.   

Teaching Achievement Highlights:

Care Award, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (2016)

Deans Teacher Merit Honor Roll, Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine (2012, 2014, 2015) 

Publication Highlights:

Little, W. Brady, Elpida Artemiou, Anne Conan, Cathryn Sparks. 2019. Veterinary students and faculty partner in developing a virtual three-dimensional (3D) interactive touch screen canine anatomy table. Medical Science Educator 29, 223.

Little, W. Brady, Elpida Artemiou, Anne Conan, Cathryn Sparks. 2018. Computer Assisted Learning: Assessment of the veterinary virtual anatomy education software IVALATM. Veterinary Sciences 5(2), 58.

Stevens-Sparks, Cathryn,Keith Jarrett, III, Margaret A. McNulty, and George M. Strain. 2016. The blood supply to the canine middle ear. Anatomical Record 299, 907-917.

McNulty, Margaret A., Cathryn Stevens-Sparks, Joseph Taboada, Annie Daniel, Michelle D. Lazarus. 2016. An anatomy pre-course enhances student learning in veterinary anatomy. Anatomical Sciences Education 9(4), 344-356.

Stevens-Sparks, CK, Strain, GM. 2014. The canine jaw-ear connection: The malleomandibular and tympanomandibular ligaments. Anatomical Record 297(5):876-891.

Stevens-Sparks, CK. 2011. Anatomy of the auditory system. In: Strain, G.M. Deafness in Dogs and Cats.

CAB International, Wallingford, UK., pp. 1-22. 

Stevens-Sparks, CK, Strain, GM. 2010. Post-anesthesia deafness in dogs and cats following dental and ear cleaning procedures. Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia 37:347-351. 

Stevens, CK, Siebenaller, JF. 2001. The effects of hydrostatic pressure on pertussis toxin-catalyzed ribosylation of G proteins from deep-living macrourid fishes.  Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 125B:103-114. 

Abstract and Presentation Highlights:

Sparks, Cathryn, Pradeep Malreddy, Glenn Wakley. Incorporating active learning into a large enrollment veterinary anatomy course. Lilly conference: Teaching for active and engaged learning, Anaheim, CA, 50-minute concurrent session, February 2019. 

Sparks, Cathryn. Incorporating active learning into a large enrollment veterinary anatomy course. Peer-to-peer distance learning exchange, KSU Global Campus, Manhattan, KS, invited speaker, January 2019. 

Klimek, Judy and Cathryn Sparks. Using peer assessment to develop professional skills and cohesive groups. Lilly conference: Evidence-based teaching and learning, Austin, TX, presentation and think-pair-share session, January 2018. 

Jarrett, Keith, Michael Mathis, and Cathryn Stevens-Sparks. The Regression of Meckel’s Cartilage Relative to the Development of the Canine Tympanic Bulla. UC Davis Merial-NIH Symposium, Davis, CA, poster presentation, August 2015; LSU Phi Zeta Research Emphasis Day, Baton Rouge, LA, poster presentation, September 2015. First place poster award. 

Jarrett, Keith and Cathryn Stevens-Sparks. Microanalysis of theVasculature of the Canine Middle Ear using Microcomputed Tomorgraphy for Improved Anatomical Understanding. LSU Phi Zeta Research Emphasis Day, Baton Rouge, LA, poster presentation, September 2014. Fourth place poster award. 

Stevens-Sparks, Cathryn and George M.Strain. The canine jaw-ear connection: The malleomandibular and tympanomandibular ligaments. American Association of Veterinary Anatomists Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, poster presentation, July, 2013.