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AAZV announces 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient


The award honors a current or former AAVZ member for their lifetime of contributions to zoological medicine

American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV) shared that James W. Carpenter, MS, DVM, Dipl. DACZM, a professor at Kansas State University (K-State), is its 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.

According to the release,1 this award was created to honor the lifetime contributions to the discipline of zoological medicine by a former or current AAZV member. To qualify, the recipient must have had a positive force in the creation of zoological medicine through their political, technical, scientific mentoring/teaching, educational, or service contributions.

James W. Carpenter, MS, DVM, Dipl. DACZM (Image courtesy of Kansas State University)

James W. Carpenter, MS, DVM, Dipl. DACZM (Image courtesy of Kansas State University)

During his 48-year career, Carpenter made contributions as a clinical and research veterinarian in the field of wildlife and exotic animals, including endangered species, and zoo animal medicine. He assisted in developing an internationally recognized zoological medicine at K-State where he has so far trained 46 interns and residents.

Along with his work in higher education, Carpenter authored multiple scientific papers, book chapters, and proceedings. He also is a past president of the AAZV, Association of Avian Veterinarians, and American College of Zoological as well as the former editor-in-chief for both the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine and the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery.

Carpenter has received multiple awards including the Edwin J. Frick Professorship in Veterinary Medicine from K-State, the exotic DVM of the Year in 2000, the 2002 Murray E. Fowler Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the American College of Zoological Medicine, the Oxbow Exotic Mammal Health (Quest) Award, and more. In 2013, K-State honored Carpenter by naming its new Veterinary Health Center at Manhattan’s Sunset Zoo the James W. Carpenter Clinic at Sunset Zoo.1

The Lifetime Achievement award is overseen by the Awards Committee and anyone who wants to submit a nomination can send a letter and a current CV of the nominee to Ed Ramsay at eramsay@utk.com.2


  1. American Association of Zoo Veterinarians presents Lifetime Achievement Award to James Carpenter. News release. Kansas State University. October 23, 2023. Accessed October 23, 2023. https://www.k-state.edu/today/announcement/?id=92634&fbclid=IwAR2c-p3zNBqEgZ60aUY9DpO4gO4W41aBE55f8VNs-bOnWI5Yt0W928UdaD0
  2. AAZV Award Information. American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. Accessed October 23, 2023. https://www.aazv.org/page/A7
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