Sheffield named Veterinary Technician of the Year |

Sheffield named Veterinary Technician of the Year

Kristin Carlson
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Nancy Sheffield, professor of veterinary technology at Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs - Spriong Valley, center, talks to vet tech students at the program's farm in Spring Valley. Sheffield was recently named Vet Tech of the Year by a statewide vet tech group.

Colorado Mountain College professor of veterinary technology Nancy Sheffield was named Veterinary Technician of the Year by the Colorado Association of Certified Veterinary Technicians at their spring conference on April 9 in Denver.

Each year, the state association selects an outstanding certified veterinary technician who, according to their call for nominations, has gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Any of the group’s 1,600 members is eligible to nominate a colleague who demonstrates a devotion to the profession and exhibits “people skills and animal magnetism.”

An exceptional promoter and educator

Sheffield said she was “shocked and amazed” when she heard her name announced as the award winner.

“I’ve been doing this a lot longer than most vet techs,” she said. “But I still really like it and can’t imagine doing anything else but this, including the teaching.”

Sheffield graduated from Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, Va., and has been a veterinary technician since 1979.

After working in Virginia and Florida for 20 years, she earned her master’s degree in education from the University of Illinois. In the classroom, her maxim as an instructor is simple yet powerful: “It’s all about the students.”

“It’s not only Nancy’s involvement with the state association that earned her this award,” said Denise Mikita, the group’s executive director. “Her enthusiasm as an instructor is extraordinary.”

Mikita said Sheffield was a primary force behind the new veterinary science center at Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs-Spring Valley.

“The new facility really helps elevate the students and their learning environment,” Mikita said, “and Nancy has just been a promoter and cheerleader for the entire program.”

Sheffield joined state association’s leadership in 2004 as the ethics committee chair – a position she still holds.

“Nancy’s been a valuable asset as we explore licensure versus certification for our members, since she was licensed in Virginia and is familiar with the process,” said Mikita.

According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, employment in the veterinary technology field is projected to grow four times faster than any other occupation in Colorado through 2018, which makes preparing and supporting professionals in the field an important priority for the veterinary technician association.

Veterinary technicians must pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam to get their credentials. To maintain certification in Colorado, they must also obtain a minimum of 16 hours of continuing education classes every two years.

In addition to her work with the ethics committee, Sheffield helped solidify the state association’s student group memberships for about 50 current Colorado Mountain College students.

Through her teaching and leading, she actively promotes the association and her profession to her students, colleagues and community.

She also serves as a board member for Colorado Animal Rescue (CARE) and is an avid advocate for animals in the Roaring Fork Valley.

“Nancy would be the last person to want an award recognizing her accomplishments, as she’s always giving credit to others,” Mikita said. “This is the exact reason why she is deserving, because of her pure and unselfish giving to the profession.”

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