UT College of Veterinary Medicine Laboratory Chief Wins Award for Outstanding Service

Kim Abney, UT CVM

Kim Abney, Laboratory Section Chief for Endocrinology at the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, is the winner of the Mildred Pendergrass Award for Outstanding Service. Also pictured are UTIA Chancellor Tim Cross (left), Betty Eliassen, Abney (center), Jack Eliassen, and Jim Thompson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. Photo courtesy UTIA.​

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture recently presented several awards to top faculty, staff, researchers and extension experts. More than two dozen people were recognized at UTIA’s annual Awards and Promotions luncheon held on the UTIA campus in Knoxville July 28, 2017. Many of the awards are gifts made possible by past faculty, alumni and friends of the Institute.

Kim Abney, Laboratory Section Chief for Endocrinology at the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, is the winner of the Mildred Pendergrass Award for Outstanding Service. This award is presented in memory of Mildred Pendergrass, wife of the former Vice President of Agriculture Webster Pendergrass, and goes to employees among the technical, skill and service staff of the Institute.

The endocrinology lab processes 10,000 samples a year from all 50 states and several foreign countries. Abney serves as Laboratory Section Chief Three for this enormous operation. She has been with UTCVM 31 years, starting as a student assistant in toxicology and working her way to her current post. Her responsibilities include conducting hormone tests, trouble shooting equipment, keeping tabs on billing and radiation and safety records. This past year protocols changed for the disposal of liquid waste, and Abney trained her staff and to make sure UTCVM was up-to-date.

“I am surprised and proud to be receiving this award, especially considering the competition!” says Abney. “I began my career at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in the Toxicology Laboratory, where I got to work with leading scientists and veterinarians on germ free mice and in fescue research, and now I am part of the Endocrinology Laboratory. The school’s impact is world-wide, and it is a pleasure to have been able to make a contribution to that. I am also humbled to be around so many innovative thinkers pushing promising ideas that aren’t yet mainstream. It is hard to imagine a more rewarding place to work.”

UTIA Chancellor Dr. Tim Cross hosted the award winners, and praised them for their work. “The people at the UT Institute of Agriculture word hard every day to deliver real life solutions to our many stakeholders,” Cross says. “Recognition of the outstanding work by our award winners inspires all of us to strive for excellence and make a difference in the lives of Tennesseans.”

Lastly, Abney is an accomplished artist. She’s used her talents for drawings in veterinary textbooks, and one of her illustrations was published as the cover on the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Away from work, art is her main hobby.

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions.



Charles Denney, 865-382-8058 (mobile), cmdenney@utk.edu 

Kim Abney, 865-974-5683, labney@utk.edu