Nick Stahlman with the UT College of Veterinary Medicine Wins the Mildred Pendergrass Award

Picture of Nick Stahlman with UTIA Leaders

Nick Stahlman, a veterinary technician and lab assistant at the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, is the winner of the Mildred Pendergrass Award.​ From left to right: Bob DeNovo, associate dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine; Nick Stahlman, College of Veterinary Medicine; and Tim Cross, UT Institute of Agriculture senior vice president and senior vice chancellor. Photo by T. Salvador, courtesy UTIA. Download image​

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture recognized some of its top faculty, staff, researchers and Extension experts at UTIA’s annual Awards and Promotions Luncheon held on the UTIA campus in Knoxville August 2, 2019. Many of the awards are gifts made possible by past faculty, alumni and friends of the Institute.

UTIA Senior Vice President and Senior VIce Chancellor Tim Cross hosted the award winners and praised them for their work. “The faculty and staff of the UT Institute of Agriculture are known on campus and throughout the state as dedicated, hard-working and knowledgeable experts who provide real-life solutions to challenging issues every day,” said Cross. “The awards presented at this ceremony recognize excellence in research, education, Extension outreach as well as service programs that benefit our stakeholders. They serve as our way to express our gratitude for a job well done.”

Nick Stahlman, a veterinary technician and lab assistant at the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, is the winner of the Mildred Pendergrass Award. This honor is presented in memory of the wife of former Vice President of Agriculture Dr. Webster Pendergrass and recognizes UTIA employees among the technical, skill and service staff of the Institute.

“I am truly honored and humbled to receive the Mildred Pendergrass Award for Outstanding Service,” Stahlman says. “As an employee of the UTCVM Pathology Lab, I work alongside some exceptional individuals who make it easy for me to strive to be the best that I can be. I am exceptionally grateful for all my co-workers who put themselves out to nominate me for this award. I will continue to constantly improve myself and my place at UT.”

Stahlman works to maintain the surgical biopsy and necropsy areas. He came up
with an idea to photograph samples to avoid miscommunication – then created a template where all notes are shared in an online folder, managing some 5,000 submissions and files. Stahlman also has performed critical duties in necropsies for lions, bears and a rhino, and created and cares for a Dermestid beetle colony. These are flesh-eating beetles that clean skulls and other bones – but keep ligaments intact - for use in teaching and diagnostics. Stahlman has been honored as the CVM employee of the semester. He’s earning his bachelor’s degree in forestry, wildlife & fisheries, and he’s husband to a veterinary student.

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



Charles Denney, UTIA Marketing and Communications, 865-382-8058,