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Penn Vet’s Olena Jacenko, PhD, Earns Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching

By: John Donges Date: May 21, 2015

[May 21, 2015; Philadelphia, PA] – The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s Olena Jacenko, Professor of Biochemistry, has earned the University’s prestigious Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. Dr. Jacenko is one of eight standing Penn faculty to earn the award this spring.

Dr. Olena Jacenko earns Penn's Lindback awardJacenko received her undergraduate degree from Columbia University, majoring in biology and Russian. She earned a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School. Jacenko is currently Professor of Biochemistry at Penn Vet, where she also serves as Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Diversity.

She is very active in teaching, has served on most departmental and School teaching curriculum committees, and has been instrumental in implementing modifications in Penn Vet’s teaching policies and curriculum. She is a strong proponent for a solid basic science foundation, the cornerstones for educating successful future veterinarians and biomedical researchers. Jacenko’s research is focused on skeletal development and blood cell differentiation, and she developed transgenic mouse models that are being used to define the skeleto-hematopoietic stem cell niche.

“I am thrilled that Olena has earned this well-deserved recognition,” said Joan C. Hendricks, The Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of Veterinary Medicine. “Her dedication to educating and mentoring students and encouraging colleagues to improve their teaching approaches is transformative and lasting in its effect. It is an honor to work with Olena at Penn Vet. She epitomizes the ideals of the University’s highest teaching accolade.”

Writes one student nominator, "Dr. Jacenko greatly contributed to my overall experience in my first year of veterinary school, and her encouragement throughout the year provided me with the confidence to continue my education. A gifted teacher, Dr. Jacenko made lectures about the biochemical basis of bone remodeling surprisingly interesting.”

Generations of students and colleagues attest that she “makes learning an enjoyable and fulfilling experience, and it is clear that the experience is reciprocal for her. She is a passionate professor with unparalleled sincerity and investment in science and the education of future veterinarians.”

The Lindback Awards for Distinguished Teaching at the University of Pennsylvania were established in 1961 with the help of the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation. Christian Lindback was president and principal of Abbotts Dairies, Inc. and a trustee of Bucknell University. The Foundation established Lindback Awards for Distinguished Teaching at colleges and universities throughout Abbotts Dairies, Inc.’s service area in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.

About Penn Vet

Penn Vet is a global leader in veterinary medicine education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the only veterinary school developed in association with a medical school. The school is a proud member of the One Health Initiative, linking human, animal, and environmental health.

Penn Vet serves a diverse population of animals at its two campuses, which include extensive diagnostic and research laboratories. Ryan Hospital in Philadelphia provides care for dogs, cats, and other domestic/companion animals, handling more than 31,000 patient visits a year. New Bolton Center, Penn Vet’s large-animal hospital on nearly 700 acres in rural Kennett Square, PA, cares for horses and livestock/farm animals. The hospital handles more than 4,000 patient visits a year, while the Field Service treats nearly 36,000 patients at local farms. In addition, New Bolton Center’s campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that provide valuable research for the agriculture industry.


About Penn Vet

Ranked among the top ten veterinary schools worldwide, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) is a global leader in veterinary education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the first veterinary school developed in association with a medical school. The school is a proud member of the One Health initiative, linking human, animal, and environmental health.

Penn Vet serves a diverse population of animals at its two campuses, which include extensive diagnostic and research laboratories. Ryan Hospital in Philadelphia provides care for dogs, cats, and other domestic/companion animals, handling more than 34,600 patient visits a year. New Bolton Center, Penn Vet’s large-animal hospital on nearly 700 acres in rural Kennett Square, PA, cares for horses and livestock/farm animals. The hospital handles more than 6,200 patient visits a year, while our Field Services have gone out on more than 5,500 farm service calls, treating some 18,700 patients at local farms. In addition, New Bolton Center’s campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that provide valuable research for the agriculture industry.