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After 45 years of service at ISU, veterinary medicine professor says goodbye

December 18, 2008

Dr. Nani Ghoshal, College of Veterinary Medicine, (515) 294-2433, nghoshal@iastate.edu
Tracy Raef, College of Veterinary Medicine, (515) 294-4602, traef@iastate.edu
Dan Kuester, News Service, (515) 294-0704, kuester@iastate.edu

AMES, Iowa -- Next month, when Dr. Nani Ghoshal retires after almost a half century of teaching at Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, he will leave his office for the last time.

But through the many students he has taught, his legacy at the college will go on for many years.

Ghoshal estimates that he has taught anatomy and other subjects to almost 5,000 students since he arrived at ISU in 1963. His students have gone on to practice veterinary medicine and other occupations in all of Iowa's 99 counties, most U.S. states and several foreign countries.

"It will be hard to leave. I'll especially miss the contact with students," said Ghoshal. "But I told Dr. John Thomson (Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine) that if he needs me to come back and help, he can call me." Ghoshal adds with a smile, "He wouldn't even have to pay me. I told him to just give me a key to the building so I can get in."

Thomson was a student in one of the first classes Ghoshal taught in 1963 at Iowa State.

Ghoshal has also mentored about a dozen U.S. and international graduate students earning their advanced degrees in veterinary anatomy.

For Ghoshal, retirement is another step on a personal journey that started in India in 1947 when that country was under British rule. When India gained independence, Ghoshal found himself in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). He immigrated to India and later began to study veterinary medicine at the West Bengal Veterinary College in Calcutta, India. He received his postgraduate training in veterinary anatomy at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research in New Delhi. He continued graduate education at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and earned his doctoral degree in veterinary medicine from Tierartzliche Hochschule in Hanover, West Germany before coming to the United States. In 1966, he earned his doctoral degree in veterinary anatomy from ISU.

Ghoshal, who researches brain temperature regulation in domestic mammals in addition to teaching, knew that when he graduated he always wanted to come to Iowa State because of its international reputation.

"When I was studying undergraduate classes, many of the books in veterinary medicine we used as texts were written by faculty at Iowa State," he said. "It was my desire and aspiration then to come here since I started studying in this field."

Throughout his professional career, Ghoshal has tried to do all he could to benefit his students.

"To be an effective teacher, the commitment needs to be total commitment," he said. "I'm happy in my own mind that I did that."