June 15, 2009


 Students talk about equality, Vet 2011 at symposium

Incoming SAVMA president addresses representation

Posted June 1, 2009

Student leaders at the 40th annual Student AVMA Educational Symposium dedicated themselves to ensuring equal representation as the face of the veterinary student body changes.

Participants discussed the topic at the SAVMA House of Delegates meeting during the symposium, which took place March 26-29 at The Ohio State University campus in Columbus.

"The final consensus was that as SAVMA moves forward, it is important to bear in mind what is best for the entire membership," said Rebecca Steers, 2009-2010 SAVMA president. "The HOD discussed the responsibilities of the delegates to ensure that they are representing their chapters accurately."

The SAVMA Executive Committee's role representing and advocating for all of SAVMA was another important topic of discussion. In addition, Dr. Gregory S. Hammer, AVMA immediate past president, presented an overview of Vet 2011, an upcoming celebration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the world's first veterinary school, in Lyons, France.

SAVMA voted to be involved in Comité Vet 2011, the committee being formed internationally so that 2011 can be designated World Veterinary Year and commemorated with special events (see JAVMA, July 15, 2008).

Dr. Larry M. Kornegay, the sole announced candidate for 2009-2010 AVMA president-elect, said it was a treat to attend the symposium.

SAVMA Animal Welfare-Human Animal Bond Committee
Members of the SAVMA Animal Welfare-Human Animal
Bond Committee discuss their agenda during the
committee's meeting.

"As with many other encounters with veterinary students these past six years on the AVMA Executive Board, I was impressed in every way. These student leaders are bright, articulate, and engaging. They care for animals and have the same love of veterinary medicine and aspirations we had when we were students—no matter how many years ago that may have been," Dr. Kornegay said.

He added, "They also know how to relax and have some fun, as demonstrated by the academic, sporting, and (buffalo) wing-eating competitions among the different colleges and schools of veterinary medicine."

Recreational events included flag football and kickball as well as games quizzing students on everything from breed recognition to radiographic foreign body identification. 

Students enjoy the comedy of Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald
Students enjoy the comedy of Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald (off
camera) at the Farewell Gala during the Student AVMA
Symposium at The Ohio State University.

"I am even more convinced that our profession's future is in excellent hands after visiting with our student leaders, participating in their functions, and observing them over the four-day symposium," Dr. Kornegay said.

Outgoing 2008-2009 SAVMA officers are Emily Eaton, University of Illinois, president; Cara Pugliese, The Ohio State University, secretary; Cynthia Albert, Louisiana State University, treasurer; Bryant Blank, Kansas State University, information technology officer; Laura Chan, Western University, international exchange officer; and Beth Pelletier, Tufts Cummings, editor of The Vet Gazette.

Incoming 2009-2010 SAVMA officers are Rebecca Steers, Tufts Cummings, president; David Laubert, University of Illinois, secretary; Jennifer Bruno, Louisiana State University, treasurer; Brandon Boren, Western University, information technology officer; Virginia Kiefer, University of Tennessee, international exchange officer; Aaron Gibbons, Washington State University, president-elect; Deirdre Murdy, Western University, international exchange officer-elect; Ryan Colburn, Michigan State University, global public health ad hoc executive officer; and Christopher Hall, Purdue University, editor of The Vet Gazette.

AVMA Executive Board members in attendance at the symposium were Drs. Hammer; Kornegay; Joseph H. Kinnarney, District III; Janver D. Krehbiel, District V; Theodore J. Cohn, District IX; and Gary S. Brown, vice president. They, in addition to Dr. Gail C. Golab, director of the AVMA Animal Welfare Division, participated in SAVMA's first town hall meeting.

Planning is already under way for next year as veterinary students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison gear up for the 2010 SAVMA Educational Symposium, March 11-13.