Student AVMA weighs in on PAVE, accreditation

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SAVMA House of Delegates
Members of the Student AVMA House of Delegates

During an address to the AVMA House of Delegates, Dr. Rob Richardson (UP '01), president of the Student AVMA, provided an introduction to the organization's structure and the issues it is currently considering.

The Student AVMA executive board comprises the president, treasurer, secretary, international exchange officer, and information technology officer. The SAVMA HOD consists of two delegates from each of the 28 active SAVMA chapters within the United States and Canada and the two affiliate chapters at Ross University and St. George's University, both in the West Indies. St. George's delegates were welcomed into the membership at this meeting, having reached the 80 percent membership needed to establish HOD representation in SAVMA.

Dr. Richardson described the increasing role of students in the AVMA, including student representation on AVMA councils and committees such as the Committee on Wellness, Council on Public Relations, Animal Welfare Committee, Legislative Advisory Committee, and Committee on Environmental Issues.

The SAVMA HOD had a busy meeting July 14-15. At the top of the issues list was the American Association of Veterinary State Boards' Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence (PAVE). This topic is of particular interest because of representation in the SAVMA HOD by students from Ross and St. George's universities. Dr. David Granstrom, assistant director of the AVMA Education and Research Division, presented the SAVMA Education and Licensure Committee with information regarding the AVMA position on this program. Dr. Janet D. Donlin, AVMA associate executive vice president, made a presentation to the SAVMA HOD. On recommendation of the Education and Licensure Committee, the SAVMA HOD then voted to rescind its position statement endorsing PAVE, which it had adopted at the SAVMA Educational Symposium in March 2001.

After much discussion, the HOD voted to have incoming SAVMA president, Rebecca Stinson-Dixon (GA '02), write to the president of Ross University and encourage the administration to pursue approval of its veterinary school from the AVMA Council on Education.

The students also sought representation on the Council on Education to provide the student perspective to the critical process of accreditation/foreign approval. On July 17, the AVMA Executive Board approved a proposal from AVMA vice president and student liaison (1999-2001), Dr. Joseph H. Kinnarney, and board member, Dr. Roger K. Mahr, to have the AVMA fund the travel expenses for a SAVMA member to attend the council's fall and spring meetings for 2001-2002 as a guest.

Other actions included further support of the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues student task force, which will be bringing seminars to five colleges this year. The one-day program, titled "From School to Success," addresses important issues such as professional esteem, debt management, budgeting, and gender issues. Anna Russau (UP '03) is leading the program. Students will also be sending a representative to the fall meeting of the AVMA Committee on the Human-Animal Bond to pursue the addition of a student representative to the committee.

On July 15 the new student leadership was inducted. Rebecca Stinson-Dixon will serve as president, Chea Richbourg (NCU '02) as secretary, Bill Ignacio (COL '02) as treasurer, and Karen Lovelace (KSU '04) as Intervet editor. James Boutette (TEN '02) will work with Blythe Waters (FL '03) as the international exchange officer-elect, and Michael Zareski (ROS '02) will continue to serve as information technology officer.

The Student AVMA had the pleasure of welcoming new advisers—Dr. Jack O. Walther as incoming vice president, Dr. Rosemary LoGiudice of the AVMA staff, and Dr. Susan Little of the University of Georgia as second AVMA adviser to the SAVMA president.

The Student AVMA looks forward to its next meeting at the SAVMA Educational Symposium at Colorado State University in March 2002. Lisa Parshley (COL '03) will act as general chair of this exciting student event.