Veterinary student chapters have been putting money they received through a new program last year to good use, from a leadership seminar at Michigan State University to fourth-year externship scholarships at the University of Tennessee.
The ALL for Students program—with ALL being an acronym for Achieving, Leading, Learning—was announced this past September. For the joint initiative, the AVMA and AVMA PLIT each contributed $100,000 and the Student AVMA kicked in $33,000, giving each of the 32 student chapters of the AVMA and the one associate organization in the SAVMA House of Delegates $7,000 for the 2013-2014 school year. The American Veterinary Medical Foundation distributed the funds.
The two-year pilot program may be extended, contingent on results of program evaluations.
Student officers shared ways their chapters used the money to benefit their student members during the SAVMA Educational Symposium in March at Colorado State University. The main categories for use of funding were community outreach, professional development, wellness, and leadership events, but it was up to the students to determine specific projects.
Mississippi State University’s student chapter, for example, created a travel fund that awarded 35 scholarships to students involved in community outreach and professional development. Recipients headed to international locations such as Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Haiti as well as to U.S. sites, including the Marine Veterinary Medicine program in College Station, Texas, and the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Carlsbad, California.
At Texas A&M University, the chapter hosted a mock professional job interview program to help students hone their interviewing skills. The University of California-Davis chapter opted to address community health issues by starting a one-health clinic with students from the university’s medical school to provide human and veterinary health care in low-income areas.
Another creative idea came from the University of Florida, which is starting a Leadership Lunch with the dean and other administrative officials of the College of Veterinary Medicine. These sessions will have one representative from each veterinary-related student club get together with SCAVMA leadership to discuss important issues and provide updates on campus activities, so that all the clubs are coordinated and have an opportunity to communicate with the college’s leadership.
Florida’s student chapter also partnered with the Veterinary Business Management Association to help with its first career day.
Many other student chapters use the funds to provide transportation to the SAVMA Symposium, bring in speakers, or host events for their communities on topics such as wellness and disaster preparedness.
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