Last year, 600 pre-veterinary students and 30 advisors from 77 colleges and universities across the United States attended the American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association 2017 Symposium at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine. Attendees traveled from as far away as Oregon and Puerto Rico, and even more livestreamed the lectures from locations as far as Fairbanks, Alaska and Guelph, Canada.
The APVMA Symposium is designed to expose pre-veterinary students to the diversity of the profession. Representatives from various colleges of veterinary medicine attended the conference to familiarize students with their schools and career opportunities within veterinary medicine.
“CALS and CVM worked together to make this happen, through the leadership of VetPAC,” said Dr. Shweta Trivedi, a teaching associate professor in Animal Science and the director of the APVMA Symposium . “I am extremely proud of the pre-vet students and our two colleges who helped make it a reality.”
The planning of this year’s symposium was led by Alexandra Fitton and Christy Pujianto, both graduating seniors. Also participating in the planning were CALS students Abby Turner, Aimee Sink, Alexis Abshire, Amber Stark, Brandi Cordell, Bridget Gillaspie, Carole Roman, Hannah Collier, Khushboo Dass, Nicole Flores, and COS students Allie Setzer and Stephanie Thi. The event gave students the opportunity to develop leadership skills and network with faculty and professionals from around the world. Over 100 other undergraduate and DVM students volunteered to facilitate the event.
“We can really feel the students’ excitement and support for this event, even months before the symposium,” Pujianto shared. “Our social and outreach committee started reaching out through our social media accounts early in September and registration was filled out in less than 24 hours!”
With lectures and labs led by experts in the field, students were exposed to common practices and advanced techniques in the veterinary profession. Animal Science distinguished professor Dr. Billy Flowers instructed students on piglet care and jugular blood draws during the Swine Management wet lab at the NC State Swine Education Unit. Students also had the opportunity to learn principles of dairy cattle reproduction during the Dairy Palpation wet lab by Dr. Daniel Poole and small ruminant management by Dr. Charlotte Farin. Faculty from the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine included Dr. Matthew Gerard, a teaching associate professor of anatomy, who instructed the Equine Limb Dissection wet lab, while Dr. Glen Almond, professor of Swine Health and Production Management, taught students how to perform field necropsies on swine, and Dr. John Cullen led the Wildlife Necropsy Lab. DVM students from the Turtle Rescue Team hosted a Turtle Shell Repair wet lab, and the Surgery Club taught over 100 students how to use surgical tools and suture techniques.
Dr. Vivek Fellner, CALS Professor of Animal Science presented a lecture on bovine nutrition and diseases. Other speakers include Dr. Brian Hare, a New York Times bestselling author and Dognition founder, Dr. Dan Dombrowski, the chief veterinarian at North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Dr. Barbara Sherman, the director of the Behavioral Medicine Services at NC State Veterinary Medicine, and other experts in small animal, exotic animal, lab animal, food animal, wildlife and conservation, military, and academia areas of veterinary medicine. Students also gained knowledge about the field by networking with veterinary practitioners and professors during the Meet and Greet Sessions throughout the day.
“My favorite moment was witnessing undergraduates networking with faculty and students from other institutions. Their thirst for knowledge and enthusiasm for the field of veterinary medicine was truly inspiring! I am so thrilled we had the opportunity to share our exceptional faculty and facilities with students from across the nation,” said Fitton.
In addition to labs and lectures, students also consorted with other pre-vets and advisors around the country during the evening banquets and social events. Dr. Warwick Arden, the Provost and Vice Chancellor of NC State, was the keynote speaker on the Friday evening dinner and provided a Wolfpack Welcome speech to all the guests. The dinner was followed by Pre-Vet Olympics and Anatomy Bowl, a friendly competition between schools with veterinary themed games and quizzes. The symposium successfully concluded with the “APVMA After Party”, a dance mixer led by a student DJ and line dancing instructor.