Eighteen University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) students attended the Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA) Symposium 2019 from March 9–11. The symposium was hosted by the University of Georgia. It is designed to expose more than 1,000 students in attendance to areas of veterinary medicine that are not usually covered in their regular curricula and promote networking among future colleagues. The symposium involves wetlabs, workshops, lectures, day trips, meetings, and competitions.
In addition to providing an invaluable learning experience for students, the SAVMA Symposium recognized two University of Minnesota faculty members for their positive influence on students. The recipients of both of these awards were nominated by SAVMA students.
Emily Walz, DVM, MPH, was awarded the Faculty and Community Outreach Award by the Public Health and Community Outreach Committee. The purpose of this award was to recognize a faculty member that had gone above and beyond their duties in order to make a difference in their community as a servant leader.
Erin Malone, DVM, PhD, was awarded the Supporter of Student Wellbeing Award by SAVMA’s Wellness Committee. The purpose of this award was to recognize a faculty or staff member who had gone above and beyond their duties to encourage and promote student mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing by creating wellness initiatives and serving as a self-care role model.
“SAVMA symposium is an absolutely incredible experience because it is designed for veterinary students by veterinary students.”
Erika Wehmhoff, class of 2021, SAVMA University of Minnesota chapter president
CVM SAVMA students also found success at the symposium, with 10 attendees receiving the $2,000 Zoetis/AAVMC scholarship. This scholarship was awarded to 300 second and third year vet students around the country who “can help address our changing world and the health, food, and welfare needs of the U.S. veterinary community” while focusing on meeting needs in the veterinary profession such as diversity, sustainability, and mixed/rural medicine practices.
The CVM students who received the Zoetis/AAVMC scholarship are Jessi Coryell (class of 2021), Tatum Odlund (class of 2020), Ana Barahona (class of 2021), Stephanie Anderson (class of 2021), Helena Montin (class of 2021), Taylor Aubrey (class of 2021), Emma Bak (class of 2021), Olivia Mellgren (class of 2020), Anna Peterson (class of 2020), and Mengyue Wang (class of 2020).
Overall, UMN SAVMA students found the symposium to be a largely educational experience. “SAVMA symposium is an absolutely incredible experience because it is designed for veterinary students by veterinary students,” says Erika Wehmhoff, class of 2021, SAVMA University of Minnesota chapter president. “The biggest draw for the Symposium is not just the lectures but the connections made among veterinary students across the country. At these conferences, students come together and share their experiences. These are people I will be seeing at conferences for the rest of my life, and the relationships I have developed through SAVMA symposium and other AVMA events have been the highlight of my veterinary school experience.”
Photo courtesy of Jessi Coryell