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Student News

Published: Mar 20, 2020

Emily Griswold, V’20, Amy Middleton, V’21, Sarah Rassler, V’22, and Mary Wright, V’22, represented Penn Vet in the Student Quiz Bowl at the 2019 AABP Annual Conference in September 2019. Twenty-seven teams from across the US and Canada participated in the event, with the Penn team placing second overall. This marks the first year that Penn’s Quiz Bowl team has advanced to the final round of the contest.

Lindsay Harris, V’20, will join the Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA) national team as a regional leader for 2020. She will oversee six to seven chapters and help them grow to provide better business management and professional development education for veterinary students across the US and internationally. Penn Vet is the birthplace of the VBMA and Harris is excited to represent the School as a member of the national team.

Anna Eureyecko, V’22, spent eight weeks during the summer of 2019 working at two small animal hospitals in Prague. At the first location, Panda Veterinary Clinic, she performed her first dental procedure on a dog, extracted multiple teeth, and provided surgical care to exotic animals. At the second location, Veterinary Clinic Jičínská, she performed her first cat neuter as well as multiple necropsies, and closed patients during surgery. She took a few Czech lessons while abroad to help with reading menus and basic conversation. Outside of work, she traveled to Vienna, Český Krumlov, Berlin, Amsterdam, and southern Germany.

Kristen Sprayberry, V’22, published her first article, “History of Predator Exposure Affects Cell-Mediated Immunity in Female Eastern Fence Lizards, Sceloporus undulatus (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae),” in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society in October 2019. The study examined how an evolutionary history of stress (in this case, stress caused by the predatory red imported fire ant) affects immune function in response to glucocorticoid (a stress hormone) treatment. Her project collaborators are Penn State’s Catherine Tylan, PhD; Dustin A. S. Owen, PhD; Kirsty J. Macleod, PhD; Michael J. Sheriff, PhD; and Tracy Langkilde, PhD.

Alicia Amundson, V’22, with the help of other board members and advisor Cynthia Otto, DVM, PhD, will run the Penn Vet VetPets club, which provides animal-assisted therapeutic interactions for University and West Philadelphia communities. Historically the group has volunteered with CGC-certified dogs at the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House and undergraduate de-stress events. But this year the group began serving veterans at the VA Community Living Center and expanded its volunteering to Penn’s Wharton School, School of Dental Medicine, and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Funding from the University’s Graduate and Professional Student Assembly allowed the group to fund student enrollment in Penn Vet Behavior Club’s AKC Canine Good Citizen training to boost volunteer numbers.

In addition, a new collaboration between the Penn Vet Wildlife Disease Association and Mercer County Wildlife Center is going strong. As temperatures drop in the fall, many Pennsylvania turtle species hibernate. Turtles who need rehabilitation are transferred from the wildlife center to UPenn veterinary student care, where they receive essential medical treatment and the overwintering environment they need to be eligible for release in the spring. Amundson’s project collaborators are Jill Wallace (co-coordinator), Dr. Erica Miller (advisor), and Dr. La’Toya Latney (training advisor).

Student anatomy memorial

Giving Thanks, Showing Gratitude

In October, approximately 50 first-year Anatomy students and their instructors held a gratitude memorial to honor the cadaver dogs used in their Anatomy lab. As part of every Anatomy course, students perform an intensive six-week examination of dogs. By the first quarter’s end, students often feel they know their dog quite well, glimpsing pieces of the animal’s life from meals eaten, physical manifestations of behavioral habits, reproductive history, and general health concerns.   The faculty-facilitated, student-led ceremony lasted an hour and included dialogue about the privilege of using of cadavers and the impact of cadaver use on student learning. The tearful event was powerful, moving, and inspiring. Human medical schools routinely hold cadaver memorial ceremonies like this. The purpose is to provide students with a purposeful mental break from rigorous class schedules and time to reflect on gratitude, empathy, and respect for their cadavers. This was a first for Penn Vet and will most certainly become an annual event.

White Coat Ceremony

In November, the Class of 2021 received their white coats, marking the end of their lecture years and beginning of clinical rotations. Visit here for more photos from the ceremony.

The Class of 2021 receives their white coats from Dean Andrew Hoffman

The Class of 2021 puts on their white coats

 Teddy Chase, V’21, delivered “Classmate Reflections.”

Class of 2021 President Noah Shulman poses with his parents

Renee Cotton poses with her family

Juskaran Singh poses with his family