The Scoop on SGU Student Organizations: Why You Should Get Involved

Are you involved in one of St. George’s University’s many active student organizations?

There are nearly 80 clubs to choose from, and the organizations offer students a great way to make friends, feel a greater sense of community, and connect to others with shared passions. With each having a unique mission and regular activities, the clubs present ample opportunities to get involved on campus by joining groups centered on different areas of student life.

“There’s a lot of value in getting involved in student organizations,” said Claire Purcell, director of university campus life at SGU. “They’re a great source of support as students progress through their degree programs, not only for professional development but also to help them adjust to campus life and thrive during their time here. There’s an organization for every interest, and if there isn’t, students can create a new one!”

 

A few of the organizations SGU has available for students to join include the Business Students Association, the Student Chapter of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, the American Medical Student Association, Women in Medicine, Pride and Equality, the Nursing Student Association, and multiple cultural organizations to name a few.

Recently, several new organizations established themselves across campus, joining the already diverse list of club offerings. SGU News spoke with four of them to find out more.

The Creative Arts Society (CAS)

Mission statement: To advance the extrinsic, intrinsic, and artistic evolution of all members through the production and presentation of art, and the arrangement of interactive art-related events and activities.

Number of current members: 85

Open to: All SGU students

How to join: CAS Membership Form.

Upcoming events/announcements:

  • February: Talent show in collaboration with the Exotic Wildlife Society’s Avian Club
  • March: Music concert
  • April: World Art Day Exhibition in partnership with the International Student’s Office.

Contact: SO-CAS@sgu.edu or @cas_sgu on Instagram.

St. George’s University: If you had to describe your organization in three words, what would they be?

CAS: Creative, connected, and community.

SGU: Why did you create this organization?

CAS: It is possible to excel in both artistic and academic pursuits, and students should feel empowered to follow all their passions. This is the ideology that CAS was built upon.

SGU: What are your goals for 2023?

CAS: This year, we hope to expand our social outreach, grow in popularity within SGU and the Grenadian community, promote nationwide interest in the Creative Arts Sector, and continue providing a platform for our members to nurture their artistry and master their respective crafts.

Wellness Aid and Guidance (WAG)

Mission statement: The mission of WAG is to provide financial support for animals that are in need of advanced medical treatment and don’t fit the SNP/AAARF selection criteria.

Number of current members: 70

Open to: All Foundation to Veterinary Medicine (FTV), SVM, and SOM students

How to join: Reach out to SO-WAG@sgu.edu.

Upcoming events/announcements:

  • Tie-die event: Saturday, March 25, 2-4 pm on the playing field (pre-purchase a white T-shirt from WAG or bring your own article to use)
  • Creation of SOM WAG representative: The position is open to any SOM student

SGU: If you had to describe your organization in three words, what would they be?

WAG: WAG stands for Wellness Aid and Guidance, three words that sum up the organization pretty neatly. We are dedicated to finding animals in urgent medical need, providing financial aid for these animals to receive treatment, and educating the public on practical animal care they can achieve at home.

SGU: Do you have a fun fact related to your mission that you’d like to share?

WAG: One fact about WAG is that we don’t only help unowned animals; we also provide financial support for locally owned animals who need advanced medical treatment. This has allowed us to widen the scope of animals and people we can help.

SGU: What are your goals for 2023?

WAG: Since we are now an official organization, we hope to have a more significant impact this semester. We are looking forward to helping more animals and people.

A primary goal this semester is to increase our presence school-wide. This is an excellent time to remind students that WAG (and our animals available for foster or adoption) is open to all FTV, SVM, and SOM students! And hey, we would love to see some professors at our events too.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

Mission statement: Foster an understanding and awareness of the multitude of complementary and alternative medical practices. The club hopes to allow students an outlet to critically review and discuss new research and to develop these abilities into clinically relevant and valuable skills. The club will allow students to interact with peers and lead discussions about CAM practices. This knowledge will enable future physicians to apply skills in a clinical setting.

Number of current members: 30

Open to: All SGU students

How to join: Reach out to @sgu_CAM on Instagram or email so-CAM@sgu.edu.

Upcoming events/announcements: CAM plans to have at least one event every month this term! They’ll host activities like yoga and have speakers from all different areas of alternative medicine speak to students. These events will be open to everyone.

SGU: If you had to describe your organization in three words, what would they be?

CAM: Inclusive, distinct, and devoted

SGU: Do you have a fun fact related to your mission that you’d like to share?

CAM: A fun fact is that almost everyone has either taken part in or knows of an alternative therapy that falls under the scope of CAM! Some of the most common are yoga, chiropractic, and acupuncture.

SGU: What are your goals for 2023?

CAM: Our goals are to choose a charity that aligns with our mission statement to give back to and educate students about what alternative medicine entails, how it can complement our practice as MDs, and how we can use it to benefit our health and wellness.

Nutrition Medicine Club (NMC)

Mission statement: To provide opportunities for students to learn about the role of nutrition science in medicine and participate in tasty, nutrition-oriented events. NMC strives to provide an open forum to discuss current nutrition research and practices, host guest lecturers by nutrition experts, hold compelling workshops, and exciting social events aimed at increasing our knowledge of the practical application of nutrition medicine while having an enjoyable time. By building on our nutritional insight, NMC members will be able to use their unique skills in their patient care and employ nutrition medicine, an increasingly critical part of patients’ treatment plans.

Number of current members: 104

Open to: All SGU students

How to join: Follow our Instagram @nmcsgu, join our WhatsApp chat, or email us at SO-NMC@sgu.edu.

Upcoming events/announcements:

  • February 20: “Welcome to the Island” workshop, focused on cooking for yourself on the island and introducing students to the food options available.
  • February TBD: Raffle for a chance to win a wide variety of gift cards to local businesses. Raffle proceeds will be donated to Grenada Community Fridge.
  • April TBD: Nutrition Jeopardy night. Proceeds will be donated to food pantries in Ukraine.

SGU: If you had to describe your organization in three words, what would they be?

NMC: Innovative, welcoming, and rewarding

SGU: Do you have a fun fact related to your mission that you’d like to share?

NMC: An unhealthy diet contributes to approximately 678,000 deaths each year in the United States.

SGU: What are your goals for 2023?

NMC: For 2023, we’re striving to grow our NMC community by severalfold, expand our presence on campus and in the outside community, collaborate with other campus organizations, raise $1000 XCD for various charitable causes, and as always, spread nutrition knowledge through social and educational events for the SGU community.

—Sarah Stoss

 

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St. George’s University Announces Admissions Partnership with Christian Brothers University

St. George’s University announced a new partnership today that will provide eligible students from Christian Brothers University with streamlined admissions to St. George’s School of Medicine or School of Veterinary Medicine.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Christian Brothers University to educate the next generation of doctors and veterinarians,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, president emeritus of St. George’s University. “Both of these professions are facing shortages that pose a concerning threat to public health. Initiatives like this one will help us close those gaps, and we’re honored to work toward that goal alongside CBU.”

The partnership creates a “4+4” program, in which students spend four years at each institution. Those who wish to qualify must express interest while applying to CBU or while matriculating. Interested students must pursue a Bachelor of Science degree at CBU, complete all prerequisite coursework, maintain a strong GPA, and score competitively on relevant entrance exams. Interested veterinary students must also report at least 500 hours of animal experience alongside a veterinarian or animal-care professional.

St. George’s University will waive application fees for interested students and fast-track CBU applications during the admissions process. Students accepted into the medical program will receive a $10,000 scholarship. They will also be eligible for additional SGU scholarships and grants.

Those who enter the School of Medicine will be eligible to complete their first two years of study in Grenada, or they can complete their first year at Northumbria University in the United Kingdom and second year in Grenada. The following two years of clinical rotations will take place at St. George’s-affiliated hospitals in the United States or United Kingdom. Veterinary students will be eligible to complete three years of study in Grenada and their final clinical year within SGU’s network of 30-plus affiliates located in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, and the Netherlands.

“This partnership with St. George’s University provides a unique opportunity for high-achieving undergraduate students at Christian Brothers University who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine or veterinary medicine,” said Dr. James McGuffee, Dean of the CBU School of Sciences. “We are pleased to partner with St. George’s University as we nurture future graduates who will in turn use their advanced degrees to serve as medical doctors or doctors of veterinary medicine.”

 

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SVM Recognizes Academic Excellence and Remarkable Service at Fall Term Awards Ceremony

In a celebration of excellence and in honor of the outstanding achievements made by faculty, staff, and students, the School of Veterinary Medicine hosted its bi-annual SVM Awards Ceremony on November 18 in Bourne Lecture Hall. More than 20 sets of awards were presented to faculty and staff who demonstrated remarkable service and commitment to the veterinary medical school and to students who achieved high levels of academic success, professionalism, and displayed an exceptional work ethic.

“It’s such an important aspect of the School of Veterinary Medicine to honor the very special achievements of faculty, students, and staff. It brings the whole community together with a sense of unity,” stated Dr. Neil Olson, dean of the SVM. “We really are one family and it’s great to be a part of this joyous occasion. I think that the students in particular will have long memories of this evening, and I look forward to sharing in many more of these kinds of celebrations.”

 

“With this being the first in-person SVM awards ceremony since the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an air of gratitude and joy at being able to gather once again for this special occasion. There was a wonderful energy present throughout the ceremony, and the love and support were palpable.”

 

In addition to a wide range of traditional awards, student organizations could also participate in nominating and selecting students, faculty, and staff. One of the new awards presented this term, for example, was the Tail WAG Award. The award winner, Dr. Tara Paterson, an associate professor in the Small Animal Medicine and Surgery Department at SGU, was selected by the Wellness Aide and Guidance (WAG) student organization. The award honors a student or faculty member who works hard to further the mission of WAG, by helping the Pothounds of Grenada.

“This award is very special to us because it is our first,” shared Courtney Glotzer, co-founder of WAG. “We want to thank Dr. Paterson because she showed us her true dedication to our more intricate cases and always was there when we needed guidance. She is truly special to our club, and we will always appreciate her because of her motivation and dedication to our Pothounds.”

 

 

The ceremony also recognized 32 new inductees into the Alpha Delta Chapter of the Phi Zeta Honor Society—12 from Term 5 and 20 from Term 6. Earlier this month, students, faculty, and alumni gathered to celebrate during a ceremony at the University Club. Phi Zeta is the national veterinary honor society created to recognize students for their superior academic achievement. From its inception, it has been the aim of the organization to stand for constant advancement of the veterinary profession, for higher educational requirements, and for high scholarship.

“With this being the first in-person SVM awards ceremony since the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an air of gratitude and joy at being able to gather once again for this special occasion,” said Dr. Paterson, who also serves as chair of the SVM Awards Committee. “There was a wonderful energy present throughout the ceremony, and the love and support were palpable.”

SGU Island Veterinary Scholars Program (Boehringer Ingelheim) 

Adrian Jones, Jillian Luscinski, Niharika Verma

Outstanding Colleague Awards

Term 1: Cheyenne Koinzan

Term 2: Becca Jenkins, Alexandra Prince

Term 3: Sydney Garcia

Term 4: Sudarshini Coimbatore, Paige Coughlin

Term 5: Molly Gin, Gabrielle Rivera

Term 6: Briana Kinsey

Dean Olson’s Award for Academic Excellence

Paula Ulyak, Alexis Tedesco, Whitley Young, Juana Argiro, Brianne Flanagan, Chelsea Wright, Courtney Duguay, Sarah Hendrickson, Zerina Burovic, Luis Davila, Hannah Wentland, Emily Meade, Brooke Hottois

Adrienne Lotton Memorial Award

Briana Kinsey

Zoetis Revolution Awards of Excellence

Small Animal Internal Medicine: Madison Kucinick

Small Animal Surgery: Daniel Ingram

Equine Medicine and Surgery: Acacia Johnson

Food Animal Medicine and Surgery: Megan Gilmore

Scholarship of Service Award: Cassidy Morales, Courtney Glotzer, Erin Maud

Surgery Team: Sahony Caba Paulino, Melissa Edloff, Nastassia Lini, Sarah Voors, Molly Ginn, Spencer Trinca, Julia Derr, Macey Cropski

Student Research Award: Adrian Jones

**NEW** Dr. Jim Nave Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice

Amanda Rottman Torres

SVM Alumni Scholarship Award 

Brianna Auino-Moreta

Giant Paws Giant Hearts Foundation “Hercules” Award 

Cobi Gilbeau

PAWS Recognition for Term 6 Facilitators

Taylor Nealy, Antonia Nickleberry, Peter Arena, Taryn Paquet, Melissa Ballantyne, Briana Kinsey, Peyton Dillon, Samantha Batchelor, Kira Rasmussen

SCAVMA: Student Chapter of the AVMA

SAVMA Award: Carley Jones, Sloane Hoffman, Ashley Schimshock

Most Outstanding E*Board Member: Fabiola Casanova-Crespo

The Feral Cat Project 

Most Valuable Trapper: Ana Villarreal

Most Valuable Faculty/Staff: Francesca Ivaldi

Veterinary Public Health Committee

One Health One Medicine Community Leader Award: Cassandra Morales

SGUSVM Large Animal Society

Ace of Initiative Award: Ashlyn Dykes

**NEW** IVMC: Integrative Veterinary Medicine Club

Outstanding E-Board Member: Heidi Beck

SVM Wellness Committee

Wellness MVP Award: Eryn Ebinger Christian

**NEW** WAG: Wellness Aide and Guidance

The Tail WAG Award: Dr. Tara Paterson

AAARF: Angels in Armor Animal Rescue Fund

Friends of AAARF Awards: Sara Miner

The Archangel Award: Dr. Thomas Hanson

**NEW** P&E: Pride and Equality

Outstanding Faculty: Dr. Anne Corrigan

Excellence in DEI: Paige Coughlin

SCACVIM: Student Chapter of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Internal Medicine MVP Award: Patrick (JJ) Byrnes

SVECCS: Student Chapter of the Emergency and Critical Care Society

Outstanding 6th Termer Award: Amanda Rottman

SCASV: Student Chapter of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians

Shelter Scholar Award: Victoria Flaherty

Shelter Star Award: Marta Lanza-Perea

SCAVDS: Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Dental Society

Superior Extractor Award: Dr. Francesca Ivaldi

SNP: Spay Neuter Pothound

Pothound Student Hero Award: Brianna Kroning

Pothound Faculty/Staff Hero Award: Quacy Matthew

SCACVP: Student Chapter of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists 

The MVP (Most Valuable Pathologist) Award: Taryn Paquet

EWS: Exotics and Wildlife Society

Avian Flock Leader Award: Alexandra Colella

EWS and VSHS Double Whammy Award: Dr. Sophie Moittie

VSHS: Veterinary Student Herpeteogical Society

The Gallant Gecko Award: Kaylee Freeman

WVLDI: Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative

WVLDI Warrior Award: Bianca Pinto

**NEW** WAVMA: World Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Association

MVP: Most Valuable Porpoise Award: Rayne LeBlanc

SVM Surgery Club

The Sharpest Scalpel Award: Brian Norton

SGA: Student Government Association

SGU SVM Outstanding Faculty Term 1-3: Dr. Mahesh Deokar

SGU SVM Outstanding Faculty Term 4-6: Dr. Talia Guttin

SGA SGU Awards of Excellence Term 1-3: Mr. Keith Miller

SGA SGU Awards of Excellence Term 4-6: Dr. Mercedes Valasquez de Zerpa

George B. Daniel Award: Brie Kinsey

The Pinckney Parasitology Award

Crissy (Janeila) Benjamin and Helena Curbelo

DES Recognition Awards

Emily Shin, Cobi Guilbeau

Diana Stone Public Health award

Janine Wettergren

SGUSVM Outstanding Staff Awards

Technical Staff: Curtis Hopkin

Administrative Staff: Serana Patino

Zoetis Award for Research Excellence

Dr. Arno Werners

Hill’s Golden Apple Teaching Award

Dr. Talia Guttin

Alpha Delta Chapter of the Society of Phi Zeta

Fall 2022 Inductees

Term 5 Inductees: Logan Bernstein, Lauren Dunbar, Amanda Ernst, Anca Gagliardo, Celine Gellineau, Adrian Jones, Maureen Kruhlak, Hannah Lavin-Sauchenco, Selina Nackley, Allison Nickell, Danielle Sackett, Taylor Stanton

Term 6 Inductees: Sean Anderson, Letty Bonilla, Riley Burrows, Yvana Ephraim, Melissa Ferguson, Gabriela Frontanes, Nicole Jennings, Charlene Kriegsman, Madison Kucinick, Brianna Aquino-Moreta, Kassidy Leon, Leandra Margolies, Cassandra Morales, Cristians Rivas Morales, Brittney Nguyen, Kendra Rehnblom, Aleeka Roberts, Sara Schectman, Stephanie Smick, Abigail Wilebski

– Ray-Donna Peters

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SVM Faculty Discuss the Impact of Poultry Production with Grenadian Farmers at Outreach Workshop

After a two-year hiatus, St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine’s Farmers’ Outreach Program returned to an interactive, in-person workshop on October 27, 2022, at the Grenada Trade Center. SVM faculty (including visiting professors), staff, and students attended the workshop, which provides education and training in a collaborative effort between the SVM, Grenadian farmers, and the Ministry of Agriculture.

“The School of Veterinary Medicine’s commitment to the Grenadian farmers through the Farmers’ Outreach Program remains a priority to our university,” said Dr. Neil Olson, dean of the SVM. “The organizers of this year’s workshop and booklet have worked tirelessly to ensure that the content is educational and can provide guidance about common parasites, food safety and handling practices, backyard farming tips, and much more. We hope that Grenadian farmers can continue to utilize SGU as a valued resource as we remain committed to sensitization and training.”

 

 

Established in 2003 by the late Dr. Ravindra N. Sharma, the SVM Farmers’ Outreach Program disseminates a broad range of interesting and helpful information on animal husbandry, animal diseases, and their overall impact on human health, animal health, and productivity. Almost 20 years later, the program continues to be an effective partner in strengthening the relationship between Grenadian farmers and veterinarians.

The school continued to be an excellent resource for the local farming community even during the coronavirus pandemic. While the in-person aspect of the program was paused, a booklet was created to disseminate useful information on animal management, husbandry, and disease control and prevention. After garnering favorable feedback, two years later the booklet continues to benefit the farmers in Grenada.

 

“Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we remained dedicated in our commitment to partner with and support the Grenadian community by providing the relevant information for our livestock producers.”

 

“Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we remained dedicated in our commitment to partner with and support the Grenadian community by providing the relevant information for our livestock producers,” stated Dr. Kerri Nigito, chairperson of the Farmers’ Outreach Committee. “This year’s workshop and booklet serve to provide the necessary information on poultry production that will help improve the quality of meat and eggs produced for local consumption for the people of Grenada.”

The one-day seminar hosted by the SVM catered to poultry production personnel and provided poultry farmers with best production and health practices. The workshop included PowerPoint presentations, videos, and a panel discussion followed by question-and-answer sessions. In addition, the Committee reminded those in attendance that the school offers necropsy services to investigate the death of poultry animals at the SVM Necropsy Lab located on the Lower True Blue Campus.

One of the day’s highlights was the announcement of the winner of the Committee’s logo competition, Marissa Peck. Ms. Peck, along with her fellow SVM students, were invited to design graphics for t-shirts to be distributed to the farmers supporting the theme, “Poultry Production in Grenada.” Ms. Peck’s winning logo was placed on name badges and flyers, and she received a gift certificate as well as an invitation to attend the workshop.

The seminar focused on the following areas:

  • Common parasites of poultry
  • Coccidiosis in poultry production
  • Egg production, handling, and distribution guidelines
  • Poultry tips for poultry backyard and commercial systems
  • Poultry carcass necropsy submission guidelines

 

“The SVM Farmers’ Outreach Workshop provided great insight on the impact of poultry production in Grenada,” said Dr. Kimond Cummings, chief veterinary and livestock officer in Grenada’s Ministry of Agriculture and Lands. “In particular, the booklet given out, which highlighted disease surveillance and how it affects poultry, can also be disseminated to the farmers unable to attend today.

Additionally, SGU’s open invitation to the farming community with respect to its necropsy lab services reaffirms the school’s readiness to assist and is the kind of information I can confidently share with our policymakers.”

– Ray-Donna Peters

 

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SVM grad returns to Grenada to host continuing education conference

Aaron Spacher, DVM ’19, (far left, red windbreaker) returned to Grenada in early November to host a continuing education conference as co-founder and chief financial officer of VetBolus Continuing Education. Ninety veterinary professionals attended the conference, many of whom were SGU graduates.

After spending years on the island of Grenada, many St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine graduates find themselves longing to return for a vacation, a reunion, or, as was the case during the VetBolus Grenada conference, for all the above and more.

Aaron Spacher, DVM ’19, returned to Grenada in early November to host a continuing education conference as co-founder and chief financial officer of VetBolus Continuing Education. Ninety veterinary professionals attended the conference, many of whom were SGU graduates.

Launched in early 2022, VetBolus connects veterinary professionals to leaders in the field for engaging and practical continuing education content in locations around the world. All VetBolus conferences are RACE, and NYSED-approved so attendees can earn their state-required continuing education credit. Conference sessions at the Grenada conference focused on veterinary internal medicine and emergency and critical care, and as a bonus, it included a campus tour and SGU alumni reception at the University Club.

Dr. Spacher and his VetBolus co-founders hosted a CE conference in Grenada in early November.

For Dr. Spacher, who is also an associate veterinarian at Banfield Pet Hospital in Henrietta, NY, hosting a conference in Grenada was an easy decision after his experience as a student on the island.

“I held multiple leadership positions at SGU, allowing me to plan events. Because of this, I knew I could plan an unforgettable VetBolus Conference in Grenada,” Dr. Spacher added. “Mount Cinnamon Resort and Beach Club offered first-class service and helped me turn our vision into reality, making the decision even easier. Returning to Grenada brought back many happy memories and allowed attendees to make even more while earning their CE credits.”

Dr. Spacher got the idea for VetBolus due to his disinterest in distance learning for continuing education; watching videos online didn’t energize his love for veterinary medicine.

“After graduation, I moved back to my hometown of Rochester, NY, and at every Sunday dinner, my grandma would ask if all my continuing education hours were completed,” said Dr. Spacher as he reflected on what prompted the founding of VetBolus. “I floated the idea of a destination CE to my co-founder Dr. Kendon Kuo, with whom I had developed a friendship while completing my clinical year at Auburn University. He got Dr. Kathy Gerken, our other co-founder, on board with us to help create VetBolus. We have worked tirelessly to plan VetBolus conferences in destination locations with amazing speakers that everyone will love. We dedicated VetBolus Grenada 2022 to my grandma and those who cheer us on.”

Returning to Grenada also allowed Dr. Spacher to once again experience the beauty of the Caribbean country and its people, which is what he misses most about the island.

Dr. Spacher and the VetBolus team along with Dr. Shekinah Morris, SGU alum and attendee.

“I often tell people that attending SGU SVM is indescribable,” he said. “You are surrounded by a group of people from all over the world that end up becoming family, all while working together to achieve the same goal. Then you add fantastic faculty and staff who care about their students so much—attending SGU and living in Grenada is so special.”

Looking back on his experience at SGU from where he is in his career today, Dr. Spacher encourages all students to get involved in leadership positions because this is what prepared him for entrepreneurship.

“My fondest memories of Grenada include riding around Grand Anse in now Dr. Aki Otomo’s Escudo to rent tents from Waggy T’s, buying crates of Ting from CK’s, and ordering 50 turkeys from IGA to put on SAVMA fundraisers/events,” he said. “Leadership positions lead to fantastic opportunities.”

 

—Sarah Stoss

 

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Research experience leads to prestigious scholarship for SVM student

Research opportunities in the School of Veterinary Medicine at St. George’s University are not hard to find, with multiple programs dedicated to helping students gain the skills they need to understand and conduct research. Participating in these opportunities, no matter what career path the student plans to take, can ultimately bolster student success throughout their education and future career in veterinary medicine.

Just ask Adrian Jones, a Term 5 SVM student and a participant in Boehringer Ingelheim’s Veterinary Scholars Program. Ms. Jones credits her involvement in several research programs at SGU, with allowing her to stand out from the crowd of competitors, hailing from schools across the United States and the Caribbean, to be selected for the scholarship.

The Boehringer Ingelheim’s Veterinary Scholars Program is in partnership with the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. It is competitive and pairs recipients with one of the USDA’s leading scientists. The latter serves as a mentor throughout the recipient’s summer as a research student on-site at the USDA. The scholarship includes research experience, a stipend to cover travel and living expenses, and the opportunity to attend the National Veterinary Scholar’s Symposium (NVSS).

 

“There are so many opportunities available at SGU, and research skills will only help strengthen your veterinary experience. Sometimes showing interest is all it takes to get started.”

 

“Overall, the research experiences I participated in have helped me greatly as a student and future veterinarian,” said Ms. Jones. She plans to pursue pathology as her focus in veterinary medicine. “It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest research and provide well-rounded, evidence-based advice and medicine to your patients and their owners.”

Ms. Jones completed two research projects as part of the Island Veterinary Scholars program at SGU, which helps students with little to no research experience gain foundational skills. Her research project as part of the SGU Veterinary Student Research Initiative (VSRI), a mentorship program that concludes with a formal research presentation, has been in progress since the spring of 2021. The subjects of her research projects are diverse, with one focused on pyometra in the Grenadian canine population, another on Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus infections in pigs, and the last on using nanoparticles as antibiotics against several strains of bacteria.

“Adrian is an extraordinary student, which I saw firsthand when I mentored her in the Island Veterinary Scholars Program,” said Dr. Firdous Khan, associate professor of theriogenology and chair of the Large Animal Medicine and Surgery Graduate Affairs Committee. “I hope her story inspires students and increases awareness of research programs at SGU. Adrian proves what’s possible when you get involved in these opportunities.”

Ms. Jones recognizes the great benefits of the research experiences she has pursued while at SGU.

“I heard about the scholarship through Professor Dr. Sonia Cheetham-Brow, after I participated in the SGU Island Veterinary Scholars Program in the summer of 2021,” said Ms. Jones. “I knew it was a great learning opportunity, and I am proud that I was selected from such a large pool of competitive candidates. I think the research project I presented with Dr. Firdous Khan through the IVSP helped my application significantly.”

As for what students interested in following the same path as Ms. Jones can do to ensure their success, her advice is simple: apply.

“I know many friends who didn’t apply because they didn’t think they’d get the position and regretted it,” she said. “There are so many opportunities available at SGU, and research skills will only help strengthen your veterinary experience. Sometimes showing interest is all it takes to get started.”

 

—Sarah Stoss

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St. George’s University To Host 2023 International Veterinary Simulation Conference

With increased emphasis on simulation at veterinary institutions around the world, St. George’s University is pleased to host the 7th International Veterinary Simulation in Teaching (InVeST) Conference, to be held February 3 to 5, 2023. The conference, originally planned for 2020 but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will welcome experts in the field to explore and discuss techniques and technology within the rapidly growing field of veterinary simulation. The conference will take place on SGU’s True Blue campus in Grenada,  West Indies. Grenada will be the fifth country outside of the United States to host the conference, following South Africa, Germany, St. Kitts, and Canada.

“We are thrilled to finally be able to host the upcoming InVeST conference,” said Dr. Neil Olson, dean of SGU’s School of Veterinary Medicine. “The world of simulation in teaching has greatly expanded in response to the COVID-19 pandemic—driving innovation in veterinary education significantly. InVeST 2023 will be a global gathering of experts who are on the cutting edge of a new way of teaching and learning.”

 

“Our university is an international center of excellence and uniquely positioned to provide a meeting of high scientific quality and training in veterinary simulation.”

 

Participants will include veterinarians, educational institutions, InVeST members, and researchers, along with students and alumni from SGU’s School of Veterinary Medicine. The two-and-a-half-day conference will feature keynote addresses, poster presentations, workshops, a reception, and various social events. Conference goers will attend interactive sessions to learn new trends and practices in veterinary simulation, and meet, interact, and collaborate with peers while obtaining CE credits. SGU educators and SGU students are welcome to attend at discounted rates.

“Our university is an international center of excellence and uniquely positioned to provide a meeting of high scientific quality and training in veterinary simulation,” Dr. Olson added. “SGU is outfitted with the facilities and personnel to educate conference participants, while our scenic campus also offers an atmosphere of relaxation as they earn continuing education credits. By creating a space for these experiences and ideas to come together, SGU will continue to drive progress in all areas of veterinary medicine.”

 

 

InVeST was established in August 2011 following a successful Veterinary Simulation Exchange symposium hosted by the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. The group has grown exponentially through the Network of Veterinarians in Continuing Education (NOVICE) project, typically reconvening every 18 months for the InVeST conference.

“Ultimately, InVeST 2023 will provide an avenue for veterinary medical personnel to thrive and build on their professional knowledge while networking with peers,” said Dr. Olson. “The conference will enhance professional collaboration and camaraderie among veterinary experts, and we are excited to continue the growth of this group of innovators.”

Those who would like to submit their abstracts for the conference, the deadline is November 15, 2022.

—Laurie Chartorynsky

 

 

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SVM clinical network expands to include Ontario Veterinary College

In Ontario, Canada, St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine students can take a breathtaking hike, lounge by a Great Lake, and visit Niagara Falls while they complete their studies at Ontario Veterinary College.

As of August 2022, SGU is affiliated with Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph, allowing fourth-year SVM students to complete their clinical training at the oldest veterinary school in Canada. This adds one more clinical affiliate to the existing list of over 30 universities across the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia where SVM students can continue their education.

“SGU and OVC have worked on a clinical partnership for several years, and we are thrilled to call our affiliation official,” said Dr. Neil Olson, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine. “Students who attend their clinical year there will receive a personalized experience at an institution whose reputation is among the best in veterinary education.”

The program at OVC is diverse. Students can gain experience in all fields of veterinary medicine, with advantages for training in rural veterinary practice because of the school’s location. The opportunities available at OVC provide flexibility to students who can tailor their training to their interests and career goals.

“Those of us at OVC who have been working with SGU to create this partnership are so excited to see it come to fruition,” said Joanne Hewson, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, associate dean of students and academics at the Ontario Veterinary College. “We’re confident SGU students will feel at home here while receiving outstanding clinical training that complements their experience in Grenada. We are truly looking forward to the collaborative exchange of ideas and perspectives as students originating from different programs work together in our clinical hospitals.”

SGU students will benefit from clinical training in other countries like Canada as the experience exposes them to different veterinary cultures—ultimately enhancing the training they receive that they can apply to their careers.

“Every school that we affiliate with strengthens our program, and we aim to offer students a diverse group of programs to choose from,” said Dr. Nicki Wise, associate dean of year four clinical training in the School of Veterinary Medicine at SGU. “In the first three years of their education, our goal is to ensure that our students can succeed in any of our 30-plus American Veterinary Medical Association-accredited programs worldwide. A partner like OVC drives us to keep our preparation rigorous.”

If you are considering your clinical year at Ontario Veterinary College and have questions, contact Dr. Wise at LWise1@sgu.edu.

Sarah Stoss

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SVM White Coat Ceremony: Aspiring Veterinarians Take Oath to Enter Profession

When Dr. Marie-Claude Poulin visited Grenada 25 years ago, she marveled at the impressive St. George’s University True Blue campus. She had no idea that years later she would return to coat her daughter Eloise Verret, now a first-term School of Veterinary Medicine student at SGU, during the School of Veterinary Medicine’s recent White Coat Ceremony.

“I’m very happy and proud that my daughter will be following in my footsteps,” said Dr. Poulin, a veterinarian practicing in Quebec, Canada. “Going up on stage to coat her was a very special moment for us. When my husband and I visited the campus all those years ago, we were amazed at what we saw. So, when the time came for her to apply to veterinary school, we knew that SGU would be perfect for her.”

Ms. Verret shared that the experience was also special to her. “I always knew I wanted to be a veterinarian, just like my mom,” she said. “Growing up as the daughter of a vet, I got to see firsthand what the job was like. When I started researching schools to apply to, it was my mom who introduced me to SGU—and I just knew this would be the best place to start my own veterinary medical journey.”

 

 

Aspiring veterinarians walked across the stage on August 27 at Patrick F. Adams Hall, where they received white lab coats marking their entry into the veterinary medical profession. Students were coated by various SGU administration, faculty, and sometimes by family members or mentors who have become veterinarians before them. This is the SVM’s 21st White Coat Ceremony and the first to be back in person since the COVID-19 pandemic.

From the Master of Ceremonies Dr. Kerri Nigito to Provost Glen Jacobs, the veterinarians-in-training were urged to rally around each other in the good times and bad. They advised the Class of 2026 that working together would bring them success.

Those sentiments were echoed by Dr. Ruby Perry, dean of veterinary radiology at the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine in her keynote address.

“The support of your family members and friends along with your mentors, faculty, staff, and your classmates will be a valued component of your success and worthy of acknowledgment. So, let’s never forget those who help you along the way,” counseled Dr. Perry, who is also the first female African American board-certified veterinary radiologist in the American College of Veterinary Radiology.

 

 

Ashlee Ganpot, BSc ’21, the sole Grenadian Term 1 veterinary medical student felt drawn to the School of Veterinary Medicine while pursuing her undergraduate degree in biology at SGU’s School of Arts and Sciences.

“My faculty advisors at SGU played a major role in my decision to become a veterinarian,” said Ms. Ganpot. “Being exposed to the vet school while completing my undergrad studies is what influenced me to pursue a career in veterinary medicine—and to pursue it at SGU. When I found the vet school, I felt like this is where I belong. I found my place.”

    – Ray-Donna Peters

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Back to School: What’s new on the True Blue Campus

 

Welcome back! For many students, this is either their first time on St. George’s University’s iconic True Blue campus or their first time being back in Grenada since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a rundown of the new and exciting places they get to explore upon their return.

“There is nothing like experiencing a vibrant St. George’s University campus with all our students, faculty, and staff back together,” said Dr. Glen Jacobs, provost at SGU. “We’re excited to share these improvements with our campus community. This term, our students on the True Blue campus will have full access to the facilities that make SGU such an outstanding place to receive a world-class education.”

Over the past 22 months, several expansion and redevelopment projects have been completed at SGU in preparation for the return of its growing campus community. This includes the opening of the Eric Gairy Pavilion, where up to 282 students can convene for outdoor study, and the Beachfront Pavilion, which has a capacity for 324 students to conduct group study. Students on campus now have 52 percent more individual study spaces to choose from, following renovations with new carrels in Founders Library, Lower Modica Hall, Lower Taylor Hall, St. David’s Hall, St. Andrew’s Hall, and St. John’s Hall. SGU also recently updated its existing 56 clinical skills rooms with the newest technology—adding another 28 rooms and a new control center.

The goal of all these expansion and redevelopment efforts is to enhance campus life and the student experience. Additional enhancements students, faculty, and staff will be able to enjoy on campus starting this term include:

  • New SVM Faculty Building: The latest SVM building features 34 brand new offices, a conference room, a reception area, and a small kitchenette. It was completed earlier this month and faculty have already started moving into their new digs.
  • Marion Hall Renovation: The project included a massive expansion and upgrade of all research spaces. A highlight of the project is the student lab, which has now more than doubled in size and was completely renovated to include new furniture, fixtures, and a state-of-the-art AV system. Scheduled to be completed by August 2022.
  • SimLab Renovation: Not just a renovation but also a relocation—the SOM SimLab has moved from Westerhall to the 2nd floor of St. George’s Hall. For this renovation, 22 hospital simulation rooms were constructed, each featuring an administrator room, state-of-the-art training equipment, and fully outfitted with new furniture and fixtures as well as training mannequins. The entire floor will have a new AV system, touch-screen InFocus monitor, and a dedicated control room on the same floor for the lead administrator to monitor all rooms simultaneously. Scheduled to be completed by September 2022.
  • Happy’s Café: Located on lower campus, opposite of the Maintenance Department, the new café is poised to become the campus’ newest ‘instagrammable’ hot spot. Scheduled to be completed in early September 2022.

 

Image 1: New SVM faculty building (front entrance); Image 2: New SVM faculty building (back entrance); Image 3: Marion Hall renovation; Image 4: Clinical Skills training room; Image 5: Happy’s Cafe

 

Since its inception 45 years ago, the University has erected more than 65 beautifully designed, functional buildings along the True Blue peninsula under the guidance of visionary architect Andrew Belford, SGU’s first director of admissions. Drawing inspiration from this past work, SGU continues to enhance its picturesque campus filled with striking neo-Cape Colonial buildings—with many contemporary advancements, making it an ideal place to learn and live.

“We can’t wait for the SGU community to experience the enhancements we’ve made to an already stunning campus,” said Christina Verderosa, SGU’s director of operations. “These various expansions and renovations will no doubt contribute to students’ academic success as well as an amazing campus experience for all.”

– Ray-Donna Peters

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