St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine Hosts Third Annual Caribbean Bee College

Working Together to Improve the Health, Productivity, and Sustainability of Bees

The American honey bee seems to be under siege. In the last year, U.S. beekeepers lost 42 percent of their colonies, another spike in a series of mass die-offs of epidemic levels.  However, when we talk about bee death, or colony collapse, we are talking about industrial honey bees— bees in managed colonies, utilized for the purpose of pollination. In Grenada, bee health is critical for the success of pollination-based agriculture, which produces over a third of the Grenadian diet. Thus, the honey bee’s resistance against parasites – parasitic mites in particular, is the most serious problem facing beekeepers in Grenada, the East Caribbean, and other Caribbean countries.

third annual caribbean bee college

In May, St. George’s University’s School of Veterinary Medicine’s East Caribbean Bee Research and Extension Centre (ECBREC) and Bee Research Laboratory held its third annual Caribbean Bee College to discuss this major concern and other topics such as; honey bee biology, research, and hive maintenance. Participants were treated to a myriad of lectures and workshops, some featuring hands-on learning experiences with live honey bee colonies and visits to Grenada’s local apiaries. The event was topped off with an evening Honey Show featuring honey and hive products including candles, colony art, photography, and honey wine known as Mead.

Beekeeping is an essential component of modern Grenadian agriculture, providing pollination services for agriculture crops and livestock feed, and adding US $2 million in value. The apiculture industry is one of the subsectors holding the greatest potential for transforming the agro-business sector with approximately 50 beekeepers producing between 3,000 and 7,000 gallons of honey per year valued at EC $126,000 to $540,000. Through pollination, it is thought that honey bees account for one-third of the world’s food, and their products serve many purposes, including healing wounds.

“ECBREC and the Bee Research Lab are dedicated to improving the health, productivity, and sustainability of bees in Grenada, the Eastern Caribbean, and the wider Caribbean,” said Dwayne Mitchell, Research and Apiary Manager at St. George’s University. “Our primary goal is to partner with beekeepers and other groups in the Caribbean in an effort to share information, tools, and resources that we hope will improve the sustainability of beekeeping among the islands.”

ECBREC currently carries out internationally recognized research in bee diseases, parasites, pests, husbandry, and pollination, to enhance knowledge of agriculture and livestock sustainability, ecology, behavior, and conservation. These study areas will contribute to the understanding of foraging behavior, defensive behavior and mechanisms that provide honey bees resistance especially against parasitic mites.

The Caribbean Bee College is a partnership between the Association of Caribbean Beekeepers’ Organizations, ECBREC and Bee Research Laboratory at St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine, the Honey Bee Research Extension Lab at the University of Florida, and individual beekeepers and other groups in the Caribbean. Through the support of key individuals and groups, the honey bee extension event serves as a learning experience for beekeepers, farmers, those in various bee-related industries and others interacting with honey bees and beekeeping at any level.


St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2015 Take Oath of Professional Commitment at White Coat Ceremony

Veterinary students brimming with excitement donned their white coats at the Fall 2015 White Coat Ceremony at St. George’s University and recited the Oath of Professional Commitment, symbolizing their entry into the veterinary profession.

svm wcc fall 2015

Having once sat where they are now, alumnus and Master of Ceremonies, Dr. Patrick Flynn, SGU DVM ’06, knew exactly how the matriculating class felt and counseled them to make the most of this opportunity. “As with your veterinary education, the sum of your career can only equal the effort you are willing to give and the sacrifices you are willing to make. Through the highs and lows you must always remember how truly blessed you are to be given the honor of pursuing a career in veterinary medicine,” Dr. Flynn said. “You’re blessed because you will be able to make a difference in the world; your actions and your conduct while performing them will have the power to change the lives of your patients and the people associated with them.”

Dr. Flynn’s sentiments were echoed by Dr. Allen Pensick, Provost of St. George’s University, who welcomed and congratulated the students. “The world needs more trained veterinarians, and by taking the oath tonight, you pledge your commitment to doing what’s needed to make things better for everyone.”

The Provost also took the opportunity to introduce, Dr. Richard Olds, the founding Dean at University of California Riverside Medical School and first-ever President and Chief Executive Officer at St. George’s University. Dr. Olds shared a brief history of the White Coat Ceremony, noting its association with the medical profession, the nursing profession, dentists, and many others in the healing arts. He also spoke of society’s earlier need for medicine to be guided by the scientific method, thus the white coat is also a lab coat.

“The purpose of the White Coat Ceremony is to remind you that, from the very first day you are involved as a health professional and you don the white coat, you also assume a great responsibility for your behavior,” Dr. Olds said. “How you carry yourselves, how you interact with people, with your patients, and with those you are attempting to help is a responsibility that will stay with you throughout your entire professional career.”

dr clark fobian

Dr. Clark Fobian, Immediate Past President for the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and member of its Executive Board, gave the keynote address where he shared a study which professed that doctors who wore their white coats were rated 15 percent higher in competency, knowledge, and clinical skills by their patients than those who did not. He discarded his own jacket in favor of a crisp white coat to emphasize his point.

“You are coming into a family, not just a profession,” said Dr. Fobian. “There are approximately 100,000 veterinarians currently practicing in the US. That may sound unimpressive, but the impact that veterinarians have on their communities and on society far exceeds those numbers.”

St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine was first established in August 1999, followed six years later by the installation of the first international chapter of Phi Zeta National Veterinary Honor Society on campus, the Alpha Delta Chapter. In September 2011, the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education announced its full accreditation of the St. George’s University Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program for seven years. The School of Veterinary Medicine continues to strive toward being leaders in providing veterinary knowledge and technology, while expanding its curriculum and adding new state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms.


American University of Nigeria and St. George’s University Enter into a Joint Program leading to the Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Students of the American University of Nigeria now have the opportunity to pursue medicine and veterinary medicine studies at St George’s University, Grenada, West Indies (SGU), after completion of their studies at AUN.

This new cooperative venture is open to students who meet all the requirements for enrollment in the combined programs leading to the pursuit of a career in medicine. Such students must successfully complete the relevant combined courses in the pre-medicine and pre-veterinary medicine programs in AUN’s program in Natural & Environmental Sciences major.
They must also show a competitive grade point average while in the science major at AUN Upon meeting all AUN and St George’s admission criteria, they will then proceed to the SGU Schools of Medicine or Veterinary Medicine to obtain the MD or DVM degree.

At the SGU School of Medicine, admitted students will complete the first two years of medical study in Grenada and then the final two of this combined program in clinical rotations at affiliated hospitals in the US and or the UK. Students who qualify for veterinary medicine will be eligible to complete the first three years of study in SGU and their final clinical year at affiliated veterinary schools in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, or Ireland.

“We are pleased to have an opportunity to welcome students to SGU from the American University of Nigeria,” said Charles R. Modica, Chancellor at St. George’s University. “This collaboration between SGU and AUN further supports our mission of academic excellence and global medicine as we prepare these students to excel in their studies and in their careers.”
For more information please visit the AUN and SGU websites.

St. George’s University is a center of international education, drawing students and faculty from over 140 countries to the island of Grenada, West Indies. St. George’s is affiliated with educational institutions worldwide, including in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Ireland. The University has contributed over 15,000 physicians, veterinarians, scientists, and public health and business professionals who are studying across the world. The University programs are accredited and approved by many governing authorities. For more information, visit

St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine Graduates Class of 2015

More than 1,000 DVM Degrees Conferred on Graduates Since 1999

With each round of applause during the St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine commencement ceremony at Lincoln Center, Class of 2015 graduates had the opportunity to congratulate and celebrate with their colleagues, the newest class of veterinarians to come from SGU. All together, St. George’s University conferred Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees to 105 graduates who came to Grenada from 32 US states and eight countries on June 16, 2015, at Alice Tully Hall in New York City.

svm graduation 2015

“When you first assembled in Grenada at the White Coat Ceremony four years ago, you knew that you were four years away from your lifelong dreams, but you also knew that a lot of hard work laid ahead,” said Charles R. Modica, St. George’s University Chancellor. “You have my utmost respect for what you have achieved, and I think you have the respect and love of all those who are here today.”

Among the 2015 graduates was Anais Alamo, DVM SGU ’15. Originally from Puerto Rico, Dr. Alamo spent three years in Grenada before doing one year of clinical training at the University of Tennessee. She looks forward to beginning her career as a veterinarian at Banfield Pet Hospital in Pembroke Pines, FL, this summer.

“It’s emotional because ever since you were little, you dream of what you’re going to become in the future,” she said. “Finally you can look back and see everything you went through to get where you are right now, and you can say ‘I did it.’ It’s such an amazing feeling. I’m very excited.”

The daughter of an allergist, Christine Gerardi, DVM SGU ’15, grew up around medicine, but she was drawn to the veterinary side while doing her undergraduate studies at James Madison University in Virginia. After having earned her DVM at SGU, she will join a small animal practice in Arlington, VA, this summer.

“I come back today and see my classmates who are family to me, I see my professors who I miss, and it really makes you realize what an amazing experience it was,” Dr. Gerardi said. “I would do it all over again if I had to.”

The Class of 2015 included six students who transferred to SGU from the American University of Antigua, which closed its veterinary school in 2011. In addition, SGU bestowed the Distinguished Service Medal to Dr. James Smallwood, Professor of Veterinary Anatomy and Radiology, North Carolina State University, and Visiting Professor in Anatomy and Radiographic Anatomy at SGU. Dr. Smallwood was recognized for his longtime contributions to SGU. In his address to the crowd, Dr. Smallwood reflected on his own career and wished the Class of 2015 the best of luck in theirs.

“Being a veterinarian is one of the most wonderful things that has ever happened to me, and I wish that in your career you’re blessed with as much happiness and reward as I was,” he said.

Graduates closed the ceremony by stating the customary Veterinarian’s Oath. SGU has now conferred DVM degrees to more than 1,000 veterinarians since the School of Veterinary Medicine opened its doors in 1999.

Dr. Springman is Always on the Move

A mobile veterinarian, Kim Springman, DVM SGU ’10, offers a nearly full-service veterinarian’s office within the confines of the Hometown Veterinary Clinic van.

St. George’s University and Rutgers University Launch Joint Veterinary Partnership

St. George’s University and Rutgers University today announced a new pre-veterinary program partnership in which select students with a Bachelor of Science in animal science from Rutgers may gain direct entrance into St. George’s School of Veterinary Medicine. This new pathway further demonstrates SGU long standing relationship with the State of New Jersey and academic institutions and hospitals in the field of medical and veterinary education.


“This collaboration only strengthens St. George’s University’s relationship with another terrific academic institution and with the state of New Jersey,” SGU Chancellor Charles R. Modica said. “Each university has a proud tradition of producing graduates who will make a difference in the lives of animals both big and small, in the US and around the world.”

“The Animal Sciences program at Rutgers University has a long history of successfully preparing our students for admission to schools of veterinary medicine,” said Dr. Larry Katz, Senior Associate Director, NJ Agricultural Experiment Station, Director, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, and Professor, Animal Sciences. “This new relationship with St. George’s University provides a unique opportunity to offer qualified candidates the exciting opportunity to study veterinary medicine in a stimulating setting alongside students with diverse international backgrounds.”

Through the agreement, St. George’s University has set aside seats in their upcoming veterinary classes for qualified candidates from Rutgers. To qualify, Rutgers students must earn a grade point average of 3.4 or better on their pre-veterinary courses, and a minimum score of 305 on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Those accepted will complete three years of study at St. George’s University and one clinical year at one of SGU’s 29 affiliated universities in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Ireland, upon which time they will earn their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

Students who are interested in entering the program must submit their application by May 15 for the August class and October 15 for the January class.

“New Jersey currently doesn’t have any contract seats with out-of-state schools, so this is a great opportunity for New Jersey students to have seats reserved at an AVMA accredited school,” said Chadd Tindall, DVM SGU ’03, Director of the SVM Office of Career Guidance.

The connection with Rutgers joins recent veterinary medical partnerships forged with Long Island University, Springfield College, and the University of St. Thomas. For a complete list of the School of Veterinary Medicine’s academic partnerships, click here.

St. George’s University and King’s College Announce Seven-Year Medical and Veterinary Education Partnerships

St. George’s University and King’s College, Wilkes-Barre, PA, have announced an articulation agreement to provide international options to students interested in medical or veterinary careers.

kings college

Qualified King’s students may begin their programs in medicine or veterinary medicine at St. George’s University after completing three years in the undergraduate college and after meeting all admission requirements to St. George’s.

“We are proud to welcome King’s College students to our University community,” said Charles R. Modica, Chancellor at St. George’s University. “We look forward to a long relationship with a school with such proud academic and ethical traditions.”

“The agreement with St. George’s University allows interested King’s students a unique opportunity to finish their bachelor’s degree studies at an international medical school,” said Dr. Fevzi Akinci, associate dean of the William McGowan School of Business at King’s and director and professor of the master’s program in health care administration. “The students will then be exposed to one of the finest international medical educational facilities for their professional studies and have a wealth of international options for their clinical rotations.”

In addition to this new partnership, St. George’s maintains partnerships in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada with the Niagara Christian Community of Schools, Regis College, City Colleges of Chicago, Malcolm X College, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)/Albert Dorman Honors College, St. Michael’s Medical Center, Caldwell University, Franklin Pierce University, St. Thomas University, University of the Sciences, Drexel University, Monmouth University, Widener University, Northumbria University, Abbey DLD Group of Colleges and University of the West of England. The University has similar partnerships with Mahidol University International College, Thailand and schools in Bermuda, Grenada, Hong Kong, Guyana, and Uganda.

About St. George’s University
St. George’s University is a center of international education, drawing students and faculty from 140 countries to the island of Grenada, in the West Indies, to its programs in medicine, veterinary medicine, public health, science, and business. St. George’s is affiliated with educational institutions worldwide, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Ireland. The University’s over 14,000 graduates include physicians, veterinarians, scientists, and public health and business professionals across the world. The University programs are accredited and approved by many governing authorities and repeatedly recognized as the best in the region. For more information, visit

About King’s College
Founded in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in 1946 by the Congregation of Holy Cross from the University of Notre Dame, King’s College offer 40 majors in Business, Engineering, Humanities and Social Sciences, Education, Sciences and Allied Health programs, seven pre-professional programs and 11 concentrations to 2700 undergraduate and graduate students. For 19 straight years, King’s College has been ranked in the top tier of U.S. News and World Report’s list of Best Colleges in the United States. King’s is also recognized as among the best master’s degree granting institutions in the country in a national ranking by Washington Monthly magazine.

Vets Without Borders 2015

Drs. Daniel Franklin and Grace Sollenberger, DVM SGU ’07, of Mid-Atlantic Veterinary Hospital of Hagerstown have stepped up with a unique kind of mission. Working with the Dominican Republic’s Pets Breeding Control Foundation (PBC) — Dr. Franklin is the official U.S. representative of the organization — the veterinarians spend up to a week at a time in the Dominican Republic, spaying and neutering dogs and cats, and administering vaccinations and dewormers.

School of Veterinary Medicine Establishes Combined Program with St. Lawrence College in Canada

St. Lawrence College (SLC) students interested in a career in veterinary medicine can earn a quality education while also expediting their careers thanks to a new combined degree program established at St. George’s University.

school of veterinary medicine establishes combined program with st lawrence college in canada

Through the partnership, students at St. Lawrence, a public, four-year institution in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, can complete the Ontario College Advanced Diploma Veterinary Technology Program and gain admittance to SGU’s veterinary medical program. The program at True Blue, is four years, the last of which will be spent at one of 29 clinical programs across the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia.

“We are very pleased to have reached this agreement with St. Lawrence College, which opens a pathway for prospective veterinarians to join us here in Grenada,” said Charles R. Modica, Chancellor at St. George’s University. “We are confident that these students will excel in their studies and in their careers, and will be more than prepared to effectively treat their patients, both big and small.”

To qualify, St. Lawrence students must express interest in the joint degree program upon gaining entry into SLC. They must also register a competitive GPA and competitive score on their Graduate Record Examination (GRE) in addition to meeting the School of Veterinary Medicine’s admission criteria.

“We are really excited with this opportunity for our students who are exceptional veterinary health care providers. We believe that they will bring a new ‘hands on’ perspective to their classmates at St. George’s and will go on to become veterinary medical leaders in their communities” said Glenn Vollebregt, President and CEO of St. Lawrence College.

SLC becomes the second Canadian institution with which the School of Veterinary Medicine has formed a combined program in 2014. Earlier in the year, SGU created a similar partnership with Niagara Christian Community of Schools (NCC), also in Ontario. With them, the School of Veterinary Medicine has more than a dozen combined degree programs in place across the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Sri Lanka.

St. George’s University is a center of international education, drawing students and faculty from over 140 countries to the island of Grenada, West Indies. St. George’s is affiliated with educational institutions worldwide, including in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Ireland. The University has contributed over 14,000 physicians, veterinarians, scientists, and public health and business professionals who are studying across the world. The University programs are accredited and approved by many governing authorities. For more information, visit

About St. Lawrence College
With three friendly campuses in Brockville, Cornwall, and Kingston, St. Lawrence College is an integral part of the economic life and social fabric of Eastern Ontario with a close-knit community of 7,000 full-time students, and more than 70,000 proud alumni. Hundreds are also enrolled in our online and continuing education courses each year. As part of our ongoing sustainability initiatives, the College boasts more than 1,600 rooftop solar modules on our Kingston and Brockville campuses, the largest solar roof-top installation of any post-secondary institution in Canada. The college has many Applied Research projects in progress, as well, our Corporate Learning and Performance Improvement group has helped more than 350 organizations grow and prosper. Through our Employment Service offices we work with thousands of clients annually.

Veterinarian Goes the Distance for Good Cause

Two years after swimming the English Channel, Brittany King, DVM SGU ’10, ran seven marathons on seven continents in 11 days.