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Christmas Karma

By: Scott Dudis

Cornell University, Class of 2014

Remembering perspective is, perhaps, the best way to deal with stress. As exams were wrapping up this December, I was thinking about wrapping up presents and packing a suitcase as I bragged to “less fortunate” classmates whom I knew were scheduled in the clinic on the holiday. I boasted that I would be home, with my family, enjoying my time off. Instead of surprises in the form of many glorious gifts, I was visited by the Ghost of Christmas Irony as I, too, spent several hours at the emergency animal hospital with my own dog, all night on December 25th. In short, she apparently decided it was Santa who had left her a small box of Dove Dark Chocolate Truffles under the tree, not one of my relatives who had, in fact, accidentally left it unattended while we were all away.

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Finals and Stress

By: Stephanie Silberstang

Cornell University, Class of 2013

(Editor's note: I know the holidays are long past us, but finals never are. Just remember to take time for yourself!)

In order to deal with finals and holiday stress, I have realized that I must focus on the little things. This idea took many years to come to me, I realized it halfway through my 4-year undergraduate education. I have never been one to go home for the four week break and relax, although I always want that. Instead, I somehow manage to overbook myself with too many plans that overlap and must be executed perfectly in order to work. For example, this winter break I went skiing, visited my friend for Christmas, went to New York City for a week and took a two week trip to Honduras to learn and improve my wildlife handling skills. These activities all took place within days of each other, and although they were all relaxing as separate activities, I was continuously  thinking of the next step and planning ahead. Not to mention this whirlwind of a winter break directly followed the stress that comes with the end of every semester: finals. They require hour after hour of studying, long nights in the library, and neglect of other areas in my life that would keep me happier and healthier.

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Veterinary Forensics Conference

Do you watch Animal Cops and wish there was something you could do to bring about justice??  Here’s your chance! Check out the International Veterinary Forensic Sciences Association annual conference coming up May 2-4th, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. The conference is geared towards veterinarians (and veterinary students!), animal control officers, shelter workers, prosecutors, as well as those involved in human forensics. It is extremely informative and a great way to connect with people currently working in this new and rapidly growing field!!

Just a quick blurb about veterinary forensics: this is a collaborative field that integrates knowledge from human forensics with veterinary science in order to better substantiate evidence of animal cruelty. Animal cruelty laws are growing and gaining increased reputation, but law enforcement needs the help of veterinarians to prosecute cases of animal abuse. Think things will never change? Think again! During the Michael Vick trial, Vick's attorneys had a solid plan to plead not-guilty up until they received the veterinarian's report. It was so thorough that Vick’s attorneys knew they wouldn’t stand a chance, and thus decided to plead guilty! 

For more info about the conference, visit the IVFSA website at:


Education and Professional Development Spring Grant

Are you interested in an aspect of veterinary medicine not addressed in your school’s veterinary curriculum?Are you looking for funding for a unique wet lab or lecture topic?

The Education and Professional Development Committee from SAVMA is offering a grant to veterinary student organizations to provide funding for wet labs or lectures supplementing their college’s curriculum.  Our vision for this grant is for student organizations or clubs to design either a lecture and/or wet lab for a topic to which students would not otherwise be exposed. It's time to get creative and finally host that amazing topic you've been thinking of!

Three $250 dollar grants will be offered, and winners will be chosen by the committee by the end of March. All submissions can be for an upcoming event or for reimbursement of a recently past event, depending on the date of the proposed event. 

If you're thinking about applying, check with your SAVMA delegate for an application. Don't forget to apply by March 1st! Questions can be directed to


Teaching Excellence Award

Do you know an amazing teacher? Do you have a professor/intern/resident that seems to be different than anyone else? Do they keep your interest and respect your learning at all times? Do you wish that every class and every professor could teach like they do? Do you believe that they should be given some recognition or award for the excellent job that they perform everyday?

The SAVMA Education and Professional Development Committee is looking for nominees that fit the description above, send us their name because we'd like to reward them for being so amazing. The selected teacher will be given complementary registration to AVMA Convention in St. Louis this summer along with travel and lodging expenses and a beautiful stained glass award for display. What better way is there to recognize the greatest teacher you know?

Contact your SAVMA delegate for an application. Make sure to get them in before March 7th, 2011. And I bet you all wish you were back in elementary school learning your ABC's rather than pathophysiology!