Entries in Iowa State (11)



Blair Dingler - Texas A&M



Alyssa Thacker - Iowa State



 Alyssa Helms - Tennessee


Youth Camp in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

Kathryn Cehrs, Iowa State

Life As a Vet Student, Entry


My most random job occurred in the summer of 2012. I lifeguarded for a week at an Armenian Orthodox Youth Camp in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California (Hye Camp). This might not seem unusual except that I am not Armenian, related to any Armenians, or in a relationship with an Armenian. I was one of 4 people in the camp who did not have dark hair. It was an odd feeling being the only non-Armenian in a camp with over 100 people. I felt very ignorant at first. I wasn’t even sure if Armenia was an independent nation (it is) or a region in a different country (not). I had a vague idea where the country was located (near Turkey), but I couldn’t find it on a map.

Despite being the odd one out in the camp, I had a great opportunity to learn about another culture. The Armenians are fiercely proud of their heritage, something I am not familiar with as my heritage is mixed and far removed from Europe. As a whole, they are very highly educated and high achievers. And their food is fantastic, even though my tongue hurt a little from the amount of lemon and garlic. They had backgammon tournaments, a history hour, cooking and dancing lessons along with the more typical summer camp activities. I spent most of my time down at the waterfront on the job, but still had time to participate in a lot of the activities. My favorite was the traditional Armenian dancing. It was a ton of fun and involved fast music and a lot of fancy footwork.

Overall it was a great experience and I learned a lot: about their culture, and also how to relate to people I knew little about.



EPDC Grant Winner

SAVMA's Education and Professional Development Committee offers a grant to veterinary student organizations to provide funding for wet labs or lectures supplementing their college’s curriculum.  The 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. For a full list of award money SAVMA offers, click here. Read below for how one school used this resource:


Dr. Karen Overall

On April 16th, with the help of a SAVMA EPDC grant, Iowa State's Chapter of Animal Behavior was pleased to welcome Dr. Karen Overall, a leading veterinary behaviorist and author of Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small Animals.  Dr. Karen Overall spoke to our student and faculty/staff population (over 130 in attendance!) about the importance of behavior in veterinary medicine, and our role as veterinarians in patient behavior.  Dr. Overall is an engaging, well-known speaker and our college population was provided the unique opportunity to learn more about veterinary behavior.  Thank you for SAVMA EPDC grant for this amazing seminar!


Feral Cat Alliance Megaclinic

By: Jennifer Stecher

Iowa State Univeristy, Class of 2012


Iowa State University Feral Cat Alliance (FCA) is a volunteer, veterinary student organization under the supervision of ISU College of Veterinary Medicine faculty and staff that is dedicated to serving central Iowa communities by humanely controlling the feral cat population.  Our mission is to humanely reduce the feral cat population by using a trap, neuter, and return program (TNR).  TNR programs allow feral cat colonies to be humanely trapped by their caretakers and transported to our ISU facility to be surgically sterilized, vaccinated, receive a topical dewormer, and become ear tipped.  Afterwards, the cats are returned to their caretakers to be released back into the wild (their territory).   

FCA holds monthly clinics and an annual Megaclinic at ISU College of Veterinary Medicine.  On Saturday, September 18, 2010, FCA held their annual Megaclinic.  Over one hundred ISU veterinary students, eleven ISU/local veterinarians and several ISU staff worked to surgically sterilize, vaccinate and deworm one hundred feral cats.

With the help of SAVMA ELC Grant, FCA was able to fund this endeavor to surgically sterilize feral cats and provide education to the local community and veterinary students about the behavior, medical risks, infectious disease risks, and overpopulation issues of feral cats.   Feral cat overpopulation is a huge issue in the central Iowa community and FCA’s monthly clinics and the annual Megaclinic attempt to reduce these numbers through our spaying and neutering efforts.  It was approximated that at the Megaclinic, we prevented about 90-110 pregnancies and 450-500 kittens from being born this year alone.  This was a great accomplishment for the Feral Cat Alliance and Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine.  



Living the 2+2 Program Reality

By: Jennafer Glaesemann

Iowa State Univeristy by-way-of University of Nebraska, Class of 2012

Consider 25 students, approximately 30 faculty and staff members, 2 classrooms and 3 teaching laboratories, and 3 student organizations... and then 120 students, approximately 500 faculty and staff members, over 565,000 square feet in the largest academic building of its respective university, and 33 student organizations.  Then consider being separated by 223 miles and approximately 3.5 hours, depending on construction, road conditions, and the foot on the accelerator.  When the new kids on the block enter the playground of one of the oldest public veterinary schools in the nation, these two groups are thrown together in a maelstrom guaranteed to produce sparks.  Those sparks have instigated an innovative educational design that is spreading like wildfire in the veterinary education field as institutions struggle to balance resource constraints with societal demands for increased numbers of veterinarians.

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