Connect 2021 was a success!

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Mentor Program, Career Mixer & Match, Reunion, Continuing Education

Check out event photos here.

Check out the VTX featured video here.

Schedule

Friday, Sept. 17, 2021

Mentor, Mix, Match, Celebrate

8:30 - 9:30 Breakfast
9:00-12:00 p.m. - Mentor Day Activities (Commons)
12:00-1:00 p.m. - Lunch
1:00-5:00 p.m. - Career Mixer & Match
5:00-7:00 p.m. - College Celebration (The Grove) All are invited!

Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021

8:00-3:00 p.m. - Continuing Education Program

(6 hours of CE credit in each of the following 3 tracks: Small Animal, Large Animal, and Public Health/Wellness)

12:00-1:00 p.m. - Alumni and Faculty Awards Presentation
Remainder of Day - Individual Reunion Class Activities

The Mentor Program, hosted by the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA), provides mentorship opportunities between the college’s DVM students and practitioners across Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia. Mentor Day activities will take place on Friday, September 17 from 9am-12pm, with a lunch from 12-1pm before the Career Mixer & Match gets underway. Both events offer an informal setting to discuss and learn more about future career options.

Any veterinarian can be a mentor. It does not matter where or when you graduated from veterinary school, nor do you have to be a member of a state veterinary medical association. When you sign-up to be a mentor, the VVMA will assign you with one or more students. An opportunity to meet and interact with your mentee(s) occurs annually, in the fall, on “Mentor Day”. It’s a wonderful way to give back to the students and prepare them for their future in veterinary medicine. For more information and to become a mentor, click the button below!


Special thanks to our Mentor Program sponsors!

VVMA Logo
MDVMA Logo
WVVMA Logo

The Career Mixer & Match will offer an informal setting to explore current and future career options. Mentors (any alumni or practitioner participating in Mentor Day) are invited to advertise available positions at their clinics or share additional information about their organizations. Booths will be established for you to set up and for students to explore. Though we want to maintain an informal setting, we will coordinate with mentors and mentees before the event to match available opportunities with those seeking interest or employment. As an extension of Mentor Day, our goal is to provide an additional opportunity for continued conversation and to explore more targeted career discussions, for those interested.

So, if you are looking to hire a student for a summer internship or associate position post-graduation, or perhaps you are an organization that wants to relay available opportunities, sign up to become a mentor – you won’t want to miss the day’s activities!

Check out the 2021 Career Listings here!

A College Celebration will be held in the evening of Friday, September 17 (5-7pm) in the College Grove (weather permitting). All are welcome and invited to attend the celebration that will include dinner, adult beverages, and a relaxed atmosphere complete with a band! It will offer an opportunity to continue casual conversation and unwind from a busy day of mentor activities and career discussions, and kick off the party with old classmates and colleagues!


Special thanks to our College Celebration sponsor!

Boehringer Ingelheim Logo

The Continuing Education (CE) program will offer 6 hours of CE credit in each of the following 3 tracks: Small Animal, Large Animal, and Public Health/Wellness. The program will consist largely of alumni speakers who are board certified or considered specialists in their field. You may register to attend this program either in-person or virtually.

The Code of Virginia for Veterinary Medicine approves continuing education courses or programs sponsored by colleges of veterinary medicine approved by the AVMA Council on Education. If you have concerns about the transfer of CE credit in your state of residence, please consult your Board of Veterinary Medicine. 


Special thanks to our Continuing Education and Alumni Awards Program sponsor!

Banfield Logo

Presentation of the Alumni and Faculty Awards will be hosted on Saturday, September 18 from 12-1pm. This event will occur over the lunch hour of the continuing education program. Recipients of these awards, if applicable, will be invited to present a continuing education lecture in the afternoon programming. To learn more and to nominate for each of the awards, click the button below!


Special thanks to our Continuing Education and Alumni Awards Program sponsor!

Banfield Logo

Alumni from all programs are invited and encouraged to attend all Connect 2021 events. Special focus will be made on reunion class years - ’86, ’91, ’96, ’01, ’16, ’11, ’16, in addition to last year’s reunion class years who missed out on the fun - ’85, ’90, ’95, ’00, ’05, ’10, ’15, as well as the class of 2020! While the schedule is full of events at the college, we will be assisting representatives from each reunion year to make the most of their class gathering. The evening of Saturday, September 18 is open for reunion classes to host their own, individual events.

Special thanks to all our sponsors!

VVMA Logo
MDVMA Logo
WVVMA Logo
Boehringer Ingelheim Logo
Banfield Logo

Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021

7:00-7:30 a.m. - Light Breakfast and Coffee (Commons)

7:30-7:45 a.m. - Welcome (Commons) Dean M. Daniel Givens

8:00-8:50 a.m.

Small Animal-Classroom 100
Aimee Dalrymple (DVM '95)
Aimee Dalrymple (DVM '95, MS)

"Career Options (and Adventures) in Shelter Medicine"

Large Animal-Classroom 102
Caroline Leeth (DVM '01)
Caroline Leeth (DVM '01, PhD)

"Filling in the Deficits on our Knowledge about EPM"

Public Health-VMIA 220
Julie Settlage (DVM '00)
Julie Settlage (DVM '00, MSc Vet Ed, DACVS-LA)

"Boundaries Do Not Have to Be Fencelines"

9:00-9:50 a.m.

Small Animal-Classroom 100
Bonnie Lefbom (DVM '91)
Bonnie Lefbom (DVM '91, DACVIM-Cardiology)

"Busting Common Cardiology Myths"

Large Animal-Classroom 102
Sierra Guynn (DVM '06)
Sierra R. Guynn (PhD, DVM '06)

"Embrace the Void: Small Ruminant Urolithiasis"

Public Health-VMIA 220
M. Daniel Givens
M. Daniel Givens (DVM, PhD, DACT, DACVIM-Virology)

"SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: A Comparative Virology Perspective"

9:55-10:05 a.m. - Break

 

10:05-10:55 a.m.

Small Animal-Classroom 100
Jennifer Stokes (DVM '95)
Jennifer E. Stokes (DVM '95, DACVIM-SAIM)

"Interesting Internal Medicine Cases"

Large Animal-Classroom 102
Sherrie Clark (DVM '96)
Sherrie Clark (BS '92, DVM '96, PhD, DACT)

"All but the Squeal – Practice Tips with Miniature Pigs"

Public Health-VMIA 220
Aine Hawthorn (DVM '06)
Aine Hawthorn (MS '03, DVM '06, DACVP)

"The Mystery of the Collapsing Coral: a Collaborative Wildlife Disease Investigation"

Classroom 100 with projection to 102

11:05-11:55 a.m.

Anne Zajac
Anne Zajac (DVM, MS, PhD)
2021 Outstanding Faculty Alumni Award Recipient

"Echinococcus Multilocularis in Virginia: What Does it Mean for Routine Parasite Management in Dogs?"

12:00-1:00 p.m. - Lunch and Awards Presentation

 
Classroom 100 with projection to 102

1:00-1:50 p.m.

Timothy Fan (DVM '95)
Timothy M. Fan (BS '91, DVM '95, PhD, DACVIM-Oncology, Internal Medicine)
2021 Lifetime Achievement Alumni Award Recipient

"Canine Osteosarcoma- What is the Future for Battling Metastases"

 
Classroom 100 with projection to 102

2:00-2:50 p.m.

Cyndie Courtney (DVM '11)
Cyndie Courtney (DVM '11, Founder, The Jerk Researcher, LLC)
2021 Outstanding Recent Alumni Award Recipient

"How Words Break Bones: Medical Errors and Psychological Safety"

Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021-Small Animal Sessions

8:00-8:50 a.m. - Classroom 100
Aimee Dalrymple (DVM '95)

Aimee Dalrymple (DVM '95, MS)
University of Florida, Adjunct Assistant Professor

"Career Options (and Adventures) in Shelter Medicine"

Dr. Dalrymple graduated from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1995. After an initial career in companion animal private practice, she discovered the exciting field of shelter medicine. Dr. Dalrymple complete her master’s degree through the University of Florida Online Shelter Medicine Program in 2018 and now serves as an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor in that program.


9:00-9:50 a.m. - Classroom 100
Bonnie Lefbom (DVM '91)

Bonnie Lefbom (DVM '91, DACVIM-Cardiology)
Cardiologist and Founding Partner, CVCA

"Busting Common Cardiology Myths"

Bonnie Lefbom , class of ‘91, is a cardiologist and founding partner of CVCA, Cardiac Care for Pets – helping grow the company from 1 to 14 locations. She is passionate about clear communication with clients and collaboration with primary care veterinarians. She leads a 501c3(For the Kids International, Inc) in support of an orphanage and village school in rural Kenya. She has 3 young adult kids, stayed married, and loves to travel.


10:05-10:55 a.m. - Classroom 100
Jennifer Stokes (DVM '95)

Jennifer E. Stokes (DVM '95, DACVIM-SAIM)
University of Tennessee, Clinical Professor of Medicine

"Interesting Internal Medicine Cases"

I am a 1995 graduate of the VMRCVM, completed a small animal internship at WSU, two years in a small animal practice in Maryland and then an Internal Medicine residency at Michigan State University. I have been a faculty member at the University of Tennessee since then. As a clinical faculty member, I spend most of my time working in the hospital with clinical students, interns and residents as well as participating in preclincial teaching.


Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021-Large Animal Sessions

8:00-8:50 a.m. - Classroom 102
Caroline Leeth (DVM '01)

Caroline Leeth (DVM '01, PhD)
Virginia Tech, Assistant Professor

"Filling in the Deficits on our Knowledge about EPM"

Dr. Caroline Leeth is a 2001 graduate of the VA-MD College of Veterinary Medicine. She received her PhD in Cellular Biology in 2011 through a joint program with the Jackson Laboratory and the University of Maine. Rejoining Virginia Tech in 2014, she is an assistant professor in the Animal and Poultry Sciences Department and Chair of their equine program. Her research includes studying human autoimmune diseases and the unique equine immune response.


9:00-9:50 a.m. - Classroom 102
Sierra Guynn (DVM '06)

Sierra R. Guynn (PhD, DVM '06)
VMCVM, Clinical Assistant Professor, Production Management Medicine

"Embrace the Void: Small Ruminant Urolithiasis"

Sierra earned her DVM in 2006 from here with a focus on food animal medicine, after getting a PhD in comparative renal physiology. After 6 years of private practice, Sierra returned to the VMCVM in the Production Management Medicine section. Currently, Sierra is researching Cryptosporidium in calves and Theileriosis in cattle, with an increasing interest in cattle and public health.


10:05-10:55 a.m. - Classroom 102
Sherrie Clark

Sherrie Clark (BS '92, PhD, DVM '96, PhD, DACT)
VMCVM, Professor/Interim Department Head, Large Animal Clinical Sciences

"All but the Squeal – Practice Tips with Miniature Pigs"

Dr. Clark graduated from VMRCVM in 1996. Upon graduation, she entered a Theriogenology residency at the University of Illinois. Dr. Clark remained at Illinois to pursue a PhD in Reproductive Physiology in the Animal Sciences department. In 2003, she passed boards for the American College of Theriogenologists and accepted a tenure-track assistant professor position at the University of Illinois. She is currently a professor and interim department head in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at VMCVM.


Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021-Public Health Sessions

8:00-8:50 a.m. - VMIA 220
Julie Settlage (DVM '00)

Julie Settlage (DVM '00, MSc Vet Ed, DACVS-LA)
Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, Professional Services Veterinarian

"Boundaries Do Not Have to Be fencelines"

Julie McGhee Settlage has been part of VMCVM for most of her career. Graduating in 2000 and then completing her residency at the EMC in 2004. She returned in 2005-6 as a clinical instructor and again from 2009-15 as a Clinical Assistant Professor. She stayed at Va Tech serving the Office of the University Veterinarian until 2020. She joined Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health as a Professional Services Veterinarian where she again gets to enjoy teaching and horses.


9:00-9:50 a.m. - VMIA 220
M. Daniel Givens

M. Daniel Givens (DVM, PhD, DACT, DACVIM-Virology)
VMCVM, Dean
VMCVM, Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology

"SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: A Comparative Virology Perspective"

Dr. Daniel Givens, the fifth dean of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, arrived at Virginia Tech in June 2021 from Auburn University, where he was the associate dean for academic affairs and a professor in the Department of Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

The only dean at Virginia Tech to begin his tenure during the height of a pandemic, Dr. Givens has brought a timely, bold vision to strengthen the veterinary college’s One Health approach to solving complex problems.

As outlined in the college’s recently unveiled 2020-2026 Strategic Plan, he will lead the college’s efforts to become international leaders in veterinary medicine, biomedical sciences, and public health and to protect and enhance animal, human, and environmental health and welfare.

After earning a doctor of veterinary medicine from Auburn University, Dr. Givens practiced veterinary medicine for both food animals and companion animals in central Kentucky. He then went on to complete a PhD in biomedical science, performing NIH-funded post-doctoral research.

A diplomate of both the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists (virology specialty) and the American College of Theriogenologists, Dean Givens has conducted applied research in infectious diseases that affect reproduction of cattle. His research has led to more than 85 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, five book chapters, two international patents, and numerous national and international presentations.


10:05-10:55 a.m. - VMIA 220
Aine Hawthorn (DVM '06)

Aine Hawthorn (MS '03, DVM '06, DACVP)
USGS National Wildlife Health/ University of Wisconsin, Research Fellow

"The Mystery of the Collapsing Coral: a Collaborative Wildlife Disease Investigation"

Dr. Hawthorn is a veterinary anatomic pathologist studying Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD). She received her DVM from VMCVM in 2006, continued in an Anatomic Pathology residency, and received a research fellowship through a joint program with USGS National Wildlife Health Center and the University of Wisconsin where she is involved in current joint research projects focused on the etiology and pathogenesis SCTLD.


Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021-Afternoon Sessions

11:05-11:55 a.m. - Classroom 100 and projected to Classroom 102
Anne Zajac

2021 Outstanding Faculty Alumni Award Recipient

Anne Zajac (DVM, MS, PhD)
VMCVM, Professor Emerita of Parasitology

"Echinococcus Multilocularis in Virginia: What Does it Mean for Routine Parasite Management in Dogs?"

Dr. Anne Zajac received MS and DVM degrees from Michigan State University and a PhD from Ohio State University.  In February, 2021 she retired from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine and is now a Professor Emeritus of Parasitology.  During her 35-year career at Virginia Tech, Dr. Zajac taught parasitology to veterinary, undergraduate and graduate students and supervised the parasitology diagnostic lab of the veterinary teaching hospital.  Her principal and continuing research interest has been gastrointestinal parasites of grazing animals, especially small ruminants. Dr. Zajac is a past president of the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists (AAVP) and has received Distinguished Veterinary Parasitologist and Distinguished Service awards from that organization.   She is a charter diplomate of the parasitology specialty in the American College of Veterinary Microbiology. She lives on a small farm in Giles County with her husband, Gareth Moore, a former PMM clinician, and they have two children.


1:00-1:50 p.m. - Classroom 100 and projected to Classroom 102
Timothy Fan (DVM '95)

2021 Lifetime Achievement Alumni Award Recipient

Timothy M. Fan (BS '91, DVM '95, PhD, DACVIM-Oncology, Internal Medicine)
University of Illinois, Professor

"Canine Osteosarcoma- What is the Future for Battling Metastases"

Dr. Fan received his DVM at VMRCVM in 1995, is board certified in Medical Oncology and Small Animal Internal Medicine, and completed a PhD in Tumor Immunology in 2007. Dr. Fan is professor at the University of Illinois, a core member in the Anticancer Discovery from Pets to People theme, and also serves as a Program Leader for the Cancer Center at Illinois that focuses on the inclusion of companion animals as sophisticated model systems to study cancer.


2:00-2:50 p.m. - Classroom 100 and projected to Classroom 102
Cyndie Courtney (DVM '11)

2021 Outstanding Recent Alumni Award Recipient

Cyndie Courtney (DVM '11) 
Founder, The Jerk Researcher, LLC

"How Words Break Bones: Medical Errors and Psychological Safety"

Dr. Cyndie Courtney practices small animal medicine just south of Kansas City. She is also a recovering toxic team member who speaks, publishes, and consults internationally on workplace conflict - especially in the helping professions. She was a 2015-2016 AVMA Future Leader and 2019 World Small Animal Veterinary Medical Association's Next Generation Award winner. She's also certified in Workplace Wellness and Workplace Violence Prevention and Awareness.