Headshot of Cathy Santos.
Cathy Santos, president of the Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA). Photo by Andrew Mann for Virginia Tech.


As a third-year student in the small animal track program at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, I am honored to serve as the president of the Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA). In this role, I have gained valuable leadership and networking experience, which has helped me contribute to the development of our student community.

Working with exceptional student leaders, we organized noteworthy events this year, such as the VMCVM Club Fair, the VMCVM Talent Show, and Fall Festival. In the Spring semester, we raised nearly $10,000 for the Veterinary Teaching Hospital Compassionate Care and Wildlife Care funds during our annual Casino Night, and we assist clubs in organizing their events and booths for the college's Annual Open House.

As the SAVMA president, I take pride in our community's efforts to inspire students to make a positive impact in the field of veterinary medicine. We encourage students to engage in extracurricular activities, providing them with opportunities to expand their knowledge, enhance their skills, and grow both personally and professionally.

We are committed to continuing to serve our community and inspire students to become leaders in the veterinary profession.

A veterinary student with a shite dog outside the college at an outdoor fundraising event.
Joyce Hong supporting the SAVMA Fall Festival.
Female singing performer on stage
Ana Ryan, DVM student performing at the VMCVM Talent Show.

DVM students represent well at SAVMA Annual Conference at the University of Illinois

Last March, the VMCVM Student American Veterinary Medical Association attended the SAVMA Symposium in Champaign, Illinois, with several students representing the college. This event brought together SAVMA presidents, national delegates, and the bovine palpation team.

The presidents focused on running local chapters efficiently and exchanging ideas with SAVMA presidents from around the world, while the national delegates attended the meetings with student leaders from other AVMA accredited schools, voted on making inclusive changes to the national SAVMA constitutional bylaws, and discussed policies with AVMA advisors.

The bovine palpation team participated in a three-part competition and secured a spot in the top 5 among 11 other teams. Congratulations to the VMCVM Bovine Palpation team, and we look forward to sending more students to the SAVMA Symposium 2024 at the University of Tennessee!

Two students holding an award.
Daniel Fields (left) and Katie Green (right) representing the college at the SAVMA Annual Conference.
Two students with a dog at a conference.
Skylar Merkle (left) and Cathy Santos (right) at the SAVMA Annual Conference.