June 24, 2014
by Rachel Griess
This spring, the CSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences celebrated the accomplishments of 326 students during commencement ceremonies on campus.
A total of 118 students received bachelor's degrees; 60 received master's degrees; 10 earned doctorates; and 137 received the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.
We wish all our graduates well on their journeys and look forward to hearing about the challenges and successes ahead!
Our students have gained great experiences and exciting honors in other ways this spring. Here are some highlights.
Ginny Forster will interact with some of the world’s great thinkers in late June when she represents Colorado State University at the 64th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Germany.
About 600 young researchers from around the globe are expected at the weeklong meeting with three dozen Nobel laureates starting June 29. Among other topics, they will focus on molecular, genetic and cellular mechanisms as keys to disease prevention and cure. Participants also will discuss global health, advanced research methods, and challenges to medical care in developing countries.
“Being selected to participate in the meeting is truly an honor and has only been possible with the support I’ve received,” said Forster, a first-generation student enrolled in the CSU combined D.V.M. and Ph.D. program. “All of the amazing training opportunities I’ve had have made this possible.”
Forster, who was among thousands of young researchers who applied to attend the meeting, has worked alongside Elizabeth Ryan, an assistant professor of toxicology and nutrition in the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences. Through this experience, Forster has learned about the ties between diet and chronic disease in companion animals and people.
“I am excited for her to share her vision and to discuss the emerging disease and health research challenges that lie ahead with an international group of peers,” Ryan said. “She will surely benefit in countless ways from the personal interactions with Nobel laureates, and this opportunity will motivate and promote her career development as a scientist.”
Veterinary students from far and wide flocked to Colorado State University for the 2014 Student American Veterinary Medical Association Symposium, marking the first time the gathering has been in Fort Collins in a dozen years.
More than 1,400 veterinary students from about 30 schools visited for three days of presentations, workshops and laboratory work. Students coordinated all the activities.
“The 2014 SAVMA Symposium was a great success, and it was great to be able to show off our program, students, faculty and facilities,” said Dr. Dean Hendrickson, a CSU veterinarian and faculty member who helped host the event. “There were students from all over world attending the meeting, and they heard featured talks from some of the most prominent veterinarians in the profession.”
“Our plan was to showcase Colorado and Colorado State University specifically,” said Derek Matthews, CSU veterinary student and elected co-manager of the symposium. “We are very proud of our veterinary program, and we did our best to showcase the immense talent that we have here.”
Among conference sidelights, Zoetis and Merck Animal Health named new scholarship winners from among hundreds of veterinary students who applied. Two of the larger awards went to CSU veterinary students Katlin Hornig and Julia Herman; each received $5,000 from Merck Animal Health.
A team of 15 Colorado State University veterinary students volunteered during the National Western Stock Show in Denver to help test dozens of show steers and other market-bound livestock for steroids and other substances banned from use among food animals in the show ring.
“There are not a lot of stock shows like the National Western in the country, let alone in our own back yard,” said Jennifer Hartman, a CSU vet student who helped coordinate the effort in January. “It is the perfect venue for students to get out, gain experience, network with veterinarians and learn first-hand a little about the industry.”
The students worked alongside Dr. Lori Scott, National Western veterinarian, and other livestock and veterinary professionals to obtain urine samples from about 150 animals, including class winners and randomly selected entrants in livestock shows.
Scott established the animal-wellness testing program in 1995 to ensure food safety and show integrity.
“Random sampling reinforces the idea that animals should be raised, treated and fed properly,” said Nigel Miller, one of the CSU vet students who volunteered.
“It’s a good feeling to know that we played a small role in food-security,” Miller added. “I’m very interested in a career in regulatory medicine, so it’s nice to gain some experience on the forefront of the industry.”
Hartman also plans to recruit student volunteers for the effort during the 2015 National Western.
“It really helps students get an idea of what they are getting into, and what they can contribute and gain from a career in this industry,” she said.
Anna Samson was one of just 15 veterinary students nationwide invited to present details about their research to the annual meeting of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians.
Samson, a second-year vet student at Colorado State University, has researched porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome and impacts of vaccine in weaned pigs. The disease is significant in the swine industry, causing reproductive failure in sows, respiratory disease, and negative impacts on growth rate and feed efficiency.
Veterinary communication skills with clients are a centerpiece of the Colorado State University D.V.M. Program, evident in the selection of student Jenny Ross to receive the program's 2014 Bayer Excellence in Communication Award.
Ross, a third-year student, was named for demonstrating effective communication skills in a clinical setting.
Bayer HealthCare Animal Health developed the Excellence in Communication Award to encourage more effective communication between veterinarians and pet owners. This year, 27 colleges selected school-level winners; the awardees receive $2,500 scholarships from Bayer and compete for the national communication award.
Jenelle Parsons, who is pursuing a master’s degree in the CSU Health Physics program, recently attended the 2014 Waste Management Conference in Phoenix to learn about critical industry issues from the pros.
Parsons’ research interests include dosimetry, environmental remediation, and waste management with a focus on the nuclear fuel cycle. Her conference attendance was the result of winning a $5,000 scholarship from the Roy G. Post Foundation.
Two undergraduate students and a doctoral candidate had the rare opportunity in May to present their scientific work to prominent professional audiences during the American Society for Microbiology General Meeting in Boston.
The three have studied and conducted research in the CSU Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology.