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A Meaningful Spring Break 

By Madison McGee

Texas A & M University


I went with a local FFA group to the Houston livestock show for spring break 2011. Many

students have gone for veterinary related purposes, but I wanted to see the real meaning behind

these animals, the kids. They are the ones who put their time and heart into these animals and I

got to see the joy each time a student won and the tears each time they did not meet their goals.

This taught me more about the show than any amount of urine collecting. This same group then

turned around the next week to showed at the Brazos County livestock show and I never once

heard a complaint about feeding at 7am or standing in the heat.


Creative New Ways to Study Parasitology 

By Christina Parr

Class of 2013

University of Georgia

Known by her classmates as "Parrsquini" for her creative and helpful Parasitology study guides, Christina is sharing some with the whole Vet Gazette community!


Creative Corner 

By Kelleigh Waters

Atlantic Veterinary College

"Orange Peel Orca"


IVSA Symposium in Slovenia 

By Taylor Simon

Louisiana State University

Class of 2013


Each spring the International Veterinary Student Association (IVSA) gathers for a Symposium to bring veterinary students and delegates from all over the globe together to learn, plan, and share. This past January the 59th Symposium was held in Slovenia and the United States had the pleasure of sending eight delegates.

Taylor Simon, senior delegate from Louisiana State University and co-chair of the SAVMA International Veterinary Exchange Committee was one of the attendees and he details his experience below.


The IVSA Symposium in Slovenia was an amazing experience.  The U.S. delegates attending were Deirdre Murdy, Serrin Rayne Johnson, Brooke Wilson-Zaja, Steven Fernandez, Emily Mehlman, Amanda Marino, Lisbeth Ambrosius, and myself, Taylor Simon.  As delegates, we participated in the IVSA general assemblies.  We discussed past business, awards being given, the state of the development fund (which helps schools in developing nations), chose the location of the 2012 Symposium (Serbia) and the 2012 Congress (Norway), the building of a new user friendly website, and the changes being made to the constitution to make it a more lasting document. 

The IVSA Slovenia chapter members were great hosts and put on a very exciting Symposium.  They lined up tours of ancient castles, beautiful caves, and the wonderfully interesting city of Ljubljana with informative guides to tell us all about the country’s history.  The capital city of Slovenia, Ljubljana is located in a basin between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea.  According to Greek mythology and local legend the founder of the city was Jason, who traveled there with the Argonauts after stealing the golden fleece.  The city still carries the dragon Jason slew there as a symbol on its coat of arms.  The country of Slovenia has a wonderful mix of cultural influences going back to Roman occupation, beautiful Baroque architecture, and more modern Italian and Slavic touches.

As for more veterinary related activities we were able to choose from several interesting wetlabs and educational day trips as part of the program.  The wetlabs included workshops involving health care of pigs, domestic ruminants, reproduction, horses, poultry, pathology, exotics, and small animal surgery.  I participated in the domestic ruminant workshop in which we went to a local dairy and dehorned cattle.  We attended lectures on diseases in mussels and oysters, beekeeping, vets in pharmaceuticals, immunology, and food animal medicine.  As group, we toured places like a military dog training facility where we had a demonstration of their skills, a pharmaceutical company, Lipizzaner stables in Lipica (the home of the breed), an open water fish farm, and the veterinary teaching hospital.

There was also a fantastic schedule of social events in the evening for us to get to know our fellow delegates from around the world, let loose, and have a little fun.  Cultural night, where we set up booths and shared food and drinks from our homes, was an especially interesting night.  Another night, the members in charge of Development Fund put on both a silent and live auction, with items donated by the attending delegates, to raise money for veterinary teaching facilities in developing nations.  Our hosts also introduced us to some traditional Slovenian food at a quaint family run restaurant.  We enjoyed a formal dinner and dance the last night as a close to the amazing week of IVSA Symposium, Slovenia.

It was a trip that I will never forget and a once in a lifetime opportunity to make connections with extraordinary people from across the globe.  As we move into the future, the importance of uniting our profession across borders and the globe will become more and more vital to the health and well being of both animals and humans alike.  I am looking forward to opportunities to utilize the connections I have formed with international students to help fellow students here in the States and the veterinary profession as a whole.




By Stephanie Rutherford

Class of 2012

Louisiana State University 

At the onset, the fields were painted with a rainbow of uniforms of the teams pulled from every domain within the school. Students representing all four classes, boarded specialists, residents, interns, technicians, graduate students, and researchers alike found themselves, for a singular moment, on a level playing field.  Our own version of March Madness, anything can happen in the tournament, and there is always an upset or two on the road to the championship game.  The competitive spirit that got many students into vet school seems to resurface as the evening wears on, and the games get more intense.  Now, as the sun begins to set over the mighty Mississippi River, only the colors black and blue remain. This seems appropriate, considering the previous three hours have been spent fighting, clawing, diving, and crawling for every out and every run.  Now tired and bruised, both teams have to muster up enough energy to duke it out one last time.  The prize for 1stplace:  A $100 gift certificate to Mellow Mushroom to fund the victory party, your team’s name on the official kickball trophy, and, most importantly, a year’s worth of bragging rights to the members of the winning team. This honor has now gone to the class of 2012’s “Balls in Your Face” 3 years in a row. 

The Annual Kickball Tournament is one of the most anticipated events at Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine.  The tournament is a time when former athletes, who chose to trade in their uniforms and cleats for textbooks and #2 pencils, get to relive the glory days of their youth.  The only scores that matter are the ones made at home plate, and no one can take off points for spelling. The joys of kickball are not exclusive to the players, though.  Deprived of football and tailgating for several months, the denizens of the LSU SVM who aren’t participating in the tournament still flock to the sidelines to cheer on their favorite teams and to spend some much needed quality time with their colleagues. As competitors are eliminated, they join the crowd, pick a new team to back, and enjoy the company and the final games.  For some, the tournament provides a much needed break from the monotony of lectures and studying.  For others, it is a way to release the tension and frustration that comes from being confined for too long.  One of the most important things I’ve learned in vet school is to never underestimate the ability of playground games to enrich the lives of students of all ages.