Symposium offers pre-vet students chance to grow

Thomas Lehmann, Alex Ferrari, Mason Sinda, Dr. Peter Ostrum, Sierra Evans, Maegan Kruescher, Stephanie Frey, Savanah Crews and Brenna Diehl.

The Pre-Veterinary Club at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville recently attended the annual American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association Symposium at Pennsylvania State University, where students had the opportunity to attend various lectures and wet labs related to veterinary medicine, as well as meet and talk with specific veterinary colleges about their programs. 

“The APVMA National Symposium at Penn State was a great learning opportunity, and I am very grateful that I was able to go this year,” said Stephanie Frey, president of the Pre-Veterinary Club. “One of the lectures that stood out to me was the Susquehanna Service Dogs Demonstration. It was very unique and interesting to learn about. One of my favorite parts was listening to the keynote speaker, Dr. Peter Ostrum. He was very inspirational in how he became a large animal veterinarian and had many words of wisdom for the pre-veterinary students attending the symposium. Overall, it was a wonderful opportunity to dive into the veterinary medicine career path.”

Ostrum is a dairy veterinarian from New York, who is best known as the child actor who portrayed Charlie Bucket in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”

The symposium's hands-on labs taught students different skills, including cardiology, comparative anatomy, different aspects of pet food labels, veterinary pathology, reproductive physiology and suturing, all essential skills in the veterinary field. Students also attended lectures given by professionals who have made significant contributions to the profession. These lectures covered a variety of topics including tips on applying to veterinary school, how to specialize in veterinary medicine and a service dog demonstration. These lectures also informed students about the different career paths a veterinarian can take and the important role they have in today's society.

“Attending the National APVMA Symposium was an awesome experience that I hope to get more people involved in,” stated Thomas Lehmann. “I attended numerous informative lectures and a great hands-on Ultrasound Reproduction lab with cattle reproductive tracts. It was also great to meet and learn with so many other students.”

“To me, I found the APVMA Symposium beneficial because I became aware of all the possible fields that the veterinary career offers,” said Savanah Crews. “Also while at Symposium I got the chance to meet with many other students who are going through the same things I am – application stresses, looking for internships and the typical break downs of a pre-veterinary student. Making connections now is very important. They can help one get all the way through to out of veterinary school and the symposium definitely helps provide this opportunity for students sooner.”

“The APVMA Symposium was an incredible learning opportunity,” said Maegan Kreuscher. “During my time at the symposium, I was able to meet many students going through the same stress, meet with veterinary schools I am interested in applying to, and make connections with veterinarians. The symposium also provided me with many hands-on learning opportunities, especially with a cardiology lab I was fortunate enough to be able to partake in. All in all, the symposium was a wonderful experience for me and I am so thankful I had the opportunity to attend.”

“Attending the APVMA Symposium is an excellent opportunity for our students to gain exposure to the vast career options available to graduates of veterinary school, including private practice, research, teaching and regulatory medicine,” said Dr. Krista Hardyman, associate professor of animal science at UW-Platteville and Pre-Veterinary Club advisor.

The Glenn Webb Education Fund/The GROWMARK Foundation helped fund this activity. Additional funding was provided by UW-Platteville and the club’s fundraising efforts.