By Kelsey Horvath
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of the ways clubs and organizations on Louisiana Tech’s campus operate and function. State guidelines have limited many opportunities for these groups, such as holding meetings, competing in person for events, fundraising, and organizing social gatherings.
But Tech’s Pre-Veterinary Medicine Club has not let these new restrictions stop members from expanding their club and reaching for success.
At the American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association’s (APVMA) symposium held March 14, the Pre-Veterinary Medicine Club received the “Outstanding Club Award” for the essay submission by junior and animal science major Faith Scott.
Scott wrote and submitted an essay about the club’s response to the pandemic restrictions and how the club’s members have “forged on despite the pandemic,” Scott wrote in her essay.
APVMA gives the award to a club or clubs it feels has helped best “promote and stimulate interest in veterinary medicine within your community.” Besides Tech, North Carolina State and Mississippi State were the only other winners of the “Outstanding Club Award.”
The APVMA symposium is an annual event, hosted virtually this year at Michigan State University (MSU). The symposium, as the MSU website explains, brings “pre-veterinary students, faculty advisors, admissions officers, and veterinarians within faculty and in private practice (together) from across the nation.”
As an Outstanding Club, the group was awarded $500 from APVMA, which will likely go toward expenses for the Pre-Vet Club’s annual trip to an area veterinary school, an outing that exposes Tech students to different universities they might apply to for vet school.
Placing at this national level is an honor many universities dream about often and work toward daily.
“To realize that our club has risen to a national level and is being showcased to all of the pre-veterinary organization in the United States makes me extremely proud,” Scott said. “Louisiana Tech University is ‘up there’ with all the other universities in America. I believe that winning this award further underscores the fact that Louisiana Tech University has the best Pre-Veterinary Medicine program in the state of Louisiana.”
“The club has persevered during this pandemic by hosting virtual meetings and hosting numerous events while following COVID-19 protocols,” said Gorden Reger, club advisor, Animal Science professor, and supervisor of Tech meat science lab on South Campus.
“We had DVMs (Doctors of Veterinary Medicine) speak to us from Utah, Texas, south Louisiana, and more,” said Scott.
In addition to hosting their standard events such as our Dog Dash 5k, Veterinary School Application Workshop, and Dog Dip community outreach event, the club also succeeded in introducing several new events:
• Meet the Members virtual event
• Suture Workshop
• Anatomy Wet Lab
• Specialties Showcase
“We also created a new mentorship program that pairs older, more experienced students with younger students,” Scott said.
Scott wants to inspire future students and add more future young professionals to the club, “passionate people who’ll take over the next leadership roles and realize that the ‘glass ceiling’ has been broken,” she said. “This club can do anything we put our minds to.”
“I think the club will keep moving forward and growing stronger here at a local level and will continue to make our presence known at a regional or national level,” Reger said.
For more information about joining, email Reger at email@example.com.