Dr. Eric Lawrence (left), a member of the WCVM Class of 2013, presents the inaugural Vetavision Award to students Kayla Bilsborrw (centre) and Colton McAleer. Photo by Debra Marshall.

Vetavision award recognizes students’ work

In late September, fourth-year veterinary student Kayla Bilsborrow went from putting in 16 hour days during her clinical rotations to sleepless nights in the week leading up to Vetavision, the public open house at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

"The last little bit was pretty intense," says Bilsborrow, who co-chaired the student-organized event with classmate Colton McAleer.

From Oct. 2-3, thousands of visitors flocked to the WCVM to find out more about veterinary medicine and to take in displays, demonstrations and hands-on activities.

While Vetavision 2015 took place over two days, planning for the event took years. Bilsborrow and McAleer worked on organizing the open house since they were elected as Vetavision co-chairs in 2012.

In recognition of their hard work, Bilsborrow and McAleer were the first winners of the Class of 2013 Vetavision Award this fall. Created by WCVM alumni, the $500 bursary acknowledges the dedication of Vetavision's key organizers and their efforts to showcase the college as well as the veterinary profession.

For the past few years, both students spent their spare time keeping lists of duties and coaxing students to meet up at regular intervals and submit proposals in time.

"It's been a long trek," says Bilsborrow. "It's probably tested and potentially improved my communication and organization skills."

McAleer echoes this skills-building sentiment.

"I think it emphasized how important it is to keep everything on schedule and prepared early, as well as how much work goes into an event like this. It's not just ‘throw it all together at the last minute,'" he says.

Now that Vetavision is over, both fourth-year students are grateful for the thoughtful contribution of the Class of 2013.

"It's really nice that that class recognized how much work this position was and thought that it should be recognized [with this award]," says Bilsborrow.

"It's a great thank you," says McAleer.

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