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CVMA-SBCV Chapter president Dr. Sarah Armstrong (centre) with award recipients Emma Thomson (left) and Juliet Cao (right). The B.C. students received awards from the CVMA-SBCV Chapter. Photo: Christina Weese.

WCVM awards night honours high achievers

The Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) paid tribute to nearly 60 of the college’s outstanding students, faculty and staff during its annual fall awards evening on September 21.

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WCVM alumna Dr. Sarah Bater with Rhiannon Beatty, the first recipient of the new WCVM Class of 2017 award. Photo: Christina Weese.

Award recipients received more than $123,000 in scholarships and awards that recognized their efforts in academia, participation, leadership and research. This year’s event included several new awards for students in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program and in graduate studies:

C.A.R.E. Award: Third-year veterinary student Cheryl Ilienko of Thompson, Man., was the first recipient of this new award, valued at $1,500. The award, which was created by an anonymous donor, recognizes a student who has received the support of others, and in turn, has "paid it forward” by helping those in their school, community — whether it’s local or global.   

Class of 2017 Award: Second-year veterinary student Rhiannon Beatty of Chauvin, Alta., was the first recipient of this $1,000 award. Established by the WCVM’s Class of 2017, the award recognizes a second-year student who leads a healthy school-life balance. To demonstrate their belief that all veterinary students should be recognized for all of their accomplishments, the WCVM alumni group asked for the award to be given to the student who is ranked 39th academically in their class.

CVMA-SBCV Chapter Leadership Award: Third-year student Emma Thomson of Victoria, B.C., received this new award, valued at $2,500. The Society of B.C. Veterinarians (SBCV) Chapter of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) established the award for a WCVM student from B.C. who demonstrates strong leadership skills and contributes to student life at the veterinary college.

Family Pet Hospital and 24 Hour Pet Emergency Centre Award: Third-year veterinary student Jenelle Lepage of Nanaimo, B.C. was the first recipient of this award that includes a $4,000 scholarship along with an additional $1,000 for travel to the Family Pet Hospital and 24 Hour Pet Emergency Centre in Lethbridge, Alta., for mentorship with Dr. Jacob Adserballe, who graduated from the WCVM in 2002.

The WCVM alumnus also created the new Dr. Jacob Adserballe Award in Small Animal Surgery and Emergency Care, which was awarded to fourth-year veterinary student Nolan Chalifoux of St. Albert, Alta. The award, which includes a $4,000 scholarship along with $1,000 for travel expenses, recognizes a student who has demonstrated interest and aptitude in small animal surgery and emergency care during their third year at the WCVM.

Royal Canin Award in Nutrition: Fourth-year veterinary student Claire Janse Van Rensburg of Nanaimo, B.C., was the inaugural recipient of this new $1,000 award. Established by Royal Canin, this award recognizes a third- or fourth-year student who presents the best applied knowledge in small animal clinical nutrition.

Dr. Norman Lowes Memorial Award in Cytology: Dr. Feh Ravanbakhsh is the first recipient of this new award that recognizes a WCVM graduate student who has demonstrated interest and proficiency in the field of pathology. This award, valued at $1,500, was created by the friends and family of the late Dr. Norman Lowes in recognition of his passion and enthusiasm for his work as well as his strong technical skills. 

W. Murray Riddell and Betty C. Riddell Travel Award: Drs. Suzanne Mund and Breanne Murray both received this award that was created to assist graduate students with their travel costs associated with their attendance at a scientific meeting or conference. Mund received $2,000 while Murray was awarded $3,000. The award honours the late Murray Riddell, a former WCVM administrator, and his wife Betty, who passed away in 2016.

In addition to student awards, several faculty and staff members were recognized for their contributions to teaching and research excellence:

  • Veterinary Technologist Teaching Award: Laura Schroeder, registered veterinary technologist, WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre
  • Students of the CVMA Professor of the Year Award: Dr. Marina Leis, WCVM Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences
  • WCVSA Pre-clinical Professor of the Year Award: Dr. Gillian Muir, WCVM Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences
  • WCVSA Honourary President Award: Brent Bobick, WCVM Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences
  • Zoetis Carl J. Norden Distinguished Teacher Award: Dr. Bruce Wobeser, WCVM Department of Veterinary Pathology
  • Zoetis Animal Health Award for Research Excellence: Dr. Janet Hill, WCVM Department of Veterinary Microbiology

Click here for a full list of recipients at the 2018 WCVM Fall Awards evening.

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