(Vet Gazette Article)


JANUARY 23RD, 2012 

Students and Faculty

The OSU International Veterinary Student Association would like to give a big thanks to Dr. Bermudez and the Biomedical Sciences Department for their continual enthusiasm and financial support of the annual service trip to Nicaragua. For the past two years, students have had the opportunity to perform self-led research projects on the island of Ometepe, Nicaragua and been graciously funded by Biomedical Sciences. Projects have included evaluation of parasite burdens in cattle, horses, and swine; prevalence of Ehrlichia canis in dogs; prevalence of Leptospira in dogs; mechanisms of abortion in cattle; and comparisons of injectable anesthesia and analgesia protocols. Several of these studies have been used as senior projects and presented at the College of Veterinary Medicine as well as during lunch time seminars for Biomedical Sciences.

This year, in addition to the research funds, the BioSci department contributed $1,600 for student travel scholarships. IVSA set up a point system in order to objectively distribute eight $200 scholarships to very deserving students. The IVSA executive board meets weekly throughout the year to plan several components of the trip. However, without the contribution of all trip participants, this incredible opportunity and annual chance to volunteer skills and knowledge to a community in need would never be possible. Thanks to these travel scholarships, we were able to recognize those contributors who went above and beyond to help with the planning, organizing, and execution of the 2011 Nicaragua Veterinary Brigade. Thank you again, Dr. Bermudez and Biomedical Sciences Department!

Pictured, left to right: Marshia Keene, Mikki Shumaker, Bryan Rensema, Lauren Salgo, Dr. Luiz Bermudez, Ali McKay, Steen Smith


Oregon State IVSA Hosts 'One Health, One World' Service Symposium

     - Ali McKay (Class of 2013, Nica2011)

           The Oregon International Veterinary Students’ Association’s first ‘One Health, One World Service’ Symposium was held this past April 8 - April 10.  The goal of the symposium was to promote the value of health professionals and students in international service, emphasizing how human and animal health are intimately connected.  The symposium was an excellent opportunity for students to learn about service opportunities worldwide involving veterinary medicine and the promotion of public health.

            The event began with a “Language Dinner” Friday night during which Dean Cyril Clarke began the symposium with a talk on the ‘One World-One Medicine-One Health’ initiative and on preparing veterinarians for global service.  During the evening, students had the opportunity to learn about the culture of several nations, including Mexico, Germany, Israel, South Africa and Brazil.  Common phrases and customs were discussed with an OSU CVM community member that acted as a representative from each country. 

            Saturday’s events began with an eye-opening and powerful talk by Compassions Without Borders founder, Dr. Christi Camblor.  The morning continued with speakers Dr. Trudy Salerno and Dr. Dave Hodgson.  Both presented their experiences working in Afghanistan but from different perspectives as Dr. Salerno served as a veterinarian with the military and Dr. Hodgson was an instructor at Kabul University.  Following the morning’s lectures, students participated in interactive case challenges in which they were presented with one of three real-life cases.  Students learned a few basic laboratory procedures hands-on and in some cases even performed rectal palpations on cattle and necropsies on chickens.  Leslie Nies (2013) commented that the interactive case challenge was both awesome and helpful, noting that the faculty who volunteered their time and expertise helped make the experience a valuable one.  The day concluded with IVSA’s annual International Food Fest, which featured homemade international dishes prepared by IVSA members and live music, including special appearances by several of the CVM’s own talent.

            The symposium concluded Sunday with talks by Dr. Richard Bachman, a California shelter vet who has traveled to Nicaragua with the IVSA team the past two years, and Dr. Thomas W. Graham, CEO of Veterinarians Without Borders.  Dr. Bachman shared his experiences working in shelters in India and Romania.  He encouraged those with the desire to volunteer abroad to always be willing to listen, learn, and teach, while remaining open to new or unique ways of doing things.  Dr. Graham spoke about his organization which aims to address livestock health and food safety in post-conflict areas such as Liberia. 

            Several of OSU CVM’s own faculty also spoke at the symposium. Dr. Helio de Morais spoke on immunocompromised people and their pets.  Dr. Luiz Bermudez spoke on his experiences in hospitals in Ghana, while Dr. Brianna Beechler spoke on her research experience in Kruger National Park, South Africa, examining disease interactions in African buffalo.

            IVSA would like to thank all of the students, faculty, staff, speakers and guests who contributed to the success of this year’s symposium.   The event proved to be a valuable combination of lessons in humility, messages of hope and thought-provoking commentary.   Many students left feeling a sense of duty and powerful motivation to continue on the path to international veterinary service work.  “It was really cool to hear about everything from improving shelters and euthanasia practices in Mexico to the opportunities for vets within the military and the Peace Corps. It was amazing to see the common threads that tie all of these different experiences together, and it really sparked my desire to perform international veterinary medicine after I graduate,” said Lauren Salgo of the Class of 2013.

2010 International Summer Travels

   Brian Toncray, Kax Kraska, and Sean Brady all traveled internationally this summer, expanding their knowledge of world culture as well as veterinary medicine.

   Brian traveled to the Cook Islands with the Esther Honey Foundation. Kax traveled to the Galapagos Islands, spending a week working with Animal Balance. And Sean participated in an 7-week course by EnviroVet, taking him to the White Oak Conservation Center in Jacksonville, Florida; St. Catherine's Island off the coast of Georgia; Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute of Florida; and Tanzania, Africa. A full article of their culminating presentations as well as links to the programs can be found through the Oregon State VetGazette

IVSA talk


IVSA at Pet Day 2009

   Although the weather proved to be uncooperative, OSU veterinary students represented IVSA well at Pet Day this year. The informative booth included information about the Nicaragua 2009 trip, the IVSA travel scholarship, and the “Rabies Game.” The community was very supportive of our efforts and we successfully “adopted” several Nicaraguan dogs. Great job everyone!