Student Sessions Held At SAVMA Symposium
(MIDDLESEX, Vt.– May 13, 2014) – Women student leaders are on the move. The Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative (WVLDI), formally recognized less than six months ago, today announced the first student chapters have been formed. The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine chapter was formed immediately after a student course on women’s leadership in veterinary medicine. Energized by the WVLDI SAVMA sessions, student chapters have also been formed at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.
“The WVLDI board is thrilled with this engagement. From my perspective, the students at SAVMA ignited a fire discussing women’s leadership issues and have done more in a short time than I dreamed possible. They give me goosebumps and make me smile picturing their futures,” said Dr. Karen Bradley, President of WVLDI.
The WVLDI has been instrumental in encouraging veterinary students to take ownership of this effort, acting as a valuable resource for the student chapters as they begin, providing background information on the current state of women in veterinary medicine and offering advice on presentation topics and speakers.
“The purpose of the student chapters mirrors that of the WVLDI: to support women in seeking and achieving leadership, policy, and decision-making positions within all areas of professional veterinary activity. These determined and talented young women are exactly who we need in private practices, in local and state VMAs, and in veterinary colleges, shaping and expanding the future of veterinary medicine,” said Cassandra Tansey, WVLDI board member and veterinary student representative.
All student chapters have been officially sanctioned by their respective universities.Four additional veterinary schools are working on forming chapters by the fall 2014 semester. The student chapters have already begun planning and hosting events designed to equip students with the leadership skills they’ll require in the future, such as negotiation workshops and public speaking exercises. There is also an effort underway to have a WVLDI student chapter board liaison.
The WVLDI provides a platform to facilitate and encourage women to more fully participate in veterinary leadership roles, not only in organized veterinary medicine, but also in corporate, government, private practice, and academic positions. The WVLDI is supported by an educational grant and inkind support from the American Veterinary Medical Association and industry support from its inaugural sponsor Ceva Animal Health.
About WVLDI: Created in July 2013 and formalized as a 501c3 in January 2014, the WVLDI is a grassroots volunteer initiative that has rapidly gained momentum. The WVLDI vision is to achieve leadership excellence in every sector of veterinary medicine that fully reflects the diversity of the profession and society. The WVLDI mission is to support women in seeking and achieving leadership, policy, and decision-making positions within all areas of professional veterinary activity. Visit www.womenveterinarians.org or follow WVLDI on Facebook and Twitter.
Lea-Ann Germinder, APR Fellow PRSA