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American Association of Zoo Veterinarians

2012 Mid-year Education Committee Report



Dr. Julie Swenson

The Phoenix Zoo

Phoenix, AZ

(602) 914-4367



Dr. Michael Adkesson

Chicago Zoological Society / Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield, IL

(708) 688-8503



Officers:  Karen Kearns has completed her term as chair.  The new chair is Julie Swenson and the new co-chair is Mike Adkesson.



Student/Internship/Residency Reception 2012: 


Felicia Knightly kindly coordinates this event.  This year had good attendance with more than 40 institutions present representing more than 60 different programs.


Student and Post-Graduate Manuscript Competitions 2012:

Mike Adkesson has been organizing this as well as upgrading the submission process to a 100% online process.

·       Wildlife Pharmaceuticals Student Manuscript competition:

o   First place is $600 and 2nd place is $400 with two entries this year.

o   This year’s winners:

§  1st place: Claire Simeone, Visceral Gout and Death of a California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus) under Dual Chelation Treatment for Lead Toxicity?

§  2nd place: Jennifer Gilbert, Significant Morbidity and Mortality Findings in Gibbons (Hylobates and Nomascus spp.) Housed at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.

·       Post graduate manuscript competition:

o   This competition seems to be doing well with 11 entries this year.  1st place was $900 and 2nd place was $600.

o   This year’s winners:

§  1st place: Olivia Petritz, Effects of Deslorelin Acetate on Egg Production and Plasma Sex Hormones in Japanese Quail (Cotrnix coturnix japonica)?

§  2nd place: Christoph Mans, Efficacy of Intrathecal Lidocaine, Bupinacaine, and Morphine for Spinal Anesthesia and Analgesia in Read-Eared Slider Turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans)

·       Ability to present awards at the banquet:

o   This year all the presenters are able to present prior to the banquet, although this did require at least one last minute switch in the schedule.  It has been requested that there be a “student / post-grad manuscript” session next year in order to make it easier to ensure that all the competitors are finished in time for the banquet.  This would also aid in getting the same judges for all the presentations to help with consistency.  This is being attempted for the upcoming conference, but some unexpected complications have arisen due to an extremely high number of submissions this year for both competitions resulting in some changes to the original intended protocol.  These changes should be in place next year.


North American Veterinary Conference 2012 AAZV session:

Pam Dennis is now in charge of this and Connie Ketz-Riley has offered to be of assistance with this conference if needed.


Exotic Animal Medicine for Clinical Practitioners Conference

Michelle Davis is in charge of organizing this conference.  She will be rotating off in 2013 and will need an assistant to help with organizing in 2012 and to eventually take over once she rotates off.  Kim Rainwater has volunteered to assist Michelle this upcoming year and to then take over in 2013.


Educational Opportunities Website

Julie Swenson continues to be responsible for the maintenance of the educational opportunities website.  Some statistics for this year:

·       123 programs are currently listed as externships, internships, or residencies

o   81 externships

o   16 internships

o   26 residencies

·       14 programs are currently listed under the “other” section, meaning that they don’t fit into any of the above three categories


At the education committee meeting at the AAZV conference this year, several items were discussed concerning the educational opportunities website.

·       Concerning whether or not educational opportunities should be posted solely on the educational opportunities page vs being posted on the job opportunities website:


o   Majority of committee members present agreed that all educational opportunities (ie: any volunteer opportunity or fixed time limit job whose primary purpose is to improve the education of the employee versus positions that represent a long term career position) should be posted in one location on the educational website.  If institutions choose to post on the job opportunities website as well, it would be acceptable to ask that they also post on the educational website so that there would be one list with all the potential educational opportunities present. 


·       A request was made to make it easier to determine which programs were open during which years.  This will likely be accomplished by altering the submission form slightly and this is being followed up by Julie Swenson.

·       Additional help was also requested by Julie Swenson for assistance with updating all the listings to the new web based submission form.  Kristi Delaski offered to assist with this.

Student Volunteers for AAZV Conference

Julie Swenson again coordinated student volunteers for the 2011 Conference.   There were 21 different volunteers that assisted for this conference.


·       This year one instructor requested which volunteer participate in the specific wetlab.  Unfortunately, this request was made after the wet lab students had already been assigned.  To avoid this in the future, once the wetlabs have been finalized, the education committee will send a short request to the instructors asking that they inform the committee if they would like to have a particular student assist with the lab.  Otherwise, the labs will be assigned on a first requested first serve basis as has been done in the past. 


Reaching out to more students at the veterinary schools

Interest was raised at the committee meeting in 2011 in the Education Committee getting more involved in connecting with the various veterinary schools.  Several committee members agreed that it is difficult for students that attend the vet schools that do not have a zoological medicine program to get information on AAZV and careers in zoological medicine.  This is being approached in two different ways.  First, Connie Ketz-Riley has offered to be the point person for organizing a list of faculty members at schools that do not have student chapters or exotic clubs who would be willing to be a point person for AAZV at the school if needed.  In addition, Leigh Clayton (in association with the Public Relations Committee) has offered to work on a short paragraph for posting on the AAZV website as well as potentially a simple powerpoint-type presentation that could be taken to SAVMA symposiums and veterinary schools that would give a brief overview of the steps typically taken by AAZV members in order to follow a career in zoological medicine. 

Linda Munson Award for Wildlife Pathology Research

A new postgraduate competition is being developed from a trust that was established by Linda Munson with the intention of giving a yearly award to the “best zoo or wildlife pathology manuscript published that year by a graduate student or resident in either the Journal of Wildlife Diseases or the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine”.  Julie Swenson has requested assistance with this from the Awards Committee as no Education Committee members had experience with what needed to be done to establish an award of this type. 

Membership expense for students, interns, and residents

At the 2011 Education Committee Meeting, concern was raised by several members about the expense for students, interns, and residents to attend the conference and join the AAZV membership being too high for most of these individuals to afford.  Rates offered by other similar organizations were researched by Leigh Clayton in order to determine a comparison with AAZV rates.  This information was submitted in a separate letter to the executive committee as a request to consider the feasibility of decreasing this expense for this important group of AAZV members.  (Please see attached letter.)


A sincere thanks to everyone who helped out with this committee and these projects in 2011 as well as to those that will be helping out again in 2012.



Julie Swenson, Chair

Mike Adkesson, Co-chair


581705 White Oak Road
Yulee, FL 32097 USA

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