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Community Veterinary College to launch


BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 31, 2004 – The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM) at Virginia Tech will present its first-ever "Community Veterinary College" as part of a series of special events designed to celebrate the college’s 25th anniversary.

Interested community members are invited to register for the program, which is designed to provide them with an understanding of 21st century veterinary education and research through a six-event series that will include three presentations during fall and winter 2004 and three presentations during winter and spring 2005.

The year-long series will feature faculty instructors from the VMRCVM as well as guest speakers, said program organizer Peter Eyre, professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, and former dean of the college.

"This is something I have been interested in doing for a very long time," said Eyre, who added that registrants will learn about the range of medical and surgical procedures open to their animals and the role modern veterinary medicine plays in public health and homeland security.

"Veterinary medicine has become such a mainstream part of our lives, from animal health to food safety, and I think people are very interested in learning more about it," he said.

Each of the six class meetings will feature approximately three different lectures. The sequence of topics covered will roughly track the way Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) students learn veterinary medicine during their four years of study.

The Community Veterinary College will open on September 28 with an evening that kicks off with tours of the college, a buffet dinner, and opening presentations by Virginia Tech Provost Mark McNamee, Vice President for Research Brad Fenwick, VMRCVM Dean Gerhardt Schurig and Eyre.

Fenwick’s keynote presentation is entitled "The Value of Veterinary Medicine to Society."

The October 19 class is structured around the theme "A Day in the Life of First Year Veterinary Medical Students" and includes presentations on "Anatomy, Physiology, Immunology…" by Eyre; "The Brain: A Universe Inside Your Head," by Brad Klein, associate professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology; and "Meat, Milk and Mad Cow Disease," by Will Eyestone, research associate professor, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences.

The November 30 class is structured around the theme "A Day in the Life of Second Year Veterinary Medical Students" and includes presentations entitled "Pathology, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Nutrition…" by Eyre; "How Can We Beat Cancer?" by John Robertson, professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology; and "Every Bite Counts: Nutrition in Health and Disease," by Korrin Saker, associate professor, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences.

2005 classes get underway on January 25 and are structured around the theme "A Day in the Life of Third and Fourth Year Veterinary Medical Students: Medicine and Surgery…." by Eyre; "Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. A Look into the Stomach and Intestines" by Michael Leib, professor, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences; "Equine Surgery: We Don’t Shoot Horses Anymore," by Nat White, professor and director of the VMRCVM’s Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va.

The February 22 class also focuses on "A Day in the Life of Third and Fourth Year Veterinary Medical Students" and includes "Responding to National Needs in Public Veterinary Medicine" by Bettye Walters, director of the college’s Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Practice at the University of Maryland at College Park; "Do Animals Really Matter to Human Health" by Glenn Morris, professor and chairman of the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine of the University of Maryland School of Medicine at Baltimore; and "Emerging Viruses: Biohazards for all Creatures," by Thomas Toth, professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology.

The program concludes on March 29 and will focus on the theme "Understanding the Human-Animal Bond: Why People and Animals Need Each Other," by Marie Suthers-McCabe, associate professor, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences and director of the college’s Center for Animal-Human Relationships. The final presentation will be made by VMRCVM Dean Gerhardt Schurig and is titled "The Past, Present and Future: Building on Our Strengths and Opportunities."

Classes will be held at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, located off Duck Pond Drive on the Virginia Tech campus. Enrollment is open to all interested members of the community, except VMRCVM faculty and students. VMRCVM staff-members are welcome. Registration is limited to 100 persons (no partial registration is available). Tuition for the course is $25, which includes meals, refreshments and a "diploma" certificate. For more information, contact Kelly Stanley at 231-9286 or kestanl2@vt.edu.

The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM) is a two-state, three-campus professional school operated by the land-grant universities of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg and the University of Maryland at College Park. Its flagship facilities, based at Virginia Tech, include the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, which treats more than 40,000 animals annually. Other campuses include the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va., and the Avrum Gudelsky Veterinary Center at College Park, home of the Center for Government and Corporate Veterinary Medicine. The VMRCVM annually enrolls approximately 500 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and graduate students, is a leading biomedical and clinical research center, and provides professional continuing education services for veterinarians practicing throughout the two states.