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April 14, 2021 TUVAA Meeting Materials and Notes

PowerPoint slides and meeting recording are both here.

Welcome Remarks, Katie Holmes V13, TUVAA President

Dean’s Update, Alastair Cribb

  • Student experience in the pandemic
    • The year has gone better than expected despite differences and challenges. Kudos to students, as well as faculty and staff.
    • White Coat Ceremony took place in four groups of 25. Thanked all who contributed to the White Coat Sponsorship.
  • Classes will be in person this fall, with 3-foot social distancing and masks.
  • Strategic Planning and DVM Curriculum Redesign are both still moving along.
  • Stop Spillover Project – International 5-year-project up to $100M aimed at identifying spillover risk factors and responding when spillover has occurred. This builds on the work Cummings School has been doing for 10 years.
  • Discussed ways our community members have contributed to COVID research.

Alumni Office Updates, Julia Wills

  • Fall and Winter Events:
    • Panel - Clinical Trials: Exploring Their Critical Role in Veterinary Medicine
    • V84 & V85 Get-Togethers
    • Webinar – Creating a Culture of Wellness
    • Student & Alumni Networking Event
    • DVM Curriculum Redesign Discussion – If you’re still interested in learning more or sharing your feedback, please email
  • White Coat Sponsorship Success – Over 50 alumni helped raise nearly $5,000 and ensured all third-year students had a note in their white coat pockets. Thank you!!
  • Upcoming Events
    • A Year in Review with Dean Alastair Cribb – tomorrow, April 15
    • Alumni Networking and Career Event – April 20
    • Tisch College Distinguished Speaker Series: Jane Goodall – April 28
    • Virtual Reunion – June 24 (cocktails and comedy show) and 27 (continuing ed)
    • AVMA Alumni Reception – July 30

Career Development Committee, Gillian Kruskall V14, Cummings School Career Counselor

  • Continues to provide support for students and alumni, including assistance with CV/resumes, applications, career transitions, and more
  • Past and upcoming programs and meetings with students to explore career paths, help them decide on whether to intern, and share job opportunities
  • Alumni are welcome to contact Gillian for career help, job searches, etc

Alumni can help with the following:

  1. Send job listings for open positions at your practice
    1. This includes summer options for students (paid or unpaid)
  2. Share your CV, Resume, or Cover Letter to add to a collection of examples (we’ll redact your personal info)
  3. Sign up for Mock Interviews for students
  4. Share career development tips, resources, events, etc. that we can add to our website share with other alumni

Email and 

Community Service Committee, Sarina Selleck V17

  • Volunteers needed at Worcester Housing Authority Clinics – Tuesdays and Thursdays 2-4pm. Email to participate.
  • Veterinarians for Pets and People at Tufts (VFPP) - In partnership with the Committee, Cummings School students seek to create VFPP, a program where alumni-run veterinary clinics provide pets of domestic violence victims in Worcester with shelter and/or veterinary care.

Alumni will be able to sign up to sponsor a pet, shelter the pet, or both. Read more information and then please complete the survey if you’re interested in potentially getting involved.

Email and if you have suggestions for the Committee or volunteer opportunities to promote – in Massachusetts or beyond!

Student Mentorships Committee, Julia Wills and Katie Holmes V13

  • 30-Minute Mentors Program – Launched in February. About 20 student mentees and 30 alumni mentors. Thank you to our volunteers! Learn more about the program and how you can get involved here.
  • Externship and selective sites are needed – visit and click on “Advising and Teaching” to learn more.

Email and to participate or to share additional student mentorship opportunities.

Wellness Committee, Chelsea Van Thof V19 & Rebekah Swartz V16 MG16

  • Kickoff Event in January 2021 – Panel Discussion: Creating a Culture of Wellness. Provided insight into the support and programs offered to Cummings School students to address wellbeing and mental health.
  • Rebekah is serving as Alumni Representative in Cummings Working Group on Mental Health and Wellbeing. Chaired by Eric Richman, the school’s clinical social worker.
  • Planning Fall 2021 Wellness Connections Group – Led by Eric and another social worker, small group for alumni to discuss work/life balance and other challenges our community faces.
  • Slack – App/website alumni can use to talk about wellness in the veterinary field. Hilary Jones V14 set up a community thread for TUVAA to use.

Email for more information, to join our Slack thread, or to share resources for the website.

Electing the next TUVAA President, Katie Holmes V13

  • Two-year term, starting January 2022
  • Time commitment – average less than one hour per week
  • Expectations – represent Cummings School alumni, collaborate with Office of Alumni Engagement to develop avenues for alumni engagement, attend major events as able, make an annual contribution to Cummings School
  • Benefits – Expand network, stay better connected to current student and recent graduates, and platform to develop passion projects

Email to nominate yourself or a classmate.

Open Forum – Thoughts and feedback from alumni

  • Summer and fall event planning….What types of events are alumni interested in? Zoom fatigue? Plans to attend conferences in person or virtually?
    • Alums have been attending conferences virtually and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Really missing cocktail receptions at conferences, networking/catching up with alums…how can we recreate this in the virtual space? Trivia could be fun. Breakout rooms so more intimate. Cocktail and appetizer recipes.
    • Email with ideas/activities to consider for the future.


October 7, 2020 TUVAA Meeting Materials and Reminders

PowerPoint slides and meeting recording are both here.

Important Reminders:

  • TUVAA President. Submit nominations by email no later than October 31. Elections will be completed via online polling.  If current President, V13 Katie Holmes, is re-elected, she will complete her second term at the end of 2021. If a new candidate is elected, the elected officer will begin their term at the start of 2021.
  • Motto/Tagline. Thanks to all in the meeting who helped wordsmith the following: “TUVAA: Together, using our veterinary experience to make a positive impact within our communities and create healthy paths for future veterinarians.”
  • Faculty Hall of Fame. 2019 and 2020 winners voted in at the meeting are Dr. Emily McCobb and Dr. Elizabeth Rozanski. Awards will be presented at the next reunion.
  • Teach Our Students. This year’s hybrid academic structure means you can volunteer to teach courses no matter where you live. Alumni volunteers are also requested for externship and selective sites. Visit our volunteer opportunities page and click on “Advising and Teaching” to learn more.
  • 30-Minute Mentor Program. Seeking alumni for this new program that gives students a chance to engage in a meaningful 30-minute virtual dialogue with alumni to ask questions and learn about their career path. Learn more.
  • December 1 is #TuftsGivingTuesday. Your gift (of any amount!) on this day will unlock additional challenge funds for financial aid and more. 12/1 also kicks off our three-part webinar series. Stay tuned for more info.
  • Join a TUVAA Committee! The Career Development, Community Service, Student Mentorship, and Wellness Committees are always looking for new members. Please email the Alumni Office to be connected with a committee chair.

Additional Information:

  • Update from Dean Cribb. If you missed our August update with Dean Alastair Cribb, you can watch the recording here.
  • SAVMA’s Annual Scaredy-Cat 5K. This year’s event will be held virtually over the course of a week (10/25-31). Run or walk alone, with friends, with pets – however, you want to complete your 5K! Proceeds support the Travis Fund. Learn more.
  • Curriculum. Alumni at the meeting indicated interest in the current academic curriculum, which is accessible here. Redesign is ongoing and the Curriculum Redesign Committee hopes to submit a proposal in the next couple months.

If you have any questions or wish to get involved, please contact We look forward to hearing from you!