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College of Veterinary Medicine Advance Newsletter

Volunteers Matter: Using innovative education to train tomorrow’s veterinary students

Mike Burdette talking with students
On a crisp fall morning, volunteers from 10 states came to WSU to participate in something unique to the College of Veterinary Medicine: The Diagnostic Challenges. During one week in October and a second week in November, 60 volunteers helped 130 second-year veterinary students hone their diagnostic and communications skills. Mike Burdette (’73 DVM) began volunteering eight years ago after reading about the program in the college’s Advance newsletter and from recent graduates who shared how much they learned during their own Diagnostic Challenges. » More ...

A Neuroscientist Quest to Prevent Hearing Loss

Alli Coffin standing outside in front of a building and trees
When Allison Coffin was a kid, she wanted to swim with sharks. But while in college she learned something that changed the course of her career: fish have ears. “I went to college to study marine biology, and while there I learned that some fish can produce sound and talk to each other,” says WSU neuroscience professor Alli Coffin. » More ...

Supporting Equine Veterinary Students for 52 Years

Haley Primley standing near a fence outside the veterinary teaching hospital
In 1968, the very first Washington Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association Scholarship was awarded to veterinary student Arthur “Rocky” Crate (’69 DVM) in the amount of $200. He wrote, “I feel very proud, and very humble, to be so highly honored. No other scholarship would have given me the pleasure and the satisfaction that yours has given me, not only because of my love for horses, but because I hold your association, and the work which you are doing, in very high regard.” » More ...

From WSU to the Mayo Clinic: My Summer as an Undergraduate Research Fellow

Pierce sitting on the steps next to a statue outside the clinic
Walking quickly through an underground tunnel that stretches nearly a half mile, I carried samples frozen on dry ice between two buildings on the Mayo Clinic campus to be tested as part of a clinical study on irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. Analysis of the tissues may help physician-scientists understand the causes of IBS and one day find a cure. In other places, it could take hours or days for analysis to begin, but here at the Mayo Clinic, I was impressed by how almost instantaneous everything is. » More ...

Eight Lives for Thomas the Wonder Cat

Thomas the cat sitting on a scale
As we walk into the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital, I can hear my cat’s meows getting louder and a lot longer. The last one seemed to have lasted 20 seconds. I start to wonder how any cat can possibly meow that long without taking a breath. “It’s okay, we’re going inside now,” I say in a futile effort to calm Thomas, our domestic short hair gray tabby. He has been meowing almost nonstop ever since we left the house. » More ...

A painted horse helps students learn anatomy

Veterinary student examining a live horse with painted horse in the background.
A life-sized painted fiberglass horse will now help WSU undergraduate and veterinary students learn anatomy thanks to a generous donor. “Understanding where organs are located relative to each other can be challenging for learners to grasp,” says Cynthia Faux, clinical assistant professor in the WSU Department of Integrated Physiology and Neuroscience. “Having a life-sized model to compare to a live horse can help them develop this necessary clinical skill and put organ relationships in perspective.” » More ...

Teaching science students visual literacy life skills

Erika Offerdahl and Jessie Arneson
Students who study molecular biosciences can’t actually see what they are learning. “We can never see with our eyes the things we study,” says Erika Offerdahl, a biochemist and associate professor in the WSU School of Molecular Biosciences. “It is hard to directly see beyond the sub-cellular level, so as students we learn through representation.” » More ...