The Student American Veterinary Medical Association was created in 1969 as the national organization of students, which has enabled individual Student Chapters of the AVMA (SCAVMAs) to function effectively as a single unit on the national level.
Currently, SAVMA is comprised of 35 student chapters at accredited veterinary medical schools/colleges and one student association organization in the Caribbean. In total, we represent a total of over 15,000 veterinary student members and associate members.
What are the benefits of SCAVMA Membership?
- Automatic free membership to the AVMA for first year following graduation from veterinary school
- Reduced prices for subscriptions to the AVMA journals: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) and American Journal of Veterinary Research (AJVR)
- Networking Opportunities: Legislative Fly-In, Veterinary Leadership Experience, Educational SAVMA Symposium and AVMA Convention; AVMA Mentoring System
- Eligibility for Professional Development Funds (PDF) to travel to externships and conferences
- Scholarships, Externship Stipends
- Reduced rates for AVMA conventions
- Free Liability Coverage provided by AVMA PLIT
- Health Insurance Plans starting as low as $22/month provided by AVMA Life
Officers and Representatives
RUSVM SCAVMA Officers
Robert (Bob) McCarthy
Ann Marie Picone
Kasie Sears Richey
Adriana Rivera Aguayo
RUSVM SCAVMA Representatives
Your elected SCAVMA class representatives make up the General Board, and hold office for one semester.
Rhiannon Spritzer and Eric Sirabian
Courtney Ann Pearce & Laura Kenzie
Karla Gonzalez-Rodriguez (Kawi) & Kalah St Pierre
Bailey Pitts & Samantha Thompson
Kathryn Zelma & Leeza Hargreaves
Matthew Marquis & Haley O'Connell
Nicole Cerniello & Sara Ischinger
Professional Development Fund
PDF is a program under SGA for current RUSVM students that rewards performing activities affiliated with RUSVM, using a points-based system, by providing funding towards professional development opportunities. Professional development opportunities can include, but are not limited to: conferences, externships, foreign education programs, internships, symposiums, or anything deemed for professional or career development.
Students who have completed at least one semester at RUSVM may apply for funding.
Professional Development Fund (PDF) FAQ
PDF Involvement Sheet
PDF Involvement Sheet Example
SCAVMA PDF Checklist
PDF Fund Application
RUSVM Student Clubs & Organizations
With over 20 active clubs and organizations representing a variety of interests, it will be easy get involved at RUSVM. Two SCAVMA Activities Representatives coordinate the overall activities schedule for students, and are responsible for determining the schedule for both activities and club fundraising.
American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP)
AABP is the largest organization on campus, we have approximately 250 members and growing! Here on campus we offer a multitude of wet labs including; calf handling, calf watch with our pregnant cows during our calving seasons, dehorning, palpation trips to local St. Kitts farms, body condition scoring and breeding of our campus herd. Additionally we give our members the opportunity to become AI (artificial insemination) certified through Select Sires. We host a burger sale every semester along with our welcome back BBQ. We promote excellence within this field of medicine and help our members to gain exceptional bovine handling skills.
AAEP- American Association of Equine Practitioners
The Student Chapter of American Association of Equine Practitioner (SCAAEP) at Ross University School of Veterinary is a nationally recognized, affiliate chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Our mission is to enhance the educational opportunities of the professional students at RUSVM in the field of equine medicine and health, to inform students about veterinary-related problems currently affecting the horse industry and to promote the exchange of professional knowledge among students and practitioners for the advancement of equine health.
Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV)
AAV is a club for students interested in avian and exotic medicine. We provide opportunities to work with birds on campus s well as labs and trips to learn about the different aspects of avian medicine and anatomy. This past semester the club was able to have a trip to a local poultry farm, and additionally cleaned the aviary on campus and practiced physical exams with the birds.
American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners (ASLAP)
The mission of American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners (ASLAP) is to advance laboratory animal medicine and welfare through member development and representation in the greater professional community. We achieve this through advocacy, education & collaboration. ASLAP and AVMA work together to support the practice of laboratory animal medicine.
CVF - Christian Veterinary Fellowship
Feral Cat Project
The Feral Cat Project (FCP) at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine is a nonprofit student organization that strives to increase the welfare of the feral cats of St. Kitts. It is a trap neuter release program for the feral cat population as well as coming to aid of injured cats and finding forever homes to the cats more suited for living indoors. FCP provides the student body with many opportunities for hands on experience with participating in monthly spay days as well as provide information to local communities about population control.
Green Initiative Club
The purpose of this group is to facilitate a democratic discussion amongst the RUSVM community about different ways to promote environmental awareness and implement eco-friendly changes in order to reduce our environmental impact.
Integrative Veterinary Medicine Club
Integrative Veterinary Medicine (IVM) is becoming more and more popular in many regions of the U.S. and worldwide. The club aims to explore the many alternative and complementary therapies as well as the different modalities currently used in veterinary practices. Most therapies require further certification processes, not offered at most veterinary schools. IVM aims to encourage its members and informs students the practices and certification processes of acupuncture, chiropractic, herbal and phytomedicines, nutraceuticals and many more. From time to time, guest veterinarians and other professionals who currently integrate complementary or alternative veterinary medicine into their practice or profession are welcomed to lecture or are flown in by the club to visit us at Ross. Currently, IVMC is working on a herbal veterinary medicine webpage, a collaborative effort from club members to seek evidence-based phytotherapy in order to build a database for future reference when in practice.
One Health Club
Our mission is to promote the concept of One Health to the student body of RUSVM. The One Health Club believes that in improving the welfare of animals, society, and the environment, that the world as a whole will be a better place to live in. The club has goals to first inform our members on the opportunities in Public Health and the impact that we can make, and second to help the community in Saint Kitts & surrounding islands in the future. We would like to provide our members with the resources to expand their knowledge in One Health, whether they would like to pursue research, Public Health, epidemiology, disaster relief, or any of the other division. Our club activities includes bandage labs, opportunity to complete FAMACHA certification, volunteering in research and visiting farms in St. Kitts with our club advisors.
RUSVM Pathology club is an on-campus organization dedicated to exploring all realms of pathology. This can mean performing post mortem exams, looking at histology slides, or attending meetings on Thursdays. If you are interested in pathology, check out our page and attend one of our weekly meetings. Remember, to take advantage of our amazing opportunities, you must be a dues paying member.
American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners
Ross University American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners provides Veterinary students of all experience levels the opportunity to participate in activities in order to gain exposure to working with small ruminants. We offer hands on experiences which have included but are not limited to sheep and goat farm visits, sheep physical exams, sheep and goat ultrasounds, fecal examinations, hoof trimming, blood draws, and FAMACHA certification. This club provides members with an opportunity to increase knowledge in husbandry and veterinary care of small ruminants.
Animal Behavior Club/Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (SCAVSAB)
Each semester, Animal Behavior Club (ABC) presents an 11-lecture long series on various topics relating to animal behavior and training as well as Dog Sports Day, Weight Pull and a Hot Dog lunch bake sale. Dog Sports Day is an event for students that helps to introduce them and their dogs to the world of dog sports. Weight Pull is a community event that helps to raise awareness that dogs can be competed in a way that is not harmful to them. ABC also works closely with Kennel Companions to provide Sunday training classes for the RUSVM colony teaching dogs. Private training classes (3 classes in groups of 6-8) are also offered each semester for Ross students and faculty with their personal dogs. ABC also provides free behavior consults for problem behaviors to members of the RUSVM community.
SCAVDS - Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Dental Society
Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Dentistry Society (SCAVDS) is committed to supplementing your veterinary education in dentistry, with the primary focus being on hands on skills necessary for any practicing veterinarian, which is not currently provided as part of the curriculum. SCAVDS strives to encompass all species through our wetlabs and lectures.
SCAAVN -Student Chapter of the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition
RUSVM Student Chapter of American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition (SCAAVN) promotes greater veterinary student interests in and better understanding of the current developments in animal nutrition. In addition, SCAAVN also strives to create a cooperative relationship with students and the public as we all share the common goal of promoting adequate animal health and development through proper nutrition.
The main purposes of the Veterinary Surgery Club are to: further the students’ knowledge in the area of veterinary surgery with emphasis on small animal surgery and some emphasis on large animal and equine surgery, to provide information about specializing in the field of surgery within the veterinary profession, and when possible, organize hands on opportunities for the members of the club.
Student Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (SVECCS)
SVECCS is the student chapter of the Veterinary Emergency Critical Care Society. We are an active chapter that not only offers labs, guest speakers, and trips to the conference (IVECCS), but also we offer hand on experience to members. They have the opportunity to volunteer for shifts at the Ross University Veterinary Clinic, because we cover the shifts for 7th semesters the night before an exam. Non-member fan page: Ross SVECCS National Facebook group: SVECCS
Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA)
The Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA) is one of the largest student-run organizations in the United States, dedicated to fulfilling the need for a business education to enhance success in a student's professional career. The organization offers scholarships, networking opportunities, internships, jobs, and other unique members-only opportunities. Students can choose to opt-in to the Business Certificate Program, where they can be formally recognized for their commitment to business learning in areas such as personal and business finance, employee & practice management, and career preparation and planning. Check out www.vbma.biz for more information.
VIDA, St. Kitts
RUSVM Volunteers for Intercultural and Definitive Adventure (VIDA) is a branch of VIDA a non-profit organization. RUSVM VIDA provide free basic veterinary care to the pets of St. Kitts whose owners cannot afford it. Members of VIDA reach out to the community to teach and instruct locals on the proper way to care for and maintain the health of their animals. This way, RUSVM students get valuable hands-on experience while at the same time helping those who really need it. Our free clinics take place on different Saturdays throughout each semester.
VOICE- Veterinary Students as One In Culture and Ethnicity
VOICE (Veterinary students as One In Culture and Ethnicity) is a national student run organization that is committed to promoting cultural competency and awareness in veterinary medicine. The Ross University chapter members accomplish this through arranging guest lecturers, promoting Children’s Home visits, and holding fundraising events such as food and item sales. VOICE encourages acknowledgment, understanding, and respect of cultural differences to enhance personal and professional growth of individuals within the field of veterinary medicine.
WAVMA- World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association
RUSVM's student chapter of World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association (WAVMA). The goal of WAVMA is to help students on their path to practicing veterinary medicine with aquatic animals. WAVMA presents lectures and web labs in topics related to aquatic medicine from beginner to advanced levels to accommodate various experience level for their active members. To join the RUSVM chapter of WAVMA, sign up as a national member of WAVMA and present confirmation page to RUSVM WAVMA. National dues include the student chapter dues so there are no additional club fees once annual national dues are paid online at www.wavma.org and become a member. RossWAVMA@gmail.com Facebook: RUSVM Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Club
WDA- Wildlife Disease Association
Wildlife Disease Association (WDA) is the RUSVM student chapter of the professional organization Wildlife Disease Association that has members all over the world. WDA focuses on educating students in wildlife conservation, diseases, and research. RUSVM professors and visiting guest speakers give wildlife lectures throughout each semester and we provide opportunities for students to become involved in wildlife research on campus along with networking between students, veterinarians, professors, and future colleagues.
Zoo, Exotics, and Wildlife Medicine Club (ZEW Club)
The ZEW club serves to provide RUSVM students with hands on experiences and further education in the field of exotic medicine. We organize annual externship experiences available to club members at the Belize Zoo and host guest speakers to address zoo, exotic, and wildlife medicine. We continue to care for the animals at the local zoo and provide wet labs working with exotic animals.Last semester we had an animal enrichment wet lab where we explained the importance of enrichment items/activities in zoological medicine, discussed species appropriate items, and created reusable and disposable toys for the animals at the local zoo. We had a wet lab visiting SNAPPER where we were shown how to manage large populations of local fish. We were informed about water quality testing, the making of feed, and the general care and sexing of fish. We were also given a presentation about local sea turtles and were able to assist in the feeding of the turtles. The ZEW Club is responsible for providing daily care and feeding at Zach Nisbett's zoo and does an extensive clean up once a semester. We had a monkey darting wet lab at the zoo, as well. Club members learned proper handling techniques of Green Vervet Monkeys, were able to assist in darting them, administered shots and medication, and completed physical exams on the monkeys. We arranged for Dr. Lou Cornicelli to visit RUSVM and give a presentation on big game capture in the Midwest. We participated in three pudding dirt cup bake sales. Finally, we hosted our night volleyball tournament to raise additional funds for the club.
SGA (Non-SCAVMA) Recognized Clubs at RUSVM
The RUSVM Kiteboarding Club is a sports club that provides students access to internationally certifiable water sports courses (primarily kiteboarding but also associated board riding and wind powered watersports). By making the connection Kiteboarding Club hopes to let students know what unique opportunities are available here in St Kitts. The club would like to encourage participation whilst maintaining our injury free track record in these thrilling sports by creating a FUN and SAFE environment for our students to experience St Kitts.
People for Animal Welfare in St. Kitts (PAWS)
Established in 2000, People for Animal Welfare on St. Kitts (P.A.W.S.) runs a successful rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming program for unwanted, stray, and abused animals on St. Kitts. Along their foster program, P.A.W.S. also promotes education of pet ownership in the community, frequently participates in school visits, and hosts animal awareness days regarding companion animal husbandry. P.A.W.S. is also in the building stages of Basseterre Animal Rescue Center (BARC), which will be the island’s first animal shelter.
ROSS TALK is a public speaking club that allows students, faculty, and staff the ability to share whatever they are passionate about in efforts to educate their campus and community! Membership is free and no fundraisers are being held for this club as the club's number one priority is to work on communication. ROSS TALK holds weekly meetings where members of the club will be given the opportunity to speak and receive constructive criticisms to make improvements. In addition, the club offers workshops in public speaking and PowerPoint Presentations as well as client- doctor simulations for students to practice communication skills. Stop by a talk by one of the club members and be inspired by their speech or present your own to inspire those around you in a judgement free environment!
S.A.F.E.- Saving Animals From Emergency
S.A.F.E quite literally does as its name suggests – Saving Animals From Emergency. S.A.F.E. St. Kitts takes in animals in emergent need. The animals that are taken in are starving, injured, sick, surrendered, or abused. S.A.F.E. provides the animals the medical care they need to recover, and almost as important, the club gives them the love and kindness they thrive on. Once rehabilitated, S.A.F.E. adopt them to permanent and loving homes. Forever transformed are the lives of the animals who enter the program.??S.A.F.E. St. Kitts is also a resource for those who seek to help island animals. S.A.F.E. has created a donation bank, the first of its kind here in St. Kitts. For those who find a street animal they wish to help, S.A.F.E. offers free supplies to make the rescue easier. In addition, S.A.F.E. provides collars, leashes, blankets, toys, bowls, and many other things for those who are taking in a stray in need. S.A.F.E. also offers assistance in getting the animals back to health, such as transportation to the local vet, and help with basic grooming. S.A.F.E. believes by empowering others to rescue, an even bigger impact can be made here in St. Kitts.
RUSVM SCUBA Club is the largest student run organization on campus. As a club, we organize PADI SCUBA certifications with local dive shops for members wanting to start diving or advance their SCUBA skills. The club also organizes multiple SCUBA diving trips each semester with local dive shops and a midsemester break diving trip. Our recent midsemester break trips include, Saba a Dutch Caribbean island that is surrounded by a marine conservation park, St. Eustatius and local hard to reach reefs around St. Kitts. Along with diving, SCUBA club gives back to St. Kitts through beach clean-ups and Reef conservation fundraisers.
Club Funds Request
Twice a semester, in weeks 5 and 9 at the weekly SCAVMA meetings, student organizations/clubs are allowed to request funds from the Student Government Association (SGA). Meetings in weeks 5 and 9 are designated as Budget Meetings for this purpose. As such, each club requesting funds must follow the guidelines, which are available for download below, and complete the budget proposal forms, as well as, any supplementing documentation necessary before the Budget Meeting begins.
Organizations/Clubs may request funds for general assistance or to bring speakers to the University. Requests will be taken into consideration, deliberated upon within the SGA, and a decision reached. The organization/club will be notified of the decision via email.
Budget Meeting Guidelines (PDF)
Budget Proposal Form (EXCEL)