More than 700 pre-vet students from across country gathering in Auburn this weekend

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More than 700 pre-veterinary students from across the U.S. will attend the 2018 American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association, or APVMA, Symposium at Auburn University March 23-24.

This two-day event brings together pre-veterinary students, faculty advisors and admissions officers.

The majority of lectures and hands-on laboratories will be held at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Additionally, Tuskegee University will host two small ruminant medicine labs at the Caprine Research and Education Center located on the Tuskegee University research farm.

"The APVMA Symposium exposes undergraduate students who want to be veterinarians to the diversity of the field of veterinary medicine and provides valuable networking and professional development opportunities," said Claire Reach, an Auburn animal sciences/pre-vet major in the College of Agriculture who is chair of the APVMA Symposium planning committee.

"Students attending this year's symposium are wanting a strong educational and hands-on learning experience to prepare themselves for vet school," she added.

The symposium is coordinated by Auburn's Pre-Vet Medical Association chapter. More than 55 undergraduate students, primarily College of Agriculture majors, have worked on the planning, logistics and fundraising for the event, said Dr. Terry Brandebourg, an assistant professor of animal sciences who is the faculty advisor to the group.

"This committee of students, with the assistance of the College of Veterinary Medicine, has done an outstanding job of organizing lectures and labs to create a truly outstanding program that should inspire the future veterinarians attending this year's APVMA symposium," Brandebourg said. "This international event aims to enhance the professional development of the next generation of veterinarians by providing unique learning opportunities, chances to network and make new friendships, and ultimately by inspiring attendees to seek their own roles in a career that is vital to protecting our food supply chain and the public and animal health.

"If the leadership shown by our Auburn students serving on this year's symposium planning committee is any indication, I am proud to say that we are in good hands for the future."

"The College of Veterinary Medicine is proud to partner with the Auburn PVMA group to host the symposium at the college and to bring students interested in veterinary medicine to Auburn," said Dr. Dan Givens, associate dean for Academic Affairs at the college.

The keynote speaker on Saturday, March 24, will be Dr. Charles Hendrix, College of Veterinary Medicine professor emeritus of parasitology. The beloved and inspirational four-time Teacher of the Year award winner, Dr. Hendrix will inspire students on their journey to live a special life of purpose.

His lecture, "The Trees Have Names," is a recently published book by veterinary student Matt Miller and is the subject of the last lecture given by Dr. Hendrix in the spring of 2016, in which he shares his thoughts on life, luck and veterinary medicine.

More than two dozen Auburn veterinary faculty will lead lectures, seminars and hands-on laboratories on advances, techniques, and opportunities in the field of veterinary medicine.

More information about the symposium is available at

The College of Veterinary Medicine is the South's original and nation's seventh oldest veterinary medical program, celebrating 126 years. We prepare individuals for careers of excellence in veterinary medicine, including private and public practice, industrial medicine, academics, and research. The college provides programs of instruction, research, outreach, and service that are in the best interests of the citizens of the state of Alabama, the region, the nation, and the world.