New Year, New Leader

Chelsea B.Welcome back to another year at Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences!

Professional DVM students returned to classes on Aug. 21. This is a special year on many accounts. We have officially been in our new Veterinary & Biomedical Education Complex (VBEC) for one full year, and the college is entering its second century of educating veterinary professional students. The DVM Class of 2021 has a revamped curriculum that prioritizes the hands-on clinical aptitude and communication skills that underscore the core competencies of a veterinarian. Furthermore, our fourth-year veterinary students, the Class of 2018, are pioneering expanded clinical tracks in our teaching hospitals, which will benefit their post-graduation career interests.

New opportunities are constantly being introduced within the CVM, including my position as Lead Student Ambassador of the CVM Tours Program. I took over for my predecessor, Clarissa, in May, when she moved into her fourth-year clinical rotations. Since then, I have been learning the ropes of how to manage the many tour requests our college receives.

We aim to provide tours Monday through Saturday (daily at noon and 3:30 p.m., and at 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays) throughout our academic semesters and breaks. Visitors of all types are encouraged to view our renowned facilities. Just in the past few months we’ve given tours to summer camps, FFA clubs, school guidance counselors, newly-admitted students, applicants, alumni, and more! Those interested can visit our website, where there is a self-registration page. Large groups work with me, directly, to set up alternative times and additional tour guides. We also are able to provide students with contact information for our DVM and BIMS program advisers.

As you can imagine, arranging these events takes a great deal of organization—both with the groups attending, as well as with the student ambassadors leading the tours. I’ve learned how to use new software, delegate with others, and manage communication efforts with various personnel across the college and hospitals to ensure that our guests receive the best behind-the-scenes experience.

It’s important to remember the privilege that is touring a hospital setting. The CVM Tours Program invites current undergraduate biomedical science majors and professional DVM students to become ambassadors, who showcase the advances of our interdisciplinary field, from the human-animal bond to translational medicine. To have been selected to be a student at this institution is a great honor in itself. It is even more humbling to have been selected as a representative of an institution that has successfully operated for more than 100 years.

This term we have a record 25 BIMS and VetMed ambassadors on staff. While we all learn the same route, each tour guide delivers a unique perspective on the Aggie student experience and the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospitals (VMTH). Whether you’re hoping to attend A&M for college, veterinary school, or graduate school, our ambassadors can help give you insight into all of the attractions of Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences!