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Summer programs adapt to pandemic closures

As the College of Veterinary Medicine adapted to distance learning during the spring semester, summer program organizers immediately started looking for ways to modify these programs. Quarantine and travel restrictions forced the cancellation of the Stanton Externship. The summer research program and the business minor have been able to engage with students in other ways throughout the summer. Students are able to participate in these valuable experiences the college hosts each summer because of generous support of many donors.  

Business Minor goes virtual

As many veterinary graduates enter private practices, often with dreams of owning their own practice someday, developing business acumen and principled leadership skills is a must have professional competency. The graduate business minor addresses this growing demand by providing graduate-level business training through the Fisher College of Business to Ohio State students pursuing advanced degrees in health science fields. Normally, students would engage in classroom and small group activities on campus. This year, the program was adapted for virtual instruction. 

Students are already more than half way done with the program, instructors and participants agree the transition to virtual has not impacted the quality of the experience.

“This group of students has exceeded expectations on engagement in the virtual format. Based on the quality of work they have produced so far, it’s clear the teams have been able to connect and work well remotely,” said Ben Campbell, PhD, associate professor of Management and Human Resources at Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business. 

portrait of sami dacanaySami Dacanay, DVM Class of 2022, who plans to someday open her own veterinary practice when she returns to Hawaii after graduation, prefers the online format.

“I know it’s very competitive and difficult to open your own practice so I want to give myself as many advantages as I can,” she says. “I personally enjoy the online classes because I like to do all my work ahead of time and having everything online allows me to do that.”


Summer Research Program adopts hybrid model 

The Summer Research Program continues to offer students the opportunity to gain valuable experience with a respected research mentor. To ensure the program could still proceed, organizers adopted a hybrid model to accommodate university restrictions and social distancing guidelines. If possible, students adapted their project to be performed offsite. In early June, the university began relaxing restrictions to allow some researchers to return to work in their labs. Several students were able to also return to the lab to complete their project, the remainder of students continue to work remotely. 

Matthew Salerno, DVM Class of 2023, wanted to participate in the Summer Research Program to expand his skills as a scientist, "The opportunity to broaden my knowledge on the process of grant writing, collecting data, and being a member of an interdisciplinary team has been an amazing experience."

He credits his advisor, Rebecca Garabed, VMD, MPVM, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, who helped him adapt his project. "I was able to focus my attention to assisting with IRB protocol, focusing on a literature review, and doing field work. Working with such a great advisor has demonstrated the importance of staying open-minded as a researcher and utilizing time effectively."

Garabed, who participated in a summer research program when she was a veterinary student, says the push to a virtual format may have increased interactions between students and mentors.

"We are scheduling regular Zoom meetings rather than just catching up in the hallway as needed," she explained. "I miss the spontaneity, but it has been good to formally set aside time for mentoring and I think we are actually communicating more than we would in-person."

To learn more about how you can support one of our summer programs, call us at 614-688-8433 or visit this page to support the Summer Research Program. 


Last updated: 

Monday, June 29, 2020 - 4:32pm