New Purdue DVM and Veterinary Nursing Grads Take Oath at Graduation Celebration

Friday, May 19, 2023

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In keeping with a longstanding Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine tradition, Veterinary Nursing and DVM graduates in the Class of 2023 recited their respective oaths Sunday, May 14, as part of the annual Graduation Celebration in the Purdue Memorial Union ballrooms. The program immediately followed the official Purdue Division VII commencement exercises in the Elliott Hall of Music for graduates of the colleges of Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacy, and Liberal Arts.

Brooke speaks to the graduating class and family and friends in attendance during the college's graduation celebration
Brooke Toriani, BS, RVT represented the Veterinary Nursing Class of 2023 as class responder.

After the university ceremony concluded, as family, friends, and loved ones awaited the start of the Graduation Celebration, the College of Veterinary Medicine graduates gathered outside the South Ballroom and then processed to reserved seating at the front of the North Ballroom. “It is wonderful that we can be together today to recognize our Class of 2023,” said the dean of the college, Dr. Willie Reed, as he addressed the standing-room-only audience. “This is a truly remarkable class. Graduates, you had the unique experience of completing your veterinary education during a global pandemic.” Dean Reed praised the graduates for persevering through unprecedented challenges, “You showed commitment, resolve, and caring as you abided by the Protect Purdue pledge and persistently pursued your degree. As a result, here we are today, to recognize your graduation as our Class of 2023 Veterinary Nursing and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree candidates!”

The graduates then heard remarks from three guest speakers: Dr. Angela Demaree, president of the Purdue Veterinary Alumni Association; Ashli Selke, RVT, CVT, president-elect of the Indiana Veterinary Technician Association; and Dr. Greg Kurtz, president of the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association.  The program continued with recognition of the Veterinary Nursing Program Associate in Applied Science and Bachelor of Science degree graduates. Dean Reed introduced their class responder, Brooke Toriani, BS, RVT, who addressed her classmates. Then, Dr. Chad Brown, director of Purdue Veterinary Nursing Programs, came to the podium. As he announced the graduates’ names, they stepped forward onto the stage where Instructional Technologist Holly McCalip, BS, RVT gave them their veterinary nursing pin, symbolizing their entry into the veterinary nursing profession. Special recognition was given to Brooke Toriani when she stepped onto the stage for receiving the Outstanding Veterinary Nursing Award for outstanding academics and excellent clinical skills.

Veterinary Nursing graduates join together on stage to recite their professional oath
Veterinary Nursing Class of 2023

Once assembled onstage, the Veterinary Nursing graduates paused for a class photo before reciting the Veterinary Technician Oath of Ethical Conduct. “The oath signifies our high regard for the ethical standards and legal regulations governing the practice of veterinary nursing, our strong commitment to the highest standards of patient care and client service, and our dedication to the animals that we serve,” Dean Reed said. He then introduced Paige Allen, RVT, assistant director of advising and recruiting, who was selected by the students to lead them in reciting the Veterinary Technician Oath.

Veterinary Technology Oath
I dedicate myself to serve as a member of the modern veterinary team, as together we serve the needs of mankind, animal welfare, and our community.

Working in a clinical practice, research, or industry, I will faithfully abide by all laws, regulations, and ethical codes that govern veterinary technicians. I will conduct myself in a manner which inspires the respect and confidence of my employer, colleagues, and the public.

I will seek the mutual exchange of counsel and assistance with the clinical staff when it appears that the quality of service will be improved. I will strive to better my skills by keeping current my knowledge of new methods and ideas and by maintaining an open mind.

Since the veterinary technician is a member of a professional team entrusted with the responsibility of the care and well-being of the animal kingdom, I make this oath with utmost sincerity and devotion.

After the Veterinary Nursing graduates stepped off the stage, Dean Reed addressed the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program graduates. “Four years ago, you were welcomed into the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine. Today your class becomes the 61st Purdue DVM class to celebrate commencement and take the Veterinarian’s Oath,” Dean Reed said. “Through your own personal commitment and hard work; your consistent and persistent effort during the pandemic to protect the health and safety of yourselves, your fellow students, and our faculty and staff; as well as your willingness to work together and pursue goals beyond individual success, you have accomplished much.”

Dr. Goldsmith speaks from behind a podium during the celebration
Dr. Malaycia Goldsmith, presented the DVM Class Response, accompanied by their class mascot, dressed in matching robes (situated in front of her on the podium).

Noting how the faculty witnessed the graduates’ transformation from junior colleagues with high ideals and aspirations, to full-fledged veterinary professionals, Dean Reed said, “Now you possess the academic knowledge and technical skills required to be clinically competent, and you have gained an appreciation for the veterinary profession as a whole and its vital role in society. You understand your responsibilities to the profession, to your colleagues and most importantly, to the people and animals you will serve. We believe that you are indeed ready to assume your new role as veterinarians.”

Dean Reed then introduced Dr. Malaycia “LayCi” Goldsmith, who was selected by her classmates to give the formal class response. Following her comments, Dr. Kathy Salisbury came forward to announce the names of the graduates as they stepped onstage. As their names were called, several of the graduates were recognized for receiving awards. Congratulations to the following award recipients: 

  • Dr. Sarah Bailey | Indiana Association of Equine Practitioners First Place Award for exhibiting the highest proficiency in equine medicine and surgery and displaying the highest degree of professionalism; Dechra Excellence in Equine Sports Medicine Award for exhibiting above average proficiency in the diagnosis and management of equine sports medicine cases, including rehabilitation and lameness disorders, and for demonstrating interest in regenerative medicine.
  • Dr. Alexander Bednar | Comparative Ophthalmology Award for outstanding performance in comparative ophthalmology; Bastien Award for demonstrating empathy and exceptional care to canine patients.
  • Dr. Megan Bolger | Indiana Association of Equine Practitioners Second Place Award for proficiency in equine medicine and surgery and displaying the highest degree of professionalism; Indiana Veterinary Medical Association Award and the American College of Veterinary Surgeons Award for Clinical Proficiency for Large Animal Species in recognition of demonstrated proficiency in large animal medicine and surgery.
  • Dr. Akila Bryant | G. Edward Cummins Compassionate Care Award for exemplifying compassion for animals and clients alike.
  • Dr. Courtney Burrows | American Association of Feline Practitioners Award for demonstrating the highest proficiency in feline medicine and surgery.
  • Dr. Sierra Carless | American Animal Hospital Association Award for Proficiency in Primary Care.
  • Dr. Heather Fumia | Shelter Medicine Program Award, which recognizes a student who exemplifies compassion for shelter pets, excellent interaction with shelter clients, and proficiency in shelter medicine.
  • Dr. Malaycia Goldsmith | American College of Veterinary Pathologists Award for Excellence in Veterinary Pathology, which recognizes exceptional proficiency and interest in anatomic and/or clinical pathology.
  • Dr Megan Hoover | American College of Theriogenologists Clinical Proficiency Award for demonstrated skills in theriogenology.
  • Dr. Samantha Larkin | Dechra Excellence in Dermatology Award in recognition of clinical proficiency in dermatology; IDEXX Award for Proficiency in Clinical Pathology, which recognizes a student who demonstrates a strong understanding of clinical pathology and its practical application to clinical cases.
  • Dr. Alicia Marino | American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Certificate of Clinical Excellence in Large Animal Medicine; Indiana Veterinary Medical Association Award for Clinical Proficiency in All Species, which recognizes proficiency in both medicine and surgery across species. This is the highest honor bestowed on a fourth-year student.
  • Dr. Keanna Parjohn | Award for Proficiency in Emergency and Critical Care sponsored by Zoetis and the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society.
  • Dr. Erin Paul | Bob Rosenthal Senior Student Award in Clinical Oncology, which recognizes a student who demonstrates proficiency in the care of veterinary oncology patients and aptitude in clinical oncology; Indiana Veterinary Medical Association Award for Clinical Proficiency in Small Animal Medicine, which recognizes proficiency in both medicine and surgery; and Central Indiana Veterinary Medical Association Award for outstanding client communication skills.
  • Dr Alexander Rahn | American College of Veterinary Surgeons Award for demonstrating academic and clinical proficiency in small animal surgery.
  • Dr. Oscar Ramirez | American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Certificate of Clinical Excellence in Small Animal Medicine.
  • Dr Megan Riley | American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Certificate of Clinical Excellence in Small Animals; Dechra Excellence in Small Animal Internal Medicine Award for interest and proficiency in internal medicine including small animal endocrinology.
  • Dr. Alicia Secules | American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology Award in recognition of her clinical proficiency in dermatology.
  • Dr. Hannah Smith | Class of 1983 Award, which is given to a student who has overcome obstacles or persevered despite difficult circumstances in pursuit of the DVM degree. Dr. Smith was nominated by her classmates for this award.
  • Dr. Isaac Traynor | 12th District of the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association Award, which recognizes a student who demonstrates excellence in academic performance, research, or service in veterinary public health and preventive medicine.
  • Dr. Madalyn Trowbridge | Purdue Veterinary Alumni Association Senior Leadership Award, which is given to a student who is selected by classmates for demonstrating leadership through involvement in school activities, service to the community, and engagement with the veterinary medical profession.
  • Dr. Erin Will | 15th District of the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association/American Association of Bovine Practitioners Excellence in Bovine Veterinary Medicine Award for demonstrating exceptional proficiency and interest in bovine production medicine and surgery.
Graduates in the DVM Class of 2023 join together on stage to recite their professional oath
DVM Class of 2023

Once all of the DVM graduates were assembled on the stage they paused for a class photo before Dean Reed led them in reciting the Veterinarians’ Oath, which is modeled after the Hippocratic Oath, written by Hippocrates to remind those entering human medicine of their responsibilities. “The Veterinarians’ Oath is a solemn promise to serve the animal kingdom and society,” Dean Reed said. He then asked faculty members and other veterinarians in the audience to join the class in reciting the oath.

Veterinarians’ Oath:
Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine,

I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.

I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics.

I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.

Before concluding the program, Dean Reed announced three awards for faculty, residents, and staff who have instructed and worked alongside the graduates. Congratulations to the following award recipients:

Patience and Miriam smile holding their award plaques as Dean Reed, wearing commencement robes, joins them following the college's graduation ceremony
Dean Reed joins award recipients: Dr. Miriam Bates (center), small animal surgery resident, and Patience Klecka, RVT, veterinary technologist in the Purdue University Veterinary Hospital Emergency and Critical Care Service.
  • Dr. Miriam Bates, small animal surgery resident in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences | Katie McCallister Award, which is given to a resident or intern who demonstrates extraordinary compassion and empathy toward both patients and their families.
  • Patience Klecka, RVT, veterinary technician in the Purdue University Veterinary Hospital Emergency and Critical Care Service | Elanco Veterinary Technology Outstanding Teaching Award, which is given to honor a Veterinary Nursing educator who has clearly communicated course content, facilitated skill acquisition, motivated students, shown a continued willingness to facilitate learning outside of a formal setting, counseled and mentored students, and served as a positive role model.
  • Dr. Andrew Woolcock, associate professor of small animal internal medicine in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences | Weedon Faculty Recognition Award, which is given to the faculty member who has made the greatest contribution to members of the current fourth-year veterinary class during their progress toward obtaining their DVM degrees.

Dean Reed then concluded the ceremony by reminding the graduates, “… you will always have a place in the Purdue Veterinary Medicine family. I look forward to seeing you back on campus often.” 

The graduates then recessed to the South Ballroom, where they were able to pick up a special gift from the Purdue Veterinary Alumni Association as well as their awards, and gather with family, friends, loved ones, and PVM faculty and staff during a reception that included lots of photo ops! Congratulations PVM Class of 2023!

A full gallery of professional photos taken by Ed Lausch Photography are available to view and purchase online at: (Client Gallery: 2023 Purdue Vet Med; Password: 2023PVM).

Traci, Anastasia, and Samantha smile for a photo during the reception as part of the college's graduation celebration
Veterinary Nursing graduate Anastasia Sweet is joined by her Purdue University Veterinary Hospital colleagues, Traci Fronczak, RVT and Samantha Thompson, BS, RVT. Anastasia will be joining them in the hospital’s Small Animal Surgery Service as a soft tissue surgery floor veterinary technician.
The graduates join together smiling with some wearing leis, which are a symbol of good luck
Drs. Ngoc-Tram Huynh, Olivia Consoli, Jessica Park, and Tiffany Kotani celebrate together at the College of Veterinary Medicine’s 2023 Graduation Celebration on Sunday, May 14.

Writer(s): Kevin Doerr |

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