I am reminded today of the saying “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Last November, I wrote of the challenges and trauma our world was facing and the need to shift our thinking to the small (and large) things people do to bring hope and build community. Our world is, once again, filled with violence and trauma — and, once again, I need to dig deep and remind myself what we do matters. So, I will write about our community, its members, and the hope and connection we build by giving back and paying it forward.
The college hosted our first Community Dinner potluck for any students who found themselves in Pullman for the Thanksgiving break. Holidays can be hard for students who are far from home, including many of our international students.
Mickelsen Lounge was transformed by homemade food, games, and conversation. The event was hosted by Maurice Cottman, our director of diversity and inclusion, with a heart-forward goal to be inclusive and highlight cross-cultural awareness. I hope this is the first annual Community Dinner for our college. Thank you to all who made this small thing a wonderful thing.
Scott Campbell, our veterinary chaplain in residence, has been doing a number of small things that add up to amazing things. The college now hosts The Celebration of Life & Remembrance for our Companion Animals.
This community event features readings, music, and a garland ceremony. The ceremony acknowledges the deep emotional connection we have to our animals and the grief we experience when they pass, a coming together perfectly aligned with the college’s deep focus on the human-animal bond.
Our community focus was also reflected this month in our annual Healthy People Healthy Pets event where our fourth-year veterinary students join with WSU College of Nursing students to provide free health care services to unhoused and low-income people and their pets in Spokane.
What can I say? Compassionate teamwork, integrated care.
Finally, Dr. Jeff Abbott and team just completed another successful season of Diagnostic Challenges. This flagship DVM educational experience brings together second-year students with alumni, friends of the college, and proud parents of students past and present to engage in true experiential learning.
Several new cases this year were developed by third-year students Thomas LeClair, Samantha Heilman, Margaret Knox, Lainee Colombik, Samantha Amey-Gonzalez, Gwyneth Potter, and Natalie Drozdowski. They all contributed their time helping to keep the Diagnostic Challenges fresh and to paying it forward.
As a community, we are greater than the sum of our parts. We do what we can locally to care for others and inspire hope.