VMAA: Proudly Serving Alumni for Over 60 Years
Dr. Laurie Meythaler-Mullins (’08) doesn’t hesitate when asked how the Veterinary Medical Alumni Association at Iowa State University makes an impact on the lives of alumni and students in the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Meythaler-Mullins rattles off the organization’s support for college alumni events across the nation, the annual Homecoming luncheon and the Stange Award. But it’s the student support that she says she is the proudest of.
Top on that list is the VMAA’s financial support of the college’s annual White Coat Ceremony where incoming first-year veterinary students are presented with a new white coat by a DVM to symbolize the beginning of the students’ journey to becoming a veterinarian.
Meythaler-Mullins, the incoming VMAA president, says an email the organization recently received highlights how another, much smaller, benefit continues to resonate with veterinary medicine students long after they graduate from Iowa State.
“A recent graduate wrote to tell us about another classmate who was in a serious car accident,” said Meythaler-Mullins. “At the time of the accident, the alumnus was wearing the sweatshirt that the VMAA gives out each year to second-year students.
“While the emergency responders were treating her in the ambulance, they had to cut off the sweatshirt and she told her classmate that the thing she regrets most about the accident was losing that sweatshirt.” Needless to say, the VMAA has sent a replacement sweatshirt to the alumnus.
Now in her fourth year on the VMAA Board of Directors, Meythaler-Mullins sees a multitude of benefits to membership. Not only does the organization provide activities and services to alumni and students, but it allows her and other members contact with alumni they may not have an opportunity to meet otherwise.
“Since I have been involved with the VMAA I have met so many colleagues that I wouldn’t have normally associated with because either they don’t work in the Des Moines area or didn’t go to vet school when I did,” she said. “My involvement has been a nice way to bridge some of the generational gaps.
“We have alumni all over the country and the world,” she continued. “It’s been a great way to not only stay in touch with people I went to school with but meet so many other great Iowa State veterinary medicine alumni.”
During her one-year term of office Meythaler-Mullins hopes to increase the visibility of the organization.
“It’s important that our membership stay active so we can continue to support the important events and projects we have over the years. The VMAA does so many wonderful things and our goal is to make sure all of our alumni are aware of what we’re doing,” she said.
Significant changes will occur during the VMAA-sponsored alumni receptions at the annual AVMA Convention, as well as the Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas and the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando. While past receptions were held in
the convention hotels, future events will be off-site.
At the AVMA Convention in San Antonio this summer, the alumni reception will be held at Casa Rio Mexican Restaurant along the Riverwalk, in an effort to create a more festive atmosphere and attract additional participants. The reception will be held Monday, Aug. 8, from 7-9 p.m.
VMAA Membership Dues Supports:
- Annual Homecoming BBQ at Vet Med
- Gentle Doctor Statues for the Stange
- Award Recipients
- Annual White Coat Ceremony
- ISU Alumni Receptions at AVMA, NAVC, WVC
- Student Scholarships
- VMAA Sweatshirts for Second-Year Students
- Lunch at the Annual IVMA Meeting
- Outstanding Service Award