OVC Bulletin

OVC ready to welcome Class of 2018

Posted: August 25, 2014

Orientation begins next week. Ties and beanies optional.

The Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) is preparing to welcome 120 new DVM students as Orientation gets underway Sept. 2.

A variety of events, talks and group activities will take place throughout the next few weeks as members of the Class of 2018 are introduced to life at OVC. The orientation schedule includes welcomes from the dean and associate deans and department chairs, a class photo, tours of OVC and the U of G campus as well as the City of Guelph, and social events including a “Meet & Greet” and the annual CVSA Corn Roast.

Orientation at OVC offers a mix of meaningful learning experiences and fun events, said Elizabeth Lowenger, student affairs manager. New students will be given tips on how to make the most of their OVC experience and participate in fun group activities like choosing a class mascot.

New this year is the Selfie Scavenger Hunt on Sept. 2 from 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. designed to help members of the Class of 2018 orient themselves to common areas they will frequent over the next four years. The orientation committee encourages faculty and staff to “photobomb” these selfies if they see the opportunity.

Orientation is a community effort, said Lowenger, who thanked co-chairs Patrick Boelsterli and Katelyn Guagliano as well as summer student assistant Amanda Li, plus members of the orientation committee including: Stephanie Lovell, Kandice Runyon, Kristen Frederick, Tanya Hnatejko, Jared Louw, Kevin Colliver, Brittany Vivian, Chanel Schwartzentruber, Alanna Backx, Kristina Toth, Cassandra Fohring, Melissa Wagner, Sarah Hall, Laura Omeljaniuk, Daniella Rizzo, Andrew Chong, Kevin Colliver.

For more information, see the orientation schedule.

Shared Administrative Services update: new home for graduate program assistants

Posted: August 25, 2014

The planning team for OVC Shared Administrative Services (SAS) has had a busy summer finalizing the transition of graduate program service to the new shared services model for the college.  It’s hard to believe the summer semester is almost over! September 2 is just around the corner and new graduate students will be joining us and the fall semester will be in full swing.

Over the course of the summer, there have been many notable milestones accomplished in developing SAS, including:

• Completing the recruitment process for a new graduate program assistant (welcome Christina Voll) and transitioning Denya Dinesen into the shared services unit from Clinical Studies to the new location for the service in the Population Medicine Building (formerly Clinical Research). 

• Effective Sept. 2, Donna Kangas will be part of the shared team. Her office will remain in Pathobiology until mid-September.  

 • Carol Bystriansky will remain in the graduate program assistant role on a temporary basis until the end of September to ensure Biomedical Sciences has adequate coverage and support during the transition period.  

• By Sept. 30, the integration of all three graduate program shared services team members will be complete.

• A workspace has been designed to house the three graduate program assistants located in the Population Medicine Building.  The space will be fully operational by mid-September. 

The graduate program service team plans to introduce themselves at each department’s orientations/socials for graduate students.  Meetings are also planned with chairs, graduate co-ordinators and administrative assistants from all four departments.

The next phase of SAS will include finalizing a shared database for all four departments at OVC.  In addition, we are developing/refining standard operating procedures, co-ordinating files, collating downloadable forms, developing a calendar, working on a webpage and putting other tools in place to ensure our team members have what they need to be successful.

Thank you to all faculty and staff for their feedback, cooperation and support as we make this first transition to a SAS model at the college.

Questions concerns or feedback on this transition can be directed to Carol Ann Higgins  at chiggins@uoguelph.ca.


OVC Research Corner: proposals wanted for Zoetis, OMAFRA, IDRC

Posted: August 25, 2014


Zoetis is pleased to announce a “call for proposals” for funding from the 2014 Zoetis Investment in Innovation Fund.

Through this fund, Zoetis (formerly Pfizer Animal Health) provides financial assistance to each Canadian veterinary college in support of the veterinary profession and helps foster educational partnerships.

In the interest of enriching impactful and innovative opportunities throughout Canada, the Zoetis Investment Fund in Innovation makes $100,000 available to proposals received from the five Canadian veterinary colleges. Proposals will be evaluated on a competitive basis, with funds awarded based on the following criteria: 

•  The proposal arises from a member of the faculty of a Canadian veterinary college

•  The proposal will positively impact the Canadian veterinary community

•  One or more undergraduate veterinary students are involved

•  The proposal addresses a topic of interest to Zoetis

•  The project is initiated within the 2015 calendar year and project timelines are clearly outlined in the proposal

•  The proposal must outline how the project’s outcome will be disseminated to the veterinary college, the veterinary community, and to Zoetis

• The budget for an individual proposal should be clearly outlined

• Each college may submit up to three proposals for evaluation.

OVC faculty members are invited to submit their proposals by Sept. 22 to Dr. Shayan Sharif, acting associate dean, research and innovation. All submitted proposals will be reviewed and ranked internally by an ad hoc committee before the top three proposals are submitted to Zoetis.

Letters of intent for OMAFRA New Directions program

OVC researchers are encouraged to submit proposals for funding through the New Directions Research Program supported by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

The program is intended to stimulate the sustainable growth and competitiveness of Ontario’s agri-food and agri-business sectors, and strengthen rural communities by encouraging development of new and alternative products that have potential to increase the diversification of agriculture.

Research priority areas include climate change, opportunities associated with international trade agreements, and precision agriculture in crop production. Successful projects may receive up to $200,000 over three years.

The internal deadline for letters of intent is Sept. 17. For more information on the program and how to apply, visit the Office of Research website.

Second call for concept notes for IDRC program

The International development Research Centre (IDRC) has issued a second call for concept notes for the Canadian Partnerships program’s Small Grants for Innovative Research and Knowledge Sharing.

The program’s aim is to improve Canadians’ understanding of global development issues that affect Canada and low- and middle-income countries and increase the knowledge and skills to address them.

For more information, visit the Office of Research website.

Air conditioning shut down in main building

Posted: August 25, 2014

The air conditioning system in the OVC main building (building 39) will be shut down this week.

The shutdown is necessary to replace a damaged motor that, while still working, has been barely functional for some time.

The work is expected to take four days to complete. All floors of the building will be affected. However, laboratory fume hoods in the Department of Biomedical Sciences will be operational.

Study day gives students needed break at Thanksgiving

Posted: August 25, 2014

The fall academic schedule will include an additional study break day on Oct 14.

A proposal to create the study break day was approved by the University of Guelph Senate in February. Beginning this fall, students will have an additional day off on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving Monday. The University will be open, but no classes will be held.

Class time will be made up with an additional teaching day on Nov. 27, at the end of the fall semester prior to exams.

Instructors should adjust their schedule of classes accordingly.

The Central Students Association proposed the study day to address growing concerns about student stress, anxiety and other mental health issues. They said the extended break would give students more time to get support from family and friends during the Thanksgiving holiday, and provide an extra study day.

Used textbooks wanted

Posted: August 25, 2014

OVC students are organizing a used textbook sale to take place during Orientation for the phase one (first year) class.

The sale will take place Sept. 15 at lunchtime.

If you are interested in selling current used textbooks, contact Jared Louw at jlouw@mail.uoguelph.ca with a list of materials offered for sale and the price wanted.

Arrangements can be made for pickup this week, and proceeds delivered to the sellers the week after the sale.

OVC welcomes senior development manager

Posted: August 18, 2014

The OVC and University of Guelph welcome a new member of the development team this week.


Carly O’Brien begins her role as OVC’s senior development manager effective Aug. 18.

O’Brien brings a wealth of experience in organizational development, community/client relations and sales. Most recently, she has been a principal/owner at The Achievement Centre, and was formally an assistant vice principal with the Upper Grand District School Board. An active volunteer in the community, she is the incoming chair of the Guelph Wellington Chamber of Commerce and volunteers with the Foundation of the Guelph General Hospital.

O’Brien holds an honours B.Sc. in biology from the University of Waterloo’s co-op program and a B.Ed from the University of Toronto. She is passionate about the University of Guelph and its role in our community. As a former horse show competitor and current “dog person,” Carly is looking forward to highlighting the work and impact of the OVC.

Congratulations to SLRP poster winners

Posted: August 18, 2014

Congratulations to the following students for their excellent poster presentations to wrap up the Summer Leadership and Research Program (SLRP).

First Place

Daniel Kim:  “A retrospective evaluation of thrombomodulin expression in tissues from dogs with systemic inflammatory disease”

Chanel Schwartzentruber: “Evaluating the accuracy and reliability of the FAMACHA© eye colour chart in sheep using different light sources”

Second Place:

Ceilidh  Barlow-Cash: Evaluating macrophage activity of Canadian dairy cows characterized by an imbalanced adaptive immune response phenotype”

Fernando  Salgado-Bierman: “Raptor mortality in Ontario”

Meagan Walker: “Evaluating the impact of biofilm production of Staphylococcus pseudintermedius on antimicrobial susceptibility in vitro

Third Place

Andrew Chong: “Effect of platelet lysate on canine mesenchymal stem cells”

Ellen Denstedt: “Investigation of scar-free wound healing in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius)

Robert Mould: Combining antigen presenting cell-based vaccination with oncolytic viruses for the treatment of prostate cancer”

Joseph Okudolo: “Differences in monocyte-derived macrophage activity between Canadian Holstein dairy cows classified as high and low immune responders”

imageWinners of the SLRP poster presentations (clockwise from top): Joseph Okudolo, Andrew Chong, Robert Mould, Daniel Kim, Meagan Walker, Fernando Salgado-Bierman, Ceilidh Barlow-Cash, Ellen Denstedt, Chanel Schwartzentruber.

Celebrate summer at annual OVC ice cream event

Posted: August 18, 2014


Faculty, students and staff are invited celebrate the final weeks of summer and look ahead to the new school year at the annual OVC Community Ice Cream Event on Tuesday.

The celebration takes place tomorrow from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the courtyard between the Pathobiology / AHL building and the Lifetime Learning Centre. The rain location will be the OVC cafeteria.

Join members of the OVC dean’s office as they serve up free ice cream and mark another great year.

Funding available for infectious disease research

Posted: August 18, 2014

OVC researchers are encouraged to apply for funding opportunities with the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases (IIAD).

The IIAD is now considering white papers for funding research and development (R&D) and education projects that can be completed in a 12-month period or less. All white papers and proposals will be evaluated through a highly competitive peer review process.

The deadline for submissions is Sept. 15.

Successful projects will relate to transformative, evolving, and/or maturing R&D technologies that demonstrate significant improvement in the Institute’s mission or the operations of IIAD stakeholders.

For more information about the call for proposals and the IIAD’s current research priorities, visit the IIAD website.

For the health of all species, including our own.

The Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) is a world leader in veterinary health care, learning and research. We work at the intersection of animal, human and ecosystem health: training future veterinarians and scientists, improving the health of our animal companions, ensuring the safety of the food we eat and protecting the environment that we all share. It's been that way since 1862.

About OVC

We are dedicated to the advancement of veterinary and comparative medicine through teaching, research and service.