Alumni Volunteer Opportunities

While many of the listed opportunities are local to the New England area, there are also opportunities for alumni living outside the area. Please review the list carefully and feel free to contact the Alumni Office or the program coordinator if you’re interested or would like to adapt the program to fit your geographic location.

 

K-12 Outreach:

Outreach Requests/You-Be-The-Veterinarian Program

Contact:  Danielle Buczek

This program involves working with groups of children of all ages to provide educational presentations in the community. Volunteers give an age-appropriate presentation (what it’s like to be a veterinarian, pet care, pet first aid, nutrition, dog jobs, behavior, etc.,). On-campus events take about 1 hour to complete. Off-campus program length varies depending on the specific event. Groups are scheduled throughout the year based off community request. This can be a one-time commitment or repeatable presentation options are available.

Adventures in Veterinary Medicine

Contact:  Danielle Buczek

Adventures in Veterinary Medicine (AVM) is a career exploration program for middle school, high school, and college students and adults hosted on Cummings School campus. The AVM curriculum includes a variety of classes taught by faculty, staff, students, and community members. Opportunities are available for alumni to join the program as teachers. Presentations usually last one hour. Most are lecture style with PowerPoint support, but interactive components are welcome. This can be a one-time commitment or repeatable presentation options are available, with sessions running from April–August each year.

Paid position $75/hr: http://vetsites.tufts.edu/avm/program-dates/

STEM

Contact:  Erin King

Throughout the year there are a number of opportunities to promote STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) throughout the community. Volunteers work in teams to bring interactive and creative activities to students, combining a passion for animals with STEM education goals.  There is a great desire for project expansion which is dependent upon more volunteers!  On-going programs include the list below:

  • East Middle School 7th (early to mid- March) and 8th grade (late May) presentations
  • 5th grade presentation to Grafton Elementary (late Feb or early March)
  • Saturday presentation to Girl Scouts in the fall (October)
  • 6th grade presentations in Grafton public schools (program currently in development)

Blackstone Valley STEM Conference in the fall. Around 100+ children come to campus for an all day event filled with workshops and presentations from community members.

Massachusetts 4-H Program

Contact: Dr. Terry Taylor

Mass 4-H is a youth development program, open to all young people ages 5 through 18 throughout the Commonwealth.  Many of you were involved in 4-H growing up but you may not know that 4-H is thriving in Massachusetts!  Tufts University conducted a longitudinal study looking at the positive impact of 4-H on youth development and found that 4-Hers were more likely to become active members of their communities, make healthy life choices, choose science/technology based careers, and excel academically.  It makes sense for our alum to be more involved with this program!  Members are not only involved in animal science programs, but a wide range of other activities including STEM programs, gardening, community service projects and public speaking.

If you are interested in learning more about the MA 4-H program, check out their website: www.mass4h.org.  Under club directory you can see what clubs are in your county and usually the email of the group leader.  The staff directory has the name of the educator for the county.  Opportunities can range from just visiting a 4-H club or fair, giving a talk or involvement as a group leader.  The opportunities are endless.

For more information you may contact terrygtaylordvm@gmail.com.  A 4-H contact person will follow as well as a more detailed description of potential opportunities and upcoming 4-H events.

Professional Veterinary Outreach:

Career Chats

Contact: Scott Handler

Career chats are interactive, casual, small group chats facilitated by an alum geared towards first- and second-year veterinary students with the goal of exposing students to various career alternatives that are available in the veterinary career field. These chats provide the students insight into how they can begin to develop a framework for planning their veterinary career and gather general career words of wisdom from the alumni community. Students have appreciated the candor and truthfulness of the alumni and the ability to ask questions that are meaningful to them. Alumni can participate in person on the Grafton campus or remotely via WebEx video conferencing system hosted and supported by Tufts.

Disaster Response/SMART

Contact: Dr. David Schwartz

There are numerous ways that veterinarians can contribute to emergency and disaster management in Massachusetts. On a local level, by joining or starting a Disaster Animal Response Team (DART) provides important subject expertise about caring for animals. The local Medical Reserve Corp (MRC) also needs veterinary support. Basic Animal Rescue Training is a program that has veterinarians teaching First Responders how to appropriately handle and care for animals that they may encounter on their calls. There is training available to participate in this course.

The State of Massachusetts Animal Response Team (SMART) welcomes veterinary participation in its mission to train and prepare the state for all emergencies and disasters using best practices and standard operating procedures to care for all animals in the state.

There are websites for SMART (smartma.org) , the MRC (http://www.mamedicalreservecorps.org/), and BART http://basicanimalrescuetraining.org.

Feral Cat Clinics

There are several feral cat organizations throughout the Commonwealth which hold monthly sterilization and vaccination clinics.  Volunteer Surgeons are always needed!  Clinics take place at various locations, frequently at MSPCA facility sites (Methuen and Boston) on Sunday mornings.

Commonwealth Cats, Inc.

Contact: Terry at Common Wealth Cats

Merrimac River Feline Rescue Society

Contact: Peggy McQuillan at Sunday Clinic

Lerner Clinic/Sunday Community Cat Clinics

Contact: Dr. Emily McCobb or Nancy Meyer

Opportunities to volunteer with the Lerner Clinic are available through the Tufts Shelter Medicine Program. One Sunday a month, Cummings School hosts a free spay and neuter clinic for qualified Community cats from Worcester County and the surrounding areas. Working alongside veterinary students and volunteers, the high/volume, high/quality clinic is an opportunity to serve in the community while helping future veterinary students. Varying degrees of service involvement are available based on skill level and clinic needs. Veterinary Technicians are particularly needed.

Massachusetts Veterinary Association Emergency Availability

Contact: Annmarie Decker or 508-460-9333

With the horrible mass animal rescue last fall in Westport, MA and the current rescue of 84 Great Danes in New Hampshire, we are seeing an increase in demand for emergency veterinary care. The ASPCA, MSPCA, ARL and others, along with our state agencies, perform yeoman’s work saving animals every day but they cannot do it alone. Please let us know if you could be contacted to help in the future.

If interested, please email us, indicating availability in the following categories:

________I can shelter large animals.

________I can shelter small animals.

________I can provide direct medical care on-site.

________I can provide direct medical care at my facility.

Project Samaná

Contact: Dr. Bob Labdon  or Dr. Jay Merriam

Tired of the routine of everyday practice?  Want to stretch your professional skills and give back to a world that really needs you? Feel the need to learn on the fly?  Collaborate with colleagues, students and friends while making new ones, all while immersed in a vibrant, colorful culture?

For the past 25 years, a volunteer veterinary team composed of large and small animal veterinarians, technicians and students has made biannual trips to the Samaná peninsula of the Dominican Republic to conduct intense one week clinics.

We spay/neuter/vaccinate the dogs and cats, and castrate, de-worm and provide care to the working horses. Our team partners with the local veterinarians and caregivers serving the lush, tropical region of Samaná.  Large and small animal veterinarians, as well as technicians and students are needed for upcoming teams.

Interested? For a life changing, fun week please contact us!

Tufts at Tech

Contact: Dr. Greg Wolfus

Tufts at Tech is an innovative teaching facility for students at Cummings School and students at Worcester Technical High School. Under the leadership of Drs. Greg Wolfus and Jenni Grady, the Tufts at Tech student-run veterinary clinic provides low-cost care for financially-qualified family pets within Central Massachusetts’ underserved communities. Fourth-year DVM candidates and Worcester Technical High School students within the Veterinary Assisting program work collaboratively under the direction of experienced veterinarians and certified veterinary technicians to provide quality primary care for underserved community pets. Volunteer veterinarians are routinely needed to assist fourth-year students work through general practice cases!  Volunteers can volunteer for a single day or on a routine basis.  Regardless, alum should visit this clinic and be proud of the great work taking place in the both the Tufts veterinary education and in the Worcester community!

Volunteer Requirements: MA license, proof of health insurance, CORI report through Worcester public schools

http://cummingsvoices.tufts.edu/2016/08/team-work-makes-the-dream-work-at-tufts-at-tech/

Worcester Veterinary Outreach

Contact: Dr. Emily McCobb

The Worcester Veterinary Outreach project aims to help at risk human and animal populations.  Twice a week during the school year a handful of Cummings School and Becker students, under the supervision of volunteer practicing veterinarians and faculty from the two schools, hold free clinics at Worcester Housing Authority (WHA) sites throughout the city.  Cummings School has partnered with Becker College and WHA to provide preventive care, routine check-ups, care for minor infection or skin issues and vaccinations to those without access to veterinary care. The pet care team sees an average of about 500 patients each year, and offer vouchers for important services that can’t be offered on site, such as spaying and neutering. They also offer services for the vulnerably housed to have their pets seen at  The Mustard Seed soup kitchen and St. John’s Food for the Poor soup kitchen and food pantry a few times each semester. Volunteer veterinarians undergo a brief training, which includes shadowing current staff for one clinic, and must agree to follow clinic SOPs.  Spanish speaking veterinarians are highly needed. Time commitments may vary based on need and availability.

http://www.telegram.com/news/20161204/veterinary-students-bring-pet-care-to-those-in-need

Miscellaneous Outreach

Cummings Open House

Contact:  Erin Palumbo

Thousands of people visit Cummings School’s beautiful North Grafton, MA campus each September to learn about the different aspects of veterinary medicine. This annual event is geared to people of all ages. Alumni are welcome to participate in this event and share their veterinary experience and perspective with the public.  For a full list of activities, check out this link: https://vet.tufts.edu/open-house/open-house-activities/

Cummings Spanish Club

Contact: Nicole Becich

The Cummings Spanish Club is a student-run group that aims to promote and provide bilingual education and cultural awareness, as well as community diversity, support, and inclusivity. Activities include bilingual wet labs, lunch talks from Spanish-speaking faculty, working with Cummings Hosts International to provide contacts for Spanish and Latin American visitors to the veterinary school, encouraging students to get involved as student translators for the Foster Hospital for Small Animals, and arranging student translators for clients through the Worcester Housing Authority pet wellness services provided through Tufts. Students are often involved with the unaffiliated but related Veterinary Medical Spanish Selective, a language class specifically for Spanish medical language, open to all past and current Tufts students and faculty. This class is currently taught by Chris Feder, a local Spanish teacher. In the future, we would like to get students and alumni more involved at Tufts at Tech and in the larger Spanish-speaking communities around Worcester, as well as set up regular conversation groups and collaborations with partnering schools and clinics in Barcelona, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, and others.

Paws for People

Contact:  Dr. Lisa Freeman

Tufts Paws for People provides education, evaluation, and mentorship for individuals looking to visit facilities with their pet. The program has grown to include over 100 animal/handler teams, who visit a variety of programs including elder care facilities, hospice centers, at-risk youth, adult and adolescent mental health care, hospitals, public schools, libraries, and others. Opportunities to volunteer include:

  1. Become a Pet Partner® with your animal companion
  2. Become a Pet Partners® Ambassador after completing a  Pet Partners® Handler Training course and assist new teams on their initial visits to a facility.
  3. You can volunteer at a Pet Partners® Team evaluation. Evaluations are offered up to 9 times per year at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. As part of the volunteer team, you can help to assess potential Pet Partners® teams. Five to six volunteers are needed at each evaluation.
  4. Tufts Paws for People participates in a variety of local events that help to raise awareness about our program and animal assisted activities, such as Cummings School Open House, Pet Rock Festival. We can always use help at these events to spread the word about our program.

**Additional requests sporadically arise for volunteer veterinarians, including veterinary presentations at primary/secondary schools throughout the state, for events such as Scouting days, Summer Library Programs, Career Fairs.  Please contact Erin King if you would like to be directly contacted when these roles are requested.