For the fifth year in a row, the Club Animalia student organization at Hope College has won the National Community Service Award from the American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association (APVMA).

animalIn addition, Hope College junior Lindsey Porter of Williamsburg received an APVMA Scholarship Award for her excellence in leadership and research, and Dr. Greg Fraley of the Hope biology faculty was elected to the Board of Trustees for the APVMA.

The awards were presented and the election took place during the association’s 2017 Annual Symposium, held on Friday-Sunday, March 3-5, at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The APVMA consists of more than 90 North American Institutions and more than 2,000 individual members.  Hope College’s Club Animalia is one of only three liberal arts colleges in the association.

More than 40 institutions applied for the APVMA Outstanding Club Community Service Award, which is presented to a group that has been exceptional in promoting and stimulating interest in veterinary medicine within its community.  Club Animalia has received the Outstanding Club Community Service Award every year since 2013.

The $500 APVMA Scholarship Award is for students belonging to APVMA member pre-veterinary clubs or students who are registered as non-club affiliated members.  The scholarship is awarded based on leadership, participation within the recipient’s local club, and other school and community activities.

Club Animalia works to promote the human-animal bond on campus and throughout the greater Holland area, and to provide services to students in order to increase awareness and stimulate interest in careers related to animal care.  The group also provides voluntary services to those who work for the betterment of animals.  Club Animalia has about 25 active members, and hosts the college’s pre-veterinary students as well as many students interested in education and community service.

Club Animalia’s activities include a “Zoo 2 You” program through which members bring animals from the college’s Animal Museum to local elementary schools to teach about the natural history and life of wild animals; along with the Pre-Veterinary Club at GVSU they hosted the first annual Regional APVMA Symposium to teach college and high school students about the path to becoming a veterinarian; organizing, in collaboration with Hope’s Counseling and Psychological Services office, a “Finals Stress Release” on campus with therapy dogs; volunteering with the Harbor Humane Society; and numerous fund-raising events for charity.

Porter is a biology major and current president of Club Animalia.  She has been a member of the club since 2014 and has also held leadership roles including Hope Chair of West Michigan Regional APVMA Symposium and the student manager of the Hope College Department of Chemistry Laboratories.  She has conducted collaborative research during both the summer and school year with Dr. Greg Fraley and is submitting a scientific publication titled “The Effects of Low Intensity Supplemental Light on Pekin Duck Breeder Performance,” for which she is first author, to the journal Poultry Science.

Fraley is a professor of biology, where he has taught since 2004.  He is also the pre-veterinary adviser at Hope and Club Animalia’s adviser.

The college’s Club Animalia student organization won the National Community Service Award from the American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association for the fifth consecutive year during the association’s March 3-5 Annual Symposium. Pictured from left to right are:  Abbygayle Marshall (biology, Club Animalia secretary), Amanda Bentley (biology), Clara Jurik (biology, Club Animalia treasurer), Dr Greg Fraley (biology), Emily Gregory (biology), Dr. Susan Fraley (biology), Lindsey Porter (Club Animalia president), Julia Berlin (biology), Sonya Shaw (biology and ministry) and Asia Rubio (music).