2013 Kaplan Family Distinguished Faculty Fellows

Shorna Allred, Department of Natural Resources

Shorna Allred’s project Global Environmental Service Learning Initiative-Thailand is a service-learning initiative that will focus on the Mekong River Region in Northeast Thailand, exploring community life along the river and the potential impact of hydropower projects. The objective of this initiative is to help students learn about a global environmental problem in a local context from a combination of classroom instruction, cultural learning experiences, completion of an action research project in Thailand with community partners and fellow students, and critical reflection and relation to the US context afterwards. The learning experience will be centered on management of the Mekong River and the surrounding communities that depend on this rich water resource. The project will work collaboratively with the Public Service Center, the Center for Engaged Learning and Research, the Southeast Asia Program, the Mekong Environment and Research Institute, First Global Community College, and community organizations and environmental agencies in Thailand.

Elizabeth Berliner, College of Veterinary Medicine

Elizabeth Berliner’s project the Rural Area Veterinary Services (RAVS) Program takes approximately 300 veterinary students and 100 volunteer veterinarians and technicians annually to remote Native American Reservations to provide field medicine and surgery services in high-quality MASH style clinics. Teams of 50 volunteers – including 30 veterinary students – travel to rural Native American reservations without access to routine veterinary services. Clinics are offered between 10 to 14 weeks a year during academic breaks. Students are directly mentored by highly skilled veterinarians and provide practical highquality veterinary care to under-served companion animals. Furthermore, the quality of patient care exceeds that of many veterinary private practices; from anesthetic protocols to patient monitoring to surgical practice to post-operative recovery, professionals are committed to high standards in spite of working out of an equine trailer unloaded into a gymnasium. In addition to clinical and surgical skills, these clinics provide many students with their first exposure to rural poverty, street dog populations, Native American culture, and field services. This is truly transformative education. This proposal seeks to increase accessibility to the RAVS program for Cornell veterinary students, and in the process to develop and implement a formal reflective component for students completing a clinic for academic credit.