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GVTAA Fall Conference

Hosted by: Office of Continuing Education
From: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

This conference will be offered live via ZOOM and offer 6 hours of continuing education credit, which includes 1 hour of LEAP.

Recordings will not be available after the conference.


Registration is now closed for this conference.

Event Information

Registration fee : $90




Office of Continuing Education
Phone Number: (706) 542-1451
Email: cheryls@uga.edu

Event Agenda


Start Time
End Time
8:50 am9:00 am
9:00 am9:50 am
Fear Free Handling
Lynsey Jackson
10:00 am10:50 am
Diabetes: a word, not a sentence
Colleen Ruderman
11:00 am11:50 am
Compassion Fatigue - The Cost of Caring (LEAP GBVM-2559)
Jo Smith
12:00 pm12:50 pm
1:00 pm1:50 pm
Microscopic Review of Blood Cells – Is it a platelet, red blood cell, white blood cell, or something else?
Barbie Papajeski, MS, LVT, RLATG, VTS (Clinical Pathology)
2:00 pm2:50 pm
Exotic Animal Sedation
Ashley McGaha
3:00 pm3:50 pm
Dental Radiograph Interpretation – RVT Perspective
Amy Edwards


  • Colleen Ruderman, RVT, VTS (SAIM)

    Colleen started her veterinary career at the age of 15 cleaning kennels, then transitioned into veterinary assisting/technician which has translated into 28 years in veterinary medicine. She started in general practice and eventually moved into emergency medicine and enrolled in Gwinnett Technical College. In 2001, she completed school and obtained her license as a veterinary technician while continuing to work emergency medicine. In 2004, she started at GVS in overnight ER/ICU and then transferred to internal medicine. In 2008, Colleen obtained her VTS in small animal internal medicine. Throughout her career she has focused on client education, teaching, and nursing care. She then transitioned to hospital trainer where she continued to teach and develop ways to help grow associates in their veterinary careers while focusing on patient care in the hospital. Colleen has published several articles in professional journals in addition to being a contributing author for the textbook Internal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians. Pre-COVID, she was active on the lecture circuit and continue to lectures online. In 2018, she transitioned to technician manager. In her off time she is an avid gamer and enjoys reading, hiking, and absolutely sleeping.

  • Jo Smith, MA, VetMB, PhD, DACVIM

    Dr. Jo Smith received her veterinary degree from the University of Cambridge in 1997. After a year in private practice she returned to Cambridge to complete a PhD in immunology. This was followed by internships at Davies White Veterinary Specialists, UK, and Purdue University, before her residency in small animal internal medicine at the University of Tennessee. She has worked at the University of Tennessee as a Clinical Instructor and lectured in veterinary endocrinology at the University of Nottingham, UK. She became board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Small Animal Internal Medicine) in 2007. In January 2009, she joined the University of Georgia.

  • Lynsey Jackson, RVT, BSA, FFCP

    Lynsey earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture (Animal and Poultry Science) in 2010 at the University of Georgia. She began working with a local zoo, where she trained the animals to aid in basic husbandry and veterinary care. In 2011, she was recruited to work for the UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s Behavioral Medicine Service and earned her Associate’s in Veterinary Technology in 2019, allowing her to become a Registered Veterinary Technician. She is a Fear Free Certified Professional and a steadfast believer in low stress handling techniques to help reduce fear, stress, and anxiety associated with veterinary care. She is a regular guest lecturer at Athens Technical College and Victoria Stilwell Academy, and has given talks to numerous shelters in the Athens area and Atlanta.

  • Amy Edwards, RVT, VTS (Dentistry)

    Amy Edwards is originally from NC where she graduated from Central Carolina Community College’s Veterinary Technology Program in 1997. She relocated to GA in 1999 and has been employed with Atlanta Veterinary Dental Services since 2004. In 2011 she was awarded the title of Veterinary Technician Specialist in Dentistry after completing the 2 year process and passing the board exam in dentistry. She enjoys teaching others the value that dentistry has on the overall health of pets and how to implement dentistry into their clinics. She has helped and led numerous in-clinic dental trainings and national dental wet labs. She is a welcomed speaker at the annual Veterinary Dental Forum and the Georgia Veterinary Technician and Assistant Association. Outside of work Amy enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with her son Vincent. Her 4 legged furbabies are Viviana, a German Shepherd mix and Tara Grace, a Boston Terrier.

  • Barbie M. Papajeski, MS, LVT, RLATG, VTS (Clinical Pathology)

    Barbie Papajeski teaches clinical pathology and laboratory animal courses in Murray State University’s veterinary technology program where she has been employed for 26 years.  She first worked in the clinical pathology department of Breathitt Veterinary Center before moving into a full-time teaching position. She is currently serving as secretary of AVCPT and KVTA.  She resides in Western KY, where she loves to be outdoors with her faithful canine companion, Daphne, her two teenage sons, and husband.  They share their home with two more dogs, four cats, and an assortment of rabbits, fish, chickens, ducks, and other farm birds.

  • Ashley Ashley McGaha, BAS, RVTg, VTS (Exotic Companion Animal)

    Ashley is originally from Macon Ga. She was accepted into the Veterinary Technology program at Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, Georgia in 2007. In August 2010, she received her Bachelors of Applied Sciences degree in Veterinary Technology. Ashley was then hired onto the Zoological Medicine service at the University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital as an RVT. She has worked under Dr. Stephen Divers and Dr. Joerg Mayer since 2010 and enjoys being able to teach veterinary and veterinary technician students about zoological medicine. She was published in the “Exotic Animal Medicine for the Veterinary Technician” for the chapters on chinchillas and hedgehogs in 2016. She had her 15 minutes of fame in 2017 when she was on the cover of the Jan/Feb issue of “Today’s Veterinary Nurse.” On September 30 that same year, Ashley gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named “Willow.” In December of 2019 she completed her biggest career accomplishment to date by becoming specialized in Exotic Companion Animal medicine. When not at work she enjoys spending time with her family and her animals, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 1 crested gecko.


Additional Information

Session titles and/or times are subject to change.