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GVTAA Spring Conference

Hosted by: Office of Continuing Education

In light of the most recent update from the college, we have decided to postpone the Emergency Critical Care portion of this conference (Sunday). We have reserved July 11th for this one-day event. All prior registrations will be honored, and there is no penalty to withdraw your registration if you are unable to attend on this new date.


Event Information

2-Day Conference : $285
Saturday Only Conference : $175
Sunday Only Conference : $125


UGA Veterinary Education Center
2200 College Station Rd
Athens, GA 30602
United States


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

Event Agenda


Start Time
End Time
7:30 am 8:00 am
Check-in and Continental Breakfast
8:00 am 8:20 am
Welcome and Introductions
Jamie Rauscher
8:20 am 10:00 am
How to be an Exam Room Rock Star
Andy Roark, DVM
10:00 am 10:20 am
10:20 am 11:10 am
Professionalism in Veterinary Technology (LEAP GBVM-2330)
Anna Santos, RVT
11:10 am 12:10 pm
12:10 pm 1:50 pm
Diffusing the Angry Client
Andy Roark, DVM
1:50 pm 2:40 pm
Working with the Cash-Strapped Client
Andy Roark, DVM
2:40 pm 3:00 pm
3:00 pm 3:50 pm
Working with the Cash-Strapped Client (cont'd)
Andy Roark, DVM
3:50 pm 4:20 pm
Caring for the Neurologic Patient
Juliet Armstrong, DVM


Start Time
End Time
8:00 am 8:30 am
Check-In and Continental Breakfast
8:30 am 10:10 am
Current Recommendations in Veterinary CPR
Ryan Cheek, RVT, VTS
10:10 am 10:30 am
10:30 am 11:20 am
Triage for the Entire Veterinary Team
Jessica Sewell, RVT
11:20 am 12:10 pm
Ophthalmic Emergencies: An Overview
Maggie LiPuma, DVM
12:10 pm 1:10 pm
1:10 pm 2:00 pm
Caval Syndrome
Amanda Coleman, DVM, DACVIM
2:00 pm 2:50 pm
Exotic Companion Animal Emergencies and Triage
Ashley McGaha, RVTg, VTS
2:50 pm 3:00 pm
3:00 pm 3:50 pm
What's in a Name? The Debate Over the Veterinary Nurse Name Change (LEAP GBVM-2329)
Anna Santos, RVT
3:50 pm 4:40 pm
Snake Envenomation
Damion Asselin, RVT, VTS


  • Andy Roark, DVM

    Dr. Andy Roark is a practicing veterinarian, international speaker, author, and media personality. He is the founder of the Uncharted Veterinary Conference and DrAndyRoark.com. He has been an award-winning columnist for DVM360 and his popular Facebook page, website, and YouTube show reach millions of people every month.

    Dr. Roark received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award from the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and was voted the Practice Management Speaker of the Year at NAVC (one of the world’s largest veterinary conferences) three out of the last four years. Practices where Dr. Roark works were named as finalists in the American Animal Hospital Association’s Practice of the Year Contest in 2013 and 2015.

  • Anna Santos, RVT

    Anna began working at the University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital in 1998.  She spend 1 year in the small animal internal medicine, 8 years in the SA ICU, and 4 years in the UGA neurology department.   Anna also did several years of adjunct work with the Athens Technical College Veterinary Technology program before becoming a full time faculty member in 2011.   In 2015, Anna returned to the University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital, to supervise the newly created Small Animal Intermediate Care Ward, where she still currently works. She lives on her family farm, in Athens, GA with her husband Brian and son Zeb.

  • Ryan Cheek, RVT, VTS (ECC)

    Ryan was part of the first graduating class of the Veterinary Technology department at Gwinnett Technical College.  Upon graduation he spent time working at Zoo Atlanta and in an exotic animal practice.  However, it was emergency/critical care where Ryan found his passion and worked for 15 years before coming into the educational side of veterinary medicine.  Ryan became a registered veterinary technician in 1999 and earned his Veterinary Technician Specialty in Emergency/Critical Care in 2005.  He also holds a BAS in Veterinary Technology-Clinical Medicine and a MS and PhD in Instructional Technology.  He is certified in basic and advanced veterinary life support as well as being a certified BLS/ALS instructor.

    Ryan has served as a consultant to the NASPHV’s Compendium of Veterinary Standard Precautions for Zoonotic Disease Prevention in Veterinary Personnel, has spoken at numerous state and national veterinary conferences, published several articles in peer reviewed veterinary journals, and is the co-editor and contributing author of Exotic Animal Medicine for the Veterinary Technician, currently in its 3rd edition.

    Ryan is a member of NAVTA, GVTAA, VECCS, and ACVECCTN.  He served on the Executive Board of the GVTAA for 10 years and currently serves as a mentor to veterinary technicians wanting to achieve diplomat status in ACVECCTN.

    His interests in veterinary medicine includes toxicology, transfusion medicine, the application of human nursing theories and strategies to veterinary patients, non-diet related environmental enrichment in captive exotic animals, and the relationship between captive feeding techniques/nutrition and wild feeding behaviors/diets in birds and reptiles.  With regards to education, Ryan has an interest in assessing student achievement in clinical settings and non-traditional methods of student assessment.

  • Jessica Sewell, RVT

    Jessica graduated from Gwinnett Technical College with her Associates in Veterinary Technology in 2003.  In 2011, she earned her Bachelors in Veterinary Technology (cum laude) with a combined focus of clinical practice and hospital management from Florida’s St. Petersburg College.  Jessica has been a part of the VCA family since 2005 having spent time in emergency, specialty, and general practices.  Before her current role, she was a Hospital Technician and Assistant Supervisor, Hospital Manager, and Regional Technician and Assistant Supervisor.  She is currently the Group Technician and Assistant Development Supervisor for the South Atlantic group (GA, NC, SC, TN, FL, KY, VA, KS, IN, IL).  Besides VCA, Jessica has worked at Auburn University in Auburn, AL as an ICU Supervisor in the Small Animal Teaching Hospital and as adjunct faculty at a local technical college for their Veterinary Technology Program.  She has been a speaker at various veterinary conferences and continuing education programs and continues to enjoy these engagements.  Jessica currently serves on the executive board of the Georgia Veterinary Technician & Assistants Association (GVTAA) as their Vice President; she is the immediate past President as well as a previous Fall Continuing Education Conference Coordinator and Editor.  Jessica is a member of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) and has served on one of their committees.  Jessica was one of five veterinary technicians that served on the American Animal Hospital Association’s (AAHA) Veterinary Technicians Board Input Group.  Also certified in Florida, she is a member of the Florida Veterinary Medical Association.  Jessica’s special interests include emergency and critical care, practice management, and public speaking and instruction.

  • Maggie LiPuma, DVM

    Dr. Li Puma is a current rotating intern in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at the University of Georgia. She completed her undergraduate work and DVM degree at Colorado State University. She was a technician for the Ophthalmology service at Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital throughout veterinary school. She will be starting a three-year residency in Comparative Ophthalmology at the University of Georgia in 2020.

  • Amanda Coleman, DVM, DACVIM

    Mandy Coleman is an Assistant Professor of Cardiology at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Florida and completed both her rotating internship and residency in cardiology at North Carolina State University. She joined UGA in 2011 after completion of her residency.

  • Ashley McGaha, RVTg, VTS

    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.

  • Damion Asselin, RVT, VTS

    Damion Asselin graduated from St. Petersburg College in 2010 with a BAS in veterinary technology and received his VTS accreditation from the Academy of Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Technicians and Nurses in 2017. He has worked in the Emergency & Critical Care unit at the UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital since 2012.

  • Juliet Armstrong, DVM

    Originally from Connecticut, Juliet Armstrong, completed her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Connecticut. She went on to obtain her DVM in 2015 from The Ohio State University, where she became involved in a neurology research program focused on canine caudal cervical spondylomyelopathy. She then completed her rotating internship at UGA, and then spent time at a specialty neurology practice in New Mexico before returning to UGA to complete a specialty internship in Emergency and Critical Care. As the second year Neurology Resident at UGA, she enjoys medical neurology and neurologic emergencies. In her free time she enjoys spending early mornings at the gym, tap dance, and hanging out with her two dogs: a Labrador named Rhubarb and a Doberman named NeNe.


Additional Information

This conference offers 16 hours of continuing education, which includes 2 hours of LEAP. Each day provides 8 hours, which includes 1 hour of LEAP.


This conference is offered in partnership with the GVTAA.

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