Malaspina B.Sc. grad, Dianna Saam, attains Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

November 29, 2001 - 4:00pm

Malaspina University-College’s faculty of science and technology are proud of Dianna Saam, Bachelor of Science graduate, 1996.

Following her studies at Malaspina, Saam continued on to graduate from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (W.C.V.M.) this year and now can use “Doctor of Veterinary Medicine” behind her name. Having attained this difficult to achieve distinction makes her one of Malaspina University-College’s most successful graduates.

Saam, 28, was born and raised in Nanaimo and graduated from Malaspina University-College with a B.Sc. degree in 1996. She then attended W.C.V.M. in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and graduated with distinction and was awarded the W.C.V.M. faculty’s Gold Medal. She is currently working on an internship at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph.

Saam will decide next year whether to spend a year in private practice, or enter a three-year residency program to specialize.

Tim Goater, chair of the Biology department at Malaspina, says whatever career path Dianna chooses her success is guaranteed.

“Given the rigors of getting into veterinary medicine in Canada she is probably our most successful graduate,” says Goater.

“All of the teachers who taught Dianna at Malaspina are proud of her accomplishments and especially her graduation from the College of Veterinary Medicine.

“While at Malaspina, Dianna consistently demonstrated a drive for excellence and a phenomenal work ethic,” adds Goater. “It was always clear that her passion was for a career in veterinary medicine, probably stemming from a life-long devotion to horses and dogs.  I knew Dianna would make an extraordinary veterinarian. She’s exceptional in every way.”

Dianna attended Rutherford Elementary School and then Wellington Secondary, before entering the Bachelor of Science program at Malaspina.

“Initially, I planned two years at Malaspina, and felt I would go to the University of Victoria or University of B.C. but then Malaspina started it’s four year degree program in Sciences,” explains Dianna.

 “It made sense to complete my degree locally. I was working part time at Harmac and had horses. Plus, I was very happy with the program at Malaspina. We had excellent instructors who were supportive and cared where you were heading career wise.”

Dianna says she benefited greatly from weekly lab time and the smaller class sizes at Malaspina.

 “I’m sure there would have been far fewer lab components had I transferred at a larger institution,” she says.

Goater says Malaspina instructors enjoy getting to know all of their students during the last two years of their degree programs.

“It is a luxury we enjoy as teachers, and the students certainly appreciate our open door policies, the small class sizes and the hands-on opportunities they get in the labs and in the field,” said Goater.

 “We are very proud of the success of our graduating students. It’s the most satisfying part of my job.”

Goater adds that Dianna’s acceptance into vet school on her first application is quite a coup considering that each year, there are only 15 places for B.C. students and hundreds of applicants.

There are four veterinary medicine colleges in Canada - Saskatoon, Guelph, Prince Edward Island and an all-French program in Montreal.

Dianna’s parents, Margaret and Harry Saam, are also extremely proud of their daughter’s perseverance at completing nine years of post-secondary education.

“Dianna has worked hard to get this far, but she’s proven that if you set your goals high and work hard, you can achieve them,” says Margaret Saam.


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