Officers

President: Kelsey Chereskin (2020)

Hello! My name is Kelsey Chereskin and I am your University of Illinois SAVMA Chapter president! I’m in the University of Illinois Class of 2020 and while I am thrilled to have had a successful first year at Vet Med, this is my fifth year here on campus! The University of Illinois is my alma mater and with that in mind I have a lot of Orange and Blue pride! If you have any question about vet med, the university, University of Illinois SAVMA Chapter or life in general, please feel free to reach out to me! My main interests within veterinary medicine are research directed in the wildlife, public health and conservation realms! My favorite animals are Elephants and Orcas and while I haven’t worked closely with either, I fully intent to at some point! Marine mammals are my favorite, but my German Shepherd, Schatzi and Quarter Horse, Ellie suffice for now! I also enjoy running, rock climbing, netflixing and napping! If you share any of these interest, come see me!

President Elect: Victoria McKaba

Hi everyone! My name is Victoria McKaba and I am a member of the class of 2021! I’m originally from New Jersey and completed my undergrad at the University of Miami! I live here with my year old Great Pyrenees mix Bentley and I grew up wanting to work with small animals and am now interested in specializing after vet school. Eventually I’d like to return home to the east coast! Aside from being the President-Elect, I am the Vice President of Omega Tau Sigma. In addition to school, I enjoy going to the gym, hiking, and sports. If you need anything please do not hesitate to contact me!

Vice President: Anita Kalonaros (2020)

Hello! My name is Anita and I am the Illinois Chapter of SAVMA Vice President! I am from Long Island, NY and completed my undergrad at Fordham University in New York City before making my way to the cornfields of Champaign. I grew up riding and competing on horses and I am (for the time being) interested in equine sports medicine, but also enjoy working with small animal friends! I plan to return to the East Coast after graduation and practice somewhere nearer to home! Outside of school, I enjoy reading, running (my first marathon in April 2018!), horseback riding, hiking – pretty much any outdoor activity!

 Secretary: Lauren Sammons (2020)

Hello! My name is Lauren Sammons and I am part of the Class of 2020. I am originally from a small town called Rensselaer, IN and received my Bachelor’s in Biology from Indiana University. I am interested in working in a mixed animal or food animal practice somewhere in the Midwest. In addition to being the ISCAVMA Secretary, I am also the Secretary of the Non-Traditional Species Club. I have a one year old short- haired tabby named Charlie who keeps me on my toes. When I’m not studying, I like to watch any sports game or spend time outside!

Treasurer: Sara Manzo (2020)

Hello! My name is Sara Manzo and I am the University of Illinois SAVMA Chapter treasurer. I am from Rochester, MI and I graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. I am pursuing a career in small animal medicine, but I also like the idea of working for a mixed animal practice. My two dogs, Allie & Abby, are back in the mitten state with my parents. Traveling, crafting, and spending time with my friends or family (or anything that does not involve studying) are some of my favorite things!!

Treasurer Elect: Jennifer Reilly (2021)

Hi! My name is Jennifer Reilly and I’m in the Class of 2021. I’m originally from Long Beach, CA. It’s a coastline city about 20 minutes south of Los Angeles. I graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a BA in Animal Science and I am interested in pursuing mixed animal medicine with a focus in surgery along with reproductive research. In addition to being the Illinois Chapter of the SVMA’s Treasurer-Elect, I am also the Treasurer-Elect of PMC, the Master of Ceremonies for OTS, and the Class of 2021 Zoetis Student Representative. In my free time, I love working out, spending time with friends, and of course, sleeping!

Philanthropy Chair: Gabrielle Riccio (2020)

Hello! My name is Gaby and I am a member of the Class of 2020. I received my degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Animal Science. My career interests include emergency and critical care with some anesthesiology in the mix! I am so excited to be your next philanthropy chair. I absolutely love volunteering but I also love going to the gym, binge watching Netflix, reading, and of course my cat Shaggy! I can’t wait to get to know more of you!

Fundraising Chair: Candice Barath (2020)

Fundraising Co-Chair: Evelyn Royther

Hi! I am Evelyn Royther and while I am originally from the Chicago area I have lived in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. I attended Rhodes College for undergrad where I majored in biology and minored in environmental science and BBQ tasting. While I love small animal practice, who knows where veterinary medicine will take me. Outside of school I love to be outside and spend time with my dog Spud!

Webmaster: Cassie Atkinson (2020)

Hey there everyone! My name is Cassie and I am the current University of Illinois SAVMA Chapter webmaster. I am originally from Roselle, IL and I went to undergrad at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville and graduated with a degree in animal science. I am proud to say, I am a crazy cat lady. I have three cats: Ruby, Buttons, and Zira whom I spend a lot of my free time with. I am interested in feline medicine, shelter medicine, and exotic companion animals and hope to further my education in those fields.

 SAVMA Senior Delegate: Judson Smith (2020)

Hello, my name is Judson Smith and I am your University of Illinois SAVMA Chapter Senior Delegate. I’m originally from Boston, MA and I finished my Bachelor’s Degree in History back in 2010 from Bates College in Lewiston, ME. I am interested in pursuing small animal medicine, neurology, ophthalmology, and/or veterinary clinic ownership. In addition to being the SAVMA Jr. Delegate, I am also the current Vice President/President Elect for the Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA). I live in Savoy with my wife, my crazy lab mix, and two cats. When I am not studying I enjoy traveling with my wife, reading epic fantasy novels (I’m on my second time through a 14 book series), writing (I’m hoping to write my first novel this summer!), and cheering on my Boston sports teams! Feel free to seek me out for any questions or conversation about veterinary economics and clinic ownership, organized veterinary medicine, or an invigorating explanation about why Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time.

SAVMA Junior Delegate: Kirsten Andersson

Hi! My name is Kirsten Andersson, and I am the SAVMA Junior Delegate. I am from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Go Steelers!) and completed my undergrad at Purdue University. I am hoping to become a boarded zoo veterinarian because I am very passionate about exotic animal species and conservation. Being at the University of Illinois for vet school has given me so many opportunities to interact with wildlife and exotics, such as volunteering in the Wildlife Medical Clinic and working in the Wildlife Epidemiology Lab here at the vet school. For study breaks, I enjoy working out, reading, playing the piano and spending time with friends!

 Vet Med Senator: Sarah Reeves

IVSA Representative: Stephanie Hiefner

Hello! My name is Stephanie Hiefner and I am your University of Illinois International Veterinary Students Association (IVSA) representative! I’m in the University of Illinois CVM Class of 2021 and am from Dallas, Texas! I attended Texas Tech University and achieved a Bachelors degree in Animal Science and a minor in chemistry in 3 short years! I am hoping to become a board certified orthopedic surgeon for companion animals! Surgery has always been my interest, and I love to observe the detailed work our surgeons do to save lives! In my free time (when I’m not studying) I love to go on adventures with friends and my shepherd mix pup.

Class of 2017 Representative: Matthew Shockley

I am from Mechanicsville, Virginia, and I went to undergrad at James Madison University.  I pursued a master’s at Virginia Commonwealth and worked for a vaccine research company a few years after school.  This is the first time I have ever lived anywhere other than Virginia.  I am currently exploring all my options about what I can do as a DVM, but I am interested in infectious disease/epidemiology and the aspect of international travel.

Class of 2019 Representative: Jimmy Holtschlag 

Hey there, my name is Jimmy Holtschlag, the Class of 2019 Representative. I hail from the gem city, Quincy, IL. I earned my degree in Agriculture Science at Western Illinois University. My dream job now is to become an orthopedic surgeon/chiropractor, so who knows what will happen. I enjoy the outdoors and being able to walk away from the notes. I have a little beagle named Donny, who keeps me sane.

Class of 2020 Representative: Faisal Shabib

Hello, my name is Faisal Shabib, and I am the Class of 2020 Representative. I’m from Hanover Park, IL. I earned my degree in Biochemistry from University of Illinois at Chicago. My goal is to practice small animal and exotic medicine upon graduation, however I’m keeping my mind open to all possibilities. I have a dog named Frankie and a Ball Python named Snake, I’m fairly confident they’re not fond of one another. When I’m not studying, I enjoy spending time with family and friends…. and not studying.

Class of 2021 Representative: Andrew Groenewold

Hey everyone! My name is Andrew Groenewold. I am from Park Ridge, IL, which is a suburb of Chicago. I attended Augustana College, in Rock Island, IL. There, I received my Bachelor of Arts in Biology and was accepted to a coordinated degree program with the College of Veterinary Medicine here at U of I. My main goal in veterinary medicine is to become a board certified small animal veterinary surgeon. In my free time, I love exercising: lifting weights and playing soccer, specifically. My dog, Bailey, is a lab mix, and he knows best how to fuel my passion for veterinary medicine.
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