Exec Board


                   President: Emily Grzeda (2023)
I’ve been into reptiles and birds for as long as I can remember, and am currently aiming to be a zoologic pathologist following graduation. I run a small business, ReptiVet LLC, where I breed a number of under-studied reptile species and work to educate the public. I work in research and sales for VivTech Products, have done externships in various clinics, and have worked in several reptile facilities. I also care for the school’s cockatiel flock.

Fun fact: While it’s common knowledge that reptiles require UVB light, UVA light is just as important! Reptiles can SEE UVA (we cannot), so it completely alters their perception of us, each other, and their environment. It’s also important for serotonin regulation. That nice feeling you get when you step out into the sun? That’s UVA at work!


           President-elect: Fayth Kim (2024)
Originally from Vernon Hills, IL but did my undergrad and gap year in Rochester, NY. I really enjoy working with reptiles *insert “I like turtles” meme*. Interested in a zoo med or companion zoo med career. My roommates include my cat (Chalupa), leopard tortoise (Tortilla), and leopard gecko (Tangerine).

Fun fact: I’m 5′ tall on my good days!


               Treasurer: Drew Cadwell (2023)
Hi I’m Drew. I’ve lived in a few different countries but I graduated from high school in Williamsburg, VA. Then, I graduated from the University of Virginia in 2018. I’m interested in small animal and companion exotic animal medicine. I’m especially interested in feline and reptile medicine as well as anesthesia/analgesia. I loved volunteering at both the Hope Zoo in Jamaica, and working at the Wildlife Medical Clinic at University of Illinois.

Fun fact: I have a black cat named Sabrina


           Secretary: Rachel Angles (2023)
I am a third year veterinary student from Bloomington, IL with an interest in zoo and aquatic animal medicine. I am a team leader in the Wildlife Medical Clinic and also work in the Wildlife Epidemiology Lab at the University of Illinois.

Fun fact: I have never traveled by airplane!


    AAZV Chair: Carly Clark (2024)
I am from White Lake, MI. I want to work with zoo and/or wildlife as a future career. I have worked at a small animal/exotics private practice for the last 4 years and this summer I had the opportunity to participate in Turtle Team with the Wildlife Epidemiology Lab in Illinois and Tennessee this summer.

Fun fact: I am a dual citizen of the US and Australia.


            AEMV Chair: Kate Vanderslice (2023)
Hi, I’m Kate! I’m a third year interested in Zoo Companion Animal medicine and Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarian chair of NTS. I’m originally from northern California and was a field biology technician and Volunteer Coordinator for a non-profit wildlife rehabilitation organization in a previous life. These experiences made me fall in love with wildlife and started me down the vet med path. I’m excited to be part of NTS and look forward to bringing great learning experiences to everyone!

Fun fact: Virginia Opossums are the only marsupial native to North America!


               AAV Chair: Kayla LaDez (2023)
I’m from Tampa, Florida. My dream job is owning a small animal and zoo companion animal practice where I can always be surrounded by birds, reptiles, and exotic mammals. In vet school, I’ve spent my time learning about medicine and business, working with zoo companion animal veterinarians, volunteering at the Wildlife Medical Clinic, and conducting research as a member of the Wildlife Epidemiology Lab. My favorite part of being involved in the WEL was spending the last two summers performing health assessments on the Illinois state endangered Blanding’s turtle.

Fun fact: My favorite animal is the green sea turtle and I want to become scuba certified


             ARAV Chair: Brooke Dugan (2023)
I’m from a small town south of Chicago and changed my major to General Biology my second year of undergrad. My favorite species to work with are reptiles, especially snakes, but I’d like to work with all sorts of zoo animals. I’ve had the opportunity to work in a small private practice that sees the occasional exotic pet and wild turtle, but one of my favorite case I worked on before coming to U of I was a hit by car common snapping turtle that had mandibular, maxilla, and shell fractures. I work at the Vet Med South Clinic now with Primary Care and Zoo Med, so I’ve had a lot of opportunities to work with the Zoo Med House Officers and faculty. My favorite patients we see regularly are ferrets, and I’ve also been able to assist with parrots, guinea pigs, and rabbits. I’m a team leader for the Wildlife Medical Clinic where I’ve been able to handle and treat snapping turtles, bald eagles, and other birds of prey.

Fun fact: I have 6 snakes, a leopard gecko, and a dog at home, and I recently started collecting animal bones. I have coyote, bobcat, and beaver skulls, turtle shells, and almost an entire raccoon and cow skeleton so far.

                        Webmaster: Elle Donnelly (2023)
Originally from Long Island, NY, I’m still getting used to the freezing winds of the Midwest! As a child, you could always find me glued to the tv watching every program Animal Planet had to offer, with my favorites being “The Jeff Corwin Experience” and “Animal ER.” It is wild to me that I’ll soon be able to perform procedures on the same types of animals that my childhood idols did! I love all species, and am hoping to work in an all exotics practice after graduation. I enjoy the challenge and the different day-to-day offerings of this type of practice, and look forward to honing my skills!

Fun fact: A giraffe’s tongue can grow up to 21 inches long!!



    Aquatics Co-Chair: Alec Colosi (2022)


Aquatics Co-Chair: Colleen Elzinga (2022)


     Aquatics Co-Chair: Siobhan Meadows (2023)


          Aquatics Co-Chair: Ryan Patterson (2023)


               Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kenneth Welle