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veterinary technology

GCC announces Stephanie Ortel as new director of veterinary technology

By Press Release

Press Release:

Photo of Stephanie Ortel,
courtesy of Genesee Community College

Genesee Community College is excited to announce the appointment of Stephanie Ortel, LVT as the new director of Veterinary Technology. With a proven track record of leadership and expertise in the field, Stephanie brings a wealth of experience that will contribute to the continued growth and success of the college's Veterinary Technology program.

Stephanie is a Western New York native. She graduated from Medaille College with an AS in Veterinary Technology in 1999 and a BS in Veterinary Technology in 2005. Throughout her career her area of veterinary medicine has focused on pain management and physical rehab therapy for dogs and cats. 

Stephanie earned a MS in Adult Education from Buffalo State College in 2018. She started as an adjunct instructor at GCC in 2016 and then became a full-time instructor in 2021.

Stephanie expressed her excitement about joining Genesee Community College,stating, "As program director, I hope to continue the tradition passed from Dr. Carrie Caccamise of a highly regarded vet tech program. The Vet Tech department is committed to producing quality graduates ready to enter the workforce."

GCC Vet Tech seniors spent spring break at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo

By Billie Owens

Press release:

As Genesee Community College's director of Veterinary Technology, Carrie Caccamise seeks to expose her students to as many facets of the profession as possible. Students in the program work with animals of all sizes in the current curriculum, but they have little exposure to marine life or zoo animals.

"While at a conference last summer, I voiced this concern to a colleague," Caccamise said. "He suggested that I reach out to Ray Ball at the Tampa Zoo, so I did."

Ball, director of Medical Services at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida, welcomed Caccamise and her students to travel down to the Sunshine State and observe the zoo's day-to-day dealings with its resident animals during the College's spring break from March 12-19. After a flurry of fundraising, Caccamise and a group of eight GCC seniors flew to Tampa to begin the week-long, behind-the-scenes observation and experience that was a first for the College's Vet Tech program.

"Though the students were unable to restrain or perform procedures due to safety concerns, they were still able to learn a great deal as the veterinarians and veterinary technicians explained everything they did and patiently answered all of our questions," Caccamise said.

While at the Tampa Zoo, the students observed exams and treatments on many animals including a penguin, a two-toed sloth, a spur fowl, white and black rhinos, a pig, tortoises, a screech owl and elephants. Animals used in the Zoo's outreach program including armadillos, tortoises and pythons had wellness exams performed during the week. The exams involved anesthesia, radiographs, ultrasound exams and blood draws. Since these animals are not as friendly as most dogs and cats, the students were able to observe the different techniques for handling and administration of anesthesia during the examinations.

When the students were asked to summarize their experiences, these were among statements they shared: "It was a once in a life time experience." "The vets and technicians were extremely friendly. Even the zookeepers were very helpful in teaching us." "It was an awesome trip. Dr. Ball was so friendly and open to helping us learn." "Mind blowing experience!" 

The students also took a trip to the Florida Aquarium to observe exams on horseshoe crabs, eels, stingrays, otters and sea turtles, and a stop at the Marine Mammal Pathobiology Lab to see necropsies on two manatees.

"We were all very impressed with the amount of data collection that occurs in zoos such as the Lowry Park Zoo," Caccamise said. "The data collected is what helps the animals' counterparts in the wild stay healthy."

Housed at the Lowry Park Zoo is a manatee hospital, one of few sites in Florida that rehabilitate injured or sick manatees. During their stay, GCC's vet tech students also witnessed the treatment of an injured female manatee and her calf. Since adult manatees can weigh up to 1,200 pounds, the students saw the difficult process of getting the animals from the truck they were transported in, to the tank where they will live during their rehabilitation. They also witnessed the end result of the process, experiencing the release of a manatee that was rehabilitated at the hospital and deemed healthy enough to return to the wild.

The group received funding for the trip from Academic Innovations at GCC which contributed $1,000 and the Christina Salvador Scholarship Fund, which pitched in $500. Funds were also raised through the Vet Tech Club at the College and each student did their part to help pay for the trip.

Information sessions on vet tech program offered at Genesee Community College

By Billie Owens

Press release:

Students interested in a career caring for animals can learn more about the details of Genesee Community College's Veterinary Technology program during information sessions on the Batavia campus next month.

The college will host two meetings to introduce incoming students, as well as those still in high school and the general public, to the exciting possibilities of a career as a veterinary technician. Both sessions will be held Thursday, April 5.

Meetings will take place in the Conable Technology Building, Room T119, from 12:30 to 2 p.m., and from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Among topics that will be discussed:

  • Careers in veterinary technology
  • The application and admissions process
  • Academic requirements
  • Program prerequisites
  • Degree and licensure
  • Frequently asked questions

For more information, contact program Director Kathryn Seweryniak at 343-0055, ext. 6187, or via email at

Info session planned for GCC's vet tech program

By Billie Owens

Press release:

Anyone who loves animals and is considering a veterinary career should mark Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 at Genesee Community College on the calendar.

The Veterinary Technology program of Genesee Community College will be holding an information session at the Batavia campus from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Conable Technology Building, room T102, followed by a special presentation of "The Reptile Guys" at noon in the Forum.

The "two-legged" program allows attendees to first learn about careers in Veterinary Technology, the value and benefits of GCC's new Vet Tech program, and a fitting opportunity to enjoy a reptile show featuring local experts in the field of ectothermic vertebrates.

The Veterinary Technology program is one of the newest degrees added to GCC's curricula, and recently introduced a cooperative agreement with the Genesee County Animal Shelter to include a wealth of hands-on learning opportunities.

The information session will explain the two year curriculum careers available after graduation, NY state licensure requirements, and the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE). Understanding GCC's application and admissions process, as well as the academic requirements and program pre-requisites will also be covered.

"The Reptile Guys," Gary and Scott, own a pet shop in Spencerport and have been refining their reptile show for the past nine years. They include all types of reptiles in their shows such as pythons, boa constrictors, alligators and many types of lizards providing a "fun, hands-on, experience for both children and adults." They not only introduce numerous reptiles, but also educate attendees on the best care for them.

GCC's Vet Tech students learn about veterinary nutrition, pharmacy, pharmacology, surgical nursing and anesthesiology pertaining to animal care, as well as general studies such as communication and mathematics. The cooperative agreement with the Genesee County Animal Shelter provides students with hands-on training in clinical and agricultural settings.

Under the extensive oversight of GCC's Vet Tech program, second-year students enrolled in the College's Veterinary Technology program work alongside the staff and volunteers at the Animal Shelter located on West Main Street in Batavia.

The agreement is beneficial to students and also the inhabitants of the Genesee County Animal Shelter as GCC students aid in most facets of the shelter's daily operation including such as feeding, cleaning, and kennel duty, as well as reception, client education, transport and record keeping.

They also work closely with the on-duty licensed veterinary technologist or veterinarian in checking vital signs, collecting and processing of blood and fecal samples, ear cleaning, administering medications, and diagnostic testing.

The program is overseen by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) which ensures each and every procedure is documented, follows appropriate animal protocol and that the facilities are inspected a minimum of two times a year. The shelter is also inspected by the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA/ APHIS).

Genesee students do not perform animal experiments of any kind. All animals cared for by GCC students are supervised by a NYS licensed veterinarian and licensed veterinary technician, each with more than 20 years of veterinary clinical experience.

For further information, please contact Kathy Seweryniak at 343-0055, ext. 6187, or

For further information on The Reptile Guys, go to:

GCC names first director of new vet tech program

By Billie Owens

Genesee Community College has named Kathryn Seweryniak, of Batavia, as director of Veterinary Technology. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in animal and biomedical science to the college's new academic program.

Seweryniak comes to Genesee from a successful nine-year tenure at the University of Rochester as a technical associate in the Environmental Medicine/Lung Biology and Disease program.

Previously, she served as a licensed veterinary technician in several small and large animal clinics. Her academic career started at Medaille College where she was an adjunct faculty member in the Veterinary Science/Laboratory Animal technology program.

She has also instructed at SUNY Delhi and in Purdue University's Large Animal Teaching Hospital. Seweryniak previously served on the NYS Board for Veterinary Medicine, and currently is a member of the NYS Association of Veterinary Technicians.

She earned an associate's degree in Veterinary Science Technology/ Laboratory Animal Science from SUNY Delhi, a bachelor's degree from Medaille College in Liberal Studies/ Veterinary Science Technology and a master's degree in Natural Science (Epidemiology/Oncology) from SUNY Buffalo in the Roswell Park Graduate Studies program.

In addition to her degree work, she has also been extensively published in the areas of platelet research, COX-2 inhibitors, prostaglandins, Graves eye disease, cigarette smoke-induced lung inflammation and cancer research.

Seweryniak officially joined the Genesee faculty earlier this month. For further information contact Michael Stoll, associate vice president for Academic Affairs/dean of Math Science and Career Education at 343-0055, ext. 6326.

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