The CVMA Student Leadership Award, instituted in 1966, consists of a plaque and a monetary award presented annually to a 3rd-year veterinary student at each of the Canadian veterinary colleges. The recipient is selected by their classmates based on their leadership and achievement in student affairs. 

Meet the 2023 CVMA Student Leadership Award recipients:

Jamye MacWilliam

Jamye MacWilliam is a fourth year veterinary student at the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC). Jamye has been heavily involved in student activities since her first year at AVC and is incredibly thankful to her classmates for selecting her for this award.

Jamye was born in Montreal, but has called Prince Edward Island home for the past 11 years. Jamye developed her strong work ethic and leadership skills at a non-profit organization called Parkside Ranch in Orford, Quebec where her love for horses and veterinary medicine grew. At Parkside Ranch, Jamye learned to lead with a strong heart and open mind and she has continued this in all her leadership roles.

Jamye completed a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology at the University of Prince Edward Island and her master's in Health Management at the Atlantic Veterinary College. After graduate school Jamye started her veterinary studies and has loved being a vet student. Jamye’s class, the Class of 2024, is filled with wonderful, kind, and knowledgeable people that Jamye is grateful know. She also has had the privilege of being involved in the close-knit community of the AVC through being President of the Society of Atlantic Veterinary Students, and being involved in her class executive and other clubs.

Jamye plans on practicing Large Animal Medicine after graduation and in her spare time she enjoys training her horse, hiking with her dog and baking.

Frédérique Massicotte

Frédérique Massicotte is an academic delegate and class representative for the students in their third year of the DVM program at the Faculté de médecine vétérinaire, Université de Montréal (FMV), and feels honored to work with the students and the members of the student union!

Frédérique is always listening to her colleagues, who put their trust in her to put forward their opinions and ideas to the faculty and the student union.

She is also co-president of the Animal Welfare Student Committee (CEBA), in which she is fully devoted in the development of several projects since 2020 to revive this committee which is dear to her.

Frédérique has worked tirelessly on a project of sponsorship involving the veterinary students and the dogs from the colony of animals used in teaching activities, for the beagles to have more stimulations and she is currently working on a long-term activities program of enrichment for each animal species housed at the veterinary school.   

Her involvement demonstrates a lot of leadership, especially in her promotion and in the CEBA, where she can find new ideas and to make sure that everyone can share their opinion on each proposition. She is greatly involved in her promotion and in student life, allowing several hours per week throughout the school year, which according to her is worth it because the students appreciate it!

Frédérique wishes to thank the CVMA for this generous award. For Frédérique, the CVMA Student Leadership Award represents a real boost and gives her the motivation to continue her involvement in the student community!

Justin Peralta

Justin Peralta, is a fourth year student at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) where he serves as Co-President of his class. Fellowship amongst his peers is a major priority for him. Justin’s main goals as Co-President has always been promoting inclusivity and being a voice for his classmates.

Over the past two years, he has volunteered with the Kim and Stu Lang Community Healthcare Partnership Program (CHPP) by attending clinics where they provide access to care in communities that are historically underrepresented. Justin is tremendously honoured to have been voted for by his peers for this award on the basis of his leadership.

During his time at OVC, he received the OVCAA Spirit Prize and the OVC 1996 Legacy Scholarship. Both awards are given based on a vote by his peers and recognize his leadership roles and involvement in his class.

Upon graduation in April, Justin plans to pursue a career in small animal medicine with a focus in primary care and community medicine. He looks forward to working on providing care to all members of his future community. He has a passion for representation and providing a spectrum of care.

Justin is eager to use what he has learned thus far to help bridge the gaps in access to veterinary medicine.

Katie Jones

Katie Jones is a third year veterinary student at the University of Calgary — Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM). She is passionate about leadership and being an active and positive part of her community.

Katie graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of Calgary in 2021, wherein she completed a study abroad program associated with the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and a research thesis in Coho Salmon genetics. Now in her DVM journey, she has been elected as the Class of 2025 President for the past three years and is an executive member of many clubs, including the Small Animal Club and the Ecosystem and Public Health Club.

Katie enjoys being involved in education and outreach events, including at the Calgary Stampede and University of Calgary Open Houses, where she can help foster early connections among individuals interested in veterinary medicine. She pursues opportunities to further her clinical learning, including working at a small animal emergency and referral center, volunteering at spay/neuter and wildlife clinics, and participating in externship programs within multiple specialties.

After graduation, she aims to pursue a small animal rotating internship and hopes her veterinary career will take her around the world helping communities, domestic animals, and local wildlife wherever she goes. Her interests are varied, and she is excited to explore the many diverse fields of veterinary medicine after graduation.

Outside of veterinary medicine, Katie enjoys traveling the world, horse riding, scuba diving, acting, and hiking in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Katie is grateful to her family and colleagues for supporting her in her pursuit of leadership and sincerely thanks her peers and the CVMA community for this award. 

Kiri Ashley

Kiri Stephenson is a fourth year student at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) in Saskatoon. She is originally from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, but completed her Bachelor of Science at the University of British Columbia. Starting during her youth in the North, she has been involved in academic and extracurricular student representation in various organizations, and this has continued during her time at the WCVM.

Kiri finds she is best suited in liaison-type roles as a student representative. She is a Student-Teacher Educational Progress Committee Representative for the Class of 2024, and was the Curriculum Committee’s Student Representative in the past academic year. She is also one of the Sustainability Representatives for her Class, and was involved as an executive member and organizer in both the Western Canadian Veterinary Students’ Association and WCVM’s Vet-A-Vision open-house this past academic year. She has been an executive member for the Production Animal Club and the Wildlife Disease Association at WCVM across multiple years.

In time away from academics and representative roles, Kiri can be found between the posts as goaltender for the WCVM Women’s Recreational Hockey Team – two-time back-to-back champions of their division at the University of Saskatchewan. She also enjoys various other active pursuits like cycling and weightlifting, and rounds out her hobbies with knitting and podcast listening (avidly).

Kiri is excited to be starting her career as a large animal veterinarian in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia following graduation, and looks forward to continuing to represent the veterinary community wherever possible. She is grateful to her classmates for their selection of her for this CVMA Student Leadership Award at WCVM, and is always happy to represent and support them.