NAVTA Honors Student Advisor & Student Chapter of the Year

For Immediate Release

August 24, 2021 – Bridgewater, NJ. The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) recently named Northwood Technical College (formerly Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College) and Meri DuRand, CVT, RLATG as its Student Chapter and Student Advisor of the Year, respectively, for the 2020-2021 academic year.

NAVTA has more than 100 student chapters across the United States at AVMA-accredited Veterinary Technician schools. Chapters enable students to gain valuable experience, learn from seasoned professionals, and experience being a part of a vibrant group that is highly engaged in community service. Each of those chapters is led by credentialed Veterinary Technician who has a passion for shaping the profession’s future by helping form the next generation of Veterinary Technicians.

Every year, NAVTA recognizes the outstanding work of one Student Chapter and one Student Chapter Advisor, both of which are nominated by the members and leaders of the Chapters.

Advisor of the Year

Meri DuRand, CVT, RLATG, the advisor of the Dakota County Technical College Student Chapter of NAVTA, is this year’s Advisor of the Year.

The Dean of the program wrote in his nomination that Meri “worked tirelessly to promote the field of veterinary technology, despite the significant challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. She spearheaded activities to increase SCNAVTA membership among the program’s large student population, which is predicted to surpass 200 in the upcoming academic year. She emphasized the need to build a sense of community among the members at the same time that she led numerous efforts aimed at giving back to the greater community.”

The Dean further wrote that Meri displays all of the best qualities of an excellent technical educator: “a passion for her profession, a devotion to sharing her knowledge with others, and a high expectation that her students will take their roles seriously. She also understands her crucial role in providing the field of veterinary medicine a future workforce of the highest integrity and skill.”

Chapter of the Year

Northwood Technical College earned this year’s Student Chapter of the Year Award.

The chapter’s advisor, in submitting the nomination, noted that despite the challenges of the past year, the Chapter and its leaders never lost sight of its mission nor lost its drive to help, support, and serve its community.

When volunteering was put on hold and classes moved to online instruction, this chapter refocused its efforts on providing support to the students in its program. The chapter partnered second-year cohorts with first-year cohorts to help provide mentorship. They also provided “Welcome back” bags once they could come back to campus for in-person instruction.

And, they registered and paid for any student wanting to participate in the state’s vet tech association convention to help promote lifelong learning.

The leaders of this chapter also made it a priority to participate in Student Senate meetings and activities. In doing so, they not only raised money for their own chapter but for a local animal rescue/shelter and the state’s Bassett Rescue program.

NAVTA congratulates and thanks Meri DuRand and the Northwood Technical College Student Chapter for their outstanding service to the Veterinary Technician profession!

NAVTA is a dynamic community of credentialed veterinary technicians dedicated to advancing the profession of veterinary nursing through advocacy, awareness, and professional development. Learn about NAVTA at