Veterinary School Signs Affiliation Agreement with International Fund for Animal Welfare

Agreement to enhance international, domestic opportunities for disaster response, conservation

North Grafton, Mass.—The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University tomorrow will sign a memorandum of understanding with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW; that will encourage collaborative research, teaching and student opportunities between New England’s only veterinary school and the internationally recognized group dedicated to assisting animals in crisis.

The signing ceremony will take place on the Cummings School campus in North Grafton on Tuesday, September 20, at 3 pm near the school’s Bernice Barbour Wildlife Building and the Center for Animals and Public Policy. Media are welcome.
The agreement, to be signed by Cummings School Dean Deborah T. Kochevar, DVM, PhD, and Azzedine Downes, IFAW’s executive vice president, acknowledges mutual areas of interest between the Cummings School and IFAW and lays out intentions to work together and to share training opportunities for staff and students. 
“This agreement between the Cummings School and IFAW is the solidification of a productive relationship that has been in place for years,” said Cummings School Dean Dr. Kochevar. “By identifying areas of collaboration, we hope to promote mutual research, education and student opportunities, and, ultimately, improve animal welfare throughout the world.”
Several Cummings School students already have worked on IFAW-sponsored projects, including elephant rehabilitation in India, raptor rescue and rehabilitation in China, and improving community dog and cat welfare in Mexico and Native American reservations in the United States.
Additionally, IFAW representatives teach in the Cummings School’s curricula, both for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program and the school’s Master of Science in Animals and Public Policy program. For example, Kate N. Atema, the organization’s program director for companion animals, teaches the qualitative methods class within the Animals and Public Policy curriculum.
IFAW, one of the world's most respected animal welfare organizations, is headquartered in Yarmouth, Massachusetts.  With more than 1.2 million supporters worldwide, IFAW works to engage communities, government leaders, and like-minded organizations around the world and to achieve lasting solutions to pressing animal welfare and conservation challenges for dogs and cats, wildlife and their habitats, and animals in crisis.
“This is one of the country’s most esteemed veterinary schools,” said Azzedine Downes, Executive Vice President, IFAW. “Our affiliation will allow IFAW to collaborate with some of the top vets and researchers on issues of domestic and international importance and serve as an additional resource, ensuring access to top veterinary training and standards.”
The international components of the partnership will enhance an already strong International Veterinary Medicine program at the Cummings School, a signature opportunity for veterinary students. The program, which consists of a core course, as well as electives, selectives, international experiences and a certificate program, has sent students to areas such as Nepal, South Africa, Bhutan, Indonesia, and Uganda.
For more information on the international programs at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, please visit
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About the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
Founded in 1978 in North Grafton, Mass., Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University is internationally esteemed for academic programs that impact society and the practice of veterinary medicine; three hospitals and two clinics that combined log more than 80,000 animal cases each year; and groundbreaking research that benefits animal, public, and environmental health.
About Tufts University
Tufts University, located on three Massachusetts campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville, and Grafton, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.


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