Who We Are

The Special Species Symposium is run by the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine’s Zoo and Wildlife Society (ZAWS).  We are all veterinary students with an interest in exotic, aquatic, and wildlife species.

Victoria Albano (’21) – Special Species Symposium Chief Coordinator

Hi Everyone! I graduated from Cornell in 2015 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science, and after taking some time off, I am currently a second year at the vet college. I am very much interested in zoological medicine in collaboration with conservation medicine and education. It has been a pleasure to plan the Symposium this year with the ZAWS team, and I’m very excited for the event in March. Any questions, please feel free to email me at vra23@cornell.edu.

Daniel Foley (’21) – President of ZAWS and Dining Chair

Born and raised in the beautiful rollings hills outside Charlottesville, Virginia, I attended UVA for my undergraduate, and I was thrilled to come to Cornell for veterinary school. The university’s opportunities and education in Wildlife Health and Conservation Medicine were certainly the major draw. I’m particularly passionate about conservation efforts in the interface between livestock and wildlife, and how such issues impact human health and the management of ecosystem resources.

Carmen Smith (’21) – Speakers Chair

I am a Cornell alum from the suburbs of Chicago who plans to pursue a career in zoo and wildlife pathology. I am interested in wildlife and public health, and hope to work at the intersection of disease and conservation.



Kwamina Otseidu (’21) – Wet Lab Chair 1

I am a graduate from Michigan state with a B.S. in Environmental biology/Zoology and a B.S. in Environmental biology/Plant Biology, and am the acting Aquatic representative of ZAWS. My interests are in fish and aquatic invertebrates, their relation to human and ecological health, and fish pathology.

Alexandra Prado (’21) – Wet Lab Chair 2

I am the Small Mammal Representative of ZAWS and one of the Wet Lab Coordinators for the Special Species Symposium. I am interested in zoological medicine, especially in the junction of conservation medicine and public health concerns.




Lesley Chiu (’21) – Welcome Banquet Coordinator

I graduated from Brooklyn College with a B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Anthropology. I am interested in wildlife and public health and would like to contribute to causes that bridge the two fields.



Jonathan Gorman (’21) – Website Chair

I graduated Cornell with a B.S. in Biological Sciences only to return to Cornell to pursue a degree in veterinary medicine.  ZAWS attracted me because I am interested in learning about the health, welfare, and conservation of exotic species. I also run the WildLIFE blog which publishes student articles about wildlife health.  You can contact me at jbg273@cornell.edu.

Holland Dulcet (’21) – Public Relations Chair

I attended Stony Brook University for undergrad and am thrilled to be with Cornell’s CVM. After graduating I hope to combine clinical wildlife/zoo work and conservation research. hdb38@cornell.edu



Summer Scheibel (’21) – Housing Chair

My path to vet med began after learning about veterinary public health during undergrad at my alma mater, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where I graduated with a BS in Public Health. Upon graduation from Cornell CVM I hope to find a career that fulfills my passion for wildlife medicine, conservation, public health education, and epidemiology.


Christopher Payne (’21) – Volunteer Coordinator

Originally from Oklahoma, I graduated from Boston University in 2017 with a degree in Marine Science. I plan to use that foundation to pursue a career in aquatic animal medicine, ideally marine mammal rehabilitation and aquarium medicine.



Jennifer Fan (’21) – Fundraising Chair

I am a graduate of the University of Southern California with a major in biology and a minor in music. I am interested in birds, cats and research and am interested in wildlife especially from a conservation genetics perspective.


Dr. Noha Abou-Madi – Faculty Advisor to ZAWS

I am a graduate of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Montréal.  I specialized in veterinary anesthesiology and in zoological medicine at the University of Florida.  I worked at Silver Springs Inc. in Ocala, Fl. and at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Fl as a staff veterinarian.  In 1996 I moved to Ithaca, NY and joined the staff of Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine, in the Section of Zoological Medicine.  Along with teaching and clinical work at the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center and the Rosamond Gifford Zoo I am developing collaborative work and opportunities in Costa Rica.  My main research interest is in clinical research and the investigations of the elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses.

Special thanks to Laura Donohue (’22) and Jonathan Gorman (’21) for designing the logo.