Award Winners

NAVTA’s Veterinary Technician of the Year
Melissa Entrekin, LVT, VTS (ECC)

Melissa has been a NAVTA member since 2013 and has 22 years of clinical experience in ECC and more than five years of experience as a Veterinary Technician Educator.

She is passionate about the career opportunities for veterinary technicians and is eager to share knowledge with students and fellow veterinary technicians.

In nominating her, her colleagues wrote:

“She is 100% devoted to our profession.  She is not only a vet tech educator full-time, but she spends the majority of her free time advocating for LVTs in the state.  She drives several hours to attend a veterinary board meeting as a rep for NAVTA and as the President of the state Veterinary Technician association.  There isn’t a day that goes by that she isn’t doing something to benefit and advance the profession.”

In assessing the nominee, the judges noted that Melissa was extremely active in state regulatory matters and had a tremendous positive impact in this area, testifying at several state Veterinary Medical Board meetings.

The judges also noted her high level of engagement in her state association as President and in NAVTA as a District Representative and committee member.  They also commended her for her involvement in AAHA, VECCS, AVTEA, and the state’s educator’s association.

She clearly has a lot of energy and is extremely well organized to do all of that!

NAVTA is proud to announce that the 2021 Veterinary Technician of the Year is Melissa Entrekin, LVT, VTS (ECC) of Piedmont Technical College

Congratulations Melissa!!


NAVTA’s Student Chapter of the Year (2021-2022 Academic Year)
Foothill College

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

Despite having only virtual meetings, the Chapter creates an engaging and inclusive environment by incorporating activities such as a member/pet Halloween costume contest, Secret Snowbuddy gift exchange, a pajama party, and “who’s wearing the most green?” contest.

The Chapter has been fundraising to support its members’ academic and professional goals while making meaningful community contributions. See’s Candies, Pizza My Heart, logowear, Littmann stethoscopes, and Nurse Pro Pack fundraisers were successful, and the specialized Vet Tech Appreciation Week pins were a big hit.

The Chapter also organized a CPR training course for students and reopened a donation-based snack shop on campus to assist students struggling with food insecurity.

In December, they hosted a pet supply drive, collecting over five cartloads of donations for a local SPCA.

To enhance student education and networking beyond the classroom, the Chapter had behind-the-scenes tours at the local SPCA and at nearby zoos.

Chapter Members are also encouraged to volunteer and intern at local shelters and rescue centers, made easier by our Advisor’s connections at all of these places. They also participate in the biannual Small Animal Surgery Day to gain exposure to surgical assistance and anesthesia skills necessary for a Veterinary Technician.

Congratulations to Foothill College, SCNAVTA Chapter of the Year!


NAVTA’s Student Chapter Advisor of the Year (2021-2022 Academic Year)

Jennifer Smith, RVT, RLATG, the Advisor of the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine Student Chapter of NAVTA, is this year’s Advisor of the Year.

In the nomination form, the chapter leaders wrote: “Our Chapter Advisor is incredible! For the past year or so, she has struggled with various health issues and, for a while, was even dependent on supplemental oxygen. Despite this, she never faltered. She teaches classes, helps organize our SCNAVTA club meetings, plans activities, organizes VTNE review sessions, and arranges networking activities such as Lunch and Learns.”

The nomination continued:  “Our Advisor has drastically enriched countless lives of those in the Veterinary Nursing program. She always makes herself accessible to us and is always ready and willing to answer questions. She is always available to talk to when we need help.”

The nomination concluded: “Our Advisor’s tireless effort to support students has allowed us to learn and develop as future veterinary nurses. Her dedication, kindness, and perseverance have made her an irreplaceable SCNAVTA advisor and a valued member of our community.”

Congratulations, Jennifer Smith, SCNAVTA Advisor of the Year!