2020 – 2021 Executive Board
Christi Mela, President
Hi! My name is Christi and I am a junior from Chapel Hill, NC. I am primarily interested in wildlife and zoo medicine. I am majoring in Biology with a minor in Medieval and Renaissance studies. I enjoy running, hiking, piano, and playing with my adorable pit mix rescue, Dovah. Currently, I am a veterinary assistant at a small animal hospital and am working on a research project regarding urbanization and gray squirrel health. In the past, I have interned at Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center and Na’an Ku Se Wildlife Sanctuary, volunteered at Piedmont Wildlife Center and Duke Lemur Center, and shadowed at several small animal hospitals.
Alissa Kong, Vice President
Nia Williams, Treasurer
Nia is a sophomore from Maryland planning on majoring in International Comparative Studies, and double minoring in environmental science and film. She aspires to be a wildlife veterinarian, working in international conservation efforts. Outside of PVS, she is an exec member of Duke’s chapter of the NAACP and a volunteer at the Duke Puppy Kindergarten. Nia has three furry children: Mr. Kitty, the 18-year-old tuxedo cat; Mr. Fluffy, the 11-year-old shih tzu; and Rocky, the 3-year-old black lab. She hopes to adopt an aquatic animal one day, and is open to suggestions!
Hi! My name is Jordan Sokoloff and I’m a rising junior from Memphis, Tennessee. On campus I’m involved in Puppy Kindergarten, the club equestrian team, the Nowicki Lab, and the Koeberl Lab. In terms of vet experience, I have been involved with various equine vets in Memphis and in Raleigh, as well as small animal vets at Triangle Veterinary Hospital. From the experiences I’ve had with these vets, I’ve definitely become more interested in small animal medicine.
Hi! My name is Lizzy Fiepke and I am a junior from Charlotte, North Carolina. I am majoring in Biology with a minor in Russian language and chemistry. On campus, I volunteer with Duke Puppy Kindergarten, the puppies at the Koeberl lab, and work at the Duke Lemur Center. I would love to one day become a wildlife veterinarian and spent this past summer as an intern at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue in Northern California.
Dr. Bernie Fischer (firstname.lastname@example.org) , Pre-Vet Society Faculty Advisor
Dr. Fischer graduated from Emory University in 1984 with a BS in Biology and then went on to veterinary school at NC State University, College of Veterinary Medicine. He graduated from NCSU-CVM in 1988 and then went into private practice in Henderson, NC for 2 years treating small animals, pet birds and wild-life. He returned to NCSU-CVM in 1990 to pursue a PhD. He completed his PhD under the mentorship of Dr. Kenneth Adler in 1997. He then joined the Duke faculty in the Department of Pediatrics in the laboratory of Dr. Judith Voynow in Pediatric Pulmonary. He became the pre–veterinary advisor in 2012 and then also took on other pre-health advising in 2014. For past several years he has been the pre-health advisor for first and second year students that live in or lived in GA dorm.
He is currently an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and runs the lab for Dr. Sleasman, Chief of Pediatric Allergy-Immunology. His research focuses on the developing immune system of normal babies compared to babies born to HIV+ mothers. He also studies the impact of substance use (marijuana) on the immune system and neurocognitive function in adolescents (18-25 year olds) with HIV.