AWVS Leadership Team
President / Founder
Dr. Nicole Buote received her DVM from Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in 2004. She then completed a rotating internship at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston and a surgical internship at the Dallas Veterinary Surgery Center. She went on to complete a surgery residency at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Buote was awarded Diplomate status in 2010. Dr. Buote worked in private practice for 11 years in southern California, as a staff surgeon and then the Chief of the surgery department. She joined Cornell University in 2020 as an Associate Professor of Soft Tissue Surgery in the Department of Clinical Sciences. While her surgical interests lie with minimally invasive surgery and interventional radiology techniques, she has had a strong connection to empowering women since attending an all-girls high school outside the District of Columbia. As the founder and President of the Association of Women Veterinary Surgeons, Dr. Buote hopes to encourage women to pursue and excel in the field of veterinary surgery.
Dr. Scharf is a small animal surgeon and assistant professor of Soft Tissue & Oncologic Surgery at the NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Her interests include minimally invasive and thoracic surgery and surgical education and mentorship. She is passionate about advocating for awareness of the science behind sleep and the role that career choices play in shaping family planning within the veterinary profession.
Michele Steffey received her veterinary degree from the University of California-Davis, and subsequently completed her surgical training via a general rotating internship at the University of Pennsylvania and a surgical residency at Cornell University. She is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, and is an ACVS Founding Fellow in the 2 sub-disciplines of Surgical Oncology and Minimally Invasive Surgery. She is currently a Professor of Small Animal Surgery at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
Mentorship Committee Lead
Dominique Griffon is a Professor in Small Animal Surgery and Associate Dean for Research at Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine. She has over 25 years of experience in veterinary education, training veterinary students in all aspects of small animal surgery. In her current role at WesternU, she oversees all research programs in the college, serves as program director for the veterinary scholars’ program and manages shared research resources in the college.
Dr. Griffon is a clinician scientist with clinical and teaching experience in small animal soft tissue, orthopaedic and spinal surgery. Dr. Griffon has published over 90 research publications and given more than 400 invited and abstract presentations. She is co-editor of the textbook on “Complications in Small Animal Surgery” (2nd Edition, 2016). She is the Editor-in-Chief of Veterinary Surgery. Her clinical research interests focus primarily on the pathogenesis of canine cranial cruciate ligament disease and the arthroscopic management of elbow dysplasia. She is the mother of two boys and lives with her husband, dog, cat, and fishes. On her free time, she enjoys outdoor activities and yoga.
CE Committee Lead
Research Committee Lead