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Reflections

I’ve finished my first semester of vet school, and I feel like orientation was just yesterday! I can’t believe how quickly the past four months flew by. I’ve learned all about microscopic anatomy of animals (aka: histology), different types of parasites and the diseases they can cause, how to correctly apply a “kitty burrito“, the differences between dog and cat anatomy, and some of the basic principles of One Health. Outside of the classroom, I was elected as the Student Government Association Information Services (IS) Representative, built a website for SGA, elected as Wet Lab Coordinator for our Student Chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (SCAAEP), and Events Coordinator for our chapter of Christian Veterinary Fellowship (CVF). Needless to say, I’ve been really busy! Now that I’ve had time to slow down (i.e. sleep for days) and look back on the past semester, I had a few thoughts to share. Read the rest of this entry

Sweating Cats and Dogs

The goal is to be honest and genuine in your interview.

I’ve talked about the application process in The End is Only the Beginning Parts 1 and 2, but today I wanted to expand more on, perhaps, the most important part of the application: the interview. The interview is where admissions committees take the people that look good on paper (GPA, GRE, extracurricular activities, and experiences) and get to know them better to make sure they will fit in with the school’s philosophy and environment. Schools love strong applicants, but not if those applicants are also unsociable and condescending. Veterinary medicine is all about teamwork and working with those who have different experiences, so it’s important that personalities mesh reasonably well. I’m going to share about my interview experience with Dr. Tod Schadler, the Associate Dean of Student Services and Admissions, and also give some tips that I found along the way that really helped me. Read the rest of this entry

The End is Only the Beginning, Part 2

In Part 1, I told you all about the first part of the veterinary school application process: the VMCAS application. This week, I’m going to share my experiences with LMU’s supplemental, my interview, and my acceptance into the Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2018! I’ll also discuss the changes for LMU-CVM’s next application cycle, so future applicants can be informed how the process will be proceeding in the coming years. Dr. Schadler, the Associate Dean of Student Services and Admissions, has been gracious enough to provide his words of wisdom about veterinary medical education, so be sure to check out his quotes below!

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It’s An Honor

You know by now that I’m a HUGE nerd (and if you don’t, check out this post). Sometimes, though, it’s hard to find people that share my passion for learning. In high school, I took over ten Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) classes, which I thoroughly enjoyed because of the increased depth of learning and quicker pace. When I came to LMU, I was apprehensive about getting the same intensity of learning that I was accustomed to; fortunately, the Honors Program was established in the middle of my freshman year and I was accepted to the first class of Honors Scholars. At the start of my sophomore year, Dr. Nathan Hilberg (aka Dr. Nate) came on as the Honors Program Director, and he’s done a fantastic job creating a society of passionate, knowledge-seeking Railsplitters. The LMU Honors Program gives me an academic learning community that allows me to become more engaged in my education by serving my community and being a leader on campus.

Engaged Learning

When most people think of “Honors”, they automatically assume that Honors classes require a lot more work and are extremely difficult. Not true! Honors classes are designed to increase critical reading and writing skills and include more thoughtful discussions between peers and professors. This is why I love Honors classes; we get to explore different avenues of thought and sometimes end up on a completely different topic because of these debates.

In order to be designated a University Honors Scholar upon graduation, students must complete 26 hours of Honors classes and present a thesis project in front of an academic panel. There are three types of Honors classes: HNRS, Departmental Honors, and Honors Contract. HNRS classes are the core Honors classes that only members of the Honors program can take. These classes include Honor’s Perspective, Meaning and Service, and the Junior and Senior Thesis, which culminates in the Senior Capstone, where scholars defend their research to their peers and professors. Departmental Honors classes are specific sections of regular classes, such as General Biology and World History, that any student can take. Classes usually involve writing more papers and fewer tests, which I really like because I get the opportunity to delve deeper into the material. We also have class discussions where we can expound on and question what we have learned. Honors Contract classes are regular classes (for instance, American Literature or Biochemistry) that the professor assigns additional reading and critical writing for the Honors scholar to mimic a Departmental Honors class. Honors Contract classes are great for students who join the program after completing many of the their general education courses and need to gain more Honors hours to meet the requirement.

A Bokor with his “zombies.”

This past semester, I took Biochemistry One as an Honors Contract course. There were a few reasons I decided to go this route; first, I knew that Biochemistry is a notoriously challenging class and that doing a little extra work every week on topics that we were discussing in class could only help me gain insight and clarification into the subject matter. Second, because I entered the Honors Program as a sophomore, I had already taken most of my General Education classes that would be available as Departmental Honors classes, like General Chemistry, World History, and General Biology, and I needed more Honors hours to be able to graduate as an Honors Scholar. I was very fortunate to have a professor that saw this as an opportunity for me to not only gain knowledge, but also to explore some fascinating and obscure topics. For instance, one assignment had me investigate the effects of and treatments for nerve gases (like Sarin) when we were talking about inhibitors and regulators of enzymes in lecture. Around Halloween, I explored an interesting phenomenon about Haitian zombies created by Bokors, or sorcerers. It turns out that after a drug (tetrodotoxin, if you’re interested) is administered to a person, they become zombie-like and able to easily be controlled as a slave to do the Bokor’s bidding. Fascinating! (At least to me, that is.)

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Happy New Year!!

My resolution for 2014!

It’s that time of year again–time for resolutions and bettering ourselves as we ring in 2014. This year, I want to strive to set realistic, attainable goals that I can achieve, especially with my college life. Read the rest of this entry

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