2014 BBS Leadership Group Shot  

The Leadership Program

Shawna Buerkle


I grew up in Charleston, SC with my parents, younger brother, and multiple pets. My interests in science and nature prompted me to attend the SC Governor's School for Science and Mathematics. My affinity for animals continued to grow during this time, and I began to explore multiple career paths involving animals. The summer before graduating high school I was exposed to the exciting and sometimes frustrating world of scientific research. I received the Park Scholarship and attended North Carolina State University to earn a bachelor's degree in Zoology. While in college I was in the marching band, joined extracurricular clubs, and participated in various research projects on-campus. After studying abroad in Australia and volunteering with a local veterinarian in Perth, I decided to apply to veterinary school. I am currently a second-year veterinary student at the University of Georgia.


I like to keep busy, but I try to take time to relax and keep a balanced life. I admit that I am addicted to certain television shows such as "Bones" and "Glee." I also love to read science fiction, fantasy and historical fiction novels. Dinner parties and movie nights with friends? Yes, please! Spending time outdoors is important to me as well. I love playing team sports like volleyball, softball and basketball. I also enjoy hiking, bird watching, and exploring new places.

Career Goal:

I have absolutely no idea what kind of veterinarian I would like to be. Research and clinical practice both have peaked my interest. I plan on pursuing an internship or some form of post-graduate education after gaining my DVM. Perhaps eventually I may end up in academia or in public health. Vet school has opened me up to many potential career paths. Currently, I am exploring my options and who knows where it will lead me?