High school students from across the state spent three days this month at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, getting a feel for what life as a veterinarian might be like. Part of the 4-H Career Explorations Conference held annually at Cornell University, “Veterinary Science: Veterinary Science Discovery” is a hands-on experience that is sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension and organized at the veterinary college by current veterinary students.
Thirty high school students participated in this year’s program at the veterinary college. The syllabus included dissection and suturing labs; an exotics lab where participants could handle a variety of species; physical exams on dogs, horses, and cows; a necropsy show-and-tell; and a radiology lab. In addition, a series of lectures provided useful tips on preparing for veterinary school.
“The program at the veterinary college provides terrific exposure for students who may be considering a future in the veterinary profession,” said Andrew Massaro, a member of the Class of 2015 at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Massaro, an officer of the Veterinary Education Club, and Erika Huyck, a fellow member of the Class of 2015 and former 4-H student, volunteered their time to design and organize the three-day program. “We’ve designed the program to foster an interest in the profession and to generate excitement about all the opportunities to make a difference in animals’ and peoples’ lives.”
Eventually, Massaro expects that he will find himself at the head of a classroom in a veterinary college, so organizing the program had personal significance for him.
“I’ve always had a passion for programs that encourage learning, especially those that take a hands-on approach,” said Massaro, who is currently helping to conduct research on hip dysplasia with faculty at the veterinary college in addition to taking classes. “People learn in many different ways, but it seems like everyone can learn something when they dive in with both hands.”
Several other veterinary students, faculty, and staff also volunteered their time to help with various aspects of the program: Jed Sung, Lauren Incorvaia, Kristin Gill, and Christopher Cheleuitte, from the Class of 2015; Casey Cazer and Michael Zarzosa, from the Class of 2016; Lauren McEllen, from the Class of 2017; Drs. Ryane Englar and Paul Maza from the Cornell University Hospital for Animals Community Practice Service; Dr. Ned Dykes from the radiology service; Dr. Paul Bowser and his lab members from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology; Dr. Anabell Montiel-Del Valle, a resident in anatomic pathology; and Jennifer Mailey from the Admissions Office