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A profession of possibilities

HavasLong-term, it’s unlikely that Captain Karyn Havas DVM ’05 will use her veterinary degree as a clinical practitioner. It’s more likely that she’ll choose to join the professorial ranks of academia, determined, she says, to return the favor of good teaching.

“Of course there were many Cornell professors who were amazing teachers,” said Havas, who also fondly recalls the many holiday parties, random get-togethers, and overall closeness of her class. “But, Dr. Torres is among the best mentors I’ve ever had. He’s an amazing asset to Cornell and has been to my life as well.”

According to Havas, Torres introduced her to the field of epidemiology and encouraged her to explore all of her professional possibilities. Havas joined the United States Army via the Army’s Health Professional Scholarship Program at the end of her first year of veterinary school. The Army is an organization that requires professionals for every facet of the veterinary profession, and encourages further education. After three years on active duty, Havas was selected to continue her education and is currently enrolled as a PhD student at Colorado State, completing a program in epidemiology. Her project is about the causes of zoonotic disease transmission of brucellosis and the social components in the Republic of Georgia.

Havas“The Colorado program is challenging, but Cornell prepared me well,” said Havas, a fan of the case-based learning philosophy. “Colorado has enhanced the independent thinking that Cornell helped me to develop and is providing a broader scope of population medicine.”

Currently a Captain in the Army, Havas has one more year of doctoral work and then will rejoin the Army’s active ranks, serving through at least 2016. As an Army veterinarian, she cares for privately owned animals of military personnel as well as military-owned dogs and horses and ensures food safety by inspecting food-production facilities and food upon arrival. She has been stationed stateside and was deployed to Iraq for a 9-month tour.

“I learned a lot in Iraq and had the opportunity to work with professionals in very different situations and circumstances than what I was used to,” said Havas. “You have to take all of what comes with a job when you accept the assignment.”