Support Services

Students at Ropes CourseOur students have access to a wealth of resources and support services that help create a pleasant, positive, and productive experience.

Faculty Advisors

All our incoming DVM students are assigned faculty advisors. Newly matriculated students will meet their faculty advisors during orientation. This brief meeting is meant to be a building of a relationship. The faculty advisor's role is to serve as a source of support and guidance for their students.

Peer Mentors

The goal of Peer Mentoring is to help incoming first year DVM students make a smooth transition and adjust to life as a student at the college. Peer mentors are second or third year DVM students and are invaluable resources as they can offer advice based on their personal experience at the college.

Peer Mentors are assigned to all first year DVM students. Incoming students are typically contacted by their peer mentors during the summer before they are scheduled to enter the DVM program.

Class of 2024 Peer Mentors

Emmy Hirsch

Hello! We are thrilled to welcome you into our Cornell veterinary community. My name is Emmy and I am a member of the class of 2022. I grew up in Westchester, NY and attended Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA where I majored in Neuroscience. During my gap year between graduating F&M and attending CUCVM, I worked for the Humane Society of the United States in Gaithersburg, MD as a Wildlife Policy intern and at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, D.C. as a veterinary assistant. Although I am still undecided about which veterinary track I will ultimately pursue, I am deeply interested in shelter medicine and non-profit and international work. In my spare time, you can find me at the dog park with my two dogs, Frankie (Frank when he’s in trouble) and Ryan, jamming out on my guitar, drawing in my sketchbook, or snowboarding when there is snow on the ground. Although studying is a priority, I always make time to watch Game of Thrones or Friends. I am an iced coffee fanatic, peanut butter junky, and nap connoisseur. Fun fact: I have fallen off of a chairlift. Twice.

Emmy Hirsch

Leo Ragazzo

Hi there, I'm Leo - a member of the class of 2022 with interests in zoo/wildlife, infectious disease ecology, pathology and some other stuff. I love cooking, playing all kinds of sports, and being outside with friends while the weather is still kind. I am originally from Florida and did my undergrad in Atlanta, GA, so I'm still adjusting to Ithaca's cold weather and what comes with it (I'm still learning how to stay upright on ice skates and desperately trying to transition out of year-round iced coffee orders). Before coming to Cornell Vet, I took two gap years where I was a Hall Director for a college residence hall and a lab manager for a primate conservation research lab. With my previous work in Residence Life, I have experience in various angles of support and am always happy to have a chat! Welcome to the CVM family!

Leo Ragazzo

Loren Lassiter

My name is Loren Lassiter and I am in the class of 2022 with an interest in zoo, exotic, and wildlife medicine. I was born in Texas but spent much of my life in the California Bay Area, and now currently live in Michigan. I was a student athlete at Northeastern University and graduated with a B.S. in Biology and minors in English and Ethics. In my free time I like to read, bake, go to the movies, listen to music, and try new things.

Loren Lassiter

Rachel Marderstein

My name is Rachel Marderstein and I am in the class of 2022. I did my undergraduate degree at Cornell university majoring in animal science with a minor in biomedical sciences. I grew up in Westchester NY but have moved all over the world while growing up. While I’m not in school I love to bake and have recently found a new interest in running. I am excited to be a peer mentor!! 

Rachel Marderstein

Karuna Katariwala

I am a current D.V.M. candidate for the class of 2022. I am originally from Colonia, New Jersey which is a small town about 45 minutes west of New York City. I have always been interested in veterinary medicine from a very young age and have recently sparked an interest in research. I went to Cornell for undergraduate where I majored in Animal Science and did an honors thesis in the Microbiology and Immunology Department at their veterinary school. I am interested in Small Animal Medicine and I am still deciding between pursuing an internship and residency or a PhD in a field of interest. Long-term, I would like to return to academia and be a clinician or professor at a veterinary school. My favorite way to spend my time is to procrasti-bake. You will see me carrying a tray of my latest procrastination endeavor in the atrium at least once a week. I love to read and try to do as much of it in my free time as I can as well as enjoy the beautiful outdoors Ithaca has to offer. Outside of academics, I am very involved in the Cornell Community. I am on the executive board for Radiology club, Veterinary students as One In Culture and Ethnicity (VOICE), and Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative (WVLDI). I am also the Treasurer for the SAVMA Symposium Planning Committee, a tour guide and a library assistant.

Karuna Katariwala
Kristen Essannason

My name is Kristen Esannason and I am a member of the class of 2022 from Rockland County, NY. I graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2016 with a major in Anthropology and a minor in Dance. During my gap years, I worked at a VCA specialty hospital in Westchester County, NY before starting as a research associate in a neurobehavioral and neurophysiology lab at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. There I fostered my interests in neuroscience, neurology and laboratory animal medicine. When I am not studying, I enjoy choreographing, dancing, enjoying the sun with friends(while it is nice in Ithaca) and traveling. 

Kristen Essannason
Xanth El-Sayed

My name is Xanth El-Sayed and I'm in the class of 2022. I'm originally from the San Francisco Bay Area (Easy Bay if anyone knows the area) but went to undergrad in Santa Barbara where I majored in Aquatic Biology. After school, I lived in Santa Barbara for a few years working at the Santa Barbara Zoo in many different positions and as a technician at a small animal hospital. After Santa Barbara I drove across the country with my rainbow boa, Noodle. Professionally, I am interested in everything from small animal/exotics private practice to Zoo/Aquatic medicine. As far as interests outside of school, I love being outdoors, traveling (when I can afford it and sometimes when I can't, haha), hanging with friends and watching trash TV with my housemates. Looking forward to meeting everyone and am always around to chat about anything you'd like.

Xanth El-Sayed

Caroline Warren

My name is Caroline, and I am originally from Ridgefield, Connecticut. I went to undergrad at Wake Forest University in North Carolina where I was a Psychology major with Biology and Chemistry minors. Prior to starting vet school, most of my animal experience was with an ambulatory equine vet. I have also spent many years volunteering with The Sato Project, an animal rescue organization based out of Puerto Rico. Now that I have completed my first year at Cornell, I am planning to pursue a small animal specialty track (although this may definitely change!) Whenever I am not studying, you can find me on one of Ithaca's many hiking trails, refining my yoga at Mighty Yoga studio downtown, or binge watching Netflix. One fun fact about me is that I have successfully climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. I am so excited to meet you all and welcome you to the Cornell Vet community!  

Caroline Warren
Shalini Radhakrishnan

Hi all! My name is Shalini Radhakrishnan and I am a member of the Class of 2022. I am from Long Island, New York and attended Cornell University for my undergraduate degree. I majored in Animal Science and have minors in Business and Education. I am interested in small animal general practice and practice ownership. Besides working with animals and people, I love painting, yoga, and enjoying Ithaca with my friends. I look forward to meeting everyone and welcoming you all to the Cornell Vet family!

Isabel Goldsmith

My name is Isabel Goldsmith, and I am a rising second year student. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, and attended the City College of New York for my undergraduate degree in Biology. Most of my pre-vet experience comes from working as a small animal technician, but I am interested in pursuing a career in the veterinary public health field. My ideal job is working to identify and control zoonotic diseases. I've also developed a fondness for ruminants during my time at Cornell, though I'm not sure where that will take me yet! At Cornell, I'm Co-Chair of the Work/Life Balance Committee on the Student Wellness Initiative. I'm new to the non-city life, but living in Ithaca has provided me with a really wonderful chance to get to know the outdoors a little better. I love botany, going fruit picking, and dessert. Welcome to Cornell Vet School — looking forward to meeting you!

Mei Schultz

My name is Mei (pronounced “May”) and I am a rising second year. I am originally from NYC and stayed there for undergrad at Columbia where I majored in biology and did lots of molecular biology research and zero veterinary things! I took two years between undergrad and starting veterinary school to work as a small animal veterinary assistant in NYC and at a wildlife hospital in Massachusetts.

On campus, I work as a student assistant in the small animal ER at CUHA, I’m an E-Board member of ZAWS, and I try to volunteer at the wildlife hospital as much as possible. If I’m not at school I’m probably cooking with friends or outside! I love hiking, camping, running, and really anything nature related. I’m excited to continue to explore the Ithaca outdoors—there’s so much great stuff to do here!

My professional goals are still very undecided, but I’m especially interested in emergency/critical care, wildlife/conservation medicine, zoonotic disease research, and public health. I’m a big proponent of mental wellness in vet school and finding ways to stay balanced. I’m so excited to meet everyone in the class of 2024 this fall!

Christina Kennedy

My name is Christina Kennedy and I am a second year student from outside of New York City! I attended Cornell University for undergrad and was accepted into the accelerated 7 year BS/DVM program which allowed me to start at the College of Veterinary Medicine a year early. My current plan is to pursue small animal general practice after a year-long radiology internship. I can most commonly be found at one of the standing desks in the library, but some days you can find me behind the circulation desk restocking the tea bowl. In addition to being a peer mentor and working in the library, I am a member of SAVMA and an education chair for Omega Tau Sigma (OTS). Outside of the vet school, I love to walk and volunteer at the local elementary school as a tutor! If you can't find me in the library, feel free to reach out to me any time (!

Kaitlyn McGarvey

Hi everyone! My name is Kaitlyn McGarvey and I am a member of the class of 2022. I graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2018, where I spent a lot of time working with sheep, goats, pigs, and cows. I spent my summers working at a horse rescue farm, as a vet assistant in a small animal general practice, shadowing an equine ambulatory vet, and working in a research lab. At Cornell, I am a student technician at the Wildlife Health Center and am involved in many of the student organizations including AABP, ZAWS, Pet Loss Support Hotline, Cornell Spay Day, and others. While I am still very unsure of what I want to do with my career, I am most passionate about wildlife conservation and have the long term goal of working in conservation. Outside of veterinary medicine, I enjoy running, gardening, and spending time with my family. I am very excited to meet all of you this year - please don’t hesitate to reach out anytime if you have questions or I can help with anything! 

Elsbeth Kane

Hi everyone! I'm originally from Connecticut and went to Columbia for undergrad where I studied Environmental Biology. Before and during college, I spent time shadowing at small animal and equine hospitals, but I also got involved with ecological research. After graduating, I worked for a year in a biomedical research lab at Weill Cornell in NYC, and spent another year working on a Masters in Public Health here at Cornell. 

I'm a rising second-year, and I'm still undecided about where my career will start. I'd love to work for the government or a research NGO as a public health veterinarian, but I haven't totally decided against clinical work yet, either. I'm on the e-board of the Veterinary One Health Association (VOHA), I've choreographed and danced with the Vet School Dance Collective, and of course, I'm a peer mentor! When I have a free moment, I like to laugh, treat myself to ice cream at the Dairy Bar (yes, even in the dead of winter), go dancing at Agava or at Big Red Barn, and I also love exploring Ithaca! Please reach out to me at any point, even if I'm not your assigned mentor, if you feel lost or need someone to talk to. My net ID is elk96. I love thinking about ways to manage stress, and I feel strongly about the importance of prioritizing your mental and physical health in vet school.

Torre Muhlbach
Hi everyone! My name is Torre Muhlbach and I am a rising second year from Long Island, New York. I graduated from Cornell undergrad in 2019 with an Animal Science degree. Before starting vet school I worked during breaks as a veterinary assistant for a small animal general practice near home. As of now, I am now interested in pursuing a career in small animal general practice but who knows! I’m the President-Elect of the VBMA and I love to cook and listen to musical theater for fun. I’m so excited to meet you all and can’t wait for you to start this adventure!

Student Disability Services

It is our intention to provide reasonable accommodations for students with qualifying disabilities who are admitted to the DVM program. The accommodations apply to classroom and examination situations and activities based in the Cornell University Hospital for Animals.

Students who believe they are entitled to an accommodation should contact the Director of Student and Academic Services and Multicultural Affairs. In order to make decisions based upon an individual's specific situation, it may take some to determine what is appropriate and fair given the nature of the disability as well as the requirements of veterinary education. When possible, a student should initiate the process in the summer before his/her matriculation, or, if later, as soon as the disability arises.

While your prior history is relevant for determining reasonable accommodations, you should realize that we might not grant the same accommodations that you have received in the past. Your request for accommodations will be carefully reviewed according to what is reasonable and appropriate given the nature of your disability and the essential components of your academic program. The final authority regarding accommodations rests with the Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Counseling Services

Confidential counseling services are available at the college to all CVM students. The counseling office is located within the Office of Student and Academic Services.  The counselor, Anna Pirog, is available to meet with students on Wednesday afternoons from 1-5pm. Students may schedule an appointment by contacting her at

Diverse approaches to personal problem resolution, including short-term psychotherapy, crisis intervention, stress management training, and academic counseling are used. Long-term therapy and psychotherapy can be arranged for those in need of these services. DVM students can also avail themselves of mental health services offered by Cornell Health