I would like to thank everyone involved in making the Targeting Excellence scholarship possible. Without the support of generous sponsors to provide this scholarship, many students like myself would not be able to pursue higher education without a financial burden weighing over us. I am incredibly grateful to be pursuing my dreams as a food animal veterinarian and look forward to serving farmers following graduation. Thank you very much for supporting students passionate about agriculture!
My passion has always been in veterinary medicine, however, my experiences in Ethiopia compelled me to pursue avenues where I could have a greater impact on food insecurity. This trip made me realize that people in every corner of the world rely heavily on agriculture as their sole source of income and survival. At the beginning of my freshman year of college, I sat in on a lecture from a public health veterinarian. Although I didn’t know it at the time, this lecture would prove to change my life from wanting to pursue a career as a mixed animal veterinarian to becoming a public health veterinarian. As a public health veterinarian, I would work with zoonotic diseases, establish advanced biosecurity measures on farms and design contingency plans in the event of a disease outbreak. Most importantly, being a public health veterinarian would allow me to fully embrace the One Health Initiative and make a difference in diminishing food insecurity. First, I hope to obtain a dual DVM/MPH. Following college, I plan on finding a job as a food animal veterinarian since I still have a deep passion for food animal medicine. This experience will also allow me to learn firsthand what diseases are most problematic for farmers. After gaining several years of experience in private practice, I would like to use my MPH degree as a public health veterinarian. I hope to seek out unique opportunities to work with organizations such as the USDA, CDC, or OIE. Eventually, I would like to become board certified in preventive medicine to serve in a higher capacity of organized veterinary medicine to help more people burdened by disease outbreaks. Ultimately, my career goal is to work in a position where I will be at the forefront of preventing the spread of zoonotic pathogens in order to preserve animal agriculture, while maintaining human health. I hope to utilize my knowledge and passion towards diminishing world hunger through veterinary medicine.