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Glad To Be Home

This summer flew by!  After a brief bit of down time following final exams, I packed up a suitcase with 10 weeks worth of supplies and boarded a plane to Ithaca, New York to participate in Cornell University's Leadership Program for Veterinary Students.  Typically veterinary students spend their two free summers working in clinics both to gain practical experience and to remind ourselves of why we spend almost every waking moment pursuing medical knowledge during the fall and spring semesters.  However, after participating in Texas A&M's own Summer Research Program last summer, I knew I wanted to pursue another more untraditional summer experience.  This thought led me to Cornell's program which combines a research experience with an additional focus on the development of leadership skills.

As a self professed nerd, I really enjoyed diving into a new lab and learning about a previously unfamiliar topic.  I was assigned to work in a Bioengineering Lab which studied breast cancer that had metastasized to bone.  I enjoyed learning new laboratory techniques such as culturing cells and even venturing into the engineering world and operating mechanical testing equipment.  With a grandmother who has survived breast cancer, it was especially rewarding to apply my veterinary medical training to a project whose focus is new modalities of treatment for breast cancer in humans.  I hope to continue to bring a veterinarian's perspective to human medical research as I pursue a career in Laboratory Animal Medicine.  This is an exciting field that is very prominent here at Texas A&M University.  Check out this inspiring NY Times article a fellow Ambassador sent my way.

I couldn't help but feel a little sense of pride as I read about another way our college is making a difference in both human and animal health.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Cornell, but nothing beats coming home to such a great environment at Texas A&M!

I learned a lot about leadership, public speaking, research, and team work this summer (a necessary skill when you have 25 veterinary students living under one roof for 10 weeks).  But, most importantly, I returned this fall with motivation and a renewed dedication to my studies.  I know I started to feel a little burned out as I crammed for final exams last spring, and I hoped my summer experience would provide the spark I would need to propel myself through the last two years of my DVM.  Thankfully, I found that spark and I am excited to learn more about medicine so that I will be better prepared to facilitate the future research projects that will advance both human and animal health.  Each day is a new chance to advance my skill set and knowledge as I pursue this goal.  While some days the work load seems never-ending, I hope to hold onto that spark and remember what brought me to A&M and keeps me trekking on.