Story by Briley Lambert
With a long-time passion for horses and a desire to study veterinary medicine, Hayley Morgan found herself right at home at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM).
After completing her bachelor’s degree in animal science from West Texas A&M University, Morgan found herself searching for a veterinary program that matched with her career goals and aspirations. When she looked into the program at Texas A&M, she felt the choice was simple.
“I wanted to focus on equine and mixed animal medicine, and I knew that A&M had an outstanding Large Animal Hospital at which I could learn a lot,” said Morgan, a first-year veterinary student. “I have worked for a few veterinarians who graduated from A&M, and I always admired their knowledge and skills.”
Another major influence in her decision, according to Morgan, was Dr. Dan Posey, academic coordinator for the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Center (TVMC) at West Texas A&M University, whose passion and love for Texas A&M radiated though his teaching. It was enough to make anyone believe his beloved school was a special place, Morgan said.
Now an Aggie, Morgan has felt the spirit and seen first-hand just what Posey was talking about.
“I have loved my time at Texas A&M so far,” she said. “The thing that I have enjoyed the most about A&M is the culture and how passionate all of the faculty and students are about this school and each other. I love how willing everyone is to help and lend a hand for one another.”
Although the transition to a new school may seem overwhelming and scary for some, Morgan felt prepared and confident to begin her new journey.
“So far, my biggest challenge was actually finding a quick way to get from my parking lot to the Veterinary & Biomedical Education Complex during the first few weeks of school,” she joked.
At West Texas A&M, Morgan encountered hands-on courses centered around food animals and their health and production, an area in which she was not previously knowledgeable. Morgan credits the rigorous curriculum and coursework there for her seemingly easy transition to the classes and workload at A&M.
“West Texas helped prepare me for A&M by providing me with experiences that helped diversify my animal experience,” she said. “Growing up, I had a lot of experience with companion animals and horses, but not so much cattle and other food animals. The courses at West Texas really allowed me to be more successful in the food animal lectures and labs that I’ve had so far at A&M.”
After graduating from veterinary school, Morgan plans to pursue a career in equine or mixed medicine. Eventually, she would like to work at a private or specialty practice. With the knowledge and experience she has gained from her time at West Texas A&M and Texas A&M University, Morgan feels confident she can conquer any and all challenges she may face along the way.
A life-long dream of becoming a veterinarian is becoming a fast reality for Ashlee Adams, a first-year veterinary student at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM).
Before making the move to Texas A&M University, Adams lived in the Amarillo area, where she first discovered her passion for animals.
After graduating from West Texas A&M in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a master’s degree in animal science, Adams worked as a head veterinary technician at a small animal clinic while applying for veterinary school.
“Ultimately, I chose to come to Texas A&M because they have reached out to and worked with students at West Texas, and they are one of the best veterinary schools you can attend,” Adams said. “It also didn’t hurt that it was affordable and fairly close to home.”
Adams also credits her mentors Dr. Dan Posey, academic coordinator for the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Center (TVMC) at West Texas A&M University, and Dr. Dee Griffin, TVMC director, for making the decision to come to Texas A&M an easy one.
“I met Dr. Posey and Dr. Griffin while working on my master’s at West Texas A&M, and their enthusiasm for the field made me want to pursue being a veterinarian again,” Adams said. “I knew if the professors at Texas A&M were anything like them, I would get an amazing education and have a great time doing it.”
Upon arriving at Texas A&M, the distance from College Station to the Panhandle did not seem too far. However, Adams admits that she experienced her fair share of homesickness in the beginning.
“I’ve never been this far away from my family for an extended period of time,” she said. “Missing my family has been the greatest challenge so far, but they are so supportive and keep me excited about this new experience.”
Aside from a short spell of homesickness, Adams said her transition has been smooth and easy, and the education she received at West Texas has proven beneficial in her courses thus far.
“The classes at West Texas were set up for us to learn and understand information that will be useful for the rest of our lives,” she said. “So far, I’ve used a lot of my class notes from West Texas to help me understand the concepts I am learning here, and I am able to apply what I’m learning now to the experiences I gained at West Texas.”
As Adams continues through her first year of veterinary school, she said she is thankful for the tradition and culture that A&M offers its students and would not trade this experience for anything.
“I really enjoy the team atmosphere that is created by the faculty and students here. We all want to succeed as a team,” she said. “I have been blessed to be elected our class president, and our officer team is a cohesive group of students who truly want the best for everyone.”
After graduation, Adams plans to move back to the Panhandle to work with cattle at a feedlot and practice at a small animal clinic. With the education and experience acquired from both universities under her belt, Adams looks forward to giving back to West Texas in any way she can.
Note: This story originally appeared in the 2019 Spring edition of CVM Today.
Contact Information: Jennifer Gauntt, Interim Director of Communications, Media & Public Relations, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Science; firstname.lastname@example.org; 979-862-4216