The UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences (ANS) is proud to recognize some of the Spring 2023 graduates. The department has over 60 graduates at the undergraduate level this semester. Their future career paths range from veterinarians to industry professionals.
ANS Ambassador and Animal Biology senior Shelby Welshons is taking a gap year after graduation to spend time with family, travel, and work in a small animal clinic. She also plans to pursue a master’s degree before applying to vet school. Her advice to incoming students is to take your time in college.
“Within the first couple months of college, you’ll be overwhelmed with all of the opportunities presented before you. Take a breath, and know that you will have plenty of time to explore all of your options. Rushing something, hardly ever allows you to maximize the experience,” said Welshons.
Food Animal senior Kaylie Rogers is planning to travel the country to work on several different beef cattle operations after graduation. Rogers has taken several classes under ANS associate professor Todd Thrift. She says that he is her mentor.
“He is passionate about the beef industry and teaching about it. He cares that his students learn the information, but more importantly that we can think for ourselves and form our own opinion. He is a great professor and an incredible mentor,” said Rogers.
Megan Farinha is an Equine Specialization student who plans to take a gap year after graduation. During her gap year, she will be a wrangler in the Grand Canyon and will be applying to vet school. Farinha’s favorite class was Introduction to Spider Biology.
“I am scared of spiders, but I have always found them very interesting especially since not much is known about them when compared to other animals. We also got to take care of a spider throughout the class, and we were able to keep it afterwards and it has been my favorite pet to this day,” said Farinha.
As an Animal Biology student, Lily Cope’s goals for after graduation include applying to vet school. As an undergraduate, Cope participated in Alpha Zeta, Florida Club Swim and Dive, and was a teaching assistant under ANS lecturer Amie Imler. She said that Imler had a significant impact on her undergraduate career.
“She has always supported my ambitions for vet school and been a very kind shoulder to lean on. She reaches out when there are opportunities that she thinks might be a good match, writes an awesome recommendation letter, and is really personable,” said Cope.
Lauren Johns is another Animal Biology specialization student who will be attending vet school in the fall. Johns will be studying at the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Her advice to incoming students is to step out of their comfort zone.
“The best thing for you to do is to expand yourself past what you think you like and passed what you think you like,” said Johns.
Find more information about the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences at https://animal.ifas.ufl.edu/. Stay in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Any questions or inquiries regarding this piece should be directed toward Shelby Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more stories like this one here: http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/animalsciencesdept/.