Ellen Valley is newly graduated from UConn and an aspiring veterinarian. She was actively involved in the marching band as well as undergraduate research. Here is what Ellen said about her experiences as a student in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources.
What attracted you to UConn? There were many reasons that I chose UConn. One of the biggest draws was marching band, and I knew I wanted to be a part of it. As an animal science major, I liked that the animal facilities were right on campus. UConn is one of the few state schools in the region with easily accessible barns.
Why did you choose your particular major? I want to be a veterinarian. So, I decided to major in animal science with a pre-veterinary track. Another option was pathobiology, but I preferred the hands-on aspect of animal science program and working with live animals.
Which one of your UConn activities, internships or jobs was the most memorable? Why? My favorite experience was being involved with the UConn marching band. It is a huge time commitment, but it is completely worth it. For band, I had to come into school a week early and rehearse for 14 hours a day. During the semester, I went to 8 hours of practice a week and rehearse on Saturdays. Additionally, the band is at many of the sports games and events.
Being in the band provided structure and allowed me to get involved and gain leadership experience. I joined a service sorority through the marching band and met so many people. I was part of the mallet percussion group, and I played the marimba.
Name two other experiences that have enriched your studies. Another experience that I enjoyed was working in Dr. Kristen Govoni’s lab in animal science. I helped with a large project looking at how maternal nutrition in sheep effects the offspring. I saw a different side of animal science and got experience with undergraduate research.
I was also involved in the Husky-for-a-Day Program through the honors program. I gave tours to potential students in animal science and showed them a typical day on campus. This works to bring in new students, and is a great way to give back.
What was the biggest challenge in your UConn career? My biggest challenge was finding a balance between academics and extracurricular activities. I had to decide between what I can and what I should add to my schedule. I really like being involved. I had to make sacrifices in order to handle everything.
When do you expect to graduate? What then? I just graduated in May 2015. Next, I am going to the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. I am thinking about going into mixed animal medicine, but I am going to keep an open mind in vet school and try all rotations.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you? In addition to playing the marimba, I also play the piano and organ. I think that everyone should try something music or art based, even if his or her interests lie elsewhere.
By Dominique Martin