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Author Archives: Lauren O'Malley

Meet undergraduate Antonia Brunetti


Toni Brunetti

During her time as an undergraduate animal science major, Toni Brunetti of Wolcott, Connecticut was able to explore her love for animals and participate in a variety of CAHNR opportunities. The December graduate was a UConn Blooms employee, study abroad participant and CAHNR Ambassador. Here is what she said about her experiences as a CAHNR student.

What attracted you to UConn? I knew that I wanted to work in the veterinary field, and I was impressed with UConn’s animal science program. The department has great reviews, and there are many animals on campus that students are able to work with. Another reason is that although UConn is a large school, the animal science department is small and has a comfortable atmosphere, similar to high school. First, I completed my associate’s degree from the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture. Then, I decided to stay at UConn and complete my bachelor’s degree. Throughout my time at UConn, I was able to work hands-on with animals and make great relationships with my professors and peers.

Why did you choose your particular major? I have always loved animals, especially horses. My family had a lot of animals while I was growing up, and whenever we brought them to the veterinarian, I was fascinated. While I was never interested in working with people, I was confident that I wanted to work with animals. This led me to choose animal science as my major. (more…)

Meet undergraduate Lauren Timmerman


Lauren Timmerman

Lauren Timmerman of Brookfield, Connecticut immediately built a community within UConn after transferring here her sophomore year. By joining student organizations, being active and switching her major to nutritional sciences, Lauren discovered her passion for health and decided to pursue what truly made her happy. After she graduates in May 2016, Lauren hopes to become a registered dietitian. Here is what she said about her experiences as a CAHNR student.

What attracted you to UConn? I attended Quinnipiac University for my freshman year. I thought I wanted to go to a small school, but I realized that this wasn’t for me. I visited UConn during the spring of my freshman year, fell in love with the school and decided to transfer. I liked UConn’s size and the ease of becoming part of the community. There is a place for everyone at UConn and so many opportunities to get involved and explore your interests. After starting at UConn my sophomore year, I knew that I was in the right place.

Why did you choose your particular major? When I transferred to UConn, I was a communication major. I took the introduction communication courses and did well, but I realized that this was not what truly interested me. I went to the involvement fair and joined UConn Endurance and Real Slow Food. I realized that I was passionate about healthy lifestyles, and I wanted my career to be in something that I loved. I decided to switch my major to nutritional sciences. (more…)

Meet undergraduate John Garcia


John Garcia

John Garcia of Cali, Colombia and West Hartford, Connecticut first discovered his interest in healthcare after participating in a UConn Health program for high school students. His passion for health has continued to grow during his UConn career as an allied health sciences major, pre-healthcare fraternity brother and study abroad participant. After he graduates in May, John hopes to continue his studies in both public health and medicine and eventually become an orthopedic surgeon. Here is what he said about his experiences as a CAHNR student.

What attracted you to UConn? During high school, I participated in UConn Health’s Health Career Opportunity Programs (HCOP). HCOP encompasses a number of programs ranging from those for high school students to those enrolled in medical or dental school. I participated in Junior Doctors Academy and Senior Doctors Academy for high school students who are interested in healthcare. On Saturdays, I was able to take biology courses, learn about different health professions and prepare for standardized tests. Through HCOP, I became extremely comfortable and familiar with UConn. And, when applying to colleges, UConn seemed like the right choice. (more…)

Meet undergraduate Rose Croog


Rose Croog

Rose Croog of West Hartford, Connecticut always had a love for math and a passion for the environment. After entering UConn as a math major, Rose discovered the agricultural and resource economics (ARE) program. Now, as an ARE major with three minors, multiple internships and two study abroad experiences, Rose has been able to combine all of her interests into a fulfilling college career. Here is what she said about her experiences as a CAHNR student.

What attracted you to UConn? I chose UConn because I had heard great things about the school from many people that went there. I knew that I would be happy at UConn. Also, it was the most economical choice.

Why did you choose your particular major? When I first came to UConn, I decided to major in math because it has always been my favorite subject. I was also interested in the environment, and I planned to minor in environmental studies. However, I realized that I wanted a more comprehensive education in which I could explore my interests and take courses in subjects other than math. My advisor recommended ARE. The ARE major is the perfect blend of all of my interests. Also, it is flexible enough that I can complete three minors in other areas that interest me: math, sociology and environmental economics and policy. (more…)

Meet undergraduate Erika Sturgis

Erika Sturgis1

Erika Sturgis

Erika Sturgis might not have moved far from her hometown of Tolland, Connecticut, but she has been able to create her own world and become a leader within UConn. She is a program director for a volunteer program and a teaching assistant for multiple classes. After she graduates in May with a major in allied health sciences and a minor in psychology, Erika plans to become an occupational therapist. Here is what she said about her experiences as a CAHNR student.

What attracted you to UConn? I liked that UConn was a big school with lots of school pride. While it was close to my home, and I knew many people there, I was confident that I would be able to branch out within UConn. I could choose to be as connected or disconnected from my hometown as I wanted. In addition, UConn had great academics, rising ratings and many opportunities for students, making it the perfect choice.

Why did you choose your particular major? Originally, I planned to major in communication. Right before entering UConn, however, I switched to allied health sciences. I knew that I wanted a more health-centered career, but I was not exactly sure in which area.

The allied health program offers so many options and prepares students for a wide variety of careers. While my career goals continuously changed throughout my first couple of years at UConn, I always knew that I wanted to work with people.

Eventually, I chose occupational therapy because it is the perfect combination of all of my interests. The allied health major introduced me to occupational therapy and allowed me to complete all the necessary graduate school prerequisites. (more…)