Buckeye Vet Prep Academy

The Buckeye Vet Prep Academy educates students about the profession of veterinary medicine through a one-week summer camp that includes seminarsBuckeye Vet Prep Academy and hands-on activities at Ohio State.

The camp was developed by April Pugh, director of Admissions and Recruitment, with the assistance of Shayna Mohr, assistant director. Three second year veterinary students served as counselors: Joey Abbruzzese, Christina McCullough and Latoiya Templeton. This was the inaugural year for the program and 31 high school students from Ohio and Pennsylvania participated.

Vera Skupien was the lone student from Pennsylvania, and that did not stop her willingness to participate or her eagerness to answer questions when asked. She wanted to learn and see more of what veterinarians do when they are working. Vera does not have the opportunity to see surgeries or behind-the-scenes activity where she lives. When asked if she was still interested in veterinary medicine after participating in the camp, Vera said, “The camp created a stronger urge for me to want to be a vet [because of] the knowledge I gained from the Buckeye Vet Prep experience.”

Some of the activities that the students participated included attending seminars and meeting with guest speakers, such as a zoo veterinarian and a veterinary technician. They attended seminars about careers in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Public Health, and Veterinary Public Health. The students also participated in off campus experiences around Columbus, going behind the scenes at the Columbus Zoo, visiting the Waterman Dairy Center, and touring the Franklin County Dog Shelter.

“Everything surprised me! I never heard of a canulated cow before, and we actually got to see it first hand!” exclaimed Elizabeth Saultz, a camper from Ohio. Elizabeth had heard about the camp from her chemistry teacher who was adamant that she attend. Before the camp started she was interested in the medical field, but was not sure if she wanted to pursue animal-oriented medicine. After a week at Buckeye Vet Prep Academy she knows that she wants to pursue veterinary medicine. “I like the challenge of the road ahead for vet school” she said. What helped her decide was the demonstration of the many opportunities there are for specialization in the animal industry.

Buckeye Vet Prep AcademyVeterinary camp counselors – Joey, Christina and Latoiya – presented a PowerPoint and participated in a panel discussion for the campers to ask them questions. The admissions presentations were designed with the thought of what high school students need to best prepare themselves for gaining admission into veterinary school.

The list of requirements was a shock to most of the students, but camper Drew Moore, said that finding out the entrance requirements now would help him prepare for when he applies later on. “The Buckeye Vet Prep Academy was eye-opening, you get to know what is going on from admissions to surgeries,” said Drew. This experience ensured his opinions by allowing him to talk to the veterinarians and attain advice that would be difficult to find somewhere else. He had hoped to gain information from the camp as well as experience through the hands-on activities, such as practicing suturing on a teddy bear. This activity gave students the basic knowledge of how to suture.

The Buckeye Vet Prep Academy helped students support their feelings toward veterinary medicine. It gave them a career path to look forward to and helped them prepare for their future education. 

The camp concluded with a graduation ceremony, where students presented what they had learned to their parents. Students were given a certificate from The Ohio State University Buckeye Vet Prep Academy, an Ohio State Veterinary Medicine scrub top and a buckeye necklace.  A reception took place in the Hummel Grand Lounge after the ceremony, where the students and their parents gathered and discussed their experiences from the past week.

You can support our future veterinarians. Go here for more information or call our development office (614)688-8433.