Splitter Spots


 Meet Alina Ermilio (Class of 2020), recipient of the Saul T. Wilson Jr. USDA-APHIS Veterinary Services Scholarship


  •  About Alina Ermilio

    Alina Ermilio (Class of 2020) is a recipient of the Saul T. Wilson Jr. USDA- APHIS Veterinary Services Scholarship. Every year, the Saul T. Wilson Scholarship program receives 300 applications and accepts less than 30 students nationwide. Accepted students receive a $15,000 scholarship per year that they are enrolled in the program and must complete 640 hours of work during school breaks. Saul T. Wilson Jr. Scholars are guaranteed a full-time job with USDA-Veterinary Services upon graduation. 

    Alina is currently employed by the Massachusetts USDA-APHIS Veterinary Services during her school breaks. She has been immersed in fieldwork with current Veterinary Medical Officers for farm calls and facility inspections.

    Alina says this about her employment with USDA-APHIS VS, “I am out in the field three days per week and in the office 2 days. When I am in the office, I have a few projects I am doing data entry and working on for the National Veterinary Stockpile. When I am out in the field, I am riding along with a Veterinary Medical Officer. Field work includes CCT on cattle, collecting obex samples for the scrapie program, live cover of quarantined horses for CEM, avian influenza swabbing at commercial poultry markets, zoo/wildlife facility inspections for animal welfare, bleeding pigs... and lots more. USDA-Veterinary Services is also responsible for responding to disease outbreaks domestically. I just received medical clearance to respond to the Virulent Newcastle disease outbreak in San Bernardino, California! I am hoping I get a chance to get out there during my clinical vacation block.”

    In June of 2017, Alina traveled to Northern California for 9 weeks to work for USDA-FSIS through the Veterinary Student Summer Intern Program. Alina was engaged in an educational training and work program under the supervision of FSIS Public Health Veterinarians. The experience enhanced her appreciation for the enormous role that FSIS veterinarians have in controlling illness and disease in both animals and people.

    “Working with FSIS exposed me to a variety of Public Health Veterinarian functions and responsibilities within the agency, and I gained a greater understanding of USDA policies, regulations, and procedures as a whole. The internship with FSIS strengthened my [Saul Wilson] application and ultimately made me a stronger and more adept APHIS employee. I appreciate the "big picture" concept that a Public Health path provides, and am more appreciative of the preventative role that the FSIS plays in controlling illness and disease. Beginning with the health of food animals, I had the opportunity to positively impact an enormous scale of people.”

    For future applicants, Alina recommends this about the program:

    “I highly recommend exploring careers in the federal government. Opportunities within the USDA, as well as jobs in other agencies in the governmental sector are abound. If you are not sure what path you want to take, and want to explore veterinary careers outside of traditional clinical practice, federal government work is an excellent choice. The USDA doesn’t announce its vacancies, so checking back frequently on is essential. You can search jobs using keywords (“student”, “intern”, “veterinary”) and it will filter opportunities for you. The application processes vary based on the type of internship. One word of advice would be to apply quickly before the application window closes, and don’t be afraid to brag! Take your time on your essay and have some faculty read it over and give you advice. Obtain your recommendation letters from DVM’s who know you, will positively advocate for you, and will write a personalized recommendation letter. Sell yourself and let them know why you make a wonderful representative for the USA! I am happy to walk through the application process and offer advice to anyone applying through USAjobs.Gov” 


Alumni Spotlight: Meet Alumni Dr. Kerri Haider, Class of 2018!


  •  About Dr. Kerri Haider

    Name: Dr. Kerri Haider, DVM, MS, BS
    Graduation Year: 2018
    Home Town: Shoreview, Minnesota

    •   Why did you choose to attend LMU and the LMU-CVM?

      The campus location in the middle of the mountains was what initially drew me to LMU-CVM. Once I met with the faculty and staff I knew it was the right place for me.

    •   What was your favorite part about LMU-CVM?

      The family feeling between faculty, staff and students. I always felt welcome and had a seat at someones dinner table even when I was so far away from home. I would not have made it through veterinary school without the great support system at LMU.

    •   What are you doing now for your professional career and where?

      I am a Captain in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps and pretty much have the coolest job ever working with Military Working Dogs, Cavalry horses and service members' pets. I also get to play a role in food safety and security and am enjoying the public health aspect of my job.

    •   How has the LMU-CVM prepared you for your current role?

      There are many faculty members who are retired military and they have helped me with my transition into the military lifestyle. The hands-on aspect of LMU has definitely allowed me to be more confident in my clinical skills and surgery. I also thoroughly enjoyed the clinical year, getting to see and practice with a diverse group of veterinarians within the community. It has taught me what I want in my future practice and how to be an outside-the-box thinker in veterinary medicine.

    •  What is one piece of advice you would give to aspiring veterinarians?

      I would advise that you do not strap yourself to one field of veterinary medicine, but to really keep your mind and heart open to all aspects of veterinary medicine, we have one of the most diverse and coolest careers out there!


 Student Spotlight: Meet Daniel Kish, Class of 2020!


  •  About Daniel Kish

    Name: Daniel Kish
    Graduation Year: 2020
    Home Town: Temperance, Michigan

    •   Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of the classroom?

      Hiking, fishing, hunting, kayaking, horseback riding, farming & gardening, anything I can do to enjoy nature with my dogs and horses.

    •  How did you hear about LMU-CVM?

      I first learned about LMU when Dr. John Weale gave a presentation at my undergraduate school. He was passing through on his way to another college in Michigan and offered to stop by and speak to our pre-vet club. I was blown away with LMU-CVM. The mission and goals of the college really stuck me and as time passed and I interviewed at LMU-CVM, I knew I didn't want to go anywhere else.

    •  What led you to decide to become a Veterinarian?

      I had always been involved with animals and agriculture at home and also through 4-H. I knew the agriculture field was going to be my career but I didn't know what I would do in that ag field. When I was in the 7th grade, I had just gotten a new horse and our vet was coming out to do fall vaccinations. He arrived and I watched him do the physical exams and vaccinations on our horses. I was fascinated. I wanted to know more about what Dr. Jim did everyday. I rode along for the rest of his calls and by the end of the day, I was hooked and veterinary medicine was going to be the career for me. The second half of my journey began in my undergraduate studies at Hillsdale College. I spoke to my undergraduate & pre-vet advisor, Dr. VanZant, about my aspirations for veterinary school. He was on board and made sure I knew that getting admitted to vet school would be a challenging academic undertaking. I accepted the challenge and over the course of those 4 years experienced ups and downs academically. I was not the model student and I struggled, but Dr. VanZant never stopped believing in me. He encouraged my interest in science and animal health. I would come to learn that veterinary medicine would be the best path to combine my passions for science and agriculture.


 Student Spotlight: Meet David Alexander, Class of 2020!


  •  About David Alexander

    Name: David Alexander
    Graduation Year: 2020
    Home Town: Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania

    •  Where are you from?

      I am from Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania.

    •  Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of the classroom?

      I have recently taken up leather tooling and am really enjoying it. I also enjoy hiking with my dogs.

    •  How did you hear about LMU-CVM?

      I was introcued to LMU-CVM during my undergraduate career when they came to give a presentation on our campus.

    •  What led you to decide to become a Veterinarian?
      I grew up on my family's dairy farm. I had the opportunity to show dairy cattle and quarter horses growing up so going to veterinary school felt like the natural progression of things.


 Student Spotlight: Meet Cortney Curtis, Class of 2020!


  •  About Cortney Curtis

    Name: Cortney Curtis
    Graduation Year: 2020
    Hometown: Bluffton, South Carolina

    •  Where are you from?

      I grew up in Greenville, South Carolina. I went to Clemson University for my undergraduate education and during that time my family moved to Bluffton, South Carolina, which is where I call home now.

    •  Do you have any special interests or hobbies outside of the classroom?

      Anything involving sports or the outdoors is my jam! I was a 3 sport athlete in high school and was offered a scholarship to play Golf in college. I turned it down to attend Clemson, but during my time there, I played every intramural sport they had to offer. I enjoy hiking with my dog, Maggie, and with my friends. The Cumberland Gap National Park has been a great place to explore and play. I have a kayak that I take down the Powell River and over to Norris Lake on occasion. When I am home, I spend most of my time relaxing on the beach and playing volleyball with friends.

    •  How did you hear about LMU-CVM?

      LMU-College of Veterinary Medicine was actually not on my radar until about 2 weeks before my VMCAS application was due. I was looking for one more school to send an application to and was running out of schools that I thought fit my personality type and my career goals. One of my professors at Clemson recommended that I look into LMU. She knew Dr. Bess Pierce, LMU’s Small Animal Medicine Professor, through research they performed together with working dogs. After visiting LMU, I immediately fell in love with the campus and with the professors. You could really tell that the faculty and staff really cared about the school and especially care for the students.

    •  What led you to decide to become a Veterinarian?

      I have a huge passion for helping others and a huge passion for animals, so Veterinary Medicine is the perfect fit for me. I have the honor of helping people by providing healthcare to their animals. I was also awarded a Health Professions Scholarship through the U.S. Army and will work as an Army Veterinarian upon graduation. I am beyond excited for all of the opportunities that the Army has for me and for all of the ways I am able to give back. I get to wake up every day and take care of American heroes, two- and four-legged, what could be a better career than that??

 Student Spotlight: Meet Ambria Mays, Class of 2020!


  •  About Ambria Mays

    Name: Ambria Mays
    Graduation Year: 2020
    Home State: West Virginia


    My name is Ambria Mays, and I was born and raised in West Virginia. Veterinary related hobbies include research, and I have done that for the past two years. For fun, I'm a huge music fan, so I enjoy going to concerts. I also love to travel and see new places. I heard about Lincoln Memorial University-College of Veterinary Medicine through my brother. He had recently moved to Tennessee just before LMU-CVM was interviewing for their inaugural class. I decided to become a veterinarian because of my love and curiosity of animals. From as early as I can remember, I've always wanted to learn more about animals and to be able to help them. But the main reason was my childhood cat, Sassy. She lived for 20 years and passed just before I got into veterinary school. She was my best friend, and I'm keeping my promise to her.

 Student Spotlight: Meet Ken Gallatin, Class of 2022!


  •  About Ken Gallatin

    Name: Kenneth (Ken) Gallatin
    Graduation Year: 2022

    Hometown: Ohio/North Carolina


    My name is Kenneth (Ken) Gallatin, and I was born and raised in the great state of Ohio (Go Buckeyes!), but I currently reside in North Carolina. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy woodworking, furniture and cabinet making, metal fabrication and endurance racing. I first learned about LMU-CVM on the Internet, and then I later talked with a former student. I decided to become a veterinarian because of the long term belief that veterinary medicine would be both challenging and rewarding. Also, I'm motivated to have the ability to have a positive impact on both animal and public health and welfare.

 Student Spotlight: Meet Da'ne Irvin, Class of 2022!


  •  About Da'ne Irvin

    Name: Da'ne Irvin
    Graduation Year: 2022
    Hometown: Louisville, KY


    My name is Da'Ne Irvin, I'm from Louisville, KY and I am in the Class of 2022 here at Lincoln Memorial University-College of Veterinary Medicine.  Although studying has become my main hobby here in school, outside of the classroom I enjoy spending time with friends and family whether that be just hanging out watching movies, shopping, discovering new places to eat, and most recently, riding horses.  I also enjoy fitting in a good nap when time permits.  I heard about LMU-CVM from one of my professors at my undergraduate university. She told me about the great benefits of it being a newer school and the positive impact that could have on my future career as a veterinarian.  I have wanted to become a veterinarian ever since I was a little girl.  I believe that my soul purpose on this earth is to help whether it be people or animals, and this career gives me the ability to work with both.  I genuinely want to make a difference in everyone's lives.  Since there is always a need for more veterinarians in the world, I want a career that not only allows me to set myself apart from others but also keeps me intrigued and active, is hands-on, and is something that I wouldn't mind not getting paid to do.

 Student Spotlight: Meet Brianna Price, Class of 2022!


  •  About Brianna Price

    Name: Brianna Price
    Graduation Year: 2022
    Hometown: White Hall, Maryland


    Outside of the classroom, I love spending time outdoors with my two spoiled Golden Retrievers, hiking, kayaking, hunting, and riding horses.  I heard about LMU-CVM by word of mouth from a friend in undergraduate that had taken a tour of the college.  Many things throughout my life have led me to become a Veterinarian.  I grew up surrounded by animals; I worked with thoroughbred racehorses and fell in love with equine sports medicine.  After graduating from Virginia Tech, I worked on a cow-calf cattle operation in Northern Virginia.  During this time, my passion for working with cattle in a medical sense, particularly in theriogenology, surged.  It became clear that I wanted to further my education and pursue a life working in equine and bovine medicine.  I returned to school to get my Master's in Veterinary and Biomedical Science from Lincoln Memorial University and am now a member of the Lincoln Memorial University-College of Veterinary Medicine's class of 2022.