Dec. 11, 2017

Members of Buena Vista University's Pre-Vet Club were invited to take part in a private tour of Iowa State University's (ISU) College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) on Dec. 2.

Throughout the day, BVU students had the opportunity to discuss veterinary research opportunities with the CVM's Interim Dean, Dr. Pat Halbur, as well as speak with BVU alumnus and current ISU graduate student, Dr. Scott Radke, and first year ISU CVM student, Michaela Nordhiem.

The students also received a behind-the-scenes look at various classrooms and facilities at the CVM, including a necropsy lab, a high-tech manikin training lab, diagnostics labs, an animal rehab facility, and surgical units. The BVU students wrapped up the day with a tour of the toxicology lab where Radke is currently conducting his graduate research project, before enjoying lunch courtesy of BVU's Stine Endowment.

“The students could actually see themselves as graduate students after spending a morning in the high-tech facilities, meeting current and past students, as well as administrators and faculty,” said Dr. Melinda Coogan, who was the faculty advisor for the trip and is a professor of biology at BVU. “Discussing expectations both for acceptance and success in the program also gives our students a certain level of confidence in believing that the ISU CVM is a goal they can reach.

“We have amazing facilities and programs that truly prepare our students to stand out among the crowd when they pursue the next opportunity after BVU graduation. It’s a bit of a domino effect, because each successful student then paves the way for those who will come next.”

Dr. Melinda Coogan

The opportunity came about after the Pre-Vet Club invited Radke to give a presentation last fall as part of BVU's Academic and Cultural Event Series (ACES). Shortly after Radke's visit, Coogan received an email from the CVM's recruitment coordinator inviting BVU students to a private tour of the CVM clinic and research facilities.

Radke, who took several of Coogan's classes while attending BVU, graduated from the University in 2012 and went on to complete a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from ISU in 2016. He is now working toward a Master of Science degree in veterinary toxicology at ISU, before continuing on to earn his Ph.D.

“Scott has been such an impressive student from the moment he began his graduate studies with ISU, as he was when an undergraduate at BVU,” said Coogan. “On his own admission, he was well-prepared and encouraged to move forward with his current research direction so that upon completion of his DVM, he seamlessly began graduate work in veterinary toxicology.”

Radke's pre-graduate work preparation hasn't gone unnoticed by his ISU peers or superiors. In fact, Halbur shared his admiration for BVU students with Coogan, calling all BVU students who enter the CVM “exceptional.” Halbur was also impressed to learn that BVU biology majors are required to complete a three-year research project.

“We have amazing facilities and programs that truly prepare our students to stand out among the crowd when they pursue the next opportunity after BVU graduation,” added Coogan. “It's a bit of a domino effect, because each successful student then paves the way for those who will come next.”

Biology

BVU's biology program combines a rigorous academic experience with a unique emphasis on research that allows students to develop exceptional professional competency. Students work directly with outstanding faculty in the classroom and laboratory while receiving personalized academic and career advising.