High schoolers gain unique learning experience about veterinary profession

The college’s first ever summer camp-style learning opportunity for 15 high-school aged students hoping for a future in veterinary medicine was held July 21-28 and by all accounts was a huge success.

“Future Animal Career Experience for Students, or FACES, is a residential high school summer program designed and coordinated by the UF College of Veterinary Medicine,” said the college’s admissions director, Jonathan Orsini. “The purpose of the program is to introduce interested Florida high school students to the broad and diverse fields within the veterinary profession.”

The program was organized in conjunction with Science Quest, a high school science camp coordinated by UF’s Center for Pre-collegiate Training and Education. The students who participated in FACES finished Science Quest and checked in to Beatty Towers for the veterinary-oriented program on July 12.  The full week of learning opportunities included a rigorous curriculum.

Some highlights of the program included FACES participants shadowing faculty veterinarians as they worked in the UF Small and Large Animal Hospitals, participating in a Horse Rescue exercise with trained rescue professionals, examining slides with clinical pathologists, and visiting Marineland and the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine.

Twelve high school students from around the state participated in the program. FACES was sponsored by Olive’s Way, an oncology fund that is administered by Dr. Nick Bacon; Renaissance Printing; and Corporate Marketing Solutions. The two camp counselors who stayed with the FACES participants 24 hours a day were selected from a large and competitive group of applicants from veterinary students in the Class of 2015. The two counselors were Mary Deaver, 22, of Pensacola, and Chris Ziegler, 22, of Danbury, Ct.

Terri Weldon and Jonathan Orsini organized and coordinated the event from within the Office for Students and Instruction, Dr. Nick Bacon and Melissa Headrick assisted with organizing the event from within the Small Animal Hospital,  and Dr. Amanda House assisted with organizing the event from within the Large Animal Hospital. Andy Kellenberger, the education coordinator of the college, provided technology support for the program.

The highlight of the program was at the FACES Banquet on Friday night when students presented their scavenger hunt findings via a live broadcast to their parents watching online around the state. The presentations were done by two separate groups and coordinated by the FACES camp counselors.

“We will be expanding the program for next year,” Orsini said. “More information will be available on our website in the near future.”


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September 2012


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