Veterinary student receives Dean’s Circle Scholarship

UF veterinary student Luke Viramontes is shown with Dean Jim Lloyd at a luncheon held Feb. 6 for Dean’s Circle of Excellence members during the North American Veterinary Conference. (Photo by Sarah Carey)

Luke Viramontes is the recipient of a Dean’s Circle of Excellence scholarship, becoming the second UF veterinary medical student to receive the award.

Viramontes, a third-year student, was acknowledged during a Feb. 6 luncheon held for Dean’s Circle members during the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando. The Dean’s Circle’s first scholarship was awarded last year to Chris Alling, now a fourth-year student.

Viramontes received his undergraduate degree in biology, graduating cum laude from UF in 2013. While an undergraduate, he completed research on comparative ophthalmology of the black rhinoceros and bobcat species, as well as the West Indian Manatee. He has taken on numerous leadership roles, including serving as a Student Ambassador, a member of the student chapter of the American Veterinary Dental Society, treasurer of Alpha Psi, Xi Chapter, and social chair for the Class of 2018.

As a result of his demonstrated leadership and academic excellence, Viramontes received the Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship in 2016.

Following his graduation from veterinary school, Viramontes plans to work with small animals.

“My ultimate goal is to own a practice in the South Florida/Miami area,” he said. “I am very interested in veterinary dentistry and neurology and have externships scheduled this summer to allow me to learn more about these fields.”

Viramontes said he has one dog, named Daisy, that he adopted last year following sophomore spay-neuter labs.

“I spend as much time as possible with her after school and extracurricular activities,” he said, adding that his interests outside of veterinary school include travel and attending concerts.

“One of my favorite quotes actually comes from my brother at the white-coat (sophomore professional coating) ceremony, who told me, ‘Don’t pet the sweaty things and don’t sweat the petty things,'” Viramontes said. “It makes me laugh when I think about it, but it is also a quote that I try to live by, especially while pursuing a career in this rewarding, although challenging, field.”



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