2019 Dean’s Circle of Excellence Scholarship winner named

Rachel Grabar

Rachel Grabar

Third-year UF College of Veterinary Medicine student Rachel Grabar was named the recipient of the Dean’s Circle of Excellence Scholarship during the group’s annual luncheon meeting, held Jan. 21 at the North American Veterinary Conference-VMX in Orlando.

Dr. Chris Adin, chair of the college’s department of small animal clinical sciences, presented Grabar with a Dean’s Circle of Excellence membership pin and noted that she and all recipients of the scholarship are considered members of the group.

Grabar was selected by the college’s scholarship committee on the basis of criteria that included financial need, academic standing and community service.

Born and raised in Wilmington, Massachusetts, Grabar received her bachelor’s degree with a pre-veterinary track in animal science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. While a student there, she gained ample hands-on experience, performed research in a biology lab for three years and served as a residential assistant for two years.

“It was never really a question whether I would pursue my D.V.M. degree,” Grabar said. “I was blessed to know exactly what I wanted to do from a very young age. My family has always understood that my ultimate goal was to become a veterinarian, and they continue to be my greatest support system. Their unwavering support inspires me to continually be the best that I can be in pursuit of my D.V.M. degree.”

She currently coordinates the organization known as Pets Are Wonderful Support, or PAWS, which organizes student-run veterinary clinics at no cost for terminally ill residents of Alachua County and their pets. She was president of the Student Chapter of the American College of Veterinary Pathology from 2017 to 2018, and is involved in the local Humane Society, in addition to volunteering with Operation Catnip, a trap-neuter-release program and spay/neuter clinic. Outside of veterinary medicine, she volunteers at STEM nights for elementary students and dog walking for an area nursing home.

“I enjoy our school’s unique curriculum that allows students to alternate between clinical rotations and time spent within the classroom,” Grabar said. “The past eight months working in the clinic was a great preview to post-graduation. The faculty and staff were excellent teachers and became great mentors and friends.”

As a third-year student, she became a teaching assistant for the college’s clinical skills lab, which provides first-and-second-year students with hands-on technical experience and communications skills. In that capacity, she has helped other students learn about animal care, diagnostic techniques and how to communicate with clients.

Grabar hopes to pursue a specialty path in small animal medicine and eventually to practice back home in the Boston area.

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January-February 2019

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