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Different Pathways, Common Interest

From left: Megan Petersen and Tori Cassidy

EKU has a mix of many different students with many different pasts, but a common interest and similar goals bring our students together. Two of EKU’s Agriculture students, Megan Petersen and Victoria Cassidy are proof of that.

Both students are Agriculture majors with concentrations in Pre Veterinary studies. They are both about halfway through the four year program.

Victoria Cassidy is a transfer student from EKU’s Corbin campus. Victoria grew up in Corbin, always around animals on her grandparent’s farm. This sparked her love for animals. Victoria transferred to the Richmond campus seeking greater opportunities that the agriculture department’s fully functioning farm can provide students. Victoria explained, “There is so much more variety and so many more options to do more things. There’s so much more I could do here and learn.”

Before her life here at EKU, Victoria strived for success in a unique hobby - clogging. She has been clogging since she could walk. It is a family tradition for her. It began with her mother and uncle, and has continued down to her and her sisters. Victoria has expanded her hobby into not just clogging but also judging and she doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon, “Just recently, I started to get ready and start classes back. To get back into it just because we miss it. I mean it’s a thing you’re born into so it will always be with you.”

Victoria also hopes to keep the spirt of clogging and the tradition alive in her future family.

Our Richmond campus is full of opportunities for students to strive in their major, and Victoria is taking advantage of those opportunities.

The Pre-vet club is an agriculture based club that has grown in the past year. Victoria is one of the twenty new members thanks to Megan Petersen. Megan is the social media representative for the Pre-Vet club and worked very hard this year on recruiting.

Megan explains, “I joined the pre vet club. I had never heard of it until I came here and some of my friends in my Ag classes said I should totally join. Just meeting with them has opened up so many doors because people are like, 'Oh I work here, try here, or I volunteer here'.”

The Pre-Vet club opened up many opportunities including job interviews and allowed Victoria to do some networking in her chosen career. Victoria hopes to put her degree to good use and work in the field with animals as a traveling veterinarian.

Megan has a similar plan for her degree. She too wants to work on large animal farms as an independent veterinarian to have a greater impact on the community. She chose her major because of her love for animals, but also because of a previous job she had.

Megan is on her third year in reserve from the United States Navy after a year overseas on active duty. During her time on active duty Megan worked to repair electronic communication equipment on Navy ships. This job involved a lot of technical and advanced thinking that she grew to love. In all, Megan's six years of active duty allowed her to serve overseas as well as within the U.S. in Chicago, Mayport, Fla., and Kingsland, Ga.

She chose veterinarian because it truly allowed her to connect both her love for animals and community with her critical and technical thinking skills while also helping both people and animals.

Megan came to EKU after her time overseas in the Navy as a non-traditional student. She decided to come back to school after her daughter Olivia was born. She is originally from Utah and just recently moved to Richmond from Georgia.

Megan took all of her general education courses in the Navy, so she was able to come to EKU and jump right into her program. She anticipates completing the program in two years. After graduation she is considering many options for veterinary school including The University of North Carolina for two years or continuing her military career by joining the Army branch and attending their Officer Vet Program. This program is an opportunity for Army officers to go to veterinary school, and offers them a great scholarship.

As a non-traditional student, Megan has had a unique experience here at EKU. She discusses some advantages she’s found she has here, “I have a lot of life experience that someone in their early twenties doesn’t have yet, it helps with perspective. It might be the end of the world to someone in their early twenties, but I know these things will pass, that they will end. It was much more stressful being younger, when you get time, you get a bit of perspective on things.”

Megan also shares a bit of advice for all students, “You can’t give up, you have to keep going. It’s all worth it, this is something that I want. If you really want something you just have to keep going.”

Both Megan and Cassidy gave a special 'thank you' to all the professors in the agriculture department for making their experience here at EKU great and opening up opportunities for them. Megan said, “They are teaching to me not just a broad, generic learning. They do that for everybody. They take everyone under their wing. They genuinely care about their students and it’s made all the difference.”

Both girls appreciate the fully functioning farm that all agriculture students have access to. The farm allows for true hands on experiences and gives students the ability to experience the daily life of their future career.

Both Megan and Victoria have had a unique experience here at EKU in the agriculture department and have taken advantage of all the opportunities EKU has offered them. They look forward to continuing their career in Pre-veterinary studies.

Published on October 23, 2017

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