Ferrum College senior Carissa Williams is preparing for Loop Abroad sessions in Belize and Panama, which will occur after graduation in May 2022.
Loop Abroad programs are designed specifically for college-aged students who are interested in attending veterinary school or working professionally with animals. Williams’ emphasis area within her pre-professional health sciences degree is pre-veterinary science. She is also triple minoring in biology, agriculture, and One Health.
First, Williams will travel to Belize to study large animal medicine and marine conservation. “I will be working with a veterinarian on local farms, helping care for animals such as horses, cows, pigs, sheep, and goats,” she explained. “While in Belize, I will also study the Belize barrier reef, looking at biotic and abiotic components and how they interact.”
After two weeks in Belize, Williams will then head to Panama for another two weeks to study exotic animal medicine. There, she said she “will join in on clinical rounds each day and treat animals such as sloths, birds, anteaters, kinkajous, and big cats. During clinical rounds, I will be able to perform spays and neuters, and physical exams on small mammals, reptiles, and birds.”
After completion of the program, Williams will have earned about 240 clinic and service hours toward veterinary school.
Williams is a STEM Scholar in Biology recipient with the National Science Foundation Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S STEM) program. She is also a member of the Ag Young Farms Club at Ferrum.
Assistant Professor of Animal Science & Agricultural Sciences Nancy Brubaker, who is Williams’ academic advisor at Ferrum College, said, “Ms. Williams is a hard-working, dedicated student that has preserved in one of the toughest collegiate times. She is well deserving of this opportunity to spend her summer serving in the Loop Abroad program.”
Brubaker continued: “She has a wonderfully practical and mature perspective that will set her up for not only have the ability to serve the veterinary community but also to embrace the learning experience. I, and her colleagues and professors, are proud of her and wish her an experience that will help her accomplish her career goals.”