News & Stories

Devin Saunders
September 1, 2021

Research and Service Preparing Animal Science Major for Vet School

“Berry professors care about your success and find ways for you to understand and use the knowledge learned in class.”

Animal science major Devin Saunders '22 is focused on a career as a small animal veterinarian. In addition to a rigorous course of study, he has gained experience conducting research with Assistant Professor of Animal Science Dawn Bresnahan and volunteering at the Rome E.C.O. Center. By the time he graduates, Devin expects to accumulate 1,500 vet hours.

Q. What’s it like to do research alongside your professor?

A. Dr. Bresnahan is one example of an amazing mentor. She lets the students be a major part of the research, and she ensures that we enjoy and understand the research that we are conducting. She also shows that she cares about the students that work for her and cares about our success in our college career.

Q. What’s the focus of your research?

A. We conducted research on the white-tailed deer population to gain reproductive knowledge of the species and similar species for possible conservational usage in the future. I gained a greater understanding of the research process, it helped me find ways to apply the information that I learn in my classes and it gave me the opportunity to be a part of a team working to find applicable information.

Q. As a participant in the Bonner Scholars Program, how are you able to tie in service with training for your major?

A. Community service is something that I find important to my life. … At the E.C.O. Center, I assisted with animal care, which included feeding, observing and regular health checks on our frogs, toads, snakes, alligators, anoles, fish, raccoons and other species found in the Rome/Floyd area. I also played a large part in the planning and building of a coastal exhibit for our alligators and a gopher tortoise.

Q. What are your thoughts on Berry’s new animal science building next to McAllister Hall?

A. It will allow for so much progress within the program. This new building gives opportunities to use enhanced, modern lab setups and equipment in applying information learned in classes. It makes me so grateful to attend a school that has donors and investors that care about the upgrades of the school, and continually find ways to enhance the educational program. 

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