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Raven Washington
February 1, 2022

Animal Science Major and Scholar-Athlete Heads to Veterinary School

A competitive animal science curriculum, access to various animal units on campus, plus the opportunity to play collegiate basketball led Raven Washington ’22 to Berry.  Her decision paid off. Raven attends Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. She says, “My long-term career goal is to practice small animal and exotic medicine at a private practice in the South.”

Raven finished her final semester on a high note, including her senior Honors thesis: investigating if colostrum quality is affected by the number of lambs birthed by a ewe. Colostrum is the “first milk” produced by ewes after lambing. It has a high level of nutrients essential for lamb health as well as a high concentration of antibodies that protect against infectious agents.

The project excited Raven because of the hands-on experience with sheep: “I shadowed the on-campus veterinarian, Dr. Miranda Knight, when she worked with cattle, but not sheep. Therefore, my thesis project expanded my knowledge of livestock animals. In addition, I enrolled in the Sheep Systems and Management course this semester. In this class, I learned how physiology, nutrition and diseases impact sheep management practices through hands-on evaluations.”

Berry’s culture of mentorship played a meaningful part in Raven’s success at Berry. “My mentors made a difference in my development both professionally and personally by individualizing experiences to assist in my work/life balance, utilizing their resources to offer me numerous opportunities and investing their time into my success,” she explains. “Also, Dr. Laura Flatow, the pre-vet coordinator, prepared me for veterinary school by teaching challenging courses, offering school-specific information sessions, reviewing my application essays and helping me practice for interviews.”

Well-rounded and thoroughly prepared for the rigors of veterinary school, Raven is set to make the most of life after Berry. 

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