By Brooke Schultz
Elm Staff Writer
A new club geared toward Washington College’s animal loving community is Future Animal Professionals. The club, which just got off the ground this semester, is open to any student who’s interested in working with animals.
Junior Amanda Peters created the club because she was bothered there wasn’t anything at WC already targeting pre-vet students. “There were some resources, but I wanted more animal-specific resources,” she said.
This is exactly what this club is aiming to do. After talking to her advisor, Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Jennie Carr, the two decided that the club would function best “inclusively.” The club is affiliated with the American Veterinary Association, but instead of just being a pre-vet club, it’s expanded to all students with a desire to work with animals in any field. The club is designed for students to be able to communicate interests and interact with people who are already professionals working with animals.
Future Animal Professionals works collectively to gain more experience with animals and to get as much hands on exposure in as many fields as possible. Currently, the club is bringing in people working in a variety of different careers and giving students an interactive experience within different niches. They’re aiming to do this in a number of ways, including trips and guest speakers.
Junior Sean Granata said the club is “right up his alley,” and explained that in years past WC has offered mainly hospital or clinical based internships with only a few opportunities for pre-vet students. With this club there are more opportunities for animal related careers and the club is trying to help students get more into those fields. He hopes the club will expand his horizons and said, “A lot of the work I do with animals now is individual stuff, like my own internships or my own shadowing experiences.”
At their last meeting, Future Animal Professionals hosted a veterinarian from the Chestertown Animal Hospital to give students insight about applying to vet school and her personal experiences with schooling. The club has a trip organized to the Chino Farms bird banding station in November and is planning trips to the Baltimore Zoo and the National Aquarium.
Dr. Carr, an orthogolist with an interest in animals herself, said her hope is to create a place where anybody interested in animals can meet up and talk about their professional goals. “I’m hoping that they find a sense of community that you can share your passion with,” she said.
Peters hopes to get the club involved in volunteer work with animals in the area. In addition, she wants to help students prepare for handling animals and working with others. Speaking from her time at WC, she believes that the club will be integral in helping students gain even more real-world experience.
The club meets once every two or three weeks, depending on scheduling, and has an event once a month in either Litrenta or the Toll Atrium. Anyone who’s interested in joining the club should get in contact with Amanda Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org