Amazing Students Profiles

Annie Page-Karjian

Annie Page-Karjian

Annie Page-Karjian, who already earned her D.V.M. at UGA and is now working on her Ph.D., plans a career combining her research and medical training to improve the health of animals.


Columbus, Ga.

High School:

Hardaway High School

Degree objective:

Ph.D. in veterinary pathology. My research interests include marine wildlife disease investigation, epidemiology and migration, marine species conservation and wildlife welfare issues. Overall, my Ph.D. research addresses fundamental life history questions regarding a herpesvirus associated with a neoplastic disease of sea turtles.

Other degrees:

B.A. in biology, College of Charleston
B.S. in biological sciences, University of Georgia
D.V.M., University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine

Expected graduation:

Spring 2015

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

—My proudest achievement at UGA has been receiving my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2011.
—I am also proud to currently represent UGA as a volunteer with veterinary services at Zoo Atlanta.
—Awarded a graduate assistantship with the UGA Ph.D. Scholars of Excellence Program.
—Served as president of the UGA student chapter of the Wildlife Disease Association.
—Represented UGA in several veterinary preceptorships, including training at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, the Georgia Aquarium, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Marine Turtle Conservation Program.
—Served as president of the UGA Zoological Medicine Club.
—Served as president of the UGA student chapter of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians.
—Served as a supervisor of the UGA Wildlife Treatment Crew.
—Represented UGA as a Morris Animal Foundation Veterinary Student Scholar.
—Participated in the Georgia Veterinary Scholars Program.

Current Employment:

Graduate assistant in the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, department of pathology

Family Ties to UGA:

My granddaddy, Pete Page II, attended UGA in 1940-1941 but left before graduating to join the Air Force and fight in World War II. Even though he spent only a year at UGA, he was a die-hard Bulldog fan for the rest of his life, and since he was the patriarch of our family, we were all fans, too! My husband and I are expecting our first baby this September, and of course he will be a little Bulldog.

I chose to attend UGA because…

… after completing my undergraduate degree at the College of Charleston plus two years of traveling abroad after graduation, I couldn’t think of any place I would rather be than back home in Georgia. The fact that UGA boasts one of the best vet schools in the country made coming back to Georgia an easy decision for pursuing my career in veterinary medicine.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

… working in my lab and participating in various animal health studies at the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine. I feel very fortunate to have access to some of the most cutting edge health research technology available and to be able to interact with some of the world’s leading veterinary scientists.

When I have free time, I like…

… to travel. I love the excitement and discovery of getting to know other cultures and places firsthand. I feel that by expanding my horizons literally and intellectually I can become a more well-rounded and informed person. My travel bone has driven me to visit and live in places all over the U.S., from the Southeast to Arizona to Hawaii to California to Massachusetts and back again. I have also spent lots of time traveling abroad for work and vacation, including visits to every Central American country, Mexico, Canada, nearly every Caribbean island, Australia, Switzerland, France, and even Tahiti and Bora Bora. Sitting still for too long makes me stir-crazy, and of course my plans include visiting a long list of new and exciting places across the globe.

The craziest thing I’ve done is…

I worked in Playa Grande, Costa Rica, as a volunteer resident biologist at Las Baulas (Leatherback Turtles) National Park. The closest town for supplies and checking email was Tamarindo, which was a walk of several kilometers down the beach, including a path that crossed a crocodile-infested river. Usually there were small boats to take people across, but occasionally the boats were not there. Several of my trips that year included swimming across that river, each time facing one of my biggest childhood fears of being attacked by a crocodile.

My favorite place to study is…

… at home. The quiet of my home helps me stay focused, plus it gives me a good excuse to spend some quality time with my four adorable pooches.

My favorite professor is…

… Dr. Corrie Brown. During vet school, her courses in veterinary pathology were so interesting and exciting for me and led me to choose pathology as my major area of interest. Dr. Brown has a special talent for leading and inspiring others to be their best, and her kind and generous nature is only matched by her intelligence and insight. It is because of her that I was invited to participate in the UGA Ph.D. program, was paired with a great academic adviser, Dr. Nicole Gottdenker, and was permitted to focus my dissertation research on my favorite topic—sea turtle health.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…

… Dr. Temple Grandin. As I started my career in veterinary medicine, her book “Animals in Translation” really inspired me to try to better understand things from an animal’s perspective. Animal welfare is a very important topic to me, and I think it starts with always striving to improve the human-animal interactions in my own career and making the “doctor” experience as low-stress as possible for the animals.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

… find a way to remove single-use plastic containers from our daily lives. The amount of plastic that is discarded in this and other countries is out of control, and even though recycling can help the situation, the best solution in my opinion is to remove the source. A good amount of the plastic that is thrown away ends up in the ocean, and marine ecosystems are suffering because of it. Human and animal health are intrinsically linked to the health of our environment, and it is imperative to recognize this issue and create solutions for curbing our use of non-biodegradable products.

If money was not a consideration, I would love to…

… start a wildlife conservation and rehabilitation center on a tropical island. I could not imagine a better calling for me than helping wildlife, while investigating trends in wildlife health and educating others.

After graduation, I plan to…

… pursue a career that enables me to combine my passion for research with my training in veterinary medicine, conducting wildlife health surveillance and investigating infectious diseases of wildlife and zoo species.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

Going through vet school at UGA was challenging and sometimes exhausting, and I would not have been able to do it if it were not for sharing those times with my classmates. Looking back on all those shared experiences, from anatomy lab, to test after test after test, to clinics—I am so thankful to have had my classmates alongside me, cheering each other on and finding humor in even the most challenging situations.