Stephan is no ordinary veterinary student. Besides caring for her little sister and her mother, who was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm one year ago, she is president of the UGA student chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association (SCAVMA), she works with many community service projects including Adopt-a-Highway and the Images of Success Program (a mentoring program), and she has been to South America to investigate the economical impact of Foot and Mouth Disease in Chile, Uruguay and Brazil.
Summerton, South Carolina
Scott’s Branch High School
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
B.S. (Biology), Claflin University, Orangeburg, SC
University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
While in vet school, I have been a Senator, President-Elect and President of the SCAVMA. In these positions, I have helped raise funds with our auction, attended luncheons with UGA President Michael Adams and the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, and helped organize our Cow Chip Lotto Fundraiser, among other things. I am also a member of the Graduate and Professional Scholars (GAPS) committee, Timothy Campus Ministry executive board, UGA High School Outreach, the Christian Veterinary Fellowship, and the Feline Club and Canine Club where I have helped to spay and neuter cats and dogs.
I won the UGA SCAVMA Outstanding Contribution Scholarship this spring. I also just recently won the Smith-Kilborne Foreign Animal Disease Scholarship. Only one student is selected from each of the 28 vet schools in the U.S. each year for that honor.
I am presently a Georgia Veterinary Scholar. I conduct research in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology to gain greater understanding of the relationships among organisms within the Atoxoplasma genus. I also work in the College’s VetLab.
Since I came to UGA, I have also worked as an Animal Health Technician Intern with the USDA where I assisted with a disease control program. Last summer I was on the Exotic Newcastle Disease Task force in California where I worked on several surveillance and diagnostics teams, performing disinfections of vehicles used in quarantine areas and other activities, and I traveled to South America in 2002 through a program sponsored by the Department of Defense and the University of Georgia to investigate the economical impact of Foot and Mouth Disease in Chile, Uruguay and Brazil.
Family Ties to UGA:
My immediate family consists of my mother and my little sister. My little sister and I have an age difference of 21 years and 6 months. She is my angel and my heart. Our mother was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm in summer 2003. Since then the rest of my family has been a tremendous help enabling me to stay in school. Although my little sister is in South Carolina, I still help to support her and go home as much as possible. I must add that the people in the College of Veterinary Medicine have been an extended family, offering support and encouragement in my tough times.
My favorite professor is…
I do not have just one favorite professor. Since my matriculation at UGA, I have been taught by the best professors in the field of veterinary medicine. They treat the students with the utmost respect and are available when we need extra help. The excellence in teaching here at the vet school is confirmed by the fact that I have been taught by six different faculty members who received the Josiah Meigs Award for Excellence in Teaching.
If money was not a consideration, I would love to…
…give back to my colleges, Claflin University and UGA. I want to see these institutions continue their climb of excellence, producing future leaders for the world. They are the best, and I love them both dearly. I would also open a veterinary clinic in my hometown, Summerton, SC. I do not want to work in a private practice so I would hire the best veterinarian (meaning that he or she would have to be a UGA grad) to provide top quality care.
After graduation, I plan to…
..pursue a Master’s degree in Public Health.