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School welcomes 2010 group to Summer Enrichment Program

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July 6, 2010

Watch undergrads from the 2009 Summer Enrichment Program
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To broaden the pool of talented applicants and assure the success of students who enter veterinary school, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine is again sponsoring its Summer Enrichment Program for prospective students.

After orientation July 2, the participants are spending the next five weeks in a range of activities to gain veterinary-related experience, strengthen their applications, enhance interview and test-taking skills and learn the scope of professional opportunities.

Overcoming barriers

Each participant selected has overcome some challenge on the path to higher education. This obstacle may be an educational or cultural disadvantage, financial hardship, language barrier or physical disability that has resulted in difficulties at home or hiccups in school performance. School officials, faculty members and current veterinary students provide guidance, encouragement and opportunities to build relevant skills.

Practical experience

The intensive program includes the opportunity to see how veterinary specialists diagnose and treat their patients. Each morning at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, participants shadow  veterinary students in their final year as they work in different clinics caring for horses, exotic animals, small pets and livestock. For example, SEP students observe radiology, dentistry, dermatology, behavior, cardiology and other specialties.

Afternoons, students hit the books, practice for the GRE exam, work on writing and other communications skills, listen to presentations about career options and take laboratory workshops to familiarize themselves with the scope of academic work and skills training they will face in the four-year degree program.

"Summer Enrichment students see a variety of animals in the teaching hospital,"explains Yasmin Williams, admissions director. "Participants engage in activities that enhance their preparation to veterinary school as well as gain veterinary-related experience that is required for entry into the DVM program. They learn basic concepts of diagnosis and present case material from the teaching hospital—just as they would in veterinary school."

Benefits to students, school and profession

The school benefits from the opportunity to identify some of the most promising and motivated prospective students, Williams adds. "The school has strengthened its commitment to underrepresented students by providing relevant mentoring and veterinary experience. We also offer a stipend to support their stay. We are proud of how many applicants get into vet school after participating in this program."

Since the Summer Enrichment Program began in 1987, about half of the participants have entered a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree program.

This year's program runs July 2 through August 6. Students attend free of charge and receive a $500 stipend to defray expenses.

G.G. Comet Riggs, class of 2012, coordinates the program, arranging the students' class and hospital schedules as well as extracurricular enrichment activities.

2010 Summer Enrichment Program Participants

  • Marcus Benally, New Mexico State University
  • Marisa Brooks, UC Davis
  • Abir Chisti, Johns Hopkins University
  • Oscar Gutierrrez Ruiz , CSU Fresno
  • Carlyn Peterson, UC Davis
  • Yogita Sharma, UC Davis
  • Denise Soto, CSU Fullerton
  • Michelle Tieu, UC San Diego
  • Gabrielle Valladolid, UC Davis
  • Elizabeth Vasquez, University of Wisconsin, Madison