Pre-veterinary medicine student Samantha Warner and her yellow-vested four-legged companions are easily identifiable on campus and in the community. Beyond her academic activities and successes, Samantha is an area coordinator and trainer for the Guide Dogs for the Blind. She plans to be involved in animal rescue and shelter when she graduates.
Harrison High School in Kennesaw
B.S.A in avian biology, B.S.A. in biological sciences
University highlights, achievements and awards:
While I was involved in many clubs and activities in high school, I was a little intimidated by the size of UGA and initially didn’t get very involved my freshman year. Once settled in, however, I joined organizations such as the pre-vet and poultry science clubs. Though it is not affiliated with the university, I also began raising puppies for the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, which are identified as the puppies with yellow vests on campus. I’ve since become an area coordinator for the organization, which means I run obedience and socialization meetings each month and help monitor the training and health of the puppies.
I recently had the honor of being inducted into the Blue Key Honor Society, which has been an amazing experience. I was also selected as the Avian Biology Sophomore of the Year in 2011 and have since received two scholarships from the poultry science department. Through the help of my wonderful adviser, I have received numerous other scholarships, and I have been honored on both the President’s List and the Dean’s List.
I’m currently an intern in a small animal hospital where I shadow two amazing veterinarians. I have gained a tremendous amount of hands-on experience, which will hopefully prepare me for vet school. I also ride along with an equine veterinarian as she travels to farms caring for horses. On campus, I work as an undergraduate research assistant in the pathology department of the College of Veterinary Medicine. When I’m home each summer, Thanksgiving and Christmas, I work at Target.
Family Ties to UGA:
No one in my family has attended UGA.
I chose to attend UGA because...
of its excellent academic reputation as well as its large size and college town atmosphere. Additionally, I wanted to attend a university with a veterinary school so that I could get involved, and UGA was a reasonable distance from my hometown (close enough to head home for the weekend, but far enough that my parents won’t stop by unannounced).
My favorite things to do on campus are...
checking out what’s happening at Tate Plaza. There’s always something fun and interesting going on, from agricultural shows to dance performances to religious demonstrations, all of which are great exposures for my service dog in training and entertaining for me. I also love eating lunch on the picnic benches in front of the College of Veterinary Medicine hiking the trails at the intramural fields.
When I have free time, I like...
going to the dog park, hiking and kayaking the Broad River (when my kayak doesn’t flip). I also enjoy horseback riding, movie nights with friends and dinner downtown.
The craziest thing I've done is...
zip lining in Costa Rica while studying abroad. I’m not a fan of heights or not being in control, so strapping into a harness and gliding through the jungle was definitely out of my comfort zone. I ended up having a blast, and I think it’s something that everyone should experience at least once.
My favorite place to study is...
State Botanical Garden of Georgia. After spending all day in classrooms, it’s nice to study outside for a change.
My favorite professor is...
Dr. Adam Davis. He has been the most influential instructor throughout my undergraduate career at UGA. Not only has he always answered my academic and advisement questions, but he also has encouraged and supported me through the tough times and opened many doors for scholarships, internships and research experiences.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with...
it would have to be Cesar Milan, more commonly known as “The Dog Whisperer.” He’s such a cute little man, and the things that he’s done to help educate the public on dog behavior are incredible. If he could teach me even a fraction of what he knows, I would be so happy.
If I knew I could not fail, I would...
I would definitely go skydiving. However, I’m a little too fearful of parachute malfunctions to jump out of a plane just yet.
If money was not a consideration, I would love to...
run an animal rescue and rehabilitation center on a large expanse of land. I’ve always fostered and helped adopt out animals, but I’ve been restricted to one or two animals at a time. It would be incredible to have enough land and money to run a rescue organization where all of the animals could have large areas to run and play. It would also be incredible to have enough money to extensively advertise adoptable animals and low-cost spay and neuter facilities.
After graduation, I plan to...
enter veterinary school and eventually work to improve the conditions of animals in shelters through veterinary medicine, or work for an organization such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. I’ve got a few back up plans in line, just in case.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be...
I’ll always remember the incredible student life at UGA. From clubs to Greek life to concerts downtown, student life at UGA is so incredibly diverse and entertaining. I hope to always remember it.