July 26, 2015
Not only has UGA provided Megan Mathews a successful path to obtain her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, it’s also given her the chance to pursue her other passion: dancing.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
University highlights, achievements and awards:
When I came to the University of Georgia my primary goal was to get into veterinary school, but I also wanted to actively participate in the UGA and Athens community.
The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Honors College helped me achieve my first goal. I graduated summa cum laude and obtained my Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degrees in animal science and biological science. I participated in the UGA Horsemen’s Association as a member, secretary and treasurer as well as the Large Animal Emergency and Critical Care team as a member and co-captain. My volunteer activities include spending time at the Athens Area Humane Society and in 2010 I went to Costa Rica and Nicaragua for a pre-veterinary experience doing spay and neuter surgeries. I spent the rest of that summer as an environmental education and animal behavior intern at the Philadelphia Zoo.
It was also important to me to take advantage of the activities a large school has to offer. While fulfilling my undergraduate degree, I danced as a member of both the Ballroom Performance Group and as a member of Swung, a swing dance performing group. These dance troupes perform and support the community through charity events and community outreach to people of all ages, as well as provide camaraderie that will last for years. My senior year in the Ballroom Performance Group, I was costume coordinator and I received the Mark Wheeler Excellence in Dance award for 2012. I am still dancing with Swung and with Contact, a ballroom group based out of DanceFX studio.
Now I am in my last year at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Over the last three years, I have served as the class representative for the honors and awards committee, the president for the internal medicine club, and secretary and vice president for the AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) student club. Some of my hands-on experience includes working on the small animal treatment crew in the teaching hospital caring for patients in the ICU, and, through Worldwide Veterinary Services, traveling to India to vaccinate and perform spay and neuter surgeries on free-roaming dogs. In 2013 I received a Phi Zeta Award for student leadership, service and outreach.
The University of Georgia has been instrumental in helping me to achieve my goals. I am thrilled to be completing my clinical rotations at the new UGA Veterinary Medical Center and to still be participating in the Athens dance community.
Council Rock High School North
Family Ties to UGA:
I chose to attend UGA because...
… I visited UGA and loved the animal science department and the campus itself. I was really looking forward to getting to explore all the opportunities a large school had to offer.
My favorite things to do on campus are...
… attend Friday Night Dances, hosted by the UGA Ballroom Performance Group.
When I have free time, I like...
… to cuddle up with a good book, a cup of tea and a dog on my lap. If I go out usually I go dancing, either swing or ballroom.
The craziest thing I've done is...
… drive to Iowa with five other people for a weekend to compete in a swing dance competition. Although some might consider my month-long trip to India for two weeks of spay and neuter surgeries and two weeks of vacation crazy!
My favorite place to study is...
… in my study room chair with Gabi, my 12-year-old Westie.
My favorite professor is...
Having attended UGA for both my undergraduate and my professional degrees, there is no way I could pick only one professor. So many faculty members, especially in the sciences and at the veterinary school, helped me to succeed. Dr. Kari Turner was an awesome animal science professor. Dr. Todd Baker was an amazing physics teacher, and I remember Dr. Oliver Li thanking me for being so attentive in class. That small gesture meant a lot to me because it showed me that he pays attention to each of his 100 students! At the veterinary school I have enjoyed learning from so many excellent teachers and clinicians, including Dr. Cherlyn Roberts, Dr. Cynthia Ward, Dr. Erik Hofmeister, Dr. Kevin Clarke and Dr. Karen Cornell.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with...
… James Alfred Wight, also known as James Herriot, author of “All Creatures Great and Small.” I would love to hear some of his veterinary stories in person!
If I knew I could not fail, I would...
… like to be a partner at a private specialty practice and teach veterinary students and interns.
If money was not a consideration, I would love to...
… have a grand piano in my home, although I would need a place to put one, first! I would also like to travel to every continent, not only for vacation, but also to participate in programs to help areas underserved by veterinary medicine.
After graduation, I plan to...
… complete a small animal rotating internship to further explore specialty veterinary medicine, and hopefully complete a surgery residency as well.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be...
… having my birthday on opening night of my ballroom performance group’s Ballroom Magic Show. Two people brought in cookie cake. It was so wonderful to be surrounded by such a fun group of people, and it was great to do something I love: ballroom dance!