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Courtney with her fiancé, Cody Ross ’16.

Courtney Wood ’15 describes Olivet College as the place it all began for her, the place she built the strong foundation for her professional and academic career. Today, Courtney is pursuing her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Lincoln Memorial University (LMU), and she hopes to shape her future career around diagnostic imaging in equine medicine.

“My major at OC was biology with a minor in biochemistry,” Courtney said. “My biochemistry and organic chemistry courses at OC provided a foundation for many of my biochemistry courses during my master’s, but also for understanding biologic mechanisms and processes within the body during my time in vet school so far. The comparative anatomy course (at OC) has given me a leg up in vet school as well. Overall, my courses at Olivet gave me critical thinking and problem-solving skills that I still utilize today.”

Not only were Courtney’s experiences at Olivet College beneficial to her growth, but she was also well-prepared for the next steps in her journey. Following graduation, she worked in two privately-owned small animal vet clinics before fully diving into her passion for equine medicine.

“In February of 2016, I moved to Lexington, Kentucky and worked as a technician for an equine reproductive veterinarian and my mentor, Dr. Chris Smith,” Courtney said. “This is where my passion for the Thoroughbred breeding, racing and sale industries stemmed. In between the breeding seasons, I was a radiology technician, taking radiographs for diagnostic purposes and as the required images used in sales located throughout the country. I greatly enjoyed working with the mares and their foals, as well as taking radiographic images for the horses of all ages going to the sales.”

Courtney always knew she wanted to attend veterinary school, but her undergraduate and post-graduation experiences solidified her path. After gaining valuable hands-on skills in her field during two Thoroughbred breeding seasons and one sales season, Courtney moved to Virginia to pursue a master’s degree in veterinary biomedical sciences at LMU. She completed her master’s in the spring 2019 and was accepted into the DVM program at LMU in April of the same year.

“Currently, as a second-year veterinary student at LMU, we are covering pharmacology, anesthesia, nutrition, toxicology and soft tissue surgery,” Courtney said. “LMU offers a thorough program where we also learn professional skills to help build wholesome relationships with our future clients and form skills in communication and empathy. We’re also covering diagnostic imaging in two courses, which I am greatly enjoying as this topic serves as one of my ‘whys’ for my journey into veterinary medicine. My time at Olivet helped drive my curiosity for science and medicine. I take pride in asking questions, trying new things and keeping an open mind when it comes to topics within the sciences.”

Courtney’s roots to Olivet College remain strong as she continues her education as well as personally, as she is engaged to fellow alumnus Cody Ross ’16. She also stays connected to her former professors and mentors.

“Olivet is a great place to get your feet underneath you. The faculty and staff are welcoming and supportive,” Courtney said. “I’d like to give a shout out to the entire science department at Olivet — you all are an incredible group of role models! Science seminar was always one of my favorite classes, being surrounded by brilliant minds of all perspectives and disciplines within science and hearing their ideas and new discoveries was extremely interesting to me! I want to especially acknowledge Dr. Susanne Lewis, chair of the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Department and associate professor of chemistry. I have many memories with her — organic chemistry was the most challenging course of my undergrad career, but she made it fun and helped me grow into the student I am today.”

Learn more about Olivet College by contacting the Office of Admission at 269-749-7635 or admissions@olivetcollege.edu.

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