(August 14, 2009 Stillwater, OK) – The Oklahoma State University (OSU) Center for Veterinary Health Sciences officially welcomed the Class of 2013 during its traditional White Coat Ceremony today, Aug. 14, which was held in the Student Union Theater on the Stillwater campus. Of the 82 members in the freshman class, for one, it is a day he has been pursuing for years.
Brian Herrin of Lindsay, Okla., can’t remember ever wanting to be anything but a veterinarian. He began working toward his goal in the 8th grade when he secured his first job at a veterinary clinic. Herrin spent 40 hours cleaning cages and mowing the lawn at the late Dr. Bronc Jackson’s mixed animal clinic during summer vacations. The responsibilities grew and often during the year, he would help when the clinic had a heavy case load.
“Dr. Jackson taught me many things and allowed me to be very active in working with the animals,” remembers Herrin. “I now want to expand on the skills Dr. Jackson taught me and become a veterinarian.”
Through the years Herrin has worked at a mixed animal practice, small animal practice, zoo and the veterinary center’s Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.
“I like the variety in the veterinary medicine field,” explains Herrin. “Every day can be unique and interesting. I also appreciate that veterinary medicine is challenging, involving problem solving skills.”
Herrin’s parents also influenced his decision to pursue his dream exposing him to some amazing things in nature and teaching him how to care for pets.
“I own a pug named Pugsly and a Dalmatian mix named Kitty,” smiles Herrin.
His Eagle Scout training, Christianity and Choctaw Native American heritage add to that appreciation for animals and his environment. His academic advisor describes him as having “a real enthusiasm for learning” and “being a unique individual” in that he is “quite intelligent, a very kind, articulate, caring and compassionate individual,” traits which will make him a better veterinary practitioner.
Herrin is the son of Alexia and Thomas Herrin also of Lindsay. He graduated from Lindsay High School and earned his B.S. degree from OSU majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in Mathematics. He graduated Summa Cum Laude and received an Honors College Degree, General Honors Award and a Departmental Honors Award in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
“Brian discovered that he enjoys working with large animals the most,” says Dr. Michael Lorenz, professor and dean of the veterinary center. “He wants to return to rural Oklahoma, which is good. Oklahoma needs more rural, large animal veterinarians to fill a shortage of rural veterinarians across the country. We are delighted to have Brian here at OSU studying veterinary medicine.”
There are 56 Oklahoma residents and 24 non-residents in the incoming class. The 62 females and 20 males come from Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. The white coat the students received today symbolizes their commitment to the animals they will one day treat.
“I’m excited about the challenge of vet school,” states Herrin. “I am ready to push myself and to start something I have been working towards since I was little. I am also looking forward to meeting my classmates since we are going to be spending the next four years together!”
Jackson also graduated from OSU (Class of 1981). Who knows, maybe Herrin will graduate and return to Lindsay to practice veterinary medicine where the late good Dr. Jackson once practiced helping a young Herrin take his first step toward reaching his dream of becoming a veterinarian.
The Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences is one of 28 veterinary colleges in the United States and is fully accredited by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The center’s Boren Veterinary Medial Teaching Hospital is open to the public and provides routine and specialized care for small and large animals. It also offers 24 hour emergency care and is certified by the American Animal Hospital Association. For more information, visit www.cvhs.okstate.edu or call (405) 744-7000.