Wisconsin Department of Agriculture
I have always enjoyed fish. I was determined to become a veterinarian. Becoming a fish veterinarian combined the two and has been an interesting journey.
- B.S., Biology, Michigan State University
- M.S., Aquaculture, University of Wisconsin at Madison
- D.V.M., Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin at Madison
What is your current job and what does it entail?
I am the state aquaculture veterinarian for Wisconsin. I work closely with fish farmers to address issues of fish health. Roughly, I spend equal portions of time in the office, in the field and at meetings.
What was the key factor in your career decision?
I have always enjoyed fish. I was determined to be a veterinarian. Becoming a fish veterinarian combined the two and has been an interesting journey.
What do like most about your career?
Working with people who want to learn about fish health. I enjoy teaching students, veterinarians and people who raise fish how to prevent fish diseases.
What do you like least about your career?
Veterinary professionals struggle to be adequately compensated. This is an important consideration for anyone thinking of pursuing a career in veterinary medicine at this time.
What do you do to relax?
Raise koi and goldfish at home. Garden, read newspapers from anywhere and everywhere, and take long hikes.
Who are your heroes/heroines?
My family and friends, and people in everyday life who demonstrate the courage to do what is right because it is right and not because they want to be seen as heroes.
What advice would you give a student who expressed an interest in pursuing a career in your field?
Listen to your heart, work very hard, and don't allow people to discourage you. Don't narrow your focus. You need a variety of skills -- language, math, and economics as well as biology -- to be an effective veterinarian. Learn by doing.
Are career opportunities in your field increasing or decreasing and why?
The opportunities are increasing for a limited number of properly trained veterinarians. This is very much a career in which you create opportunities for yourself and others.
What will you be doing 10 years from today?
Several years ago I would not have guessed I would be doing what I am doing now. Ten years from now I will be involved with aspects of aquaculture that I am not even thinking about now.