Hard work and determination are paying off for Gaibrielle Bressler. The senior in the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Pre-Vet program will not only be graduating a semester early but has been accepted for early admission to Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Indiana after graduation to earn her doctorate. When she walks across the stage on December 17 during UMES’ 25th winter commencement, she will be fully prepared for the next step toward achieving her dreams.
Along with the knowledge gleaned from a rigorous academic schedule, the general agriculture major with a concentration in animal and poultry science is also armed with hands-on experiences guaranteeing her success in the path forward. The one directly attributed to that is Purdue’s competitive Vet Up College internship program that Bressler attended along with 26 peers last summer. She earned the honor in 2020, but the program was put on hold until last summer when it resumed in a virtual format due to the pandemic.
The goal of the program is to prepare students “to be competitive in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine applicant pool,” said Dr. Kimberly Braxton, a UMES alumna, assistant professor, pre-veterinary advisor and campus veterinarian. Successful completion of the internship can line students up for one of the coveted early admission offers that are a potential benefit from the program.
Gaibrielle Bressler claimed one of the coveted spots for early admission to the program. For the 2021-22 admissions cycle, Purdue’s veterinary program received 1,537 applications for 84 seats including the pre-admission spots, said Lori Stout, the school’s director of admissions and recruitment. According to the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges, 10,834 qualified applications had been received across the system for the 2021-22 admissions cycle. On average, the acceptance rate is between 10-15 percent.
“Gaibrielle exemplifies the adage, ‘It’s good to have great teachers…but they always need great students…She is such an excellent student, professional and young woman with great character that is not only rare in students today, but are traits that will take her far in both her career and life.”Dr. Kimberly Braxton, a UMES alumna, assistant professor, pre-veterinary advisor and campus veterinarian
“I was in awe when the dean of the school called me. All I could say was ‘thank you’ over and over again…Now when people ask my career goal, I don’t say, ‘I want to be a veterinarian’ anymore, I say ‘I’m going to be a veterinarian.'”Gaibrielle Bressler
Gaibrielle Bressler, born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, moved to Prince George’s County seven years ago. She has always had a passion, she said, for “being around, caring for and learning about animals” and believes that she chose the right school and right career path.
“UMES has helped me achieve my goals by maintaining a pre-vet program designed for students to be able to take animal science courses and work hands-on with them on the UMES farm.”Gaibrielle Bressler
Gaibrielle Bressler also attributes her academic success to dedicated faculty members, such as Braxton. “She works so hard to ensure that her students accomplish and succeed in their goals,” Bressler said.
Braxton works closely, she said, with each of her students and provides numerous professional experiences and opportunities to enhance what is learned in the classroom. Bressler has “scrubbed in” with Braxton on spay and neuter surgeries on dogs and cats for clinics such as those held through area human societies. There she practiced surgical and animal restraint techniques. Bressler has also worked as a veterinary assistant at the Dupont Veterinary Clinic in Washington, D.C. since last winter, going home biweekly and working on the weekends.
“It’s so interesting to see how each individual animal is different even though they all have the same anatomy.”Dr. Kimberly Braxton
As for what area of veterinary medicine she sees herself specializing in, Bressler said, “I’m not completely sure, but I know that I want to work with many species and sizes and potentially open a shelter. I would also like to be a professor at an HBCU with a pre-vet program. The sky is really the limit when it comes to all of the tasks that I hope to accomplish!”
Advice that Gaibrielle Bressler would like to pass along to her successors is
“If you have a goal or anything you are passionate about, make sure you take advantage of all the opportunities that are available to you, because you can never have too much experience. It can make all the difference.”Gaibrielle Bressler
Top photo by Todd Dudek, agricultural communications, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences, UMES Extension, email@example.com.
Source: UMES Newsdesk