Driven by the desire to advance research on infectious disease, autoimmune disease, cancer, and heart disease, Megan Ellis created a plan that would help her achieve her goals. With the long-term objective of becoming a laboratory animal veterinarian, Megan first sought out a graduate program that would provide her with two things: the background knowledge to become more effective in lab animal medicine and the credentials she’d need to get accepted to veterinary school. The Master of Science in Infectious Disease and Global Health (MS IDGH) supplied her with both.
Now a first year DVM student at Colorado State University, Megan credits the extra research hours, animal hours, and the intensive curriculum provided by the MS IDGH program with helping her achieve the next step toward her goal.
Below, find out more about Megan’s experience as a graduate student preparing for veterinary school and how the MS IDGH program helped her get there.
What were your goals in completing the MS IDGH program?
I wanted to expand my knowledge of infectious disease (especially neglected tropical diseases), expand my understanding of One Health, and work in a laboratory to improve my skills in both in vivo and in vitro experiments.
How do you think obtaining your MS IDGH degree helped you prepare for veterinary school?
Many of the classes provided me with a solid foundation for classes I have taken or will take in veterinary school, such as immunology, bacteriology, virology, and parasitology. I also learned a lot about time management and was able to gain a good background in laboratory research.
How would you describe your experience as a student at Cummings School?
Megan (second from right) celebrates her graduation from the MS IDGH program with family and friends.
I believe the program was challenging, and it was an overall positive experience. In general, the faculty wanted us to succeed and assisted us in that, and we students supported and helped each other.
What is the most important thing you learned during your time in the MS IDGH program?
I think the importance of collaboration with our peers and also with our professors [was most important]. Scientific research is often seen as a pretty individualistic career field, but, in actuality, our connections and the help we get from others is crucial to making new discoveries and to succeeding.
What is your favorite memory from the MS IDGH program?
I really enjoyed our final poster presentations. It was a very nerve-wracking experience, but it was great to finally show my efforts from my summer research project as well as to see what everyone else had achieved.
Why do you think you’ve been so successful?
I don’t think anyone is successful on their own. I have had and continue to have amazing mentors, family, and friends, without whom success would not be possible.