The Tufts University Veterinary Alumni Association (TUVAA) kicked off the new year with a new president, Dr. Emily Dae Andersen (V17), who also joins the board of advisors at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts.
“I am a very proud alumna, so I’d like to assist with Tufts anyway I can. I’m proud of what it continues to do,” she says.
TUVAA is a nonprofit organization that engages alumni with Cummings School through community service, student mentorship, career development, alumni wellness initiatives, and also recognizes alumni and faculty for their achievements.
“I would like to continue the momentum that [former TUVAA President] Katie Holmes started, particularly on international efforts, expanding the groundwork she laid for students to study abroad and for alumni to get involved,” she says.
“I’d like to help out in terms of curriculum and the current education of students. Providing opportunities for ancillary educational training are limitless,” she adds.
Dr. Andersen brings broad veterinary experience to her new role. Her interest in the field surfaced quite early.
“For our preschool graduation, I dressed up as a vet,” she shares. In elementary school, she helped out at a veterinary practice in her Connecticut hometown. At 10 years old, she was sitting in on surgeries.
Dr. Andersen earned her BS in animal sciences from the University of Vermont, and after graduating, spent a year working as a veterinary technician at a small animal hospital and a dairy farm in Vermont.
When she applied to veterinary programs, Cummings School topped her list. She was impressed by the international and wildlife programs and the One Health philosophy. “Cummings has such an inclusive, open-minded vibe, socially and in applying veterinary medicine to the world, looking at things in unique ways,” she explains. “I had a type A class. Yet what impressed me was our competitiveness was individual, not among each classmate. Everyone was willing to help each other out, and the School catered to this collaborative attitude.”
After graduation, Dr. Andersen worked for three years as a small animal general practitioner in Connecticut. She also completed advanced training and certification in acupuncture and other modalities of traditional Chinese veterinary medicine at Chi University in central Florida.
“It’s a great adjunct to have,” she said. “The animals adore it and the results are easy to see.”
Dr. Andersen currently serves as a high quality/high volume spay/neuter surgeon at Nutmeg Spay/Neuter Clinic and started a house call practice through Heal House Call Veterinarian, providing integrative and Western medicine with a focus on providing access to care.
Splitting her time between Connecticut and Vermont, Dr. Andersen has a “gang” of animals at home, and enjoys hiking and cross-country skiing with her dogs, gardening, and traveling.
Teaching and continuing to learn have been central themes throughout her life.
“Education is a passion of mine,” says Dr. Andersen. “There are established programs and true to Tufts’ form, a lot of opportunities to develop the position, which is an overarching theme at Tufts, catering to people’s passions and letting them run with those.”