Nearly five years ago Victoria Carmella, DVM, (Class of 2007) left the private practice she co-owned in Bridgeport, CT and joined Blue Buffalo, one of the leading natural pet food companies in the nation. Dr. Carmella began her tenure as staff veterinarian and advanced to Director of Veterinary Services where she today supports technical services, marketing, veterinary sales and has a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to participate in the development of therapeutic nutrition.
Recognizing the common mission and dedication to animal health shared by the Blue Buffalo Foundation and her alma mater, Dr. Carmella sought to establish a relationship between the two organizations. The outcome: A scholarship program for RUSVM students totaling $60,000 to support their learning, skill development and passion in canine or feline health.
"Providing scholarships for these future veterinarians reinforces our commitment to promote healthy living for pets," said David Petrie, president of the Blue Buffalo Foundation, the 501(c)(3) organization that is funding the new scholarship program. "And, beginning this program with RUSVM is the right start to this new initiative to advance veterinary medicine."
Ross is the first institution to benefit from the foundation's new initiative to provide financial support to aspiring veterinarians. According to Blue Buffalo Foundation, Ross students were selected to benefit from the scholarships because of the university’s focus on producing career-ready veterinarians whose skills are transferable and marketable across industries.
“The hands-on experience in both anatomy and surgery for small and large animals was so invaluable to me,” said Dr. Carmella while reflecting on the university’s curriculum. At the time, Guy St. Jean, DVM, MS, DIPACVS, who is currently the interim dean, was teaching Large Animal Surgery. “By the time I went to Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine for clinical training, I was so prepared and ahead of my peers. They weren’t provided that level of hands-on exposure.”
Similarly, Dr. Carmella attributes the ability to reinvent her career to the education and training she received at Ross. "Ross graduates are prepared to take on the diverse landscape of veterinary medicine. My transition from private practice is a great testament to the university's veterinary medicine curriculum,” said Dr. Carmella. "So, when the opportunity was presented to follow my passion for small animal nutrition, I seized the chance to join the team at Blue Buffalo."
Though, it's not just Ross’ curriculum that Dr. Carmella holds in high regards.
“The relationships that “Rossies” create when on the island is different than any other experience. We all had different challenges and all came from different areas of the country,” said Dr. Carmella when recalling some of her most memorable moments on campus. “The people we surrounded ourselves with became our best friends. In fact, my best friend today is a woman that was on the transport bus with me when we started our first day together!”
“We all lived in every area together, every hour,” continued Dr. Carmella. “The strength of our bonds together was a credit to the curriculum and the university.”
Learn more about this scholarship program at the official website for the DeVry Education Group Scholarship Fund.