Colt is a full-time student in the MPH-DVM. His passion for animals led him to the idea of veterinary school (and ultimately to join the program). His interest in animals stemmed from growing up on a horse farm in Indiana, where he showed horses competitively for 20 years.
Colt completed his undergraduate work at Purdue University, where he received a BS in Animal Sciences. He then accepted a position with Zoetis, previously Pfizer Animal Health, in Kalamazoo, MI, where he worked on livestock antibiotic clinical trials. During his three years with Zoetis, Colt spent his time traveling throughout the country to dairy farms, working with producers and veterinarians on clinical trials. He also spent portions of the year sitting all day behind a desk—which wasn’t for him. He decided to apply to veterinary school.
While researching schools, Colt learned about CSU’s combined DVM/MPH program. He had always been interested in animal health and during his time with Zoetis, he developed an interest in zoonotic disease and human disease associations, thus he applied for the combined program.
For his master’s project Colt focused on identifying and understanding dairy cattle movements and farm-level factors associated with movement frequency of cattle in Colorado. Information he collected can be used to aid in the prevention and control of zoonotic diseases, specifically tuberculosis. On farms where increased cattle movement was identified, it is assumed that farm workers are at a greater risk for contracting tuberculosis. Therefore, the movement information collected can be used to identify farms where employees are at increased risk of disease, and training programs can be established to reduce disease incidence.
Endeavors like his master’s project are just a few of the things Colt hopes to accomplish as a veterinarian. In addition to practicing large animal clinical medicine, he hopes to work closely with public health officials and members of the research industry to reduce zoonotic threats in our country today.
Colt’s career objectives as a practicing veterinarian encompass a variety of disciplines. However, they all focus on working closely with large animals; specifically, cattle and horses. His goals as a large animal practitioner will focus not only on clinical treatment, but will also utilize his previous experiences in animal research and class work in the Masters of Public Health (MPH) program to improve the quality and security of animal health. Working with fellow veterinarians, producers, and government officials to improve biosecurity and reduce transmission of zoonotic diseases is an essential area, and one to which he hopes to contribute.
How Colt’s CSPH education/degree has fostered professional success:
Although he has not yet entered the work force, Colt has already seen several positive aspects of his MPH degree during his veterinary classes, as well as his summer internships and part-time job work with the USDA in their National Animal Health Monitoring System group.
“I was actually fortunate enough to obtain my current part-time job while completing my project and practicum with the USDA in the summer of 2011. My CSPH degree has helped me better understand epidemiology and its importance in disease outbreaks in many different settings. In addition, the CSPH degree provided me with a solid foundation for understanding and interrupting statistical information as it relates to study design and disease outbreaks. The CSPH program helped me to improve other skills, including organization, teamwork, public speaking, and communication, all of which are vital in my current endeavors, as well as my future.”