|Dr. Martin instructs veterinary medical students in diagnostic examination of a horse’s leg. (Photos courtesy of the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine)|
Chance the bull was an animal star, appearing in movies and on “The Late Show with David Letterman” before his death in 1998 from natural causes. A year later, at the age of 21, he became the oldest animal ever cloned when the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine used his skin cells to create Second Chance, his clone.
Since 1999, Texas A&M has cloned six species. Led by Drs. Duane Kramer and Katrin Hinrichs, the college has cloned swine, goat, horse, white-tailed deer, a bull, and a cat named CC, the first successfully cloned pet.
According to Clendenin, the college has also shown a strong presence with the animals in its community, as the school works closely with the state to care for animals in the prison system.
“[The Department of Criminal Justice] has farms that support the prison systems here in Texas so they have a large number of animals that need veterinary care,” Clendenin says. “We provide that care for them, and that provides teaching opportunities for our students.”
At A Glance
Location: College Station, Texas
Opening date: 1916
No. of students: 132
Financial aid offered: Yes, scholarships and other opportunities
Programs offered: DVM, BA in biomedical sciences, Grad, Masters, PhD
This relationship dates back to the 1960s when the Texas Department of Criminal Justice approached Texas A&M with a proposal of a joint venture.
“From that, we have created the senior veterinary rotation for fourth-year students who take care of the animals on the farm units.” Clendenin says. “It has grown to include 16,000 cattle, 1,650 horses, 30,000 hogs, 1,600 dogs and 330,000 laying hens. We have 24 two-week rotations at the fourth-year level with 15-18 students who participate in the program.”
Along with hands-on experience, the College of Veterinary Medicine, in an effort to prepare students for the rigors of the real world, offers a program that allows DVM students to take a year off from veterinary studies and take classes toward earning an MBA.
“They have two opportunities,” says Dr. Kenita Rogers, associate dean of professional programs at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. “Some [students] do [the program] between their first and second year of veterinary school, and do business from that summer to the next summer. They can also do it after they graduate.”
“Students work on business-related projects for their masters, which also relates to veterinary medicine,” Clendenin says. “Not only are they learning the good clinical skills, they’re learning to be veterinary leaders.”
Click Here for a list of previous Vet School Spotlights.