With just one phone call, Emily Lashaway’s life changed as she accepts the challenge of pioneering Texas Tech’s new School of Veterinary Medicine.
My name is Emily Lashaway and I am in the class of 2025 at the Texas Tech University's School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo. For as long as I can remember, I have always had a love for veterinary medicine while growing up in Springtown, Texas. In fact, it was at the age of 10 when I decided I wanted to be a veterinarian. It wasn't until I was 12 years old that I began hanging around my local veterinary clinic and it was there where I was thankful, they allowed me to learn and explore my future career. Also, not to mention they helped develop my love for cows. However, my passion for cows grew as I completed my Bachelor of Science degree at West Texas A&M (WT) and thanks to them, I now consider myself a West Texas girl. I have lived in the Amarillo area for the last six years and being here has instilled in me a great love for the panhandle, agriculture and the people that live here.
When the opportunity arose to go to veterinary school without leaving the best place on earth, it was a dream come true. Having Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo is absolutely amazing. While I was attending WT, I had the opportunity to watch the School of Veterinary Medicine gain traction in the community. They started advertising what they were looking for in a student and what to expect if you attended their school. When I read all about it, I knew this school was going to be my home, one way or another. The day I received the call from Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, John Dascanio, was a day I will never forget. Surprisingly, I held it together on the phone. However, once our conversation ended, I bawled. Immediately, I called my husband and he thought I was dying on the other end of the phone. It wasn't until he was halfway out the door when he realized I was actually on cloud nine and not dying. Attending this school has been an absolute dream come true.
Personally, I do not excel in the areas of testing, memorizing facts and regurgitating information. Thankfully, I attend a school that prioritizes hands on experience. They understand that veterinary medicine is best learned when the animal is actually sitting in front of you rather than just on a screen. Texas Tech prioritizes human connections, not passing numbers. Each professor genuinely wants each student to succeed always. The core values that were established with the school are not pretty words to make people feel better. Everyone here at Texas Tech tries their best to live them out daily. Community, integrity, kindheartedness, grit and inspiration are our prized core values among students, staff and faculty. Grit makes its appearance every day because we are in it together by making this veterinary school world-renown. Inspiration can be found in each of our faculty members and guest speakers through the stories they tell. This school is changing the way veterinary schools are structured and I am so thankful to be part of the process.
Since I am so proud of Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine, I have found several areas to get involved. I was nominated as the class historian for the class of 2025. We, as a class, are making history and it is my absolute honor as historian to gather all the stories my classmates have to tell and make sure that it's all recorded in some form or fashion. I also was elected secretary of the Food Animal Club. Food animals are my passion, so I knew this was a club I wanted to help get off the ground. Within the Food Animal Club, I am working with fellow members and our Associate Professor of Food Animal Medicine and Surgery, Jennifer Koziol, to form a palpation team to hopefully compete at the upcoming 2023 Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA) Symposium. I am so excited to get our team there and show the world what Texas Tech is made of. I am very grateful to be involved in all of these areas. It is hard work, starting a veterinary school and all of its programs, but it is so rewarding.
Overall, this school has provided me so many opportunities. Our classes are intentionally structured in such a manner that they often coincide. I have done more in my first year and a half of clinical skills, than many third years have done at other schools. Thanks to connections made through Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine, I was able to utilize these skills this past summer. I was a part of a collaborative internship between Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and our school. This opportunity was a wonderful way to show myself and others how much I had learned thanks to the structure of Texas Tech's curriculum. The School of Veterinary Medicine prioritizes training up veterinarians ready for practice from day one.
After graduation, my goal is to work for a rural veterinary clinic somewhere in the panhandle, with hopes to go into feedlot consulting at some point down the road. I have full confidence in this school to fully prepare me for those goals. We are already discussing fourth year and how we can optimize the time we are given. Fourth year is going to be full of making connections for future jobs and relationships. I am so excited for the opportunities to come.
For anyone with a genuine passion for rural medicine, Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine is the place to be. This school is striving to change the face of veterinary medical education. I have seen the change just in the short time that I have been here. The connections I have made with clinicians are priceless and I owe it all to this school and its fearless leaders. I have formed genuine relationships with all of my professors, veterinary technicians, and caretakers. Texas Tech's School of Veterinary Medicine is a dream come true for people like me. I feel seen and valued for who I am and the goals I have set personally. Keep an eye on this school and its students because this school is changing the rules of veterinary medicine.