This student plans to pay it forward and inspire the next generation of veterinarians.
Like many students, Kullen Sorrels had a role model that ignited his lifelong passion to pursue his dreams in veterinary medicine. Among his family, friends and community, his big inspiration is his local veterinarian in Dalhart, Texas.
“One of the main reasons I'm in veterinary school today is because of Dr. Michael Atha, owner of Twist Junction Veterinary Services back home in Dalhart,” Sorrels said. “I have worked for Dr. Atha for the past six summers now, and I have witnessed firsthand what an elite mixed animal practitioner looks like, but more importantly, how a veterinarian can also be an incredible boss, father, and friend.”
Sorrels is in his second year of veterinary school at Texas Tech University's School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo. He currently serves as the vice president for the student chapter of American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and he is also a member of the Food Animal Club and Christian Veterinary Fellowship Club.
“Out of the countless things my family and community have taught me over the years, work ethic, respect and selflessness are three ideas that have influenced me beyond measure,” Sorrels said. “I could write all day about how these traits have aided me in my journey through vet school, but the word count would far exceed the page limit.”
Sorrels is now looking forward to the time he can make an impact in the rural communities he will one day serve and be an inspiration for future veterinarians. Let's get to know Sorrels through a series of questions.
What are you passionate about in veterinary medicine?
As a young veterinary student, I have become interested in several aspects of veterinary medicine, such as surgery and internal medicine, and board certifications are definitely on my radar. However, I'd have to say that my passion is simply learning. In almost every subject I study, I thoroughly enjoy obtaining new information and applying it practically to other aspects of veterinary medicine.
The knowledge I have obtained in the classroom and during our clinical skills labs not only increases this passion but deepens my desire to learn more. I can't wait to have the ability to put the knowledge I have obtained into practice after graduation.
What inspires you to pursue what you love to do every day?
My parents are my superheroes, and all I've ever wanted to do is make them proud. They have sacrificed so much for my sister and I, so every time I'm struggling to find motivation or feeling burnt out, I remember everything they've done for me. I'm beyond blessed to have such supportive parents.
I also look to the Lord for motivation. Proverbs 14:23 says that, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” I am never the smartest or most talented person in the room, but if I stay inspired and work my hardest, I am hopeful I can accomplish whatever I set out to do.
How do you plan to go back and help your community?
I am still unsure of what my future holds, but I anticipate either becoming a mixed animal practitioner in a rural community or becoming board certified in equine surgery or internal medicine.
When I settle down into a community, I plan to participate in and contribute to events, charities, and scholarships like the ones back home in Dalhart. If these opportunities for youth in the community do not exist, I would love to start a scholarship program for students with aspirations of becoming veterinarians or leaders within the agricultural industry.
Why did you choose Texas Tech?
I went to undergrad at Texas Tech University and fell in love with the people and atmosphere in Lubbock. My experience at Texas Tech's School of Veterinary Medicine has substantially expanded that. I chose the School of Veterinary Medicine because of my alignment with the mission and core values. The standardized curriculum with the added skills-based learning is still so appealing to me, and I feel as if the School of Veterinary Medicine graduates will be a step above the rest when it comes to hands-on capability.
What was your reaction when you got the call that you were accepted to the School of Veterinary Medicine?
I was in a skid loader cleaning the gelding pen at the R.A. Brown Ranch when I got the call and I will never forget it. After hanging up, I excitedly called my parents and anyone else that would answer to tell them that I was going to be a veterinarian. It was such an uplifting feeling knowing that all the hard work and long hours had finally paid off!
What are your favorite things to do outside of school?
During my spare time outside of veterinary school, I enjoy golfing, hunting and spending time with my family and friends. I also went to farrier school this past summer and now I enjoy shoeing horses when I have the chance.