Student Story: Honors pre-vet student made most of college experience

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- At just 4 years old, Samantha Fanelli had a passion for helping animals.

In high school, she knew she wanted to go to veterinary school, so she decided Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences was the perfect place to prepare, with its hands-on, well-rounded scientific programs. As an incoming freshman, she encountered a variety of opportunities that would open doors for her as a veterinary and biomedical sciences major.

Fanelli, of Downingtown, Pa., graduated last May. While at Penn State, the Schreyer Honors College student worked as a research assistant and individual researcher for her thesis at Penn State's E. Coli Reference Center.

She also was president of the Pre-Vet Club, Penn State Dance Marathon general fundraising chairwoman for Lion Ambassadors and a member of the Penn State Equestrian Team. In addition, Gamma Sigma Delta, the honor society for agriculture, inducted her as a member the fall of her sophomore year.

"I dedicated most of my involvement to Pre-Vet Club," she said, noting that she heard about the club during the Spend a Summer Day program as a high school senior. Once she entered her freshman year, she sought to get involved right away. The club has expanded and thrived since Fanelli took leadership roles.

"I have come to learn a lot about the field of veterinary medicine through lectures, hands-on laboratories and volunteer experiences."

Along with her role as president of the club, Fanelli also was chosen as one of two dance marathon chairs her sophomore year. She helped bring the club's "THON" fundraising totals from too small to even qualify for dancers to more than $10,000. Fanelli had the opportunity to dance in THON 2012 for the club.

The club also took part in the Homecoming parade for the first time last year.

"Balancing everything felt like a very delicate art sometimes," she said about juggling all of her activities and academics. She organized her busy schedule by keeping to-do lists and a very active, color-coded Gmail calendar.

Currently, Fanelli is a student at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine.

Learn more about the veterinary and biomedical sciences major.

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Last Updated September 09, 2013