Future Veterinarians Share What It Feels Like To Be Coated at SVM White Coat Ceremony


Growing up with two veterinarians in the house, Edith Turpel spent a great deal of her childhood visiting her parents at clinics where they worked. After seeing firsthand what it was like being a vet and their love for the profession, it wasn’t long before Ms. Turpel, a first-term student in the School of Veterinary Medicine at St. George’s University, made the decision to join the family business. At the recent SVM White Coat Ceremony, Ms. Turpel had the privilege of being coated by her parents.

“To be coated by both my parents is the best feeling I’ve ever had,” said Ms. Turpel, who hails from Ontario, Canada. “While visiting my parents at their clinics, I met several SGU grads who praised the high quality of education and the outstanding faculty and staff there—so much so that I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else to start my journey toward becoming a vet.”


Ms. Turpel’s parents are incredibly proud of her and her decision to follow in their footsteps.

“Edith has worked extremely hard to get here and we’re so happy we found St. George’s University,” said Dr. Jim Turpel, Edith’s father. “We researched many veterinary medical schools and SGU came out very high in those rankings. We’ve also been down to Grenada a number of times to visit the campus. You can tell that everyone there wants Edith to succeed.”



Ms. Turpel, along with her fellow students in the Class of 2028, took to the stage at Patrick F. Adams Hall on January 27 to receive their white coats—signaling the start of their professional journey. After being coated—sometimes by family members or mentors who had become veterinarians before them, the students then affirmed an oath of commitment by agreeing to uphold the principles of veterinary medical ethics and the highest professional standards.

Hear from three other aspiring veterinarians on how they felt putting on their white coats.



“Now that I’ve been coated, it feels very real. I’m officially on my way to becoming a vet and I feel extremely motivated to keep going. Originally, I wanted to be a physical therapist, but after adopting an injured dog and rehabbing him for six months to a year, I became immersed in animal medicine. So, I decided to change course and knew that pursuing veterinary medicine was the right path for me.”

– Kaylee Coppola
New York, NY



“Being coated by my dad and brother was the best feeling ever! As the youngest, I had been to my brother’s White Coat Ceremony here at SGU and now here they are at mine. I want to be a vet because I grew up listening to all these amazing stories that happened at my father’s practice, and I decided I wanted to experience that myself. I chose SGU partly because my brother raved about how great the school was, but mostly I felt that if he could successfully become a vet here then I could too.”

– James Hammett
Spotsylvania, VA



“I was so excited to be coated by my mentor, Clarence Williams, DVM ’17, because he is someone who has been in my shoes. As an SGU grad, he shared about his own successful journey to becoming a vet and what I could expect when I got here. But nothing he said could’ve prepared me for how beautiful the campus is and how supportive the faculty and staff are. I’ve found a wonderful community here, and I love it. Now that I’ve put on my white coat, I don’t ever want to take it off.”

– Megan Thomas
St. Petersburg, FL



  – Ray-Donna Peters

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