Joe Masciana, DVM

Dr. Joe Masciana is an emergency and critical care resident vet at VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital in California. Originally from Long Island, NY, Dr. Masciana trained for three years at St. George’s University before completing his fourth-year rotations at North Carolina State University. Upon graduating, he joined a small animal rotating internship before moving to Los Angeles and starting his residency.

Dr. Masciana came to SGU after earning a Bachelor of Science in cell and molecular biology from Binghamton University.

Your career has already taken you to some wonderful locations. Was that a consideration when choosing to study at SGU?

The opportunity to live in the Caribbean was a definite attraction. I was also drawn to the reputation of the veterinary course and the quality of education I would receive at SGU. Since graduating, I’ve been fortunate enough to live and work in North Carolina and California which are both terrific locations. I strongly believe that my qualification from SGU has created opportunities for me to work all over the world.

People who become vets often choose their career when they are very young. Was that the case for you?

Yes. I always wanted to treat animals. When I was young, I used to pick up stray dogs in our neighborhood and bring them home to look after them. I also loved science and math from a young age, which is helpful if you want to become a vet. I remember asking for extra science homework at school because I enjoyed it so much. My first degree, which I completed at Binghamton University in New York, was in cell and molecular biology.

When I was a teenager, I worked at an emergency veterinary hospital as a flush maker, where I would make up syringes for the vets, and while studying for my first degree at Binghamton, I had a job during college holidays cleaning out kennels at a vet’s office where I was eventually promoted to assistant technician. It was during this time that I applied for vet school at SGU and I haven’t looked back.

What did you gain from studying at SGU?

First and foremost, I gained an education and a qualification in a discipline I’m passionate about. I also got involved in multiple clubs and societies at SGU. I was president of the Animal Rescue Fund, which raised money to provide emergency care for animals without owners or insurance. This charity also found foster carers and permanent homes for the animals after they’d received treatment. I was president of the National Student Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, which is a student organization that promotes the education and involvement of veterinary students in emergency and critical care medicine.

I’m really pleased that I made the most of my time living on such a beautiful island. I spent a lot of my free time scuba diving, hiking, and waterfall jumping. Diving with sharks and achieving my advanced scuba diving certificate were experiences I won’t forget.

I also gained some wonderful friends who I’m still in touch with now. We still visit each other and go on holidays together, and it’s brilliant to have a global network of supportive alumni.

What’s next for your career?

I made a decision at SGU to focus on small animal care mainly due to my love of dogs and cats—I currently own two rescue dogs of my own. I love all animals, but I’m really pleased with this decision. After graduating, I took an internship to gain experience in emergency medicine and I’m now specializing in emergency and critical care. I find it extremely rewarding because I’m in a position to help patients who come to us in distressing situations. Being able to provide comfort with medical and surgical interventions and see patients walk out of surgery after recovering from critical conditions is wonderful.

I also enjoy research and I’ve just submitted my first paper on stem cell transplants in dogs. I’d like to do more research in the future, and one day I might like to teach alongside practicing. It’s great to have so many opportunities ahead of me.

Francisco Torrado, DVM

For Francisco Torrado, DVM SGU ’12, becoming a veterinarian seemed like the natural thing to do with his life. His mother is a registered nurse and he always loved science and medicine, but it was spending all of his summers on his grandfather’s farm in Puerto Rico that solidified his calling to veterinary medicine.

Dr. Torrado’s passion for the profession remains as he serves as a Relief Veterinarian at Live Oak Animal Hospital in Vero Beach, FL. The small animal clinic is mainly dedicated to cats and dogs and has allowed him to utilize his training and expertise with emergency and critical care cases for the past three years.

After graduating from high school, Dr. Torrado attended the University of Puerto Rico’s Mayaguez campus, graduating in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in animal industry. In 2008, he enrolled at the School of Veterinary Medicine at St. George’s University. A huge sailing enthusiast, Dr. Torrado bought and lived on a sailboat while attending classes for his last three years at SGU, allowing him to enjoy Grenada and the region by land and by sea.

“My experience at SGU was amazing. I felt completely prepared to enter the veterinary profession, maybe even more so than my US counterparts,” praised Dr. Torrado. “Being in a different country and having to learn about a different culture, really helped me to become more compassionate to my clients and patients. All of which I learned during my time at SGU played a substantial role in my overall success as a veterinarian.”

Dr. Torrado enjoys visiting Grenada every chance he gets, annually sailing from Florida to Grenada to visit friends and professors at SGU and to celebrate in the popular Grenada Sailing Festival. On his last trip to Grenada, he got engaged to his fiancée, Haley, at the Aquarium Restaurant on island. His fiancée, who he met during his year of clinical training at the University of Florida, loved Grenada so much they decided to return in November 2015 for a beach wedding.

“There have been several of us that have come back to celebrate our weddings in Grenada,” shared Dr. Torrado. “It is another one of the reasons this island is so wonderful. The University, the community, the people, and the island itself just keep calling you back.”

While preparing for his wedding, Dr. Torrado and two of his classmates also participated in a Grand Round. He felt it was the perfect opportunity to give back and share his experiences with the future veterinarians. He spoke of how SGU played a major role in how he got to where he is today and answered their questions on internships and what to expect after graduation.

“It is important to stay true to yourself,” advised Dr. Torrado. “Not everyone is meant to be a surgeon; some of us were meant to be general practitioners and I love what I do. At one point I thought I wanted to be a surgeon but I realized I liked being around clients and talking to them and building a relationship with patients and the people that own them. General practice allows me to do all of that and I think that I have fulfilled all of my dreams.”

Sylke Lohmann, DVM

As a rotating intern at VCA West Los Angeles in California, Sylke Lohmann, DVM SGU ’16, is met with a new challenge each month. Her assignments range from emergency overnights and surgery to zoo medicine and ophthalmology, requiring her to regularly draw upon all she learned as a veterinary medical student at St. George’s University.

“I definitely feel prepared,” she said. “We learned everything we needed to learn. It’s just a matter of accessing that information again and putting it into practice.”

Growing up in Rimbey, Alberta, a town of a couple thousand people located four hours outside Calgary, becoming a veterinarian had always been the plan for Dr. Lohmann. At her family’s farm, she was surrounded by cows, horses, chickens, ducks, and “everything else you could imagine,” she said. Dr. Lohmann’s mother, who was originally from Germany, had always wanted be a vet yet never had the opportunity. Instead, with the farm, she prepared her daughter to follow her own dream.

“I’ve always loved being around animals,” she said. “I love the connection you make with them, and how they’re unconditionally loving and easy to be around.”

From the farm, Dr. Lohmann became a registered veterinary technician, working in clinics in and around Calgary full- and part-time while working toward a Bachelor of Science from the University of Calgary. The path took her all the way to St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine, to which, after receiving positive reviews from past colleagues at veterinary practices, she applied and enrolled thanks in part to a Veterinary Mentor Scholarship.

In Grenada, she joined the Hashing Club—joining friends on long hikes—and volunteered for the Student Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (SVECCS) and Grenada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (GSPCA). In the classroom, she especially enjoyed her junior surgery classes with Drs. Marta Lanza Perea and Tara Paterson.

“They were great; they were so encouraging and made surgery such a great experience,” Dr. Lohmann said. “I loved that we got so much hands-on experience, including many, many spays and neuters in our second and third years. They really wanted us to be good doctors, and it was helpful that we could touch the animals and interact with them. With the relatively short time the professors had with us, it was clear they really cared and wanted to teach us everything possible.”

In 2014, Dr. Lohmann was welcomed to the SVM’s Phi Zeta National Honor Society. Her surgery experience was so impactful that she hopes to make a career out of it. She anticipates completing her intern year at VCA and then entering a specialty internship or residency in surgery.

“With surgery, it’s an amazing feeling to be able to put something back together,” Dr. Lohmann said. “You’re able to take an animal who isn’t walking and have it walking the next day. You can really make a difference, just like you can with people.”

Kirsten Traul, DVM

Growing up in Colorado, Kirsten Traul, DVM ’04, admits she had similar dreams to her fellow horse-crazy classmates, she wanted to be a professional rider. She couldn’t get enough of horses then, and her attitude hasn’t wavered, although she’s in a different albeit rewarding role as the attending veterinarian at Premier Breeding Services, a large equine reproduction facility in southeast Denver, CO.

“It is fascinating to me because no two days are alike,” said Dr. Traul. “Every day has something unusual to it that makes me stretch and grow as a veterinarian. I really enjoy working with horses, particularly with the foals. It’s kind of a mix of being an OB/GYN and an emergency room doctor. It is fun.”

Her affinity for horses started at age eight and she was a competitive rider throughout junior high school and high school. “A woman in the neighborhood who had a horse farm let a bunch of us kids go and ride and play with the babies,” Dr. Traul recalls. “She got me completely hooked on horses.”

Her love of horses evolved into a desire to care for them in the most intense way possible – as a veterinarian. She enrolled at St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine to pursue that dream and took advantage of learning from a faculty that was both renowned and diverse. She fully embraced the Grenadian culture and appreciated the knowledge and accessibility of the professors.

“SGU taught me to think through a diagnosis and to ask the right questions,” Dr. Traul said. “The experience was very hands-on and that helped you developed good observation skills.”

Located just outside the SGU campus, the Elisabeth McClellan Small Animal Clinic provides outstanding care to the Grenadian community while also serving as a venue to teach St. George’s University students the clinical skills necessary to be successful in the profession.

Dr. Traul completed her clinical rotations at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine in early January 2004.  She was hired by Washington State CVM’s anesthesia department immediately after graduation. In 2006, she and her husband moved to Colorado where she was appointed to the Premier Breeding Services staff. By Dr. Traul’s estimation, the organization breeds upwards of 300 mares a season, delivering 30 to 40, and stands between 15 and 20 stallions. In addition to basic reproduction services, she provides neonatal care, assists in the transfer of embryos and collects semen for shipping and freezing, as well as dealing with colics and other emergencies.

She runs a mobile veterinary service during the fall months; horses breed from January to September. In visits to her clients, Dr. Traul administers vaccinations, performs routine physical examinations, and responds to various emergencies. She is also a certified veterinary acupuncturist.

“One of the best things about SGU is the fact that it isn’t a US school,” Dr. Traul said. “It makes you think in a different way, and makes you a better vet. I enjoyed the experience very much.”

Joshua Morgenstern, DVM

Dr. Joshua Morgenstern is a first-year veterinary cardiology resident at Advanced Veterinary Care Center in Lawndale, CA, a practice with specialty services in cardiology, internal medicine, oncology, and surgery, as well as emergency care. He is involved in everything from installing pacemakers, performing balloon valvuloplasties, and many other interventional intravascular procedures. In addition to his work in the catheter lab, he manages dogs and cats in congestive heart failure, animals with congenital heart defects, and  others with complex arrhythmias.

“Cardiology isn’t for everybody, but I’ve found that I excel at it and really enjoy it,” Dr. Morgenstern said. “It takes a certain type of person to treat older patients and diseases we often can’t fix. Cardiology is a rapidly growing field in both human and veterinary medicine.”

Upon graduating in 2011, Dr. Morgenstern further enhanced his clinical skills and resume by doing a rotating internship in medicine and surgery at the prestigious Animal and Medical Center in New York and then completing a cardiology internship at BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Tampa, FL. Dr. Morgenstern then matched with the cardiology residency at Advanced Veterinary Care Center. His primary case load at AVCC involves cats and dogs, but on occasion everything from birds and rabbits to horses. He has even performed an echocardiogram on a grizzly bear.

Born and raised in New York, Dr. Morgenstern majored in animal science at The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and earned his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 2007. When weighing his veterinary medical school options, a family friend who was also a veterinarian raved about the caliber of SGU graduates with whom he crossed paths. Dr. Morgenstern diligently researched the University and its programs, and in August 2007, he enrolled at SGU, studying basic sciences for three years in Grenada.

“It’s an experience that I wouldn’t trade even if I had an opportunity to go to a state school,” Dr. Morgenstern said. “It’s rewarding in that you learn about more than just medicine; you learn about life. The level of education is second to none, and it provided me with the tools that I needed to excel. Not a day goes by that I don’t appreciate the opportunity I was given by St. George’s University.”

Upon arriving, he immediately took advantage of unparalleled access to faculty members and student support from the award-winning Department of Educational Services. It also didn’t take long for him to grow fond of his new classmates.
“Moving to a new country, we were all experiencing the same thing, and we all had a passion and drive to become a veterinarian,” said Dr. Morgenstern, who also has helped SGU with student recruitment and counseling.  “I think we all found comfort in that and grew together not only as a class but as a family.”

As a veterinarian, he draws great satisfaction from keeping families of a different kind together.
“It’s wonderful when we are able to take a bad situation and make it right,” Dr. Morgenstern said.

“The feeling of getting our patients back home to their families and the appreciation that we receive is extremely rewarding.”

Jill MacLeese, DVM

Jill MacLeese was certainly not thinking of ophthalmology when she enrolled in veterinary school. However, it did not take long for her to fall in love with the specialty, and her passion for ophthalmology has intensified ever since. Now a three-year resident at the Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island (VMCLI) in New York, Dr. MacLeese could not be happier with the path she has taken.

“The more ophthalmology I was exposed to, the more I loved it,” she said. “Many people tend to become uneasy when faced with ophthalmology cases but I’ve always been fascinated with the field.”

An ophthalmologic case of uveitis, or inflammation to the uvea portion of the eye, during her second year at SGU sparked her interest in the specialty. However, it wasn’t until her clinical year at North Carolina State University that her desire to pursue an ophthalmology residency was solidified. At the 2010 American College of Veterinary Ophthalmology (ACVO) conference opportunity knocked in the form of  a chance meeting with Dr. Noelle La Croix, DACVO, an ophthalmologist at VMCLI. Dr. MacLeese was granted a specialty internship in ophthalmology at the practice and in July 2012 began a coveted veterinary ophthalmology residency in a position that VMCLI made exclusively for her.

The position has her working on a variety of ophthalmology cases, predominantly treating small animals, while also examining horses, birds, rabbits and other exotic species. In addition, she works one night per week in emergency medicine and travels to the University of Pennsylvania monthly for ocular histopathology rounds.

“I love it here,” Dr. MacLeese said. “It’s very busy practice; I see approximately 15 to 20 cases a day, so I’m getting a lot of clinical experience.”

Dr. MacLeese has given back to the University by working as a student liaison representative, while also talking about her SGU experience at a number of the University’s information session. She feels strongly about speaking on the University’s behalf as it has laid the foundation for her professional success.

“I have always felt just as prepared as any of my veterinary counterparts from state schools,” Dr. MacLeese said. “I had a wonderful time in Grenada and wouldn’t change my experience there for anything in the world.”

Jennifer Lopez, DVM, MBA

As a veterinarian, Jennifer Lopez, DVM SGU ’11, MBA SGU ’13, is accustomed to making important decisions that affect the welfare of her patients. Now as Medical Director of VCA Castle Shannon Animal Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA, her decisions affect the entire practice. It’s a position for which she is well prepared, having obtained both her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Business Administration from St. George’s University.

“The reason I got this job was because of my MBA,” Dr. Lopez said. “They were looking for someone with management experience, and a lot of the things that I learned in class I use every day.”

Having made a positive impression at Banfield Pet Hospital during four separate stints on her breaks from school, Dr. Lopez began practicing as an Associate Veterinarian at Banfield’s midtown Miami location in 2011. It was during that time that she enrolled in SGU’s MBA program, specializing in multi-sector health management. With the exception of two one-week residency sessions in Grenada, classes were held entirely online, which worked well with her hospital schedule. She completed her MBA in fewer than 18 months, and graduated in 2013 with a deeper understanding of international business, global health, and principled leadership.

Dr. Lopez now oversees 12 doctors and 30 support staff in her role as Medical Director. She also works as an Emergency and General Practice Veterinarian, visiting with patients for well visits and conducting critical care treatment, including surgeries, on a regular basis. In addition, the hospital gives back to the community, hosting community days, donating their services and educating owners on how to best take care of their pets. For her leadership, Dr. Lopez was recognized in the 2016 edition of Icons of Pittsburgh, a book that annually recognizes prominent figures in the Steel City.

Dr. Lopez grew up in Miami, FL, where her parents bred Rottweilers. “We always had puppies around, so I thought that was a normal thing,” she said. “I don’t even know what else I would do if it didn’t involve animals.” She obtained her Bachelor of Science in animal biology from the University of Florida in 2001, and went on to earn a BS in business administration from the University of Phoenix in 2004. While pursuing those degrees, she worked in UF’s College of Veterinary Medicine as a veterinary technician, specializing in dermatology, which she also researched in depth.

Tara Paterson, DVM SGU ’03, and Janet Caracciolo, DVM SGU ’03, came through Florida during their clinical year and spoke glowingly about their experience at SGU. They encouraged her to apply, and she enrolled in 2006.

Dr. Lopez found veterinary school to be a challenge, but she was up to that challenge. She embraced the Grenadian culture and appreciated the hands-on experience that the School of Veterinary Medicine provided early on, identifying Drs. Timothy Ayliffe and Marta Lanza-Perea as especially influential figures in her education. She and her classmates held numerous community outreach events, including vaccine clinics and sponsoring lunches.

“It was more difficult than I expected,” Dr. Lopez said. “You don’t just sit at the beach with flash cards every day, although you definitely do occasionally. It’s a good balance. Grenada is a beautiful country and its people are amazing.”

In addition, she served as President of the Jewish Student Association and American Animal Hospital Association, mentored incoming students as part of the SGU’s Footsteps program, and held the position of Student Representative for Pfizer and VCA Hospitals.

“The friends and the connections that I made and the confidence that I gained made me a better veterinarian and person,” Dr. Lopez said. “The faculty spent time with us. They really cared about us doing well, going on to do clinics well, and becoming very good veterinarians.”

She has become one herself, and hopes to pass down the knowledge and skills she has gained to her staff. For a Floridian, relocating to the northeast was an adjustment for Dr. Lopez and her bulldogs, but she admits she has had her time in the sun. “In Florida and Grenada, I wore a lot of flip-flops and shorts, so I’m good with scarves and boots.”

Emelie Fogelberg

Dr. Emelie Fogelberg has lived and traveled throughout Europe. She was born in Gothenburg, Sweden, and raised in Spain. She always loved animals and by her teenage years had firmly decided to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. After spending a year studying in London, Emelie enrolled in the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences.

Emelie was applying to schools in Europe when she heard about St. George’s University and began to research the School of Veterinary Medicine. “Once I found out about St. George’s University, it was my first choice,” she explains. “It was more exciting than school in Sweden or the United Kingdom…I take pleasure in travelling and exploring new cultures which is the reason why I went abroad for my studies.”

In 2008 Emelie enrolled in the four-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program. There were a mix of emotions— excitement and fear—about a place that was unknown and new to her. After three years studying in Grenada, Emelie completed her final clinical year at the Royal Veterinary College in London—one of St. George’s 29 veterinary affiliates around the world. There she was able to interact with students from a number of veterinary schools and compare her experience at St. George’s to that of her peers. Emelie discovered, “In comparison to other schools in the United Kingdom, St. George’s is more than up to par. We get more practical experience. We have professors who come from all over the world to teach us, and they are specialized in their fields.”

During her time in Grenada, Emelie took part in the biannual One Health One Medicine Vaccination Clinic where veterinary and medical students would join forces to provide services to the local population and their pets. “Dogs and cats got a general physical exam, were vaccinated against rabies and de-wormed and deflead as needed,” Emelie describes. “It was very rewarding being part of this as the locals were very appreciative for what we were offering them and their pets. It gave us students a chance to apply our knowledge to real cases at an early stage in our education.”

Emelie had no trouble adjusting to life in Grenada. She explains, “Being a bit adventurous, in Grenada I got the opportunity to climb Mount St. Catherine, attempted kite surfing and went sailing around the Caribbean islands.” In addition, she played for the women’s football team and joined Student Affiliation of the American Veterinary Medicine Association (SAAVMA) to help in fund raising, wet labs and socials events. In fact, she says, “I loved every minute I was there and I was really sad when I left.” Emelie left Grenada with life-long friends that she can now visit all around the world.

In 2010, as an honorary member of the Phi Zeta Society, Emelie graduated from the School of Veterinary Medicine and passed the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Statutory Membership exam on her first attempt.

Now a registered member of the RCVS, she is more than content with her new position as a General Practitioner in southwest London. In the near future, Dr. Emelie Fogelberg plans to get certified in small animal surgery as well as spend a few months in Africa working on a wildlife reserve.

Carolina Ortiz-Umpierre, DVM, CVA, CVH

It was at the very young age of ten that first generation American Carolina Ortiz-Umpierre knew that she was meant to be a veterinarian.  While visiting family in Venezuela, a family cat was choking on a chicken bone and Carolina immediately leapt to its rescue.  Her family was amazed by her quick reaction time and ability to dislodge the bone from the cat’s throat, and so what had been a “little girl’s fantasy of playing with puppies and kittens” revealed itself as her true calling.  She went on to earn her associate’s degree in Biology from Broward Community College in Davie, FL, and her bachelor’s degree in the same discipline from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL.  Walking to class one day she spotted a poster advertising St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine.  She applied, was accepted, and embarked on “the best four years of [her] life.”

She notes with much enthusiasm the beauty of Grenada and the advantages of attending school there: “It is so full of life.  It is a great place to go to school because there are not too many distractions, but there are plenty of rewards.”  The rewards are something of which Dr. Ortiz-Umpierre is well aware, as she not only received a “hands-on experience and high level of education,” but met her future husband, a fellow veterinary medical student, while on the Island.

The ability to attend a different school for her final clinical year proved to be another life-changing experience for Dr. Ortiz-Umpierre.  While at the University of Florida she took a certifying course in veterinary acupuncture, which she had become interested in while working as a veterinary technician prior to attending veterinary school.  Upon graduation, she began an internship in acupuncture, also at the University of Florida, in the only program of its kind in the US.  During her internship she worked under Dr. Huisheng Xie, a pioneer of veterinary acupuncture in the US.  She became certified in Chinese herbal medicine and Tui Na, a form of Chinese massage.  Since then, she has become a professor at the Chi Institute of Chinese Medicine which is a school that teaches veterinarians Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Upon completion of her groundbreaking internship, Dr. Ortiz-Umpierre worked as an associate veterinarian in a small animal practice where she was able to integrate Western and Eastern medicine: “I would perform a surgery on a patient and then use acupuncture for post-operative pain management.”  She found this job to be rewarding, but wished to practice solely Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM).  An opportunity arose when the University of Florida opened a new clinical assistant professor of acupuncture position.  She will begin to practice alongside her former mentor Dr. Xie in January 2008.  It is her goal to execute research in the area of TCVM in order to prove its clinical and therapeutic effects.

To further her goals, she and a group of TCVM practitioners began the American Journal of TCVM, which is the first of its kind in the US.  She currently serves as co-editor-in-chief.  Their mission is to promote evidence-based scientific research in the field of TCVM because “many practice TCVM and get great results, but as scientists would like to know from a pathophysiology perspective just how acupuncture works.”

Dr. Ortiz-Umpierre notes that she is eligible for the same opportunities as graduates of US veterinary medical schools, and was well prepared for her clinical year and national and foreign-graduate board exams.  She is “forever grateful” to SGU for giving her the opportunity to fulfill her lifelong dream, and also meet her lifelong partner.

Tshephang Moeng, DVM, MPH

Tshephang Moeng is a fifth term veterinary medical student at St. George’s University. He is originally from Kanye, Botswana—less than an hour away and southwest of the capital, Gaborone. After pursuing his Bachelors of Science at the University of Botswana, Tshephang applied to the preveterinary program at St. George’s University and was placed into the third year, completing term 3-1 and 3-2. He first considered becoming a medical doctor, however he explains, “growing up in the countryside, I developed a stronger interest in agriculture and animals and I felt like it was something I could do.”

In addition to his dreams of becoming a veterinarian, Tshephang has decided to pursue a dual degree Master of Public Health. His ultimate goal involves returning to Botswana where he hopes to use his dual degree “to improve standards of public health and address the different public health issues that can affect the country. I want to take my education on food safety, zoonosis, HIV/AIDS and knowledge of other public health issues back to Botswana.”

Tshephang explained what he thought about St. George’s University and Grenada, “It is a great place for social and academic life. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming. There are people from the University there to pick you up at the airport when you arrive and people to show you around. Everyone I met was so nice and fun that it is difficult to feel homesick when you are here. Academic life can be hectic, but we have study groups and lectures and people to help you along with the education requirements. International students in Grenada have a special orientation and are given a tour of the campus. We have different social groups and organizations to help immerse us in the culture—including driving, social customs, etcetera. ”

“There are also many African and Caribbean student associations to help assist in the adjustment to a new island. But there are so many similarities between Botswana and Grenada, that the adjustment was easy.” Tshephang Moeng describes his first reaction to the island. “Grenada looks like a paradise. When I first got there I went to the Grand Anse campus and it was awesome—the weather, buildings, view, vegetation, warm welcome from the people. There really are students from around the world and we all interact with one another.”

Academically, Tshephang speaks of one African professor in particular who has inspired him—Dr. Saul Mofya from the Republic of Zambia offered Tshephang advice on areas to focus on and study and helped Tshephang discover what he was interested in and what further topics of study he could take back to utilize in Botswana.

Tshephang advises future students that “You have to look into the field you’re considering. You have to research and make sure you’re committed to the field because you can’t do something you don’t like. There are a lot of parties and activities, but stay focused on your studies and remember what you came here for.”

In addition to pursuing his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Public Health degrees, Tshephang is incredibly energetic and involved with many extracurricular activities, including intramural soccer, Public Health Society, and the African Student Association. He enjoys mingling with the locals and people from different places around the world to learn about their cultures. “My first roommate was from India and helped introduce me to the island,” Tshephang recounts. Currently, he is considering completing one of his requirements for the public health degree by taking a practicum in Kenya through the University. Tshephang Moeng expects to graduate from the School of Veterinary Medicine in 2012 and earn his Master of Public Health in Spring 2011.