Rowena Barty, DVM

Dr. Rowena Barty is an exemplary St. George’s University alumna who embodies its international ethos.  Born in Kent, United Kingdom, she worked as a veterinary assistant before selecting SGU for its globally focused curriculum.  Upon graduation she earned the highest grade on the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) exam, and began to pursue her PhD at Liverpool where she studies Onochocerca, a parasite found in cattle and human beings in Africa.

She had wanted to become a veterinarian ever since she was a little girl, and took all of her A-level sciences at Thanet College.  One of the best things about SGU, she says, is that she was able to learn from specialists from around the world.  “St. George’s brings in specialists from areas of veterinary medicine that other universities may not be able to.”

There is nothing that Rowena would not recommend about the school, and she states that “rather than just university, just vet school” St. George’s is “a life-changing experience.”  In addition to the unparalleled faculty, the genuine camaraderie amongst the multicultural student body was an aspect of the University she found invaluable.  Rowena maintains friendships with many of her fellow SGU graduates throughout the world.   As she continues to live out the global health focus of the school, we are certain she will make a grand impact on the world of veterinary medicine.

Raye Taylor, DVM

Her responsibilities are wide-ranging, which is part of the reason why Raye Taylor, DVM SGU ’11, loves her job so much. The Chief of Staff at Banfield Pet Hospital in Maplewood, Minnesota, Dr. Taylor manages a facility that includes six doctors and 20 staff members between its three wards and surgical suite. Her duties combine being a mixed/exotics veterinarian and surgeon with training staff members in order to increase the quality of medicine performed.

“I love the diversity of my job,” said Dr. Taylor. “I love being able to both create the bond with patients as well as facilitate it for the rest of my team. We provide quality care for our patients and equip clients with the knowledge to make the right decision for their pets.”

Dr. Taylor joined Banfield shortly after graduating from SGU in 2011, and was promoted to Chief of Staff in February 2014. Her experience in Grenada has played a key role in her ability to handle a full workload at Banfield, which is located just outside the state capital of St. Paul.

“Going to St. George’s University is the best thing that I could have ever done,” said Dr. Taylor, who earned a Bachelor of Science in zoology from Iowa State in 2004, and a second bachelor’s degree in microbiology in 2006. “It was the perfect fit for me. I loved SGU and I loved Grenada. It opened me up to a whole new world and perspective, and I feel like I left there incredibly well-rounded.”

She appreciated the early hands-on opportunities that are built into SGU’s curriculum, both at the Small Animal Hospital as well as the Large Animal Facility. In addition, the University’s international faculty made itself available to students outside the classroom, and its student support services provide guidance for students during and after their time at SGU.

Dr. Taylor said that her class remained close throughout their time in Grenada, and took full advantage of the extracurricular opportunities during downtimes in their studies.

“Our class has tremendous camaraderie,” she stated. “We would go out and explore the island, engage with the community, and go for a hike in the rainforest or for a run.”

After three years in Grenada, she completed her clinical rotations at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, earning her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2011. Having had an extraordinary experience at SGU, Dr. Taylor often volunteers at St. George’s University information sessions in Chicago and St. Paul, as well as SVM webinars.

“St. George’s is an exceptional veterinary school,” she said. “No matter where you go, it’s going to be difficult. That SGU students can experience culture and balance a stressful education with a tropical island is a distinct advantage.”

Lydia Doyle, DVM, MRCVS

Dr. Lydia Doyle has a passion for and dedication to the field of veterinary medicine that began at a very young age. Starting when she was 13 years old, Lydia spent afterschool hours, summers, and later term breaks from St. George’s University, at the Barn Lodge Veterinary Hospital in Lancashire, United Kingdom. While at Barn Lodge, Lydia observed a myriad of clinical cases and participated in routine surgical procedures.

During her time at the Barn Lodge Veterinary Hospital she met her mentor, Dr. Austin P. Kirwan. He suggested Lydia apply to St. George’s University despite its distance from home. While Dr. Kirwan, Assistant Dean of UK Clinical Affairs, had no affiliation with the University at the time, he was aware of its evolving veterinary medical program.

Lydia entered St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine five-year program in 2000. Lydia received a full-tuition scholarship and completed her final clinical year at University College Dublin, Ireland. In 2005 Lydia became among the first students from the United Kingdom to graduate from St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine.

“While many of my friends in school in England felt the need to travel to other parts of the world, I was perfectly content with the pristine beauty and vibrant culture of Grenada,” she explained. Lydia believes the University’s most powerful attribute is the student body camaraderie—a shared ambition and focus among students. “The culture at St. George’s University was very accepting, with no prejudices or preconceptions. Every student shared the same goal, which helped set the stage for a successful and memorable experience.”

A native of Southport, United Kingdom, Lydia now calls Co Cavan, Ireland, home. It is there that she oversees a branch of a familyrun mixed animal practice. Her academic accomplishments include the Veterinary Council Ireland Examination, the Statutory Membership Examination of the United Kingdom’s Royal College of Veterinary Medicine (RCVS) and the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE). She credits both the University and Dr. Kirwan for helping shape her future.

Dr. Lydia Doyle is a dedicated alumna who frequently participates in University events throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, encouraging future students to follow her example and consider St. George’s University to achieve their dreams. She is grateful to the University for the support it provided her as a student and a graduate. St. George’s will be sponsoring Dr. Doyle on a trek to Mt. Kilimanjaro scheduled for 2010 that will raise funds for VETAID, an organization which provides aid to rural communities throughout East Africa. She looks forward to one day returning to Grenada and making a contribution to the veterinary medical program at St. George’s University.

Lian Doble, DVM

Dr. Lian Doble is originally from the United Kingdom and earned her Bachelor of Science in Equine Science from Imperial College London. Upon completing her undergraduate career, she spent a few years working on farming development and food safety and security. Although Lian found it exciting, she wanted the professional qualification as a veterinarian because it would bring a different perspective to scientific research. She explains, “After a few years of working I looked into veterinary medicine and saw all the opportunities. I was very keen on helping outside the actual practice and more in research and development.”

“The moment I arrived in Grenada I knew it was a special place,” describes Lian on her first impression of the island. “The school and people of Grenada were very welcoming. Maybe that’s because it is on a small island, but you get a family feeling from St. George’s.” In addition to receiving St. George’s University’s International Peace Scholarship, Lian received an Outstanding Student Award from the School of Veterinary Medicine for each year of Basic Sciences and the Fort Dodge award for Excellence in Large Animal Medicine.

“Veterinary school can be stressful, but the environment is very conducive to studying and learning. You have the beach to relax you and a lot of support. Not once did I feel deserted or alone.” In addition to small class a size, Lian explains, “If you need any help you always have someone to go to. You never feel as though you are inconveniencing staff. I think we also get better lecturers— at other universities lectures often come second to other responsibilities of staff such as research.” In addition to early handson clinical experience, Lian took part in research activities through the on-campus research institute, Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF).

Lian took advantage of St. George’s strong international contacts by completing a master’s program at Makerere University in Uganda in conjunction with St. George’s. “SGU worked with Makerere University to set up this exchange so I could complete half my master’s in Uganda and half in Grenada,” she explained. She opted to complete her final year of clinical study at one of St. George’s affiliated hospitals at The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, where she had exposure to health care in a different learning environment.

In 2009, Lian was awarded MRCVS by examination. Currently enrolled as a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, although based full-time in Kenya, Lian is sponsored by a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Doctoral Training Grant. She expects to earn her PhD in September 2012 and hopes to gain some postdoctoral assignment for a couple of years to solidify her research experience. Dr. Lian Doble states, “I would love to continue to conduct research in the field of zoonotic diseases. It would be my dreams come true to work with a big international agency dealing with veterinary public health, and how animal and human health related issues can be improved upon.”

Laura Paasch, DVM

Dr. Laura Paasch has been around animals from almost the very beginning – sheep, goats, cows, horses, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and whatever she and her siblings could catch in the yard. She grew up on a small farm in Riverside, approximately one hour east of Los Angeles, and that’s where her interest in veterinary medicine was born.

“I grew up in a little utopia,” she said. “We had every kind of animal there, which I loved, and caring for them was always in my nature.”

Her love for animals has developed into a career, having earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from St. George’s University in 2007. She is now a veterinarian at Crossroads Animal Emergency Hospital in Huntington Beach, California, and at VCA South Shore Animal Hospital on Staten Island, New York.  She primarily treats emergency patients but also has time for well visits and vaccinations.

“Every day is a little different, but in the end, you’re responsible for taking care of anything that walks through the door,” she said.

Dr. Paasch came to SGU by way of California State University at San Bernardino, where she earned her Master of Science in biology in 2002. During her first term at SGU, Dr. Paasch learned she had been accepted to a US veterinary school near where she grew up. However, after going through a weeklong orientation there and careful consideration, she declined her seat at the US school to continue her education in Grenada.

“I loved everything about SGU, and knew in my heart that it was where I wanted to be,” she said.

“I felt at home in Grenada as soon as I got off the plane. My classmates were such a great, diverse group of individuals, and the professors were always available. It just felt like I went away yet I was with family.  I am still close with many of my classmates, who remain dear friends.”

Dr. Paasch thoroughly enjoyed her three years in Grenada and her clinical year at North Carolina State. She ranked number one in her graduating class, earning summa cum laude distinction, and also became the first SGU veterinary medical student to be inducted into the Phi Zeta Veterinary Honors Society.

She not only has brought her expertise to the hospital setting but also to the classroom.
In addition to practicing veterinary medicine, Dr. Paasch has instructed microbiology courses at Riverside CC in California and LaGuardia CC in New York. She also gives back to SGU as a frequent guest at its information sessions, and still finds time to play drums in her band, the KeyTones. She hasn’t ruled out further training, perhaps working toward a PhD in microbiology or completing a residency.

Many years removed from the farm on which she grew up, Dr. Paasch still marvels at the fact that her dream of becoming a veterinarian has become a reality.

“Some days you drive home and think ‘Wow, I can’t believe this is my job,’” she said. “It’s a great job and it’s so rewarding to feel really good about what you get to do for a living.”