A native of Myrtle Creek, Oregon, senior Cassandra Van Atta was drawn to the University of Montana Western because of the Experience One program, which allows students to focus on one course at a time and be fully immersed in real-world learning opportunities.
“The Biology instructors provide you with a wide range of in the lab and field science experiences, and help you with achieving your future goals,” said Van Atta.
An Integrative Biology and Natural Horsemanship double major, Van Atta wanted to complete her degrees and apply for veterinary school. The Integrative Biology degree allowed her to combine her passion for horses and animals while providing her with a solid foundation in science. She was also able to complete the vigorous requirements needed for her veterinary school applications, including hundreds of hours of experience working with animals.
Cassandra will be attending veterinary school this fall, and feels grateful for the support she received from all of her instructors, including Biology professor Mike Morrow. Due to her hard work, determination and the encouragement and advice from her instructors, she was accepted by multiple schools.
“Dr. Morrow, my Biology advisor, encouraged me with his can-do view of my goals. He continually inspired me and I will take that enthusiasm and determination with me as I continue my education and career,” said Van Atta.
In addition to her scholastic achievements, Cassandra was engaged with the campus and community by being actively involved in several clubs including Draft Horse Driving, Veterinary Science, Biology, and the Horseman’s Club. These experiences allowed her to expand and share her love of animals and science with members of the community.
“The diversity of experiences I had while going to Montana Western, including shadowing veterinarians and conducting research in the field, allows me to be more comfortable moving forward with my studies, and eventually becoming a veterinarian myself.”