Alexandra Hommer

Alexandra (’20) has completed a B.S. in Pre-Veterinary Science and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. After graduation, Alexandra will be attending Cornell University for their Combined Degree program where she will be pursuing her DVM and PhD concurrently. This program is highly competitive with only 5-6 students invited to interview and only 1-3 students accepted each year.

Alexandra chose to attend UMass because of the challenging curriculum of both majors as well as the amazing hands on experience offered through the Hadley Farm enabling her to pursue her goal of becoming a veterinary researcher.

Prior to her acceptance at UMass, Alexandra worked with Dr. Bruce Barnes at Walnridge Equine Clinic. There she was immersed in the Standardbred Breeding industry and assisted with embryonic transfers, ultrasounds, and artificial insemination. Her time with Walnridge Equine Clinic inspired her love for reproduction.

Starting in her freshman year, Alexandra was a member of the Commonwealth Honors College and she joined the UMass Marching Band where she played piccolo. That summer she worked as a veterinary technician at Jamesburg Veterinary Hospital and Manalapan Animal Clinic where she gained experience monitoring vitals during surgeries, proper restraint techniques and administering medications as needed. She also preformed various procedures including canine dentals, blood draws, and radiographs. Alexandra also began an externship at Northstar Veterinary Emergency Trauma and Specialty Center. There she had the opportunity to rotate through general and orthopedic surgery, emergency medicine and exotics. Alexandra scrubbed in on several orthopedic surgeries including a double hip replacement and a femur reconstruction. She also observed five codes while rotating in the ICU.

Building off her time in small animal medicine, Alexandra decided to take Belted Galloway Management to gain more large animal experience. In the spring, Alexandra was a teaching assistant for Intro to Animal Management where she helped to lead lab classes and assist students during lamb watches. As a TA, Alexandra assisted Dr. Beltaire during a C-section. Alexandra spent her spring break on the UMass Artificial Insemination trip where she became certified in bovine AI. Alexandra also joined Dr. Margaret Stratton’s lab her sophomore year. Here she is characterizing the stability of different constructs of CaMKII, a kinase essential in memory formation.

In marching band, Alexandra became a member of the flute field staff, a leadership position where she instructed her peers on proper marching technique. Alexandra also joined the UMass Dressage team where she competes at the Intro training level.

During her junior year, Alexandra embraced her research and built off the basics she learned her sophomore year. She has worked on everything from cloning her constructs, running a PCR, doing a cell growth, purifying her protein and then finally testing their stability. Alexandra has been accepted into the Junior Fellows Program for the fall 2019 semester. In her senior year she continued her research and completed her senior thesis. Allie credits her success to the amazing guidance and encouragement she received from Dr. Osborne as well as Dr. Stratton’s mentorship that inspired her love for research.