Haeree Park

Haeree Park (’18) is currently pursuing a B.S. in Pre-Veterinary Science. Haeree has always loved animals and decided to commit to UMass Amherst because of her aspirations to become a veterinarian.

As a freshman and a sophomore, Haeree became extremely involved in the TED-affiliated 401(K) organization TEDxAmherst – a student-run, independently-organized group that hosts yearly conferences similar to TED Talks. She became a Concourse Manager her freshman year and the Director of Programming her sophomore year where she was in charge of a small sub-team that organized the stage design, video and audio recording, day-of events, registration, contracts, etc. Haeree and other Five College students worked to host a 700+ person TEDxAmherst conference in 2015, inviting inspirational speakers to spread their ideas to the Five College community. She made long-lasting friendships and professional relationships with Auxiliary Services and the administration on-campus. Working with students and professionals in an event-planning setting resulted in Haeree gaining valuable skills she otherwise would have never experienced and she hopes to apply these skills to her veterinary career in the future. She thoroughly enjoyed her time with the TEDxAmherst team and highly recommends that VASCI students look past the animal world for similar unique opportunities to help them grow as individuals and find out more about themselves!

In the summer before her sophomore year, Haeree conducted her own independent study research through the Natural Resources and Conservation Department. She investigated how to cultivate Black Soldier flies and their larvae by feeding them compostable waste and harvesting the larvae for fish and poultry supplementation. Haeree received a scholarship through the UMass Amherst Libraries Undergraduate Sustainability Research Award for her how-to manual on Black Soldier fly larvae rearing and the manual was published through ScholarWorks. This sparked Haeree’s interest in laboratory research and prompted her to join Dr. Cynthia Baldwin’s research lab in the summer before her junior year where she continues to conduct immunology research with the overall goal of producing more effective vaccinations against Leptospira and Mycobacterium bovis through the better understanding of how WC1 co-receptors and  T cells in cows, sheep, and goats interact with each other to elicit an immune response against such pathogens.

In Haeree’s junior year, she shadowed a holistic veterinarian who worked primarily in chiropractic, herbal remedies, and acupuncture practices. This unusual experience opened her eyes to alternative veterinary medicine and she hasn’t looked back! At the same time, Haeree began working as a veterinary technician at South Deerfield Veterinary Clinic where she restrains animals for veterinarians, helps draw blood, administers vaccinations, and obtains brief medical histories. During her winter break, Haeree shadowed an ambulatory equine dentist in Topsfield, MA and assisted the veterinarian on her farm calls to perform routine floats, oral x-rays, and tooth extractions.

In her free time, Haeree is also committed to helping out at Fresh Pond Animal Hospital, located near her hometown. Here she helps by restraining small animals and assisting in dentals, spays, and mass removals. Haeree was awarded the Byron E. Colby Scholarship through the VASCI Department for academic excellence and merit. Over the summer, she participated in the CAFÉ Summer Scholars Program where she was awarded a grant to continue her research in the Baldwin Lab.

Haeree credits the VASCI department for providing a myriad number of opportunities for her to pursue. “When I was an underclassmen and I wasn’t sure about veterinary school, I had the support that I needed to explore other paths until I found exactly what I wanted to pursue. The faculty I have gotten to know have been nothing but helpful and have always encouraged me to be the best I can be. I couldn’t imagine becoming the person I am today without the experiences and life lessons I’ve learned throughout my four years here.”

In her senior year, Haeree is actively involved in the Camelid Management practicum and loves working with the alpacas and the donkeys! In addition, she enjoys her time as a teaching assistant for the Animal Nutrition and Feeding course along with continuing to work at South Deerfield Veterinary Clinic. Haeree is also involved in the Peer Mentor program helping underclassmen navigate their way through the VASCI program. She has been working on her senior honors thesis in the Baldwin Lab since the summer and considers the Baldwin Lab her second home. She loves to attend Spinning® classes offered at the recreation center and religiously watches the Food Network channel with her roommates.