Maria-Victoria Alcaino

Maria-Victoria Alcaino

Maria-Victoria Alcaino (‘14) is a recent graduate of our department with a Bachelor of Science in Pre-Veterinary Science. Maria-Victoria has been accepted to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California where she will begin pursuing her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree this fall.

When she began her studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Maria-Victoria initially wanted to work primarily with small animals. Upper class peers encouraged Maria-Victoria to participate in various management classes and clubs in our department to observe other branches of medicine and science. Maria-Victoria joined the student run goat herd in the fall of 2010. She soon discovered an enthusiasm for small ruminant medicine. The program offered a leadership experience in assisting with the management of the University’s Boer goat herd. Maria-Victoria was elected the student president from fall 2013 to spring 2014. She aspires to become a mixed practiced veterinarian with a focus in small ruminants.

Between her sophomore and junior years, Maria-Victoria participated in three independent studies involving alpacas, sheep, and goats; working under Dr. Stephen Purdy, Dr. Mark Huyler, and various peers to understand breeding parameters in alpacas and the harmful effects of the barber pole worm in small ruminants.

Maria-Victoria discovered a passion for teaching through the Student Run Goat Herd, and therefore pursued two teaching assistant positions in our department. She assisted Dr. Helene Cousin, in Anatomy & Physiology and Dr. Mark Huyler in Animal Nutrition.

To further her education in small animal medicine, Maria-Victoria worked for the past three summers as a volunteer at Nashoba Valley Animal Hospital. In this mixed practice clinic, Maria-Victoria observed and assisted in various procedures and treatments for companion animals and various livestock species. In addition she worked as a veterinary technician at All Creatures Great and Small Animal Hospital, to further expand her knowledge and experience with small animals.

During Maria-Victoria’s down time she enjoys traveling to North Conway, NH to downhill ski with her parents. When the opportunity presents itself, she flies back home to Granada, Nicaragua to visit her large extended family.

Maria-Victoria found her education and time spent at the University of Massachusetts Amherst extremely valuable. She cherished her time spent in our department and looks forward to continuing her education in California.