Maura Haley

Maura Haley ’19 will be graduating this May with a B.S. in pre-veterinary science. Maura is also a member of the Commonwealth Honors College. At a young age, Maura was able to certify her dog, Riley as a Therapy Dog and visit residents of nursing homes with Riley. Maura loved to witness the incredible human-animal interactions during these visits. Soon, Maura discovered her passion for science and medicine as well. Maura chose to attend UMass Amherst due to the various opportunities to work hands-on with several animal species. She was also drawn to the department’s wide array of courses which would help prepare her for veterinary school as well as the opportunity to apply to the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine through the early acceptance program during her sophomore year.

During her freshman year, Maura participated in the Belted Galloway Management and Dairy Calf Management courses. She was able to gain anticipated experience handling cattle as well as learning how to properly care for cattle. Maura also joined the Pre-Veterinary and Animal Sciences Club, the Animal Science Peer Mentors group, and the UMass Red Cross Club. That summer, Maura interned at the New England Wildlife Center located in Weymouth, MA where she discovered her interest in studying wildlife. She was able to work with a range of species including birds, raccoons, opossums, and foxes, and was responsible for their general care and well-being as well as the administration of their medications. Her favorite part of this experience was checking in new admits where she was able to perform physical exams, educate the public on wildlife, and provide an immediate source of care to the animals brought in.

During her second year, Maura was thrilled to be offered early acceptance to the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. She immediately began to consider an early graduation to make her dream of attending Tufts a sooner reality. Maura was grateful for the close-knit community in the VASCI department as she was able to easily reach out to upperclassmen who also planned to graduate early for advice. They were able to help her plan a schedule to meet all of the requirements of the major in time to graduate a year early.

This same year, Maura participated in the Artificial Insemination course offered over spring break. Maura was able to first learn about the procedures involved in inseminating cattle before performing A.I. herself and becoming certified in it. She was also the awarded the 2018 Robert Maxwell Williams Chemistry Scholarship this year. The following summer, Maura worked at VCA South Shore Animal Hospital in Weymouth, MA and she interned at Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon, MA. At Southwick Zoo she was able to gain experience handling and caring for exotic birds, as well as training them. Her favorite part was having the opportunity to participate in the daily bird shows at the zoo and to train an African Grey Parrot how to paint on a canvas with a paintbrush held in his beak!

To continue to explore her interest in various bird species, Maura enrolled in the Poultry Management course during the fall of her third and final year at UMass. She was able to learn how to raise and show chickens and earned a first-place ribbon in the bird show with her Rhode Island Red named Penelopeep. Maura brought six of the chickens from this course home with her to add to her own flock at the end of the semester. Maura was also awarded the Byron Colby Animal Science Scholarship that fall. That spring, she committed to Tufts and will be attending the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine starting in the fall of 2019.

Maura is excited to attend her dream veterinary school and cannot thank the VASCI department enough for introducing her to a multitude of possibilities. Starting off, she always figured her interests would solely lie in small animal medicine. Now, she is considering working in wildlife medicine and wants to continue to explore her interests with different bird species. The VASCI department was able to prepare Maura to continue her education in veterinary medicine, and she was able to make unforgettable memories and form some lifetime friendships in the process.