Mikayla Diedrick

Mikayla (‘20) is pursuing a BS in Pre-Veterinary Science with a minor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She chose to attend the University of Massachusetts-Amherst after touring the Hadley Farm. She loved the atmosphere and all the hands-on opportunities that were offered there. During her time at UMass, Mikayla has been awarded the Ascension Farms Scholarship, the French-Judging Scholarship and the Field Alumni Scholarship.

During her freshman year, Mikayla took part in the Animal Science RAP, or Residential Academic Program, which allowed her to live in the same dorm as other Animal Science students. She also took the Belted Galloway Management class for two semesters. She had never worked with large animals prior to coming to UMass, but she quickly fell in love with cattle. This class allowed her to participate in ear tagging, vaccinating, and showing. She also observed castrations and hoof trimmings. Mikayla has taken part in the annual Bay State Livestock Classic. In her first year, she showed a goat and a cow. In her second year, she showed a chicken and went on to win third overall showman.

During the summer following her freshman year, Mikayla participated in an internship at The Zoo in Forest Park in Springfield, MA. There she cared for many different species of wildlife including foxes, camels, snakes, and cockatoos. The internship included three enrichment projects and over 200 hours of animal husbandry work. Mikayla took advantage of two more animal management classes during her sophomore year: Dairy Calf and Poultry. Mikayla also became interested in research and joined Dr. Fissore’s reproduction laboratory where she has now been doing research for three semesters. In Dr. Fissore’s lab, she works with mice to help achieve the lab’s goal of identifying the calcium channels present in oocytes and the role these channels play in fertilization.

Throughout her time at UMass, Mikayla has been an active member of the Pre-Veterinary and Animal Sciences Club where she served as Treasurer her junior year and will serve as Vice President her senior year. She also took part in the Peer Mentors program and was a member of the NESA quiz bowl and livestock judging team.

Mikayla started to work as a Veterinary Technician at the South Deerfield Veterinary Clinic during the spring semester of her sophomore year. There she gained valuable hands-on experience working with two veterinarians. She took patient histories, gave vaccinations, ran urinalysis and blood work, and assisted with taking x-rays. She also successfully completed the Cattle AI Certification class with Select Sires and was a Teaching Assistant for Animal Science 101 during her sophomore year.

Mikayla hopes to attend veterinary school after her time at UMass. She is interested in large animal medicine, but wants to keep an open mind. She is excited to apply the hands-on practical skills as well as the academic and interpersonal skills she has learned during her time as an undergraduate to her future career.