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Grad Student Appreciation: Adrienne Rhodes

What is your academic background? 

I completed my bachelor’s degree in Biology from Northern Michigan University, which is in my hometown of Marquette, MI. I graduated as part of the Class of 2018 from Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.  

How did you become interested in your specific field? 

During my clinical year of veterinary school, I focused on large animal and in particular dairy production medicine, but I was also interested in surgery. Following graduation, I completed an internship at a mixed large animal practice. During my internship, I found myself gravitating towards all the surgeries and that is when I solidified my decision to pursue specialization in surgery.  

Why did you choose the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine to pursue this degree?  

I chose the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine to pursue my degree to return to academia, following a private practice internship, with hopes of doing a residency. After completing an equine surgery internship here, I was excited to stay to ultimately do an equine surgery residency, since I was already acquainted with everyone, have enjoyed my time here and like the case load.   

What is your current research project?

My research project from my internship at the University of Illinois was comparing the differences in blood lactate values between two venipuncture sites, in healthy horses and systemically ill horses. Blood lactate values are helpful in assessing impaired perfusion in ill horses.  

What impact do you think your research could have on society?  

My research project was to identify another reliable site for collecting blood for assessing blood lactate values. In the future, it would be helpful to identify other reliable, easily accessible sites in foals.  

What has been most beneficial to you in completing your studies at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine?   

The environment, mentorship and passion for teaching have been most beneficial to me in completing my studies at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Everyone I have encountered has had my best interest in mind and continues to work alongside you to make you successful in class, on the clinic floor and in conducting research.  

What are your passions outside of research?  

In the field of equine surgery, I enjoy lameness exams and continue to equally enjoy orthopedic and soft tissue surgery. Aside from work, I greatly enjoy spending time with my family, going on trips when possible and being outdoors.