Get to Know

Get to Know Mandy Womble

family photo with Chicago skyline in background

Mandy Womble, pictured above left with her family, is a clinical assistant professor with the Zoological Pathology Program at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.  

When did you begin working at the College of Veterinary Medicine?
I started as faculty in June of 2023.

Describe your role at the college.
I am a clinical assistant professor with the Zoological Pathology Program (ZPP) outside of Chicago. I am one of five pathologists in the ZPP program. We service many local and not-so-local zoological institutions and aquariums, primarily investigating causes of death at their institutions. I also play a role in training our three anatomic pathology residents that have a zoo and wildlife focus and are also based at the ZPP. In the spring, I will come down to Urbana to teach some of the systemic pathology classes for vet students.

Have you held any previous titles or responsibilities at the college?
This is my first position at the college.

What is your favorite part of your job?
There are so many favorite parts of the job. If I had to choose just one, it would be training the residents and fourth-year veterinary students. It is SO MUCH FUN to teach this amazing field of study to residents (and students) who also love pathology and the weird and wonderful world of zoo and wildlife conservation work.

Complete this sentence: My most memorable day at work was…
… My first day of work when I walked into my office (formally Karen Terio’s office) and realized that after 16 years of training I had finally, somehow, snagged my dream job. There is no better feeling.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I enjoy hanging out with my two-year-old son, Alexander, and my wife, Casey. We have been exploring all the amazing museums and parks in the Chicago area. I also enjoy reading, crocheting, and hiking.

What is something your co-workers may be surprised to know about you?

I am an open book, so I am not sure they would be surprised by much. They may be surprised to find out that I played three different sports in high school: softball, volleyball, and basketball. And I once dreamed of playing in the WNBA (I am only 5ft. 3in. tall).

What is one thing on your bucket list?
My wife and I love to travel. Although international travel is a passion, I would also really like to rent (or buy) a camper and travel around the United States for a couple of months.

Do you have a favorite restaurant or place in the Chicago area?
We love to take our son to the Museum of Science and Industry (he loves the train exhibit). We also love visiting the zoos (Lincoln Park Zoo, Brookfield Zoo) and the Shedd Aquarium (even if I do work at these places!).

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
Wine or coffee!

Do you have any pets? 
I have four cats (Skunk, Spooky, Harriet, and Rosa) and one dog (Liberty Bell).

Dr. Womble's cat - Harriet
Dr. Womble with family and dog, Liberty Bell
Family with Liberty Bell
Dr. Womble's cat, Spooky