Former Phi Eta Sigma President pursues graduate studies abroad

By: Karen Duarte - Published: November 14, 2018

By: Karen Duarte - Published: November 14, 2018

Florida State University Alumni Virginia Cook graduated in spring 2018 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences and a Minor in Chemistry.

Early in her time at FSU, Cook joined the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society leadership council. With an interest in becoming more involved, she joined the executive board in spring 2016 as the co-chair for membership drive, and later remained on the board as the social events chair. During the 2017-2018 academic school year, she was elected president.

Cook, a native of Venice, FL, became interested in working with animals, especially cats, at a young age. Her passion to assist and engage with animals is what keeps her motivated.

“I wanted to be a vet ever since I was little. I started working at a veterinarian office when I was 15 years old, and have been doing it ever since.”

Cook has continued her studies at Ross University of Veterinary Medicine in St Kitts and Nevis. She is a member of the surgery club, in which she performs wet labs like suture practice and scrub in practice. Also, Cook is a member of the diagnostic imaging club where she ultrasounds cows for farmers to determine if they are pregnant.

“I decided to pursue my education outside of the United States because the program is accelerated, and I will be finished in three years instead of the typical four,” Cook said. “I am studying to become a doctor of veterinary medicine.”

Her rigorous schedule ranges from day to day, and the amount of work and time she puts in is endless. After classes, she goes home and continues to study for a few hours.

“We have a program given to us by the school that tells us what classes we have for the week. Typically, I have a form of animal care (donkey or sheep handling) at 7 a.m., anatomy lab at 8 a.m., and lectures from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Then, we typically have clinical skills classes where we learn to handle aggressive animals properly, suture, and draw blood.”

While her veterinary studies are going along great, Cook is still adapting to a new environment, which is distinct from that of the United States.

“St Kitts and Nevis has a very unique blend of cultures on the island since they have been occupied by French and English cultures throughout its history, and there are monkeys everywhere. It is also the physical island that Christopher Columbus first landed on.”

Virginia Cook was an active and successful member of Phi Eta Sigma, and continues to proudly represent the honor society.

Fun Fact from our Alumni: “I am actually afraid of horses, but I’m working on it. I am also more of a cat person than a dog person, but I have a dog named Nugget. Also, as soon as I move out of my dorm, I plan on adopting a cat on the island.”