Posted November 01, 2019

On Tuesday, December 3, Spartans near and far will come together to make a better tomorrow. Give Green Day is a chance to give back and make a difference to impact current and future Spartans. In celebration of giving back, the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine is showcasing students, who have benefited from scholarships as they pursue their degrees. You can help support them and future students by contributing to the College's Give Green Day fund.

Q&A with Zoë Williams, BS, PhD Candidate, DVM Candidate class of 2021

Williams Zoe Photo

What are your current interests and career aspirations?
I am currently conducting my PhD research with the Comparative Medicine and Integrative Biology graduate group. I have a particular interest in equine neuromuscular disorders and the translational opportunities that my research provides. I plan to defend my PhD in December, and will then move on to the clinical phase of my DVM curriculum. I am passionate about large animal medicine—specifically about the roles that oxidative stress plays in equine athletic performance and various disease states. I hope to pursue a large animal internal medicine residency and aspire to have a career in academia or private practice, where I can continue my research ambitions, coupled with my enthusiasm for clinical medicine.

What are you most enjoying about veterinary school? Veterinary school provides ample opportunities to employ problem solving skills. Stemming from my love of research, I enjoy using what I know about veterinary fundamentals and translational medicine to solve challenging problems across species. Furthermore, the diverse friendships and collaborations I have experienced here at the College have given me a truly enviable network of people to reference and guide me throughout my career.

Zoë Williams runs a horse through the Gaide Arena at the MSU McPhail Equine Performance Center during a research session. Zoë is Dr. Stephanie Valberg's PhD candidate in the College's Comparative Medicine and Integrative Biology graduate program.

Which scholarship have you received? Tracy A. Hammer Memorial Fellowship

How has receiving a scholarship impacted you and your veterinary education? This fellowship has allowed me to finish my PhD this semester, without taking on more financial burdens.

If you could say something directly to your scholarship funders, what would you say? I am truly grateful for this award and feel that I can closely relate to Tracy. Tracy was also a dual DVM/PhD student—in fact, she was the first—at MSU, and she also loved horses, though she focused her research on canine dilated cardiomyopathy. Before she was able to complete her studies, Tracy lost her life in the 1996 TWA 800 plane crash, while traveling to present her research at the International Society of Animal Genetics meeting in France. Her memorial fellowship has enabled me to pursue my DVM/PhD investigating equine myofibrillar myopathy. Tracy truly pioneered the way for ambitious dual degree students, and I want to continue her legacy.