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Oklahoma State University

Grandparent University at OSU's Veterinary Center

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Eight grandchildren and their grandparents participated in GPU at the OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences.

When you select Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences as your college of choice for Grandparent University (GPU), you may go roaming in the rumen of a cow, perform “surgery” on a stuffed animal, or cheer on your favorite colored tick in a race. Eight grandchildren and their grandparents spent the two-day GPU learning about veterinary medicine and doing some fantastic hands-on activities.

Each grandchild received a white veterinary coat and stethoscope. Dr. Rebekah Hartfield, a 2016 OSU DVM alumna and children’s author, assisted with the coating ceremony and stethoscope lesson and did a reading from one of her two published books. She even brought the star pig from her first book, Rosie, for the children to pet.  

In small groups, GPU visitors rotated through food animal, equine, and small animal internal medicine stations. Drs. Leslie Wagner and Sally Venable introduced GPU attendees to Daisy, a blood and rumen donor cow.

Dr. Mike Schoonover, with assistance from Maranda Skaggs, talked about the horse, how horses walk compared to people and looked at the horse’s legs and hooves. He also demonstrated how he sees inside a horse’s leg using an ultrasound machine.

Dr. Andrew Hanzlicek simulated scoping a dog’s stomach. Children took turns operating the forceps veterinarians use to retrieve foreign objects from inside animals. This stuffed dog “ate a lot of chocolate bars.” Assisted by Dr. Hanzlicek, each child happily retrieved a miniature candy bar.

On day two of GPU, small groups again rotated through sections this time in parasitology, anatomy, and teddy bear surgery.

In the parasitology lab, Megan Wohltjen, Ruth Scimeca, and Kellee Sundstrom provided nine different microscope stations featuring various parasites for attendees to look at and learn about. Children could sit on ‘Fleabiscuit,’ a giant replica of a flea, for a photo. The highlight was cheering for ticks as they raced from the middle to the outer edges of a covered circle.

In the Dr. Duane R. Peterson Anatomy Learning Center, Greg Yoast (‘21) discussed the anatomy of the eye and the differences between human and animal sight. He then carefully walked GPU guests through the process of dissecting an actual cow’s eye.

In teddy bear surgery, children gowned up to “operate” on a stuffed animal. Always a favorite, veterinary students explained the surgical process as they assisted GPU attendees in performing a mock surgery.

Special thanks to everyone mentioned above, Emily Snow for coordinating the veterinary center’s GPU, and these additional veterinary student volunteers: Brooke Bennett (’20), Megan Dulle (’21), Cori Hoffman (’21), Julia Jordy (’20) and Cassidy Vander Molen (’21).

Grandparent University is an annual program of the Oklahoma State University Alumni Association.

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