For only the fifth time in the history of OSU’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences a senior student received both the Gentle Doctor and the Dean Clarence H. McElroy Awards. That speaks volumes to the academic achievements, leadership skills, and character of this year’s recipient, Jesse Jenny of American Canyon, California.
“I was just so honored to hear my name for the Gentle Doctor Award and understand what that statue meant,” said Jenny.
The Gentle Doctor statue that Jenny received is a smaller version of the original sculpture and portrays the strength, endurance, and skillfulness a successful veterinarian needs to possess. Recipients are chosen by class ballet.
“It was pretty unbelievable because there are so many deserving students,” she added. “It was a beautiful moment.”
Created in honor of the founding dean of the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, the Dean McElroy award recognizes high academic achievement, leadership, and outstanding clinical proficiency. The highest honor an Oklahoma State University veterinary student can earn, a ballot of faculty and class peers determines the recipient.
“I think the description of the award is amazing,” said Jenny. “I think all the qualities that were described are good qualities to have. Not only academic excellence but than having good character behind it. It just felt like a wave of support and love from classmates and instructors. As Dr. Grant Rezabek described the recipient, it was kind of a flashback of everything that has happened over the four years and even before that preparing for veterinary school. When he said this person is a member of the Ewing House and has worked as an EMT in New York, Utah, and Montana that was pretty specific so I kind of knew it was me at that point.”
Jenny didn’t always strive to become a veterinarian.
“It’s been a long journey,” explained Jenny. “I always knew I wanted to work with horses in some capacity but I actually started my undergraduate career in art school. When I did that, I decided that I wanted a little bit more science too so I transferred to different schools that would allow me that. I eventually decided that veterinary medicine was where I wanted to end up.”
However, that decision came a little later than expected.
“I was accepted into the veterinary program right after I found out I was pregnant for my son,” she said. “OSU let me differ for a year so I started veterinary college when he was about 10 months old. I am so grateful to my family—my husband, my son and my family back at home in California. All of the people who have gotten me here to where I am. It’s just incredible and it’s very hard to put words to it but I was definitely overcome with emotion and gratitude. ”
Jenny chose Oklahoma State University for her DVM degree after doing some research.
“I knew Oklahoma was in the middle of the country but I didn’t know exactly where OSU was before coming here and researching the school,” she said. “After doing a little research, I knew that it was excellent in large animal medicine, and the mascot was a horse and a cowboy so I knew I couldn’t go wrong.
“I have a lot of good memories throughout veterinary school,” continued Jenny. “I think time in the anatomy lab was my favorite. I really enjoyed learning all the anatomy of dogs, cats, and horses. And then working on the wellness initiative here at the school has been a huge highlight during my time at OSU.
“If you are interested in a career in veterinary medicine, I think you have to have a passion and the willingness to work hard,” offered Jenny. “A passion for not only animals but people, too, because animals come with people.”
Jenny also received an American College of Veterinary Surgeons Award for her interest in surgery and a Class of 1964 Endowed Scholarship in Veterinary Medicine in recognition of her clinical skills. Following graduation, she is returning to California.
“After graduation, my family is headed back to California for an equine exclusive surgery and medicine internship at a private clinic there, which we are very excited about,” said Jenny. “I hope to go into equine surgery but if that doesn’t work out, I know that I’ll be prepared with the tools to be an excellent equine practitioner.”
Dr. Jesse Jenny is one of 84 veterinary students earning a DVM degree on May 10, 2019. Thanks to the veterinary center’s generous donors, a total of $542,270 was awarded in scholarships to 158 veterinary students this year.
MEDIA CONTACT: Derinda Blakeney, APR | OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences | 405-744-6740 | firstname.lastname@example.org