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Oklahoma State University

Orr Award goes to Morgan Pierce

Friday, January 27, 2017


Morgan Pierce of Bellville, Texas, won the 2016 Dean Harry W. Orr Memorial Award for prominent academic achievement at the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences annual awards banquet in April — an accomplishment that well illustrates her intensive work thus far.

“It was really exciting to get this award because it has so much history behind it regarding the vet school and the dean,” says Pierce, now a fourth-year veterinary student.

“We don’t know which one we’re getting when we show up to the banquet,” she says. “It’s kind of fun because it’s unknown. You’re just sitting there kind of waiting for your name to be called — you know you won something, but it could be anything. This particular award was a part of the bigger scholarships online, so I just applied.”

The Orr Award honors Oklahoma A&M School of Veterinary Medicine’s second dean.

“Morgan received the Dean Harry W. Orr Award in recognition of her high academic standing,” says Dr. Chris Ross, professor and interim dean for the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. “Monetary awards like this one help lessen student debt. We are very grateful for our donors, who allowed us to award more than $600,000 this past year.”

Pierce didn’t always want to be a vet, even though she grew up around horses. One particular experience — caring for a severely injured horse while working for a horse trainer during high school — sparked her interest in animal science, and she pursued her career path from there.

“My grandfather went here [to OSU],” she says.“He actually lived in the dairy barn and would walk back and forth to main campus. That kind of pushed me to go to OSU, and I really love it here.”

There hasn’t been a dull moment for Pierce. She’s already learned so much and seen countless case types since the beginning of her fourth year.

“I really loved my equine medicine rotation,” she says. “It was so busy. We had very few open stalls in the hospital. There were quite a few nights that I slept in stalls with foals.”

In the clinical setting, Pierce gets true hands-on experience and feels like she’s a real doctor.

“It’s fun to kind of be able to make those decisions but then also have somebody there just in case to be like, ‘Are you sure you want to do that? … Maybe we should try something else, or this would be better,’” she says.

Pierce is pretty confident that when it’s time to walk across the stage, she’ll be ready to go out into the world as a veterinarian.

Shelby Holcomb

“I really loved my equine medicine rotation. … There were quite a few nights that I slept in stalls with foals.” — Morgan Pierce

Morgan Pierce, Class of 2017, received the 2016 Dean Harry W. Orr Memorial Award at the CVHS annual banquet in April. She was granted $2,500.

Pierce helped care for a patient, Timmie, during one of her shifts in the CVHS Small Animal Critical Care Unit.

Gary Lawson / University Marketing

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