Joe Grennon of Quincy, Mass. (birthplace and final resting place of two presidents — John Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams) is a man with a plan. And that plan has always included animals.
Growing up, Joe didn’t just have pets, he had a menagerie. “We had 20 hamsters, seven rabbits four turtles and three dogs,” he reports with great attention to detail. As you can see, Joe’s tastes run toward exotic animals. In fact, his ultimate goal is to be a veterinarian with a focus on zoological animals.
Yes, he’d like be a zoo veterinarian.
It’s a long way from 20 hamsters to grad school, but Joe Grennon, member of the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) class of 2019, has made it this far. And thanks to the generosity of donors to the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Foundation, the path going forward has become clearer for students like Joe, because he has been awarded scholarship from the school to help defray his educational expenses.
“Coming from out of state, financial aid is very important in allowing me to pursue my goals,” Joe says. “When I found out that I was a scholarship recipient, I was ecstatic to have my accomplishments recognized and grateful to know that I would have less financial burden following veterinary school.”
Finances inevitably come into play for most students when it comes to higher education. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a degree in animal science, NC State was Joe’s top choice college of vet med for a couple of reasons:
“They have a strong exotic and zoological animal program, and an unbeatable tuition,” Joe says. The combination of world class education and affordable cost is hard to beat.
Even so, though, the cost of attending four years of graduate school can be daunting. That’s why contributions in support of scholarships are so important to students like Joe. And he is making the most of the opportunity.
“The faculty here is great, and very friendly, and there are great opportunities, too.” For example, Joe is active with the celebrated NC State Turtle Rescue Team, and also with the Carnivore Team. Last summer he had a chance to stay in North Carolina to work at a spay and neuter clinic in Raleigh, and he jumped at the chance. Not only did it provide valuable experience, it helped Joe qualify for in-state tuition. That’s one more step toward his final destination.
“After graduation I envision myself working with zoological and exotic animals in some regard, either as my main job or on the side,” he says. “Since opportunities working with zoological animals often require additional schooling and training, any financial assistance I receive now will help me later down the line in reaching my future goals.”
Like we said, Joe Grennon is a man with a plan.
~Steve Volstad/NC State Veterinary Medicine