February 16, 2020
Las Vegas, N.M. – New Mexico Highlands University biology graduate Joedy Quintana will follow her dreams to veterinary school with Massey University in New Zealand and Michigan State University both accepting her to their veterinary programs.
Quintana, a Sapello, New Mexico native, graduated from Highlands in May 2019 with a B.S. in biology and will complete her M.S. in biology in May 2021.
“It’s exciting and an honor to have two very different choices for veterinary school,” Quintana said. “It won’t be an easy decision.”
Quintana said she decided when she was a little girl she wanted to be a veterinarian.
“Growing up on a ranch, I had the privilege of working with a combination of both livestock and small animals,” Quintana said. “I always had a love for animals, and I helped raise many dogs, cats, and livestock. I am excited to be making a career out of something I am passionate about and enjoy doing on a daily basis.”
Quintana said she was always intrigued when Bill Brainerd, a Sapello veterinarian, visited her family’s ranch, watching closely when he treated a lame cow or sick dog.
“Once I was in college, I began shadowing Dr. Brainerd and later worked in his clinic, which confirmed my ambition to become a veterinarian. Dr. Brainerd’s mentorship has been priceless. I’ve become much more efficient at techniques as simple as properly handling a cat or dog as well as surgical techniques that are crucial to working with animals,” Quintana said.
Brainerd said Quintana was such a quick study at his clinic that she became a veterinary tech shortly after she began shadowing him in 2018.
“Joedy will thrive as a veterinarian because of her ambition and impressive willingness to treat others respectfully – qualities that will take her a long way as a vet and in life,” Brainerd said. “Joedy is excellent with animals and is quickly learning the veterinarian side of medicine at our clinic. We’re all very proud of her being accepted to two veterinary schools, and I have no doubt she will succeed at a high level.”
Looking ahead, Quintana said her future goal in the veterinary profession is to specialize in a combination of small animal and lifestock medicine.
“I’d like to open my own practice in a rural community. I enjoy the idea of doing something new every day with a large variety of animals, cases, diagnoses and treatments,” Quintana said.
Quintana said Highlands biology professor Ben Nelson, who is also a local veterinarian, played an important role in her undergraduate and graduate education.
“Dr. Nelson pushed me to always think critically and use my intellect to solve problems. Since my freshman year when I told him I wanted to pursue a career in veterinary medicine, he has been a great influence and mentor,” Quintana said.
Nelson said Quintana is a smart, hard-working student with a great deal of perseverance.
“I believe that down the road, she’ll do great as a veterinarian,” Nelson said.
Quintana said she has thoroughly enjoyed her education at Highlands.
“Since Highlands is such a small university, I had the privilege of developing a special bond with each of my professors. They gave me a lot of guidance in my coursework, which contributed to my success,” Quintana said.
Quintana said Highlands also offered many extracurricular opportunities like completing a New Mexico IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) research internship and traveling to Antigua, Guatemala and San Jose, Costa Rica on mission trips for the Highlands International Service Group.