“Some days might be really hectic, but if you buckle down, you’ll make it. You’ll have the energy to do it all.”
Avery Krein has wanted to work with animals for as long as she can remember. As a child, she wanted to save the animals she saw on National Geographic videos. Now, as she finishes her time at UNH, she can look back fondly on a myriad of experiences while looking forward to her next adventure: veterinary school. Her four years at UNH have been busy, but she would have it no other way.
“Some days might be really hectic, but if you buckle down, you’ll make it. You’ll have the energy to do it all,” she said.
Avery should know; in her time here at UNH, she has taken advantage of many opportunities – in the classroom, the residence hall, and even the National Zoo. She has assertively pursued her own education and has made a path for herself that has led to success at UNH and beyond.
Raised in northern New Jersey, Avery sought internship experiences before setting foot on campus. She spent three summers before high school assisting with animal husbandry on a ranch in Arizona and caring for marine animals at Sea World Orlando in their career program. Every summer and some Saturdays during high school, Avery assisted a local veterinarian, witnessing and participating in surgeries and exams. When it was time to enter college and choose a major, there was no doubt in her mind: Animal Sciences, pre-veterinary medicine.
In college, Avery continued to seek out opportunities. She spent time working in the dairy barns and participated in a leadership program her first year. The following summer she cared for injured wild animals at a wildlife rehabilitation center. The next summer, she joined Dr. Tenney, an equine veterinarian for the U.S. equestrian team, as an intern. In her junior year, Avery started working at the Conner's Writing Center on campus, for what would be the first of four semesters helping students with their writing. Avery was also interested in working at a zoo, so she looked up the head vet at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. and called her – and Dr. Murray called back! After a brief conversation and some email correspondence, Avery ended up with an internship at the National Zoo, volunteering two days a week at the veterinary hospital and two days in the cheetah station. She left the experience with a great recommendation from the head vet of the National Zoo and a new mentor.
“Don’t be afraid to call. Put yourself out there - persistence is key,” she said. “With internships, if you can figure out what would benefit them, they will want you there. Be productive. Go early, stay late and ask questions.”
After taking the Animal Behavior class with Dr. Michelle Pellissier Scott, Avery enrolled in her Behavioral Ecology class during spring of her junior year. A class project, researching salamanders, inspired her to take on a new challenge – an undergraduate research opportunity. After her summer internship in D.C., Avery returned to school in September and hit the ground running. With a short amount of time to collect salamanders before the cold weather made them inactive, Avery tromped through the woods gathering batches of salamanders and then spent hours in the lab each night testing the nocturnal animals. Seeking to learn about salamander aggression and sensory cues, this project enabled Avery to take the lead, further carving her own educational path.
Despite a busy four years at UNH, Avery has found that taking time to relax is really important. For her, relaxation came through involvement in Gibbs Hall, where she has lived all four years. She served as the Gibbs Hall Council sports manager her first two years and as the president for the following year. She also participated in community service projects with the Oyster River Youth Association, including her role as a founding member of the annual Field Day event.
What advice does Avery have for students at UNH?
“Know your hall directors, talk to your professors. Use your resources. Find out what support exists on campus - CFAR, health services, the counseling center - and reach out and use it.” Professional mentors and professors have played a huge role in her time at college, but so have others, including Jen Ramsay, hall director in Gibbs during her first year, and Dr. David Cross, director of the counseling center.
Avery is taking all she’s learned during her years at UNH with her to veterinary school, at Western University of Health Sciences in California, in the fall. With her dedication and energy, there’s no doubt that Avery will be successful wherever she goes!