Catherine Found (DVM May ’22) When Catharine was deciding which veterinary medicine programs she was going to apply to and consider, she cast a wide net. However, she ultimately decided to choose Iowa State University’s veterinary medicine program due to its historic and strong reputation as well as due to her and her partner Blaine’s roots in Iowa. Catharine has always been a huge supporter for all things Iowa, often referring to the “simple life” as being the best way to live. Attending Iowa State seemed like the best avenue to give back to the place and state that raised her.
Soon after beginning her veterinary program, Catharine quickly learned that she had no trouble at all finding opportunities to get involved. Iowa State has offered her endless ways to explore and learn outside of the classroom, both within the school of veterinary medicine and in the larger Iowa State community. It became much harder to have to limit activities due to time constraints, than it was to find the opportunities to begin with. Both she and her partner Blaine joined and volunteered with the Student American Veterinary Medical Association Auxiliary group, a student club that aimed to create a community for vet med students and their families to both gather and volunteer together. With Catharine’s background as an EMT and paramedic prior to veterinary school, she explored the emergency world from the animal medicine perspective. She got involved early in the Student Chapter of the Veterinary Emergency Critical Care Society (SVECCS) and is now serving as president of the chapter. She has worked the majority of her didactic years in veterinary school at the ISU Lloyd Veterinary Hospital’s ER and ICU where she has journeyed alongside and cared for sick patients. When Catharine found her green thumb itching after the spring semester of her first year, she joined the ISU Good Earth Student Farm and volunteered several hours of labor weekly in return for a discount with the student CSA (community supported agriculture). As a school-wide International Representative, she has been a big proponent of international travel for veterinary aspires, and has worked to bring awareness of the opportunities available for students to learn medicine abroad. Student groups aside, Catharine and her family have enjoyed all of the possibilities available at Iowa State and have spent their free time checking out craft activities at Workspace, improv comedy shows at the Maintenance Shop, and visiting lectures at the Memorial Union.
SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 pandemic created unique challenges requiring unique solutions for the College of Veterinary Medicine and all of its students. Catharine and her classmates found the majority of their 40+ hour weekly lecture time transition from a packed auditorium to the solitude of their homes, tuning into live and recorded lectures on their laptops. Small groups have transitioned to Zoom meetings and Google Meet Ups. For clinical skills and labs that simply cannot be done online, masking and social distancing inside the school of veterinary medicine have become the norm. For one used to traveling frequently to see family, Catharine has struggled with the quarantining and isolating effects of this pandemic, in a year where she has lost two grandparents and gained two nieces. She does often remind herself to stop and smell the roses though, noting how many more family meals and quality time she has been able to share with her partner and foster children at home.
Nomination: Catherine has lined up volunteers and gathered medical supplies for the Maderas Rainforest Conservatory in Costa Rica. That’s just part of her story. Catherine and her husband have also fostered a 10-year old boy since this summer.